A parade with no name

Richard Elsom and Bob Ray are Co-chairs of the parade committee
Chico has loved its spring parade since at least 1917. The parade has been a Chico tradition held on the first Saturday of May for almost 90 years.

For the last 20 years, the spring parade has been known by three different names: Pioneer Days, Rancho Chico Days and now the Celebration of People Parade. Each parade has had its supporters and detractors; each has tried to unite all segments of the community; each has delighted thousands, but we (the parade committee) believe something’s missing.

Four years ago the Celebration of People Inc., a community-based not-for-profit organization, was formed to take over this growing springtime event and lift it to the next level. We have realized that next level will not occur until the name of the spring parade reflects the community enough to secure itself as the annual tradition that was lost with Pioneer Days.

Help us choose a permanent name for the spring parade. The Name the Parade Contest has been going on for four weeks and you only have one more week to submit a name that you would like to see in the top 10. Hundreds of people have visited our new Web site http://www.nametheparade.com/, and many have submitted their suggestions. The deadline to submit your suggestion is Monday, March 22.

Starting on March 25, you can go to the Web site again and vote from among the top 10 nominations. On Thursday, April 1 (we’re not fooling), and Thursday, April 8, you will be able to vote in person at our booth at downtown Chico’s Thursday Night Market.

We need your help. Please go to the Name the Parade Web site (http://www.nametheparade.com/) and suggest a name today and remember to come back and vote for a final name for the spring parade. We don’t want to encourage one name or another, but we do feel the parade needs a new name that will establish the spring parade as a permanent Chico tradition.

Applications for parade entries (floats, bands, groups marching in funny costumes, etc.) are available at the Chico Chamber of Commerce, Diamond W Western Wear and Pullins Cyclery. For information about the Parade contact Bob Ray at 891-1383 or e-mail us at bobray@shocking.com.

On behalf of the board of directors of the Celebration of People Inc., we thank everyone who has, or will, participate in the Name the Parade Contest and the newly renamed Spring Parade to be held at 11 a.m. on May 1.