Marching to an old tune: It’s Chico heritage, minus the drunken riots.

An online vote has determined that the May 1 spring parade through downtown Chico will be dubbed Pioneer Day Parade.

It was something that Bob Ray, president of the Parade Committee and recent losing candidate for Chico State student body president, had been hoping for all along.

Ray and other organizers set up a Web site, along with a table at the Thursday Night Farmers’ Market, offering choices of potential parade names. Fifty-five percent of the more than 1,000 votes favored the name Pioneer Day Parade. Trailing were Almond Blossom Parade, Main Street Parade and Frontier Day Parade.

The original Pioneer Day Parade, which began in 1917, became controversial amid the melee that began to accompany the Chico State spirit week events in the 1980s. In 1986, the parade was stilled, and ultimately the university called off Pioneer Days altogether.

In the 1990s, the spring parade was resurrected as the Celebration of People Parade.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. and will include marching bands, student groups and other attractions.

DA says no to Wal-Mart: Trespassing charges filed by Wal-Mart against a signature-gather working in front of the Forest Avenue store have been dropped by the Butte County district attorney. “I looked at it when it came across my desk and figured it just wasn’t worth the trouble,” said DA Mike Ramsey.

On April 8 Ryan Crenshaw of Ventura set up a card table on the sidewalk near the local mega-store entrance and began gathering signatures to help qualify various ballot initiatives for the November election. It’s common practice, and paid signature collectors plant themselves in shopping center parking lots and near mall food courts all over the state. But Wal-Mart management objected to Crenshaw’s presence because he wasn’t on the store’s calendar. So the biggest retailer in the history of the world made a citizen’s arrest on the hapless Crenshaw.

Ramsey said that though he dropped the charges—“the law is vague in this area”—he did get some mileage out of the story when he shared it with fellow DAs at Legislative Day in Sacramento last week. “Some of us like to get together and share our weirder stories, and I told them how this guy had gone up against the Heavenly Clowns,” Ramsey said, referring to a pair of evangelists dressed as clowns outside the store who were on the Wal-Mart calendar that day.

Vets get it: Looking out at an audience filled with dozens of determined veterans, the Butte County Board of Supervisors must have either been deeply moved or sufficiently intimidated, as it voted unanimously to pass through $328,000 in state park funds to the city of Oroville to start construction on a new veterans’ memorial park.

The product of three years of grassroots organizing by various citizens’ and vets’ groups in Oroville, the riverside park, to be built next to the current vets’ hall on Montgomery Street, will honor Butte County’s war dead and serve as a trailhead for future riverfront projects.