OROVILLE- Queen Julissa Alvarez, Princesses Gwen Hankins, Taralyn Fox and Mariya Mathis extend a royal invitation to attend this year’s 85th annual Oroville May Festival with events on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11.
With a theme of “A Walk to Remember,” the festivities begin with the crowning of the royalty on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Coulton Auditorium. Queen Julissa is the daughter of Martha Viveros and Alejandro Alvarez. Princess Gwen’s parents areBrooke Renfroe and Robert Hankins; Princess Mathis, Mary Mathis and Princess Taralynn, Jason and Sonja Fox.
Last year’s royalty, Queen Jennifer Cisneros and Princess Madison Whiteaker will be on hand to pass on their crowns to the new reigning royalty with all the pomp and circumstance the community has come to expect in the crowning of their royalty.
A lighted mini-parade will follow the coronation led by the community float, which is decorated to reflect this year’s May Festival Theme. An assortment of floats, convertibles, trucks and classic cars carrying the high school and other royalty up and down Main Street will follow, giving a hint of the Grand Parade to come the next day.
Saturday’s events start early with the “blast off” from the shores of Deep Bay for the bass tournament at 6 a.m. with the weigh-in scheduled for 3 p.m. The Fun Run, now in its 39th year, starts behind Expressions Espresso, at 7 a.m. The 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament starts at 8 a.m. and goes to 5 p.m. on the Oroville High School tennis courts. There’s lots of hoop action between rivals and new challengers promised for all who participate.
The Oroville Market will be taking place at the public library from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Art on the Line art gallery on Main Street opens its doors to the public at 9 a.m. and will be open until 4 p.m.
The main event, the Grand Parade, starts at 10 a.m., with floats from the Oroville community and its neighbors and from civic organizations and commercial businesses from both sides of the border. Led by this year’s Grand Marshals, Mike and Kay Sibley, local historians and retired Oroville educators.
The parade promises plenty of classic cars, mounted horseback riders, kids on bikes, marching bands, Shriners, fire trucks, clubs and church groups and much more to keep everyone entertained. The Oroville Fire Department will be showing off their old Model T fire truck, recently refreshed by a group of volunteers. The Model T, crewed by Oroville’s finest firefighters, in wacky attire, is guaranteed to cause mayhem along the parade route. Members of the local U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Customs are expected to make a good showing on horseback and riding a variety of the vehicles they use to guard the border.
After the parade, the traditional lawn ceremony takes place on the front lawn of the high school where local and visiting royalty are introduced and the May Pole Dancers give a command performance. The chamber of commerce puts on a barbecue at the east lawn of the high school starting at 11 p.m., an annual fundraiser to give two scholarships to deserving high school seniors.
At noon, the Aurora Mason Lodge will be hosting kids’ game at Ben Prince Field behind the high school and the Borderlands Historical Society will be serving homemade ice cream, made by this year’s Grand Marshals, at the Depot until 4 p.m.
Also this weekend, the Hideaway Bar & Grill and the Oroville Eagles will have bands. Taber’s Taste of Summer will have wine on the deck from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Esther Briicques will have wine tastings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.