Sophie Says: The parade is marching on

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A Winters Express opinion column

Gramps Says
During the 1940 Battle of Britain, Churchill said of the RAF pilots, “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” Not meaning to compare the annual Youth Day Winters Parade to the air bombardment of Britain, but most worthwhile endeavors, such as the parade, usually owe their success to a diligent few. For over 40 years, Mike Sebastian, our parade chairman, has been instrumental in successfully promoting and organizing the parade. Although he wouldn’t want the attention, he deserves a hearty “Thank You.”

Mike mentions that there seems to be less interest in the parade now than in the past and it has been more of a challenge to keep it going. The internet is posting more competing events. Some of the supporting organizations such as the Lions Club, Soroptimist International and VFW are gone. This year the VFW from Dixon will be the color bearers. School bus transportation has been cut, and it is more difficult to bring bands from other areas. Last year the Mariachis were the only music imported from out of town.

The good news is that many volunteers have stepped forward this year to help. It takes about thirty volunteers to pull it off and we only need about nine more to fill duties such as check-in, division marshals and to man barricades. Students from the High School usually fill the all-important positions of pooper scoopers. If you would like to lend a hand, contact Mike Sebastian by email at

The Shriners have performed in our parade for 45 years. Last year their go-carts were stolen but we will see them this year in newly designed carts. We are fortunate to be on their limited tour list. The California State Horseman’s Association, which comes from far and near, is entering this year as well. It is still early, most of the entries sign up between now and the time of the event.

Late breaking news is the Kiwanis Club of Winters will host the Duck Derby.

Mike also mentions that we are fortunate to have long-standing sponsors of Youth Day events that assist in covering essential costs.

Sophie Says
I will make a point to remind Gramps to recognize in this column the sponsors who help out this year.

I hear that there are 25 Golden Retrievers marching in the parade. That will be a site to see and I’m pleased to see my canine friends so honored. I’ll leave the marching to the youngsters. If I were invited to be in the parade, I would swallow my pride, take a senior benefit and let Gramps pull me in a wagon. After all at 16, in dog years, I’m over a hundred years old. I may not hear and see as well as I used to, but I still love a good parade.

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