June 25, 2017
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Founders Day fun for all in 1966

By: Irene Hilsendager
March 31, 2017

Founders Day 1966 is over, there is a lovely new Miss Rohnert Park in Candy Michael, everyone enjoyed the very fine parade, Festival of the Ninth Moon Ball, wine tasting fun with the “Little Old Winemaker of Asti”, the art display, bake contest and other activities too numerous to mention.

Friday evening with more than 500 people in attendance, Candy Michael, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Michael of Anson Avenue, was chosen to reign as Miss Rohnert Park 1967. Miss California, June Lindeman, the pageant’s guest of honor, was present at the pageant along with Leslie Straub, Miss Sonoma County.

Parade Grand Marshall, Captain Satellite, headed the Founders Day parade lineup followed by Ramona Winter and Lynn Crisler with the U.S. Coast Guard Band in sparkling white uniforms.

Among the highlights of the parade was Candy Cane Lane float, first place float winner which was a large pink and white bear with a big lollipop. This charmer was a contribution of the neighbors of Alden Avenue (Candy Cane Lane). Another eye catcher was the Sebastopol Solarettes and their decorated car with the majorette groups. The Outer Pacers and Las Casitas Wheels were a colorful sight with square dancing around the parade route. Cloverdale Citrus Fair Queen, Kristy Burkes, was lovely in her color orange. Clover Brand Creamery entry, Clover’s Ark, was a delight to the younger set with a blue ark, decorated with a variety of animals such as pink elephants, a black kangaroo and a host of other four-legged friends.

The Sebastopol Apelettes majorette group with lovely Apple Blossom Queen Kathy Skinner was a striking sight for all. 

Awards were presented to: Bands, U.S. Coast Guard, Alameda; Marching units – Santa Rosa champions, first; Coast Guard Honor Guard, second; Majorettes (senior groups) – Sebastopol Solarettes, first; Sebastopol Applettes, second; Junior groups, Sebastopol Applettes, first; Sebastopol Marionettes, second; Senior individual, Ellen Twombly, first; Cheri Hansen, second; Peewees, group, Sebastopol Solarettes; individuals, Kerry Lynn Rundles of Novato, first; and Corine Brown, second.

Floats and decorated cars: Floats, Candy Cane Lane (residents of Alden Ave., Rohnert Park) first; Coast Guard Lighthouse float, second; Decorated cars, Rohnert Park Rosettes, first; and Rohnert Park Women’s Association, second.

Color Guards and Marching Units – U.S. Coast Guard, first; Two Rock Ranch, second; Petaluma Junior Riders, first; Redwood Empire Shetland Pony Club, second; Senior group, 16th District Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary, first and Junior Group, Cub Scout Pack 23 of Rohnert Park, first.Most unusual: Outer pacers Square Dance Club, first; and Gravenstein 4-H Club, second.

Commercial entries: Clover Brand Creamery float, first; and Gay 90’s Barber Shop float, second.

Mounted units: Group, Sonoma County Centaurs, first; Individual horse and rider, Nobbie Ellars, first; and Mrs. J.J. Ellars, second. Matched Pair, Patricia Revard and Larry Robinson, first; and Oscar’s Paint Store, second.

Miscellaneous-Diamond Jubilee, the Fitzpatrick Children, first and Jackie Severy, second.

Judges were: For the bands and drill teams and majorettes were John Peterson from the Santa Rosa Junior College band instructor and Cathy Jeffrey co-partner of Kaydette Studios. Floated and decorated auto judges were: Ignacio Vella, chairman of Sonoma County Board of Supervisors; Diane Morgan, columnist of the Press Democrat and Robert Pope, president of the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce. 

Col. Bradford McCormick, retired, judged Color Guards and marching units.

Comical and unusual, Janice Corey, editor of Sonoma County U.S.A. Magazine.

Commercial were Jack Allen of North-Cal Advertising Co.

Bill Garrison and James Hurley, members of the Sonoma County Fair Board of Directors, did mounted units judging.


Irene Hilsendager’s column each week touches on moments in the history of Cotati, Rohnert Park and Penngrove.