Rohnert Park’s Founders Day celebration brought residents out for a hometown celebration with all of the trimmings.
The festivities included a parade, music and stage performances by the town’s own clubs and youth organizations, booths tended by local clubs, lots of crafts and plenty of other ways to bring hundreds of people to Alicia Park on Saturday and Sunday.
The town saw one of the biggest Founders Day parades ever, as bands, majorettes, classic cars, floats and other attractions wound through the streets to Alicia Park.
Also growing this year was the Bed Race, which began many years ago as a tribute to our bedroom community. Eight entries started out competing for the honor, won two years in a row by Fred Reed’s team, made up of customers from Reed’s Hair Barn. Reed’s won again this year, and second place was earned by the team from Aquatic Pools.
Two entries didn’t make it very far though. The Youth of the Year team struggled with too-small wheels, which presented a steering problem and that entry ended up in the parking lot of John Reed School. Another new entry this year, the crew from Olive Garden, gave their vehicle a strong starting push that proved to be too much for the rear wheels, which promptly became detached.
Empire Medical Supply entered a gurney, complete with wobbly wheels, though best of show went to Lorenzo’s Italian Restaurant, whose entry was a chariot/bed.
Once in the park, attendees could find a variety of crafts and food.
Organizer Lew Keuhm pointed out that this year one of the big differences was that there were no duplicate booths. Though there were fewer booths this year, there was still a good representation of the community and there was still a variety of food, games and crafts to choose from.
New this year was the 10K race and 5K races and Dog Jog.
About 30 dogs and their owners came out bright and early Sunday morning for a run up Copeland Creek. Mayor Linda Spiro was at the finish line to present the top finishers with medals and canine winners received bags of goodies donated by 49er Pet.
According to race co-chair Janice Storbo, the event raised $1,300 for Friends of the Animals in the Redwood Empire, a local group that works with the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter to find homes for abandoned dogs and cats. Storbo added that the event was such a success plans for the 1993 Dog Jog are already underway.
Some of the winners for parading were decorated cars: RP Towing, 1st; Soroptomists of RP & Cotati, 2nd; KXFX 107, The Fox, 3rd.
Autos, groups: Round Table Pizza, 1st; City of Rohnert Park Senior Center, 2nd.
Classic autos: Tom Miller, 1st; Mark Allen, 2nd; Toy & Model, 3rd.
Trucks: Food 4 Less, 1st.
Majorettes, high school: Napa Pepperettes, 1st.
Majorettes, junior high school: Napa Pepperettes, 1st; Petaluma Rhythmettes, 2nd.
Majorettes, elementary: Napa Pepperettes, 1st; Petaluma Rhythmettes, 2nd.
Majorettes, solo: Pepperettes, 1st; Pacific Breeze, 2nd.
Drum major: Rancho Cotate High School, 1st; J.W. Hamilton II and J.W. Hamilton III, 2nd.
Novelty: Redwood Empire Ground Pounders, 1st; Loretta Waltz, 2nd; RP Senior Walking club, 3rd.
Amateur floats: Boy Scout Troop, 1st; Konocti Girl Scouts, 2nd.
Commercial floats: Pretend Learning, 1st; Made From Scratch, 2nd; The Springs, 3rd.
Civilian bands open: RP Community Band, 1st.
High School bands: Rancho Cotate. 1st.
Civilian bands, novelty: Kindercare, 1st.
Drill teams, high school: Rancho Cotate, 1st.
Drill teams, open: Pacific Breeze, 1st.
Drum corps, open: Pacific Breeze, 1st.
Color guard, open: Pacific Breeze, 1st; Konocti Girl Scouts, 2nd.
Tall flags open: Pacific Breeze, 1st.
Irene Hilsendager’s column each week touches on moments in the history of Cotati, Rohnert Park and Penngrove.