This past Saturday, Cotati hosted its 29th Annual Cotati Kids Day Parade and Festival, where they celebrated Peace, Love, & Cotati! The event was a jam-packed day of fun for the whole family, starting with a free pancake breakfast at the Church of the Oaks. The free breakfast has been going on for 20 years and continues to be a great way for parade goers to start the day. This year’s parade had approximately 40 entrants, which included the Cotati Police Department, CHP, Rancho Adobe Fire District, Cotati City Council members, United States Congressman Mike Thompson, and more. Awards were given out for best individual, best group (all ages), best children’s group, and best of parade. This year’s best children’s group winner went to Adventure Recreation and best of parade went to Cotati’s own Music to My Ears. Music to My Ears also won the title in 2021. As soon as the parade ended in La Plaza Park, guests were greeted with live music from the band “Gnome Riot,” featuring all Credo High School students. They played classic rock to get the crowd ready for the festival fun. 

The festival in the park was decorated with giant marquee letters spelling out “Kids Day,” a balloon peace sign, and a giant balloon photo booth covered in flowers. The park and surrounding area had over 50 vendors with included pony rides, a petting zoo, kettle corn, gymnastics equipment, face painting, balloon animals, henna tattoos, three different children’s book authors, the Sonoma County Library, the SAFE Van and Cotati Police Department, North Bay Animal’s Services’ Cuddle Shuttle, multiple food vendors, a parent and children’s calming center and breastfeeding station, and lots of handmade toys, crafts, and more. The youngest vendor on site was Finn Goodwin, owner of “Finn’s Tye-Dye Pots.” When asked if he had a good day and sold a lot of items he said “I sold a ton! It’s been a great day!” Finn is 11 years old, and this was his first event with his business. 

Entertainment for the day on the Sonoma Clean Power sponsored stage included a performance by the City of Cotati Recreation Department’s own Ms. Sabrina’s Dance Academy students. There were two performances, one from the 3–4-year-old students and one from the 5–7-year-old students. There was also a talent show for children that included dancing, singing, and more from local children. 

This year’s Diaper Derby was the most intense race seen in a while. One crawling baby traveled all the way from Windsor to compete but unfortunately for them, did not crawl away with the coveted Huggies & t-shirt. The race lasted much longer this time than years past with a few crying babies, one dancing baby, a few scooters, and one little guy who came from behind to crawl to victory. He was worn out by the end and wouldn’t smile for a photo but did have the face of a champion. 

The pie eating contest was another highlight of the day. There were three heats – one for children up to 8 years old, one for children ages 9 to 15, and one for anyone ages 16 and up. Four-time defending children’s champion, Moira Frost, was bumped up to the adult’s category and although she put up a valiant effort, couldn’t pull away with the W. Better luck next year Moira! The new winner was rewarded with his very own whole pie to take home. 

Overall, the day was a great success, seeing upwards of 2000 participants in all. Next year’s event will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2023. If you are interested in being a sponsor or vendor, please reach out to Ashley Wilson at

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