Passing the Paddle: Kudija is new Bean Feed chair

Car clubs take sweepstakes award in Pioneer Day Parade

While this year’s Pioneer Day went on pretty much the same as every other Pioneer Day for almost a century, there was one major change. While the tractors primed their engines, marching bands assembled and the horses chomped at their bits early Saturday morning, the Paso Robles Pioneer Day paddle changed hands after 45 years.

Hosted by the Paso Robles Lions Club since 1936, with an original recipe that was conceived in 1947 by Dick Buckley that was hand-written on a folded piece of notebook paper, Bean Feed Chair Larry Eastwood passed the proverbial paddle to David Kudija.

Per tradition, the huge undertaking begins at 6 a.m. every Pioneer Day with huge flames blowing under epic size whale kettles for the next five to six hours.

“The beans are brought in fresh out of King City,” Eastwood said. “We dump all the beans in then add water and bring it up to a boil. Then we add the meat and the seasonings and let ‘em cook.”

This year’s feast boasted 8,000 bowls served at 12 p.m. sharp, directly after the parade. It required 1,200 pounds of beans, 500 pounds of meat, 350 pounds of onions, 150 pounds of bell peppers, 24 pounds of seasoning and another 25 to 30 pounds of salt — “and a lot of water,” said Eastwood.

Meanwhile the community tradition rolled on with the Little Cowgirl and Cowboy contest at 8:30 a.m., to the two hour long, nothing short of epic parade down Spring Street, the Bean Feed in the park and Gymkhana, basically rodeo games for kids, down at the event center for the remainder of the afternoon.

For old locals, the sameness of Pioneer Day every year brings a sort of solace in a radically growing region and is a huge reminder of the preciousness of a close-knit sense of community that has made the region so popular among transplants in the first place.

“Paso’s changing and in some ways, not for the best,” said Mary Thompson, a Paso Robles resident since 1948. I think it’s getting too big. At some point, I’m afraid we’re possibly going to lose the charm. I hope they never stop Pioneer Day.”


Sweepstakes Award – CC Model T Ford & PR Model A Car Clubs (#65)

Judges Award – Camp Roberts Historical Museum (#38)

Marshal’s Award – Oceano/Five Cities Elks Lodge #2504 (#58)

Queen’s Award – Bitterwater Buckaroo’s (#40)

Belle Award – Paso Robles Bearcats (#13 B-G)

Best Costume – Ladies of the Barbary Coast (#74)

Charro or Charra – Charros Unidos de la Costa Central (#97)

Church Group – Plymouth Congregational Church (#96)

Class Reunion – N/A

Club/Civic Group – Paso Robles Elks $2364 (#104)

Club 4-H – Parkfield 4-H (#76)

Club School – Pleasant Valley School (#63)

Club other Jr. – Artistry in Motion Performing Arts Center (#49)

Family Group – Pesenti Family 1922 Studebaker EL Lite 6 (#83)

Animal Drawn Vehicle – Sweet Pea & Carriage (#62)

Marching Band Jr. – Paso Robles High School Bearcats (#13A)

Marching Band Sr. – Atascadero Greyhound Marching Band & Cheer (#59)

Marching Group – Paso Robles Elementary School (#14A-F)

Matched Pair Mounted – Southern California Charros (#47)

Mounted Group Jr. – Atascadero Wranglerettes (#56)

Mounted Group Sr. – Horsemen of the Americas (#66)

Novelty Jr. – 1944 BSA Motorcycle WWII (#53)

Novelty Sr. – 1912 Indian Motorcycle – Browns Cycle (#052)

Old Equipment – Olsen Family 1917 Samson Tractor (#105)

Parade Horse – N/A

Sheriff/Marshall Posse – Kings County Sheriffs Posse (#70)

Shriner/Elk/Masons – San Joaquin Valley Shrine Roustabouts (#77)

Most Patriotic – Liberty Belles (#101)

Best Use of Theme-“Forging New Frontiers” – J.B. Dewar Tractor Restoration Program (#36)

Cowboy/Cowgirl/Pioneer Boy & Girl Contest

Little Cowgirl (ages 0-3)

1st – Annistyn Lopez, 2 years

2nd – Brooke Duncan, 3 years

3rd – Stella Crouse, 3 years

Little Cowboy (ages 0-3)

1st – Cash Negranti, 23 months

2nd – Hagon Roth, 2 years

3rd – Tucker Krenkel, 22 months

Little Pioneer Girl (ages 0-3)

1st – June Sawdey, 2 years

2nd – Scarlett Terra

Little Pioneer Boy (ages 0-3)

1st – Lake Robinson, 6 months

2nd – Roshan Deshpande, 3 years

3rd – Luke Wadsworth, 18 months

Cowgirl (ages 4-6)

1st – Zoe Marie Peel, 4 years

2nd – Cierra Mae Parrish, 4 years

3rd – Serenity Sullivan, 4 years

Cowboy (ages 4-6)

1st – Jack Bridger, 4 years

2nd – Liam Wimmer, 4 years

3rd – Gunner Perales, 4 years

Pioneer Girl (ages 4-6)

1st – Catalina Anguay, 5 years

2nd – Roxzanne Braithwaite, 6 years

Pioneer Boy (ages 4-6)

1st – Avram Anguay, 6 years


© 2019-Paso Robles Press

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