Paso Robles gathers for contests, beans, and fun

By Becca Sligh and Camille DeVaul

PASO ROBLES — The 93rd annual Pioneer Day parade was held on Saturday, Oct. 14, in Downtown Paso Robles. At 7 a.m., the Pioneer Day bean feed started cooking, followed by the Little Cowboy and Cowgirl, Pioneer Girl and Boy, and Pet Show contests in the Paso Robles Park Gazebo. By 10 a.m., the parade was in full swing with historical tractors belonging to the Pioneer Museum as well as representation from Paso Robles schools and local businesses such as Central Coast Moving Company, snaking through Spring and Pine streets in an almost two-hour-long spectacle. 

“It’s such a sweet tradition for our town,” said Jillian Waters of The General Store, located in downtown Paso Robles. 


Waters also mentioned that both her and her daughter have participated in Paso Robles Pioneer Day festivities whether it was through school or church.

These traditions began back in 1931 and have since always been held on the second Saturday of October on Spring Street, with the Paso Robles City Park sitting in the heart of it all. The first Pioneer Day was held on Oct. 12, 1931, as a day to bring together the town’s city folk and farmers and give thanks to one another. It is a town homecoming filled with antique tractors and equipment, dancing horses, marching bands, high school sports teams, and community groups.

And while some things may change, the motto will always remain the same — leave your pocketbook at home.

The bean feed is a perfect example of the Pioneer Day slogan. At 7 a.m., the Paso Rotary Club starts cooking beans that are then served throughout the day. A line for the beans can be seen circling the downtown park and has been known to span over a quarter of a mile, one resident recalls.

Parade judge and town favorite Norma Moye shared her excitement 

“Pioneer Day was absolutely great,” Moye said. “We had a big crowd, people were receptive, and there were some interesting things. The floats were all great. Everybody had a good time.” 

The day was filled with joy and entertainment, including complimentary scoops of gelato provided by Leo Leo Gelato, numerous class reunions, and the absence of parking charges, making it an even more enjoyable experience for all attendees.

In addition to the parade, the Little Cowboy and Cowgirl, Pioneer Girl and Boy, and Pet Show contests brought in the best and cutest contestants around. Winners for these contests were: 

Pioneer Boy:

  1. Colby Koenig
  2. Luke Ontiveros
  3. Trace Harris

Pioneer Girl:

  1. Aiyana Armas
  2. Eleanor Sawdey

Cowgirl Age 0-3:

  1. Selah Jo Lovejoy
  2. Olivia Mascaro

Cowboy Age 0-3:

  1. Ellis Work
  2. Cruz Pacheco
  3. Wesley McFarlane

Cowgirl Age 4-7:

  1. Vivian Pacheco

Cowboy Age 4-7:

  1. Lake Robinson
  2. Axel King

Pet Show Winners:

  • Best Dressed: Cowgirl doggie Sadie Rue with owner Mari Martinez
  • Best Lookalike: Ludo the Frenchie dog with owner Tessa Tomlinson
  • Most Colorful: Cowgirl doggie Sadie Rue with owner Mari Martinez
  • Best Behaved: Max the dog with owner Taylor Pecchenino
  • Most Unique: Pearl the pony with owner Kinsley Nerelli
  • Pioneer Pet: Pearl the pony with owner Kinsley Nerelli

The Whiskerino competition, held in front of Carnegie Library after the parade, was another entertaining element of the day, with winners in different categories:

  • Most Unique: Nate Mayorga
  • Best Mustache: John Watkins
  • Fullest: Dale Gustin
  • Best Overall: James Prismich

The gymkhana was held at the Paso Robles Event Center following the parade and resulted in these winners:

6 and Under:

  1. Payton Coelho
  2. Keeleigh White
  3. Jaylee Estes
  4. Cash McDonald
  5. Blake Peterson

Ages 7-9:

  1. Paisley Busick
  2. Sadi-Mae Denning
  3. Miranda Sabin
  4. Cash Nicholson

Ages 10-12:

  1. Kaylin Wouters
  2. Autumn Anderson
  3. McKinley Self
  4. Elsa Sabin
  5. Savannah Ortega

Ages 13-17:

  1. Brooklyn Agapay
  2. Nicole Barker
  3. Kaia Gallant
  4. Katelyn Becerra
  5. Brooke Morgan

Moye expressed the importance of our town’s yearly tradition: “Everybody had a rippin’ good time and that’s whats Pioneer Day is about … I hope people will continue to support it and keep it going because it is one of our outstanding traditions.”

In its 93rd year, Pioneer Day remains a testament to the rich history and community in Paso Robles. The celebration of heritage, camaraderie, and the preservation of cherished traditions define this day as a treasured annual tradition for all generations.

Feature Image: A horse-drawn carriage travels down the parade route during the Paso Robles Pioneer Day parade on Saturday, Oct. 14. Photo by Becca Sligh

Pioneer Day in Photos by Becca Sligh