Procession went down Mission Street on April 23, in annual event put on by firefighters association

SAN MIGUEL — It was a bright and sunny day on Saturday, April 23, for the annual Sagebrush Days Parade. Friends and community members went down Mission Street for the 31st time.

The afternoon parade started with a flyover from the Estrella Warbirds Museum and was proceeded by various equipment and vehicles. Leading the way was the 1937 International Fire Engine, owned by the San Miguel Firefighters Association (SMFA), which puts on the event. 

The SMFA was presented new flags by United States Army recruiter Sgt. Shelley Anderson — just in time to show off for Sagebrush Days.

The SMFA is a nonprofit organization whose station is right on Mission Street, the main thoroughfare in San Miguel. Founded in 2001 by local resident John Green, they have been a strong support system for the community. SMFA is responsible for organizing community clean-ups, managing traffic and street closures for parades, maintaining and putting up American flags, teaching children fire, emergency, babysitting and safety skills, and more. 

San Miguel’s favorite community events are put on by the SMFA, including their annual Christmas Parade. Through all their events and projects, they are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the town’s history.

The Estrella Warbirds Museum, located off Dry Creek Road in Paso Robles, is another nonprofit dedicated to preserving local and wartime history. Three of the Warbird’s planes flew over San Miguel in honor of the Sagebrush Days. 

Following the famed engine was World War I era motor vehicles provided by the Estrella Warbirds collection, plus antique cars and tractors. Also on the parade route were the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Posse, the San Miguel Advisory Council and Geoff Auslen, current candidate for San Luis Obispo County District 2 Supervisor.

Representing the second oldest bar in California, the Elkhorn Saloon, were saloon bartenders and friends of the saloon in a vintage pickup and old west attire. Additionally, the Central Coast Vintage Machinery Association displayed early gas engines, which became popular in the 1800s. 

Following the parade, the Lions Club provided a barbecue, the Peddler’s Fair could be found along Mission Street, and some headed into the Elkhorn for more good times.

Sagebrush Days was started in 1991 by Alan Belden. Named after the vast amount of sagebrush in the area, the parade was intended to be a chance for the community to see the many aspects of San Miguel’s residents, families, businesses, clubs, history, and activities. It was also decided the parade would always be held in April to commemorate when San Miguel was declared a township.