Hundreds attended the Pioneer Day festivities

PASO ROBLES — For the last 91 years, Paso Roblans have left their pocketbooks at home and gathered in downtown Paso Robles for beans, little cowboys and cowgirls, horseshoes, and even whiskers. 

On Saturday, Oct. 9, Paso Robles wrapped up their 91st Pioneer Day Celebration. Every intention was made to make this one of the best years yet, making up for the cancellation of last year’s festivities. 

Melissa Jean Photography Event Photography 7
Cooking the beans begins early in the morning to have it all ready after the parade at noon. Photo by Melissa Jean Photography

David Kudija, the “bean captain,” said, “We had a great time. Plenty of help making beans, lots of beans. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough people to come over and eat them.”


Leading up to Pioneer Day, Kudija and his bean-making comrades anticipated a larger crowd at the bean pots. Unfortunately, there were some beans left over when the day was finally over. 

But some leftover beans didn’t flatten out the fun. With some help from Steve Hansen, some new burners were made for cooking the beans–for the first time in about 50 years! Kudija says the new burners helped cooked the beans faster and more even, a definite plus.

“It was beautiful weather and lots of friendly people around. It was a great weekend,” said Kudija.

Melissa Jean Photography Event Photography 12
Streets were lined with Paso Roblans from near and far waiting for the parade to begin. Photo by Melissa Jean Photography

The park was full, and the streets were lined with Paso Roblans from near and far. 

Nicole (Sonne) Hermosillo said, “As a fifth-generation Paso Roblan taking my sixth generation children to Pioneer Day, it’s a pretty big deal.”

Hermosillo, who was the Pioneer Day Belle in 2009, said her children loved watching the first responders, Warbirds flying over, and the PTO-driven tractors.

“This was their [her children] second year. We took them in 2019 with the hopes of going in 2020 and then, you know, COVID. They loved it [this year],” said Hermosillo.

She continued saying, “It felt normal, and people were happy to be there.”

Over in downtown City Park, 18 individuals competed in the horseshoe contest. In first place for women was Angel Sharp and Nicolette Barth took second place. For the men, Brad Betschart took first place, and Eric Johnston took second place.

Meanwhile, in the park gazebo, judges were forced to choose the cutest little pioneers, cowboys, cowgirls, and pets!

Pioneer Boys and Girls

Pioneer Girl (0-3 years)

  1. Blayke Sligh 
  2. Riley Spale

Pioneer Boy (0-3 years)

  1. Dedan Rutherford

Pioneer Girl (4-7years)

  1. Soleya Cross
  2. Daisy Mae Soshove

Pioneer Boy (4-7 years)

  1. AJ Guzman

Cowboys and Cowgirls 

Cowboy (0-3 years)

  1. Ever Carabeo Mickalson
  2. Nathan Flores
  3. Waylon McGill

Cowgirl (0-3 years)

  1. Remington Flores
  2. Sesilee Lopez
  3. Kora Lunsford

Cowboy (4-7years)

  1. Parker Shepard
  2. AJ Guzman

Cowgirl (4-7years)

  1. Daisy Mae Soshove
  2. Aiyana Armas

Pioneer Pets

  • Best Behaved: Dog – Goose with Blayke Sligh
  • Most Unique: Tortoise – Sam Iam
  • Pioneer Pet: Miniature Pony – Pearl with Kinsley Nerelli
Melissa Jean Photography Event Photography 28

The parade started promptly at 10:00 a.m. and was filled with community members, antique tractors and equipment, horse-drawn wagons, sheriff posses, and more. This year’s float theme was “Blast from the Past.”

Hundreds lined the streets around Paso Robles City Park and the downtown area. Below are this year’s float winners:

91st Annual Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade Awards

  • Best Costume Ladies of the Barbary Coast
  • Charro/Charra Vaqueros de la Region
  • Church Group Plymouth Congregational Church
  • Club/Civic Group Sr. North County Honor Guard and Marine Corps Color Guard
  • Club-School Almond Acres Charter Academy
  • Club-Other Jr. Artistry in Motion
  • Family Group Taylor Family and Friends
  • Marching Band Sr. Atascadero High School Marching Band
  • Marching Group Paso Robles High School
  • Most Patriotic US Army Recruiting Station
  • Mounted Group Sr. SLO County Sheriff Posse
  • Novelty Jr. Paso Robles Children’s Museum
  • Novelty Sr. Wreck and Roll VW Club
  • Old Equipment/Tractor 1917 Holt – Madden Family
  • Parade Horse Carpinteria Ridge Raiders
  • Sheriff/Marshall Posse Kings County Sheriff’s Posse
  • Shriner/Elks/Masonic San Joaquin Valley Shrine Roustabouts
  • Wagon Team/Animal Drawn Vehicle Tim Holvek Mules pulling the Military Wagon
  • Sweepstakes JB Dewar Tractor Restoration Program
  • Judges Paso Robles Elementary Schools
  • Marshall 1906 Holt Steamer Engine – Don Hunter of Ontario, CA
  • Queen Parkfield 4-H
  • Belle Estrella Warbirds
  • Best Use of Theme – $300 – Pleasant Valley School

Overall, Oct. 9 was a day filled with great weather, great people, and great food. See you all next year for the 92nd Paso Robles Pioneer Day Parade!