Feature Image by Brittany App Photography

One thing that we can always count on is the Paso Robles Pioneer Day. On this day every year, the community can look forward to the comfortability and reliability that Pioneer Day brings. 

On Saturday, October 14, the communities surrounding Paso Robles will come together for the 93rd Annual Pioneer Day Parade, where we will gather around the bean pot, judge whiskers, and enjoy family and friends. 

Pioneer Day Chairman Margaret Wicks, who has been working on the committee for about 15 years, says of this year’s parade day, “We are sticking true to the tradition of what we have always done.”


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 as the heart of it all. The first Pioneer Day debuted on October 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.

Leading up to Pioneer Day, we celebrated our Pioneer Day Royal Court, which this year includes Grand Marshal Don Campbell, Queen Margaret Avila, and our Belle Kayla Degnan. Friends and family gathered to celebrate the royals at the Pioneer Day Announcement Dinner and Old Timer’s BBQ back in August, and then more festivities like the Lady’s Luncheon and Kickoff Party in September. 

Pioneer Royals are an integral part of the Pioneer Day phenomena, and you will be able to read more about this year’s court in this issue of Paso Robles Press Magazine.

Keeping heritage alive in a modern world has become a driving force behind all of the volunteers who work tirelessly all year to make the big day happen. Not only does Pioneer Day hold memories for many of the older Paso Roblan generations, but it has also become a day where newcomers can be brought into the fold and learn about our dear town’s creation.

“This is what makes it worth it,” says Margaret when she hears of all the new memories people still make at Pioneer Day, whether it is their first or last parade.

Our favorite Pioneer Day activities will be returning this year like the Whiskerino Contest. If you have an impressive mustache, be sure to head to the Carnegie Library (Paso Robles Area Historical Museum) in the City Park at 12:30 p.m. where the Ladies of the Barbary Coast will judge for the winner.

And if you have a little buckaroo, be sure to get them to the Park Gazebo bright and early for the Children’s Pet Show and Little Cowboy or Cowgirl contest. Dress up your pet or little one in their best western attire for a chance to be named the winner.

Overall, Pioneer Day is a homecoming of sorts, where Margaret explains you get to see friends you may not always get to see. 

It’s a community-wide reunion where Margaret says, “You can roll back the clock and be more in the moment.”

We hope you take time to press pause on the clock this Pioneer Day and sit in the present while honoring the past. 

If you capture some of these memories this October, we would love to share them with the community. Please send your Pioneer Day memories and photos to editor@13stars.media to be featured in a future issue of Paso Robles Press.

October 14 Pioneer Day Schedule

7 a.m. | Traditional Bean Cooking Begins

Paso Robles City Park 

8 a.m. | Children’s Pet Show, Little Cowboy / Cowgirl Contest

Paso Robles City Park Gazebo

10 a.m. | Pioneer Day Parade

Starts at 16th & Spring Street

12 / Noon | Free Bean Feed 

Paso Robles City Park

12 / Noon | Carnegie Library & Historical Museum Opens in City Park

12 / Noon | Pioneer Park/Museum Activities

2010 Riverside Ave / Antique Tractor & Wagon Display and Vintage Engine Show 

12:30 p.m. | Whiskerino Contest 

Paso Robles City Park

1 p.m. | Horseshoe Pitching Contest

Paso Robles City Park

1 p.m. | Gymkhana

Paso Robles Event Center


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