May Day Parade continues to bring fairgoers back to Los Banos

Kids danced as the prancing horses of the May Day Parade passed by Saturday morning during the capstone event of the Merced County Spring Fair.

It’s just one of the attractions that had hundreds of people lining up to see floats, marching bands and businesses from the community.

“I like all the marching bands,” said 13-year-old Jaime Rodriguez, who hasn’t missed a May Day Parade for seven years.

Jaime was with his parents at the corner of Fourth and F streets, by the entrance to the fair.

“All the families come see the parade with their kids,” said Lupe Rodriguez, Jaime’s mother, who added that it was a good time to spend time with loved ones.

Dozens of organizations and officials displayed their modicums of American and ethnic heritage during the parade.

The parade route started at Seventh and I streets and headed west on I Street to Fourth Street. Floats then turned north on Fourth Street straight to the Los Banos Fairgrounds gate.

Grand Marshal Antone Giannone started the parade off. Floats also featured the 2017 Miss May Day Court, FFA Sweetheart 2017 Ryann Vierra and the Tiny Princess contest court.

Marching bands from the Los Banos Unified School District, and from outside groups, provided the bulk of the music entertainment.

Several performance groups displayed their talents, such as Dance Explosion and Central Valley Karate Institute.

Ethnic organizations also performed a variety of cultural feats and dances.

Some parade watchers have been setting up chairs next to the parade route for decades.

Dos Palos resident Clarence Clark said he has enjoyed watching the parade for 40 years.

“It’s a great event to bring kids to,” he said.

Stockton resident Lisa Walker said she enjoys the food and seeing the agriculture and livestock displays of the fair.

“We’re getting up at the crack of dawn ... seeing different cultures in the parade,” Walker said.

Sisters Daisey Briceno, 16, and 14-year-old Tresemay Briceno, have been attending the parade since they were young kids. But this time they brought Daisey’s friend, 17-year-old Amanda Galvan, who was seeing it for the first time.

“We just like to see everybody in the community out here, and we like to see the businesses,” Daisey Briceno said.

Tresemay Briceno said the parade and fair were a yearly experience that always has something new and different.

“Also, it’s a good time to spend with friends,” Galvan said.

Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562