Sirens blared to kick off the 48th annual Williams Pioneer Day festivities on Saturday.
Hundreds of people lines the usually quite main drag in Williams to watch the dozens of float that made their way down E Street during the yearly parade sponsored by the local group Citizens for a Better Williams.
“It’s always a good time,” said Pat Ash, member of Citizens for a Better Williams and Pioneer Day organizer. “Its great to see those people that you may see only once a year and it really brings the community together.”
Per tradition, the color guard lead the parade with their flags held high followed closely by several engines from the Williams Fire Department and Cal Fire.
This year's parade Grand Marshal, Betty Koch, rode through the procession in a cherry red Mercedes driving by her son Bill Donnelly.
Children from local daycares waved to spectators from atop of their floats and a youth soccer team marched in the parade decked out in their uniforms. The Williams High School cheerleaders danced through the streets and the Miss Colusa County and Mini Miss contestant flashed their best smiles for the judges.
The Williams Volunteer Fire Department designed their float around this years parade theme of “Ag through the ages,” with a tractor pulling a big red barn complete with hay bails, cows and even a wild horse. To keep spectators cool on the warm June morning, the firefighters sprayed the crowd with water as they passed.
After careful consideration, the parade judges awarded the Las Plumas Oroville Alliance Band with the first place honors. The Cattlewomen’s and Men’s float took second place followed by the Williams High School Cheer Squad in third.
The parade ended at Redinger Park, where many local vendors were set up.
The Las Plumas Oroville Alliance Band performed again at the park before DJ Kent Boes took over the music.
Arguably, the most anticipated part of the celebration was all of the different food.
For the second year in a row, local domestic violence program Karen’s House partnered with Citizens for a Better Williams to host the Karen’s House Rib Cook Off during the Pioneer Day festivities.
Tootie Hackett, founder and president of Karen’s House, said this years cook off went really well. Although she was unsure of how many meals were sold at the time of the event, she said there was a great turn out this year.
Seven teams entered the competition this year.
After a blind taste test the judges awarded Two and Q BBQ the top spot, followed by Bros BBQ and Big O and Moe.
For those that did feast on ribs, Morning Star gave away hundreds of free hot dogs. Other street fair-style offerings – including tacos, tamales and elote – were also for sale during the event.