Pioneer Day

Granzella’s represents decades of fun in Williams during the 2011 Williams Pioneer Day parade. 

A community tradition will pay tribute to the hard work of generations of farmers in the area. 

“Around here, someone you know is in an agricultural related business,” said Pat Ash, member of Citizens for a Better Williams and Pioneer Day organizer. “It’s our bread and gravy. We wouldn’t be here without it.”

This idea inspired the Williams Pioneer Day committee to come up with this years theme of “Ag through the ages,” for the annual Pioneer Day festivities this Saturday. 

“We were trying to put an emphasis on multi-generational farming families and all of the equipment that has been used to farm throughout the years,” Ash said. 

The festivities will begin at 9 a.m. at Redinger Park, located at the corner of Ninth and F streets in Williams. Fifteen vendors will be set up around the park for attendees to browse. 

At 10 a.m., the annual parade will begin at the Sacramento Valley Museum. The procession will head east on E Street towards the Williams arch before making a right onto Seventh Street. The parade will take another right onto F Street and end at Redinger Park. 

This years Parade Grand Marshall is Mrs. Betty Koch.

“She is known for her selfless caring for others so we thought it would be nice to honor her in this way,” Ash said. 

Twelve to 20 parade entries are expected in this years parade but that number is hard to estimate since entries are accepted right up to the start of the parade, said Ash. 

“There is always room for another float or walking entry,” Ash said. “We welcome everyone.” 

Back at the park after the parade, Morning Star will be giving away free hot dogs.

At 11:30 a.m., Karen’s House will start serving up ribs made during their second annual cook-off fundraiser. 

“The cook-off was such a success last year, we decided to make it a tradition,” said Tootie Hackett, founder and president of Karen’s House.

Hackett said last years cook-off sold 300 dinners.

This year the $20 meal ticket will get you a plate of ribs, salad, garlic bread, a piece of cake and a bottle of water. 

Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting A limited amount of tickets will also be sold at the door. 

All proceeds from the cook-off will go directly to Karen’s House to maintain and run the program.

Karen’s House – Colusa County’s first domestic violence program - was established in April 2018 after the death of Karen Garcia, a Williams native believed to be murdered by her ex-boyfriend after multiple incidents of domestic violence. 

Since opening, Karen’s house has helped ten women in abusive relationships get restraining orders, clothing, personal hygiene products and other items necessary.

For more information about registering to cook or to purchase tickets, contact Tootie Hackett at 701-4310.

The Pioneer Day tradition was started by the Businessman’s Association in 1974, according to Ash. 

“Everyone used to get really into it,” Ash said. “People got all dressed up in period costumes.”

The event has been managed by a few different organizations through the years but has been in the hands of the Citizens for a Better Williams group since 2005. 

Ash said Citizens for a Better Williams took over organizing Pioneer Day because they wanted to keep the tradition alive. 

This years festivities will also include an added treat. 

“One of the things I am most anticipating is the Las Plumas/Oroville Alliance Band,” Ash said. “They will be performing during the parade and then again at the park.” 

During the festivities, a hat will be passes around to collect donations for the band. They recently won first place in their division and top overall band at the recent Seattle Heritage Music Festival.  If they are able to raise enough money, the bands next stop will be Carnegie Hall. 

The festivities will continue into the night with a fireworks show sponsored by Morning Star. Residents of Williams and the surrounding area should look towards the eastern sky at 9 p.m. for the fireworks spectacular. 

“It’s great because a lot of people can enjoy the show from their own backyards but still participate in the communal experience,” said Ash. 

Morning Star has been sponsoring the Pioneer Day fireworks for about eight years and it continues to be a community favorite, Ash said.

“We are forever grateful to Morning Star for continuing to sponsor the fireworks,” Ash said. “It has become to be a huge part of Pioneer Day.” 

Vendor and parade entries are still being accepted. All entry forms should be hand delivered to New Attitude Salon, located at 530 N. Seventh St. in Williams, or emailed to New Attitude Salon will be closed Friday, May 31. 

For more information about the parade, contact Pat Ash at 520-0096.

For more information about the vendors, contact Patti Steidlmayer at 925-285-3757.

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