Atascadero’s premiere community celebration, Atascadero Colony Days, is soon to be marching for the 46th annual event to be held the first Saturday in October. Community partners in the form of sponsors and donors, volunteers, vendors, Tent City actors and parade entries are being sought.

“Our all-volunteer board and committee members are a small army, but we are also in need of new members who want to take it further,” Colony Days Chair Nic Mattson said. “There are so many ways to get involved and all it takes is a desire to celebrate your community, share your love with others, and show up willing to help.”

The Tent City After Dark concert kicks off the weekend on Friday, October 4, followed by the Lions Club pancake breakfast, parade, festival, Tent City, Dogtoberfest and more on Saturday, October 5.

“Colony Days is one of the longest standing nonprofit organizations in Atascadero,” Mattson said. “Kiwanis, which assists in our parade lineup and staging, celebrates 50 years this year and Colony Days is on its 46th. We’re old, but that is what makes it fun. We’ve been celebrating Atascadero history for 46 years and now we’re a part of that history. 

This year’s theme is California Dreams and can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. Themed floats are highly encouraged.

“My favorite part of Colony Days is being a part of a parade float,” Mattson said. “There is nothing like seeing a child’s face light up as you move down El Camino Real and you catch their eye and wave to them — you can tell, it is something they’ll never forget either.”

Get involved

It takes many hands to make Colony Days a reality. Both time and money are required from the community. There are several ways you can get involved:

Sponsor the event or become a Friend of Colony Days — Both monetary and in-kind donations are needed every year. Expenses for the event include administration costs, insurance, road closures, security, marketing, printed materials, advertising and the website; equipment rentals, trash cans, port-a-potties, parade awards, signage and so much more. Sponsorships start at $500. “Friend of Colony Days” donations start at $100 but all monetary donations are welcome. To donate, visit  colonydays.org.

Volunteer — Skills of all kinds are needed to plan and implement the event. Volunteers are needed for administrative tasks, finance, website management, social media, photography, videography, working behind-the-scenes for Tent City, doing tasks for particular events, setting up, cleaning up and more. To get involved in the planning of the event or to volunteer for a particular job, visit colonydays.org and click on “Volunteers.”

Vendors — All kinds of businesses and organizations are sought to be vendors at the festival on Saturday, October 5. Particularly of interest this year are artisans who produce products similar to what people would have bought in the early 1900s, such as pottery, woodwork, tin, etc. To sign up as a vendor, visit colonydays.org and click on “Vendors.”

Tent City actors — People of all ages and acting abilities are sought to populate the 1916 recreation of Atascadero. Classes are held in advance to prepare the actors for their roles in the working community. Actors develop a character to portray and spend the day roaming around Tent City. To get involved,  visit colonydays.org and click “Tent City.”

Parade entries — Entry into the annual parade is free and is open individuals, community groups and businesses. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and awards for the different categories are awarded during the festival in the afternoon. The deadline to enter the parade is Sept. 16. Parade entry numbers may be picked up during Tent City After Dark or Saturday, October 5  between 8 and 9 a.m.