The annual Colony Days celebration was started in 1973 to celebrate the founding of Atascadero in 1913. Colony Days founder Maggie Vandergon said that the purpose of the event is to bring the entire community together.
“Colony Days is the one day a year that brings the whole community together to celebrate all that’s good about Atascadero,” Vandergon said. “Now we’re 45 years and we have a great committee and I’m confident we’ll celebrate its 100th anniversary — without me, of course.”
This year’s event will take place two weeks earlier than it has been in the past. The theme is “Mudhole Follies,” which is based on the follies from 19th century Paris, and is a play on one definition of Atascadero — “Mudhole.”
“At first, I wasn’t sure what ‘Mudhole Follies’ meant, or what it was going to be,” Colony Days Vice Chair Nic Mattson said “Then I looked into its roots and I found something really fun. That is what we hope people will connect with — a real sense of fun and frivolity for a weekend of good times in Atascadero.”
”The week of Colony Days kicked off on Sept. 30 with the Colony Days Reception hosted by Quota International of Atascadero. The night before the annual celebration, Friday, Oct. 5, the annual celebration, the committee will host its fundraiser Tent City After Dark, featuring live music by Carolina Story, Hilary & Kate and Wood, food trucks and beer and wine. Tickets for the event are available at ColonyDays.org.
The main event on Saturday, Oct. 6 will start with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by vendors in and around Sunken Gardens from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the parade at 10 a.m., a historic re-enactment of 1916 Tent City, Dogtoberfest wiener dog races in the afternoon and more. The historical society will also have its museum open during the day and docents will be giving tours of City Hall.
The Colony Days event is put on by community volunteers who work year-round to put together the event. While committee members are always needed, there are a variety of one-off volunteer opportunities, from keeping the grounds of the event clean to setting up and taking down chairs and so much more. Check out ColonyDays.org for more information on how to help.
“The website is full of useful information, including the most up-to-date schedule of events, parade and vendor information, ticket sales for Tent City After Dark and more,” Colony Days Publicity Committee member Candice Hubbard said.
Schedule of events for Saturday, October 6
7 to 9 a.m.: FREE Lions Club Pancake breakfast.
10 a.m.: Colony Days Parade begins at Golden China on El Camino Real and ends at West Mall and Palma Avenue. Sign up to have an entry in this year’s parade TODAY. It’s free!
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Tent City re-enactment in Sunken Gardens.
Events will include a pie eating contest and other games during the day — see schedule in Tent City the day-of. There will also be a variety of vendors, entertainment and food in and around the Sunken Gardens.
10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Dogtoberfest wiener dog race registration.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Free tours of City Hall led by Atascadero Historical Society docents.
1 to 2:30 p.m.: Dogtoberfest Wiener dog and small dog races.
2:30 p.m.: Dogtoberfest Pet Costume contest (any size dog can participate).
Visit www.colonydays.org for more information.