We must really be on the verge of summer, because coming up next weekend is Healdsburg’s favorite tradition, celebrating its “diamond” 75th anniversary this year: the FFA parade through town and the fair afterward at Rec Park. It’s an ag fiesta of the largest proportions a small town can muster, known to draw thousands of onlookers from across the region. The parade’s marshals this year will be the Sonoma Marin Cattlewomen. The theme, meanwhile, is “75 years: Kick up your boots & support your roots.” Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair organizers, including a bunch of FFA and 4-H kids, say they’re already getting some infrastructure set up today at Rec. The kids who raise horses will be showing their animals tomorrow. Then, come Wednesday, all the other livestock starts arriving to the park: sheep, goats, pigs, cattle. And Thursday is the parade. “The parade route starts near St. John’s Church on East and Matheson St.,” the city says — “turning right onto Center St. and continuing to Piper St., then heading south on Fitch St., turning onto Matheson St. and ending on University.” (Map below.) Y’all know this already, but you’d be wise to get your chairs out there on the sidewalk early Thursday, because parade-side seats are the most coveted real estate in town. (And in Healdsburg, that’s saying something.) For the parade: Picture 80-plus floats, marching bands, horse troops, dance groups and other lively configurations of human, animal and vessel rolling down our main thoroughfares, for an hour or two of pure party. You can check out the whole list of parade entries here. As is tradition, once the parade is over, everyone who’s anyone will then pile into Rec Park that night to kick off the Future Farmers Country Fair, which is open until 10:30 p.m. nightly through Saturday. “Enjoy games, food, animals, a circus, and more!” the city says. “Support local students exhibiting their agricultural projects that they have been working on in their FFA and 4-H clubs. The livestock auction begins at 4:00 PM on Saturday. Bring the whole family for this fun-filled weekend!” This year’s fair is dedicated to Healdsburg ag “original” Wayne Steindorf, affectionately known as Yogi, who died earlier this year. As a longtime fair leader, he helped build the “new livestock barns at the ball park,” according to his obituary, and “was happiest when he was at a fair.” The 2024 livestock auction, for its part, is dedicated to Dennis Parrish, another local giant we lost this year. Browse the full fair schedule here. See you out there… 🫡 (Source: Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair & City of Healdsburg ^ Healdsburg Tribune & Healdsburg Tribune)

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Simone Wilson was born and raised in Healdsburg, CA, where she was the editor of the Healdsburg High School Hound's Bark. She has since worked as a local journalist for publications in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York City and the Middle East. Simone is now a senior product manager and staff writer for the Healdsburg Tribune.


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