Organizers of the 6th annual Oro Grande Days hope to bring back a sense of normalcy when the Western-themed event returns next month after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two-day celebration of the history of Oro Grandes begins on April 10 in the small historic town along Old Route 66. Like the previous installments, this year’s Oro Grande Days are expected to welcome many visitors and organizers. events dressed in western clothing.
Vendors will offer clothing, artwork, trinkets and other treasures, and musical acts will be performed daily. DJ KevDog will also provide music at the celebration, including a car show, beer garden, costume contest and tours of the city cemetery.
After being closed last year, they were very excited to invite everyone to Oro Grande for a fun time, said Joe Manners, who is a keeper of the century-old cemetery and unofficial mayor of Oro Grande.
The auto show is scheduled for Saturday April 10 and offers attendees the chance to win trophies. The registration fee is $ 20 per vehicle and includes a free t-shirt. Car check-in begins at 8 a.m. on April 10. The winners will be announced at noon.
The auto show is always a popular draw, with its brilliant hotrods, custom cars and classic vehicles, Manners said.
Manners told the Daily Press he expected a record crowd to attend the western-themed celebration in the city this year, the name of which translates to Big Gold, a reference to the first mine which was discovered in the 1880s.
We typically receive between 500 and 1,000 visitors. But after being locked up for a year, people can’t wait to get out and have fun, said Manners, who celebrated his 75th birthday on St. Patrick’s Day. People want to get back to normal and were here to provide part of it.
The Oro Grande festivities will take place near the Cross Eyed Cow Pizza restaurant, owned by Jim and Donna Granger, who are part of the organizing team alongside other merchants and Manners.
All of the events happen about a block in each direction from our restaurant, said Donna Granger. Our band plays on Saturdays and does have a western guitarist on Sundays.
Granger said there would be plenty of photo opportunities, an ice cream party, a cornhole and other activities for the kids.
There won’t be a kissing booth this year, she laughs. One year we had an old man with a handlebar mustache who dressed like a western sheriff and sold kisses. He did not receive too many offers.
The Western-themed costume contest planned for all ages on Saturday has been transformed into an all-out-to-go costume contest, according to Manners.
Oro Grande has a deep Western history and we want to honor it, Manners said. But it was also a modern city, and we want to reflect that in our celebration and the costume contest.
Manner said visitors can still wear cowboy hats and boots like Roy Rogers, who built the Rogers Double R Bar Ranch in 1920 along the banks of the Mojave River in Oro Grande.
A little history
In the mid-1800s, the first settlers passed through the area, including Father Francisco Hermenegildo, one of the first missionary priests, who was assisted by the Mojave Indians, according to San Bernardino County.
Other travelers who passed through Oro Grande included explorer Jedediah Smith, pioneers Kit Carson, and the Mormon Battalion.
County-owned and only one acre in size, Oro Grande Cemetery is the oldest in Victor Valley. In 1975, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Located on Olive Street, the historic cemetery was first established in 1890 as Bennett Memorial Park, named after a rancher who raised cattle in and around Ore Grande until 1894.
The cemetery had its last internment in the mid-1960s. Ownership of the property was transferred to the country by the Oro Grande Foundation in the mid-1970s.
Manners said supporters of the Oro Grande Days so far include Calportland Cement, Midway Appliance, GA Osborne Pipe & Supply and NAPA Auto Parts.
The Oro Grande Days will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 11 near the 19242 national trail route.
Call Manners at 760-912-2480 for sponsorship opportunities, 760-912-2480 for auto show information, and 909-556-5607 for supplier booth inquiries.
For more information on the Oro Grande Days, visitwww.Facebook.com/OroGrandeDays.
Daily press reporter René Ray De La Cruz can be reached at 760-951-6227 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.
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