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Parade Organizer Praises Help From Local Youths
Parade watchers applauded as one of the floats carried some local veterans, waving flags and waving to the crowd during the April 9 Oakdale Rodeo Parade. Marg Jackson/The Leader

In her first year as serving as coordinator of the Oakdale Rodeo Parade, Lisa Vandermeer said she got plenty of help … from an unexpected source.

“When I agreed to take on this committee, my husband and children knew they had to help,” Vandermeer said. “It was my daughter, Madeline Freitas that suggested I ask the leadership class and our Valley Home 4-H group. Then other students arrived to help as well.”

The parade, winding its way along F Street in the rain on April 9, saw plenty of entries and Vandermeer said the student-helpers all turned out, very early on a Saturday, with a sunny disposition despite the inclement weather.

“Many from Mr. Fowler’s Leadership class, Valley Home 4-H, Oakdale Soccer and Oakdale Softball Association helped,” noted Vandermeer. “What a great group I had the opportunity to work with. I cannot emphasize enough the huge amount of help that I received.”

Among the parade winners were: Best Dressed Cowgirl, 17 and under, Raven Ring; Best Dressed Cowboy, 17 and under, Riggin Stonebarger; Working Cowgirl 17 and under, Jenna Pitassi; Working Cowboy 17 and under, Timothy Pitassi; Lead Line, age 5 and under, Skyler Ring.

Other winners included the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, Oakdale Automotive Repair and Tire, Oakdale Model “A’s” Club, Crown Painting, Shriners on Parade, Valley Oak School of Dance, Oakdale High School Band, Save Mart Supermarkets, Oakdale Baseball Softball Association, and Pointe of Dance, among others.