What started as a fun idea to bring the community together and celebrate has blossomed into much more. On Saturday, June 24, 2023 Oakdale Enrichment Society will host its fifth annual All American Bash.
The annual July Fourth-themed celebration will begin with a parade at 4 p.m., which will be followed by a free concert beginning at 5 p.m. at Dorada Park. Bands set to play include local boy favorites: Owen Walker Music, Weekend at Jimmy’s and headlining will be a ZZ Top Tribute Band, Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers.
Parade entries are still welcome and entries are free. The parade will assemble at the FES Hall on North Lee, begin at Oak and Poplar and proceed down Poplar promptly at 4 p.m., concluding just before Dorada Park.
“This is a free community event. However, we have enrichoakdale.org and people can make a donation there in any amount of $5 and above,” OES Vice President and non-profit founder, Cher Bairos shared. “Any amount is appreciated because we want to continue to have this free event for our community.”
Bairos, along with OES President Lisa Ballard, shared their love with hosting the three OES events put on annually. In addition to the All American Bash, the community driven non-profit also hosts the Annual Community Clothes Closet each August and the Oakdale Christmas Parade each December.
“It’s in our mission statement, to bring events to Oakdale for free,” Ballard said. “We are doing the best we can from the 150th, but we can only continue by getting sponsors and donations. We’re working hard to bring things to Oakdale for Oakdale people to stay and do things in our lovely Dorada Park.”
The 150th Ballard referred to was the 150th Celebration of the city, hosted in June 2021 which included a concert at the Oakdale Rodeo Grounds. The event drew large community support from sponsors, as well as individual community members. As an organization which prides itself on free events for the community, such support is critical to keep the events going.
The “Bash” will also host a free Kids Zone, which will be manned by other non-profits pitching in, in the spirit of community.
“We always know, we’re stronger together,” Bairos said of the community coming together. “We all help each other out.”
Adding to the atmosphere, food truck vendors will be on hand and the Oakdale Lions Club will be offering food as well for a small fee.
The organizers shared the need for donations and financial support is not just appreciated but needed. Most especially as this year’s event hosts overhead expenses such as insurance for the event, payment for the talent and additional Porta-potties to accommodate crowd needs.
“It’s really important to us to continue to have these events for the community,” Bairos said. “Before this there wasn’t a Fourth of July Parade. There wasn’t a Bash and it’s just important for us to keep it going as long as we can, so that the community comes together.”
Both voiced their concern that eventually the money being used from the initial 150th will eventually run out.
“We are asking for sponsors. If anybody would like to, they can contact us and we’d be happy to stop by,” Ballard said. “We also have on our website where they can donate on the website if they want to do it that way.”
Community members or businesses interested in helping may contact Bairos by text at 209-496-1134; e-mail email@example.com or visit the new website, enrichoakdale.org.
For those looking to give time in addition to or in lieu of money, volunteers are also needed for the parade. The group needs a total of 30 volunteers to assist with the parade route. Volunteers are needed from 3 p.m. until roughly 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 24.
“We do understand it’s the last Saturday of June and kids are out of school,” Bairos noted of potential scheduling issues. “It will always be the last Saturday of June and we can just really use the help.”
Attendees of the event are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to Dorada Park, as well as a picnic dinner if desired to enjoy while listening to the music. Glass bottles are prohibited.
“The Lions Club is doing the barbecue,” Ballard said. “Living Hope (church) will be selling water, that’s their annual fundraiser. We will have a Kids Zone with different non-profits, offering free activities. The swimming pool will be open from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a small fee.”
And though it definitely is hard work, the payoff is worth it.
“It’s just a joy to be there and to see everybody happy and see everybody having a good time, listening to the music and supporting the other non-profits. Helping them and supporting them to make some extra money too,” Ballard noted.
“It’s really, really important to us to keep that going,” Bairos concluded of the spirit of the overall event.