Welcome to the Chester Fourth of July Parade

M. Kate West
Staff Writer

“Mountain Memories Old and New” is the theme of the 92nd annual Chester Fourth of July Parade.

The event, which was originally hosted by Chester Ladies Club, is now under the domain of the Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

Leading the all-volunteer team for the second year in a row is chamber board member and local Plumas Bank manager Tracey Smith.

As to how the theme came about this year, Smith said, “The theme was put together and voted on by the executive committee. We met, focused on what we most have to remember and it was unanimous — the mountains!”

She said most of the committee members remember camping trips and other occasions that have been “nestled in this beautiful Basin, near our lake and surrounded by forests.”

She said the committee began working on the parade during January and February.

“We work on our Caltrans permits first. By May we are selecting our grand marshal and June has us updating our registration forms and opening the process online,” she said.

The week of July 4 the committee again rallies to assign tasks and organize the parade flow.

“We have stalwart volunteers who have taken on the same tasks each year. For years Tim O’Brien and Dave Finkbeiner of Lake Haven Resort have taken the time to stage the parade by setting up cones and lining up the entries,” Smith said.

On parade day Kelly Sanders and Lynette Hanson will again be monitoring registration and check-in.

Smith said that Chester Junior-Senior High School principal Scott Cory has again volunteered as parade master of ceremonies.

“It’s the community that makes this parade — people who participate like the Scott Corys of this world who MC, our judges, Sue Olson who handles all our correspondence and permits and Dig It Construction who lends us the orange cones.

“It’s all the little things you don’t think about is how this parade happens,” Smith said.

The parade, in keeping with Chester tradition, is always held on July 4, regardless of the day of the week.

It starts promptly at 11 a.m. from the staging area near the Collins Pine lawn and mill parking area.


Winning criteria

Judges for this year’s entries are Marlene Cummings, Karen Haner and Robin Schumacher.

They will judge three primary categories: individual, float and group.

The individual category includes single vehicles, walkers and equestrian entries.

The float category includes organizational, commercial and musical entries.

Group entries are defined as more than one vehicle, walker, equestrian or musician registered as a unit.

The registration deadline is June 29 for those who choose to be judged. The parade does allow morning-of registration but requires the process to be completed and all entries to be in position before 9 a.m.

Registration can be completed via email by sending a message to

Areas in which all entries will be judged include design concept, adherence to theme, entertainment quality and technical design.

Awards will include certificates for first, second and third placement in each of the three categories.

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