Everyone loves Pleasanton, and Pleasanton loves a parade, so it is only fitting that the KNBR Good Times Parade is returning to our town on Sunday, May 27 beginning at 1:00 pm.
It was 10 years ago, almost to the day (Saturday, March 23, 1974), that this parade first rolled down Main Street into our fair city. It all began with a widely publicized bet between KNBR's premier radio personalities Mike Cleary and Frank Dill. Ed Kinney, at that time Mayor of Pleasanton, approached Isabelle Lemon, promotions director for the San Francisco radio station, and sold her on the idea of having the parade take place in Pleasanton.
After much discussion and planning, "The Good Times" parade headed for Pleasanton and was such a success that it spawned even more good times. The event was repeated again in 1975 and 1976.
The 1976 parade was full of memories in the making: a real life airplane; a wayward Greyhound bus, not realizing a parade was in progress, just happened to make a fateful turn onto the parade route; and, above all, the thousands of spectators having the time of their lives.
The excitement of that first parade day began bright and early with a display of brightly colored balloons lifting off from the Alameda County Fairgrounds and floating gently over the city. Early arrivals (and they did arrive early!) had yet another sight to remember in a most memorable day.
The parade exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations. It was open to anyone "who always wanted to be in a parade ... but was afraid to ask." People could do almost anything they wanted. No special talent was needed and, as there wasn't any judging done, there were no winners or losers.
Following the parade, the crowd dispersed to the Fairgrounds and enjoyed picnics and each others company. By now, the good times were really rolling!
The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce held a "Maid of Pleasanton" contest in the Amphitheater with Mike Cleary as master of ceremonies. Marie and Fred Cochrean were chairpersons of this event and put on a real first class production. The winner of the title of Maid of Pleasanton that year was Lori Hickman.
This year's parade promises all of that same excitement. The route begins at Amador High School and continues down Main Street to Rose Avenue and then finishes at gates 9 and 10 at the Fairgrounds. Entrants are limited to 150 participants plus Frank and Mike.
Concessionaire stands will be located at various parking lots along the parade route. All proceeds will be used to benefit Pleasanton charities.
For this year's parade, visitors and residents may wish to take Hacienda up on its offer of free parking at the business park complete with free shuttle buses to downtown. Buses will run continuously from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Hacienda's Hopyard Road and Stoneridge Drive location to St. Mary's Street and Peters Avenue, (one block from Main Street), and then return to the park.
Anyone interested in obtaining an entry form must call Isabelle Lemon at 951-7070 by April 30.
To see a reproduction of the original article and edition of Pleasanton Pathways, visit: March 5, 1984 Pathways.