By Emily Sorensen
This has been a big year for Poway celebrations, as Poway Days marked 50 years, and the Poway Rodeo celebrated 40 years of rope tricks and horseback riding.
This year’s parade theme was “Always Positive in Poway,” and focused on giving back to those in need, with a large food-packing event following the parade, sponsored by the Family and Friends Community Connection (FFCC), which aimed to pack up to 200,000 meals, which were split between feeding the hungry here in San Diego, and being sent to Africa. The FFCC also collected donations of over-the-counter medications, which were distributed in Haiti to earthquake victims.
The parade, which began in 1961 as PowWow Days, featured former San Diego Charger John Carney as grand marshal, and Phil Harris of FFCC as the honorary grand marshal. It was held Saturday, Sept. 8, with an estimated 100 entries marching down Poway Road, including all five Poway Unified School District high school bands, two marching bands from Chula Vista, and new this year, the Seven Celtic Nations Pipe Band. s
Poway Days featured a number of events, celebrating Poway’s old west history and its 50th anniversary, including the Poway Days Festival, Rendezvous in the Park, the Poway Rodeo Trail Ride, and PowPAC, Poway’s Community Theater, performing the country-western themed musical “Cowgirls,” a departure from their traditional Poway Days melodrama.
The Poway Days celebrations, which continued through the month of September, finished off with the 27th annual Tour de Poway Fun Bike Ride, held Sunday, Sept. 30. The bike ride was accompanied by a barbecue and a health expo.
This year also marked the 40th anniversary of the Poway Rodeo. Held Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29, the rodeo featured the Shooting Stars Drill Team, a team of talented performing horsewomen who have made appearances in the Poway Rodeo since 1984. They both presented the colors, and performed a complicated drill routine in the rodeo.
The 40th Poway Rodeo also marked a return for Poway Rodeo Queens Brittney Phillips, Bridgette LaHaye and Halie Winder, who kept their tiaraed cowgirl hats and served a second year as Poway Rodeo ambassadors.