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Gridley Herald

First Response: FUN!

May 24, 2024 03:57PM ● By Seti Long

A highlight of the parade was the Sutter County engine that rolled down the parade route, blasting water from its cannon. Children danced in the falling water and parade goers along the route either running from the spray or welcoming it with open arms due to the heat. Photo by Seti Long


GRIDLEY, CA (MPG) – Whoever ordered the weather got it perfect for the 63rd Annual Red Suspenders Day, Saturday, May 18.

The warm, breezy day kicked off with the annual Little League Pancake Breakfast fundraiser where local little leaguers served up steaming plates of flapjacks and sausage for $8 to support their league.


The Navy Sea Cadets provided the Color Guard for the 63rd annual Red Suspenders Day Parade. Photo by Mickey Mrakuzic


Not soon after, two metal framed beds rolled onto Vermont street as multiple teams readied for the long-standing Red Suspenders Day (RSD) tradition, the Bed Races.


The Mets take on the Diamondbacks during a wild year at the Bed Races. Photo by Seti Long


The Waste Management, Mets, Expos, Diamondbacks, Heartbreakers, Phillies, and Padres teams would take to the street in a fierce competition. Multiple crashes and fallen runners, with one incident resulting in a teammate substitution, would put this year in the books for one of the most serious competitions in recent history.

During a rally between the Mets and Expos, both teams faced a historic double elimination. The Expos would be spared by the crowd.

In the end, it would be the Phillies that would clench title of Bed Race Champions.

At 11:00, the crowd would be alerted of the forthcoming parade by the Enloe Flight Care helicopter. The Navy Sea Cadets carrying the Color Guard would head the parade, with the swirling colorful ruffles of the Baila Folklorico dancers and majestic dancing horses to follow.


Baila Folklorico were a swirling splash of color as they danced their way down the streets. Photo by Mickey Mrakuzic


The 2024 Grand Marshall was the family of the late Dick Jones. Announced during the parade was the honor of Firefighter of the Year, which went to Dakota McGinnis.

As the parade made its way down the traditional Hazel St. route, the crowd would view an array of first responder and firefighting equipment. A huge treat for many was the blasts from Sutter County Fire’s water cannon, raining down on delighted children who danced in the street.

Orchard Hospital would take first place in the parade with its float depicting two rescue workers performing life-saving measures on a demonstration dummy. Second place went to Claude the Dragon, and third place to Waste Management.

As the day continued, the community was treated to a huge variety of vendors, family-friendly games and activities in Rotary Park, including the Marshmallow Olympics hosted by the Gridley Lions Club.


How many marshmallows can you eat? Here local kiddos stuff marshmallows in their mouths as fast as possible during the Gridley Lions Marshmallow Olympics Marshmallow eating contest. Photo by Seti Long


The new addition to the RSD event line up was attended mostly by youth, although open to the older crowd. A variety of games tested the skills of participants, and some their appetite, with a grand prize of child-oriented fireworks.

Meanwhile, firefighters from throughout the area battled it out in the Firefighter games, dousing the crowd gather to watch with stray water from their hoses.


A tradition of Red Suspenders Day, the fireman games do not disappoint when it comes to excitement! Photo by Seti Long


As the firefighter games concluded, Ladder Truck 74 put on its cannon for the children to play under, getting happily soaked in the streets.

Missing Gray would serenade another Red Suspenders Day away ‘til next year from the Daddow Park gazebo.

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