The much-anticipated Wasco Rose Festival is back again for the community to enjoy a three-day schedule of events on Sept. 7-9. The theme is "No Place Like Wasco."
The celebration begins with the Miss Wasco Rose Queen Pageant on Thursday, Sep. 7, at the historic Wasco High School Auditorium at 6 p.m. A "Wine and Roses Under the Stars" on
Friday, Sep. 8, hosted by the Wasco Elk Ladies will honor the 2023 Grand Marshals, which are the Charles Wedel family and the Honorary Grand Marshals will be Wasco VFW Post 6742.
On Saturday, Sept. 9, there is an exciting lineup, including a 2nd to None basketball tournament on Sept. 9 and 10 at the Richard Reding Gym at Palm Avenue Middle School at 8 a.m., a Color Blast Fun Run at Barker Park at 7:30 a.m., the Forky's Friendly Pancake Breakfast drive-thru on 6th Street at Grace Community Church from 8–10 a.m. The Wasco Historical Museum will be open for the public to experience the rich history of Wasco from 12–3 p.m. at 918 6th St.
Also, on Saturday, the Rose Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at D and 7th St. to Poplar Ave. Immediately following the parade, there will be a car show, a vendor fair at Barker Park and an art show at the the Wasco Recreation and Parks District board room. There will be a deep pit dinner drive-thru from 1–5 p.m. at the Wasco High School cafeteria.
Juan Gallardo, Sharon Sharp, Camilo Vasquez of the Wasco Rose Festival planning committee and Orquidea Ocampo and Traci Mills-Clendenen, both of the Orange Heart Foundation and WRF committee, are in their third year coordinating the event.
"Christi Johnson, Stephanie Mixco and Stephen and Kishna Nored joined us last year and are all amazing," Sharp said.
She added that much effort and countless hours have been invested to ensure it will be a memorable event. "It gets better every year."
This year, the pancake breakfast is back. It is a Wasco High School Traveling Tigers fundraiser where Katie Moreno leads the group and takes students on trips to other countries.
"We are so excited to support her efforts and have such a popular event from the past back at the Rose Festival. There are also some changes, like having a Grand Marshal family, which differs from our three couples last year. We are thrilled to be able to honor the Charles Wedel family for their century of service to this community."
She said it will be a great event for the whole family.
"The theme is enjoyable for families. Toy Story is fun and colorful. I look forward to seeing how the parade entries embrace the theme."
"The little ones always enjoy seeing the Rose Queen and Court at the park and taking pictures. This year, they will have a dedicated Rose Pageant booth so you can catch the newly-crowned Queen around the park or at designated times in their booth. Between the car show, art show, vendor fair and basketball tournament, there is something for everyone."
The Rose Festival is a special tradition for the City of Wasco.
"This is our legacy event that brings everyone together. In one event, you can recall years of attending throughout your life, enjoy the traditions built in the moment and envision years of future memories to be made."
The festival encourages community and is an event that is open to anyone in Wasco.
"When the schools, groups, businesses, city leaders and churches come together in the parade, you see the community rolling past. It is a day to celebrate the best of Wasco."
Sharp added, "If you grew up in Wasco, you know this is a can't miss event. If you are new to Wasco, you want to be here this year and every year going forward. It is our biggest event in this town, highlighting all that is wonderful about Wasco - community, family, history, fun, friends."
Volunteers are still needed, and anyone interested can email [email protected]. For questions, call Sharon Sharp at 661-910-2324.