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46th Annual Colony Days returns to Atascadero this weekend 

A capture from the Colony Days parade in 2018, photo by Luke Phillips.

–The 46th annual celebration of Atascadero will take place this weekend, Friday, Oct. 4 to Saturday, Oct. 5. The committee will kick off the annual weekend of events on Thursday, Oct. 3 with a Colony Days Mixer at The Raconteur Room at 5840 Traffic Way.

The mixer will include a meet and greet with this year’s king, queen and grand marshal, good, music, parade number pickup, an opportunity to purchase Tent City After Dark tickets, donate or signup to be a volunteer and more. The mixer is free and open to the public.

The annual fundraiser concert, Tent City After Dark, will be held on Friday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 10 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m.

This year’s lineup for the fifth annual Tent City After Dark fundraiser concert will include Bear Market Riot, Arthur Watership and Moonshiner Collective with Kaytee Greenaway and Thomas Zaldivar of Bremen Town emceeing the event. The concert will be held inside the historic re-creation of 1916 Tent City, which will be set up in Sunken Gardens.

“Tent City After Dark is the best event of the year,” Atascadero Colony Days Acting Board President Karen McNamara said. “It is a relaxing evening of great music in the most amazing setting: a historic Tent City. The glowing lights from the tents and overhead lanterns under a starlit sky are an atmosphere that can’t be matched.  And all in our wonderful community — we are truly blessed.”

Tickets for the event are $20 resale and $25 at the door. Presale tickets end at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4. There will be food for sale in Tent City Diner and beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages in Tent City. VIP sponsorship tables are available until 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2 for $250 and include admission for eight, a private reserved table, table service all evening and an appetizer for the table. Only 150 tickets will be sold for the event and they are going quickly.

“Tent city after dark is a one of a kind experience here on the Central Coast,” Atascadero Colony Days board member Candice Hubbard said. “You get to spend the evening enjoying music among the historical tents and under the bright stars. I can’t wait to see the amazing bands this year.”

Atascadero was formed in 1913 when E.G. Lewis purchased the land that makes up Atascadero. The town was the first planned community in California. The first building constructed was the Printery, which housed Lewis’ printing businesses. He enticed people to move to Atascadero from places around the United States and Europe via his publications and mailed information.

The historic re-creation of 1916 Tent City Atascadero shows off what life could have been like for those who lived in Tent City, which was located in the area where Bank of America is now. The re-creation takes place after the parade on Saturday until 4 p.m. and part of Tent City will be open on Friday during Tent City After Dark.

In Tent City, visitors will be able to taste fresh apple cider, wash laundry the old-fashioned way, watch a blacksmith in action and so much more.

In Tent City, visitors will be able to taste fresh apple cider, wash laundry the old-fashioned way, watch a blacksmith in action and so much more. Photo by Heather Young.

Outside of Tent City, Heilmann Dog Park will host its annual Dogtoberfest, which includes races for wiener dogs and small dogs and pet costume contest in the other half of Sunken Gardens.

There will also be amusements, vendors, food, beer, wine and entertainment in around Sunken Gardens. Volunteers are needed to make the event run smoothly, from setup and cleanup to parade monitors and photographers, videographers and social media experts. Signup to volunteer at and click on the volunteers tab.

Schedule of events for Saturday, Oct. 5
• 7 to 9 a.m.: Lions Club Pancake breakfast
• 9:50 a.m.: Colony Days Parade Opening Ceremonies at the start of the parade (ceremonies can be streamed live on YouTube)
• 10 a.m.: Colony Days Parade
• After parade to 4 p.m.: Tent City re-enactment & entertainment
• After parade: There will also be a variety of vendors, entertainment and food in and around the Sunken Gardens
• Noon: Pie eating contest with Johann Johannsen in front of Tent City stage
• 12:30 p.m.: Colony Days Parade awards on Tent City stage
• 1 p.m.: Dogtoberfest, wiener dog and small dog races
• 2:15 p.m.: Lewis Army of Pioneers Glee Club Talent Show on the Tent City stage
• 2:30 p.m.: Dogtoberfest Weiner dog finals, followed by pet costume contest
• 3:00 p.m.: Tent City Awards on the Tent City stage

** Tug of war, potato sack races and egg toss will be held throughout the afternoon in Tent City **

About the author: News Staff

News staff of the A-Town Daily News wrote and edited this article from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog. He can be reached at

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