More than 5,000 people came out to celebrate the days of small-town Gilroy.
After more than a three decade-long absence, Gilroy Bonanza Days paraded back into town on Saturday, Sept. 29.
The 2018 Leadership Gilroy reintroduced the long lost Bonanza Days as part of its class project.
Raquel Lopez, a sixth-grade teacher and member of 2018 Leadership Gilroy, wanted to shake up Gilroy and is thrilled with the result.
“We got residents to open up their front doors and enjoy their neighbors while watching the parade,” Lopez said. “My main goal was to build communities within. That’s exactly what was accomplished as schools got to work together with parents, students and staff to build their floats.”
Lopez said the event was the culmination of eight months of hard work planning to bring back Bonanza Days. “Countless hours, meetings, logistics, social networking and dedication went in to make this parade a success,” Lopez said.
The event began with a parade including several floats from local schools—a Disney-inspired Coco float constructed by Las Animas school, as well as Eliot’s colorful garden display of unconventional sunflowers—and culminated with a festival at Miller Park.
“We wanted to have some the original activities that Bonanza Days incorporated such as junior royalty, tug of war, gunny sack races,” Lopez said. “We also had free cotton candy and free hot dogs for the kids.”
Lopez said that although the accounting hasn’t been completed, they are planning on giving all the money raised back into the participating schools.
“We are beyond grateful and appreciative of all the support we have received from this community,” said Lopez.