Leave it to 'The Beav' to lead the parade


October 27, 2004

Watercolor artist Carol Patton of Escondido will be among those selling their works at Borrego Days.
BORREGO SPRINGS Television actor Jerry Mathers will be the grand marshal for the Borrego Days parade Saturday.

Mathers was the child star of the television series "Leave It to Beaver," which aired from 1957 to 1964. He lives in Southern California.

The parade is part of this weekend's Borrego Days Festival. Sponsored by the local chamber of commerce, the event is now in its 39th year.

The Miss Borrego Springs pageant will kick off the festivities at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Borrego Springs High School gymnasium. Ten girls are vying for the title.

Mathers, 56, returned to the entertainment industry in 1978 after a career in banking and real estate. He toured for 18 months with the stage play "So Long, Stanley" before reuniting with the "Beaver" cast for a made-for-TV movie and later a television series, "The New Leave It to Beaver," which ran for three seasons.

The original series continues to be shown in syndication. Mathers now makes guest appearances on television shows and in movies.

Richard Shaw, executive director of the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce, relates the "Flower Power" parade theme to the desert community.


What: Borrego Days Festival
When: 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Christmas Circle

What: Miss Borrego Springs Pageant
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Borrego Springs High School gymnasium, 2281 Diegueno Road

What: "Flower Power" Parade
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Palm Canyon Drive from Country Club Road east to Christmas Circle

What: Dinner with Jerry Mathers
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: De Anza Country Club, 509 Catrina Drive
Tickets: $35; available at Chamber of Commerce office, 786 Canyon Drive.
Information: (760) 767-5555

"Borrego is known for its desert wildflowers," he said. "It's for the chamber to let the world know Borrego has more to offer than just 10 days of wildflowers.

Honorary mayors Astrid and Sam Webb will be introduced at the Miss Borrego Springs pageant and will ride in the parade the following day.

Shaw said about 50 entries are expected in the parade. It will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Country Club Road and head east on Palm Canyon Drive to Christmas Circle. There will be six marching bands plus several equestrian units, clowns, floats, an antique fire engine and entrants from a classic-car club.

The festival, including arts-and-crafts booths and food vendors, will be held at Christmas Circle.

"There's going to be food from all over the world," Shaw said. "The American Legion is doing a beer garden."


Jerry Mathers
The local chapter of Soroptimists International is in charge of the arts-and-crafts booths, which will include watercolors and oil paintings, woodcrafts, jewelry, ceramics and pottery.

Carol Patton is an Escondido artist who has been selling her work at the Borrego Days Festival for nine years. She specializes in watercolors of landscapes, flowers and animals. She sells mostly at shows and is impressed with the sales she makes in Borrego Springs.

"I always do well when I go to Borrego Springs," she said. "It's a wonderful community, and I do know that people come here specifically to buy art."

Patton also sells her work at shows in Julian, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, Solvang and Lompoc.

For more information about the festival, call the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce office at (760) 767-5555.

Ruth Lepper is a freelance writer based in Ramona. A town focus for Julian, Borrego Springs or the backcountry is published each Wednesday. Do you have a story idea for one of these communities? For special events, please alert us four weeks in advance. We work ahead! Contact Julie Pendray at (760) 737-7562.