Rowland Heights Community History

Rowland Heights is not a city.  It is an unincorporated community of Los Angeles County, and is situated on the land formerly known as La Puente Rancho, a grant of nearly 49,000 acres awarded to American settlers John Rowland and William Workman, by the Mexican government in 1842. In 1851 the two men agreed to split the rancho lands between themselves, with Rowland taking possession of the 29,000 acres to the east and Workman the remaining lands to the west. Prior to 1960 the land was mostly agricultural and dotted with thousands of walnut, avocado, and citrus trees. Oil was discovered in the hills surrounding the community in 1884 and for the next 40 years the Puente Oil Company and its successors supplied oil to the Los Angeles Cable Railway and a beet sugar refinery in Chino. Beginning in 1960 the area began to change.  Water led the way, then streets and eventually, the 60 Freeway.  Farms eventually gave way to housing tracts and the population grew from about 4,500 in 1960, to approximately 60,000 today. We now live in one of the most culturally diverse communities in Southern California. 

We are currently part of the Los Angeles County First Supervisorial District.


Rowland Heights Parade History

It all started in 1971.  The Rowland Heights Junior Women’s Club and Rowland Heights Woman’s Clubs Federated, sponsored an annual 3-day festival known as Buckboard Days as a major fundraiser for both clubs. 

Keep in mind, this was a bedroom community, somewhat isolated without much of a freeway, and nothing to really pull the entire community together.  To overcome community apathy, instill a sense of pride and community spirit and to increase attendance and add to the festivities of Buckboard Days Carnival & Festival, it was decided in 1972 to add a parade. This was the only annual community-wide event involving children and adults of all ages as well as dogs and horses.  The business community has also become an integral part of the event.  AND, it hasn’t been easy to keep the tradition going!

Community youth groups and civic organizations have always been instrumental in making the event a success.  The name Buckboard Days covers the time span and changes that have taken place since the first western settlers arrived in the area now known as Rowland Heights.  Long-time area residents have always been honored and recognized and are especially invited to participate. 

For years the parade was organized by Don and Kathy Delegal, long time residents.  Each year a Grand Marshal has been selected by the Parade Committee.  When Don and Kathie were preparing to move, they worked with community groups to take over the responsibilities.

In 2011, the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council and the Rowland Heights Chinese Association took the helm.  Beth Hojnacke, president of RHCCC, and Sue Ann Tai, president of RHCA did a fine job their first year.  Corporate and personal sponsorships and donations, as well as the support from our Fourth District Supervisor, Don Knabe make the parade happen.  In 2016, community volunteers took over leadership with David Martinez’ leadership, and he continues as Chair to this year!

LA County Supervisors represent Rowland Heights and support the parade with equipment and discounting county charges.  Supervisor Solis did the same in 2022 and 2023.  We hope to be able to continue the parade with county support for years to come.  The Parade Committee raises money from business and community sponsors and donations.  Community youth groups and civic organizations have always been instrumental in making the event a success.  The name Buckboard Days covers the time span and changes that have taken place since the first settlers arrived in the area now known as Rowland Heights.  Long-time area residents have always been honored and recognized and are especially invited to participate. 

In 2020, the parade was cancelled due to the Covid-19 county-wide lockdown.  In 2021 with the lockdown still in place, a scavenger hunt was held in place of the parade and festival.

2022 was the 50th Anniversary of the parade.   It was nice for the community to once again come together to celebrate Rowland Heights.  Our 50th Anniversary and Festival was a great celebration!

2023 is the 51st Anniversary of the parade.  The tradition continues.  The parade route currently goes from Nogales and Colima to Banida Avenue, turning left, ending at Rowland Heights County Park.  The Festival immediately follows the parade at the park and is put on by the LA County Parks and Recreation Dept. 

 

An old image of women with kids in a parade
An old image of women in matching attire in a parade
An old image of women and guards in a parade
An old image of people watching the parade
An old image of a family in a carriage pulled by horses

Watch The 2022 Parade Video Below

2021 Scavenger Hunt

A Scavenger Hunt logo

Thank you to our Sponsors who supported our 2021 Scavenger Hunt! 

Click HERE to view 2021 Scavenger Hunt Sponsors

2022 Parade Program

Parade Pictures Wanted

Do you have Buckboard Days Parade and Festival pictures from past parades that you would like to see posted here? If so, you can use the link below to submit them to us via email.

Click HERE To Submit Your Pictures Via Email To buckboardparade@hotmail.com

Parade Memories Wanted

Do you have Buckboard Days Parade and Festival memories you would like to share with us? If so, you can use the option below.

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