Sep 28, 2014 5:57 PM by Linda Watkins-Bennett
The 2014 "You Know You're from Chico When..." Festival drew an estimated 12 hundred people to the Manzanita Place Picnic Area at the Chico Elks Lodge Saturday.
It's the fourth year for the event, that started as a "reunion" of sorts for members of the "You Know You're from Chico When..." Facebook page. It was founded by "Papa Jim" Secola, who organizes the festival, which provides a chance for the group to meet in person. The site currently has more than 8 thousand members. What's shared is a love of chico, past and present. Historic photos are one of the big attractions for those who visit the page ... as well as celebrating iconic landmarks, and even iconic people.
The festival featured performances by The Blue Merles, Quasimofo, the Jeff Pershing Band, Charlie Robinson and Friends, and Black Slax. There were more than a dozen local vendors, and several non profit information booths, as well as a face painter for children.
"Official Chico Icon" awads were presented at the event to 84 year old Robert "Bob the Marine" Miller ... described as the most colorful, and most patriotic Icon ever.
Another colorful Icon award winner was Mike "G Ride" Griffith, a popular Downtown Chico pedi-cab operator. He's know for playing music on his large stereo system, dressing up for every holiday and taking his dog "Lil G" along for the ride. He was one of Chico's first Downtown Ambassadors, and has worked to help the Kristina Chesterman family, after the Chico State co-ed was killed riding her bicycle home from the library by a drunk driver. He also helped raise money for the family of student Pa Houa after she was struck and killed by a falling tree branch on the Chico State campus.
Bob Malowney, owner of Bird in Hand in Downtown Chico, was recognized as an icon for his role in establishing community events like Chico Kite Day, the annual Polar Bear Swim at Sycamore Pool on New Year's Day and the National Yo Yo Championships. They return to city plaza next Saturday. Malowney's store is also home to the National Yo Yo Museum.
Retired Chico Police Chief Mike Maloney and his wife Lauri Maloney were surprised with Chico Icon awards for their work in the community. Lauri has been instrumental helping people through organizations like the Jesus Center, the House of Hope and Orchard House. Mike Maloney is active with the "Wheelin' With Cops" program, the Boys and Girls Club and Catalyst.
Past Chico Icon recpients include Marge "the Metermaid" Saadoon, "Flo", Morris Taylor, Ron "Roundhouse Ronnie the Clown" Palmer, Retired Fairview High School Principal Bernie Vigallon, Action News Now Anchorwoman Linda Watkins-Bennett, Clear Creek Broadcasting General Manager Dino Corbin, longtime Chico musician Charlie Robinson and John Scott of Scotty's Landing.