The annual Pinedorado Days celebration began in 1949, when the Lion’s Club initiated a project to establish a community recreation center for the local youth. The project culminated in the purchase and reconditioning of a surplus building from Camp San Luis Obispo which had been owned by the Army. Borrowing funds from a community member, the Club created a community celebration to raise funds to pay off the loan and to engage other organizations in raising funds to support youth activities in Cambria.
Although intended from the start as a celebration over Labor Day weekend, the first Pinedorado Days celebration took place in November of 1949 because the roof on the acquired building was not ready. However, that first Pinedorado Days celebration did raise $1,000 – a good start for paying-off the loan. By 1953, the original loan was retired, and in 1954 the Lions Club donated the building to the County.
The name Pinedorado was coined through a contest conducted during the first celebration. The judges he the Central California coastline. For the second Pinedorado Days celebration in 1950, the Lions Club added a calliope and began the tradition of a parade down Main Street that continues today.
From its earliest years, Pinedorado Days has engaged and benefitted many local groups and organizations that share in the proceeds raised through the celebration to support their community service projects. The largest share of proceeds, however, goes to the Pinedorado Fund (now the Pinedorado Foundation, administered by the Lions Club) for youth recreation and education.
The Lions Club is committed to continuing the tradition of Pinedorado Days and, although the pandemic has resulted in cancellation for the past two years, planning will begin soon for the 2022 celebration, bringing back the parade, follies, food, and fun.