Hank Days celebration set for Saturday
The Foothills may not have a mascot, but they sure have a favorite fellow.
He's the late Hank Schechert.
Every year Foothills residents put on Hank Days, celebrating the legacy of the man credited with developing the area.
“He had the vision and the gumption and the stamina to do it!” said Doreen Caldwell, chairwoman for the Hank Days parade.
This year's celebration is slated for Saturday, Feb. 16 and will feature a parade, barbecue and car show.
Caldwell said folks love Hank Days, well, because they liked Hank, but also because they appreciate having their own celebration.
“I think it's just the only thing that has been in the Foothills to celebrate the Foothills. Everything else, we have to come to town for. This celebrates the Foothills community spirit,” she said.
The Yuma Foothills Rotary Club organizes Hank Days each year. The upcoming celebration marks the event's 11th year.
The parade will take off at 10 am. and proceed down Foothills Boulevard. This year's parade theme is “All the Places We Go.” Each year's theme reflects that of Rotary International for that year. The parade marshal for this year will be Randy Pacheco, a Vietnam veteran. He will be escorted by members of the Patriot Guard Riders.
“The first year we did the celebration, we had 17 entries for the parade. To us that was good,” Caldwell said. “Now we are well over 100 entries. It has really grown. We have people watching from 47th Street all the way down to South Frontage Road. It's become that popular.”
The first entry in the parade will be a front loader from H and S Developers, the company created by Schechert. The front loader's scoop will carry photos of Schechert and his wife. Schechert's family has also participated in the parade for many years.
To register for the parade, call Caldwell at 446-1668. Entries will be accepted on the day of the event, but will not be included in the announcements.
A barbecue and car show will follow the parade at 12436 S. Foothills Blvd. Those events will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The dinner will be tri-tip beef, beans and salad. Tickets will be $9 a person at the gate. Takeout will be available. Pre-sale tickets for $8 are available at Pioneer Express Lube, 11274 S. Fortuna Road, and at the Foothills Bank on Foothills Boulelvard.
For more information about those events, call 305-5085.
The Hank Days celebration was originally started by the Nostalgic Car Club. The Rotary club took over the event, combining Hank Days with an annual barbecue back in 2004.
Caldwell says she thinks Hank Days as it stands today would be right up Hank Schechert's alley.
“Hank liked parades,” she said, “and he loved the Foothills!”
Darin Fenger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6860.