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COLLEGE, CRITTERS TO PARADE.

Byline: Gloria Gonzales Daily News Staff Writer

The Moorpark Country Days parade will start with a college president and end with a camel.

The parade, down a mile-long, tree-lined stretch of High Street through the city's downtown, opens the 18th Annual Moorpark Country Days community festival Saturday.

Festival organizers announced last week that Moorpark College - as a whole - had been dubbed grand marshal of the parade. Representatives from the college, including its president, cheerleaders and denizens of its famous teaching zoo, will march the parade route.

``Sept. 11 marked the 30th anniversary of the first day of classes on campus, and we thought this would be a nice way to help the college celebrate,'' said Jim Stueck, chairman of the Moorpark Country Days parade committee. ``They were also a good choice because they easily fit our theme of `Moorpark, a Community for All from A to Z.' The parade will start with the administrators (right after the cheerleaders) and end with animals from the teaching zoo.''

It's the first time critters from the college's Exotic Animal Training and Management Program and Teaching Zoo have marched in the community parade.

Human representatives from Moorpark will lead the parade. The school's Raiders Cheerleaders will open the mile-long march with a banner reading ``Moorpark College Since 1967.'' College President Jim Walker and two of the school's original faculty members, Floyd Martin, now dean of the Math and Science Division, and Al Nordquist, now dean of the Athletics Department, will wave to the crowd from a pickup truck driving behind the cheerleaders. Both Martin and Nordquist started as junior faculty at the college 30 years ago.

The parade opens a festival designed to bring the small community of 28,400 people together in a celebration of the area's rural roots. About 5,000 residents and visitors are expected to partake in events including a pancake breakfast, games, pony rides, an arts and crafts fair, and live entertainment.

This year, there are about 50 entries in the parade, ranging from Cub Scouts to City Council members.

But most interesting are the entries from Moorpark College's Exotic Animals Training and Management Program. Exotic birds and mammals, including macaws and squirrel monkeys, will ride in the back of their own parade pick-up truck.

And bringing up the rear will be a female dromedary, a one-humped Arabian camel named Mariah. She is one of three camels that reside at Moorpark College's Teaching Zoo. Mariah will be coaxed along the parade route by her trainer, Jennifer Blaxson.

The 18th Annual Moorpark Country Days Parade starts a 9:30 a.m. and begins at the intersection of Poindexter and Sierra Avenues. It continues north on Moorpark Avenue and then east on High Street. The Country Festivities, including food, rides, games and entertainment, begin immediately after the parade, at about 11:30 a.m. For more information about Moorpark Country Days, call (805) 529-0322.

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Photo

PHOTO (color) Amanda Kalbs, left, and Jennifer Blackson prepare Maria the camel for the Country Days Parade.

Bob Halvorsen/Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 25, 1997
Words:507
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