Labor Day Weekend
The story behind… Cambria’s Pinedorado
The annual Pinedorado celebration in Cambria began in 1949, when the Cambria Lion’s Club realized the need for a community recreation center for the local youth, and adopted the project of securing such a center.
Through the kindness of the Joe Fiscalini Family, a site of several acres was donated right in the center of Cambria. Additional adjoining property was later donated by the Cambria Development Company, and through land purchases made by the Lions Club of Cambria.
It was agreed that a community celebration would be sponsored to raise funds for the construction of a building which would fulfill the needs of the community. The events were planned over Labor Day Weekend.
In the summer of 1949, the Lions seized upon an opportunity to purchase a war surplus building at Camp San Luis Obispo, 30 miles south of Cambria. A loan was secured by the Club, and the members began to cut the building into sections in order to transport it to Cambria. It was then moved to the present site of the Pinedorado celebration.
Community work parties re-assembled the building and made it architecturally sound. This work improved its overall appearance.
The first celebration was delayed several weeks, however, when it finally did happen, there was great joy and gladness in the community over making a huge first step in fulfilling their accomplished purpose.
For the next 7 years, Pinedorado celebrations were held, and continually grew “bigger and better”. The profits from these celebrations were used to pay off the loans by 1953, and to improve the building.
In 1954, Cambria’s Youth and Recreation Center was donated to the County of San Luis Obispo. The County added $50,000 in improvements and enlarged the facility to become a Veteran’s Memorial. This new facility was dedicated in 1955. The building became a Community Center for which Cambrian’s could be proud, and began to serve local veterans, youth, and service and lodge groups as well.
In subsequent Pinedorado celebrations, many local groups shared in the proceeds to help carry on and continue their civic service projects. The largest share, however, still went to the Pinedorado Fund for youth recreation, administered by the Cambria Lions Club.
The name PINEDORADO was derived in a contest conducted during the first celebration. The judges felt that Pinedorado well expressed Cambria’s pine tree setting and early day influence still present along this fabulous section of the California coastline.
The Lion’s Club has continued the tradition of the Pinedorado Celebration every year from 1949 until now--- except for 2020, when all events were cancelled due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. If it is safe, the Pinedorado will continue on Labor Day Weekend on September 4, 5, and 6 of 2021. It will be #72!