Welcome to the 92nd Annual Willits Frontier Days! I would like to welcome each and every one of you to this year’s Fourth of July events.
These great events would not happen year after year without the volunteers and the generosity of our community. Hope your visit is not only entertaining, but memorable. Can’t wait to see you at all the events.
I personally would like to thank my family, Marcy and Danielle Barry, for hanging in there with me – you guys are my rock. Thank you again for all the continued support.
Fred Barry, President
2018 Grand Marshal & Heritage Award Winners
2018 Grand Marshal: Chris Neary
2018 Grand Marshal Chris Neary has been a part of Willits Frontier Days since 1952 when he remembers being on a float in the parade on a papier-mache elephant for the local Republican party. Ever since, he has always enjoyed the Willits Frontier Days festivities and celebrating with his family at the big July 3 barbecue at their family property, Sunnybrook Ranch, a tradition which continues today. His family has been involved in WFD for decades, too: his mom, Barbara, helped write the original Sweetheart rules; his sister Joan was the Sweetheart in 1954; and his stepfather, Bob Hamilton, was a past Grand Marshal winner, too. Neary, who graduated from Willits High School in 1966, attended law school afterwards before returning home to Willits to open his own practice in 1976. His office on the top floor of the building at the corner of West Mendocino and Main Street gives him a lovely view of one of his favorite WFD activities: the parade. With his law background, Neary helps Willits Frontier Days with the bylaw reviews, Sweetheart revisions, and other legal work, and he continues to be a part of the organization he’s enjoyed for so many years.
2018 Heritage Award Winner: Ruth Burris
Willits Frontier Days is proud to name Ruth Burris as the 2018 Heritage Award winner. Burris also received the title of Grand Marshal in 2004. Burris was selected for the Heritage Award this year because of her countless hours of service, being helpful whenever needed, and being the face of the organization for 15-plus years. Ruth moved to Willits in January of 1949 and started working at the Ice and Soda Shop until 1962. In 1973 she started working at the Bank of Willits until retiring in 1993. It was in 1993 that Ruth started with Willits Frontier Days, where she helped by working in the front office, answering phones, selling tickets, and doing a lot of babysitting! Kids are near and dear to Burris’ heart – she mentioned they were undoubtedly her favorite part of WFD. Burris has three of her own children: daughters, Mary, Bobbie, and Joyce, two of whom ran for the title of Sweetheart over the years. “Willits Frontier Days is so much a part of Willits,” says Burris. “Not having the events, it would just not be the same. I am honored to receive this award.”
2018 Top Hand Award Winner: Todd Hollifield
Willits Frontier Days is proud to honor Todd Hollifield of Hollifield Construction for this year’s Top Hand Award. Todd went above and beyond to get the grounds ready for our Fourth of July festivities after the devastating destruction in 2017 when a tree fell and smashed the bleachers and beer booth. Todd also helped improve the grounds with ADA access and upgrades throughout the property. He is always there to lend a helping hand whenever he can. Todd also has over 20 years of volunteering under his belt with the Little Lake Fire Department.
Marcy Barry, Chris White, Dale Briggs, Kent Standley, Kathy Goss, Richard White, Jim Jennings, Jack Tharp, Ralph Baker Dennis Rohrs, Logan Anker, Rick Crowder, Harold Jorgenson, Chuck Persico, Dr. Raymond Babcock, Lee Persico, Louis Zanella, Galen Hathaway, Merrill Williams, Kenneth Jamieson, Gus Goren, Mel Clatty, Frank Whitney, and Faris Whitney.
Contact Willits Frontier Days: P.O. Box 800 in Willits, CA 95490 | 707-459-6330 | firstname.lastname@example.org
COWBOYS & COWGIRLS