Daily Archives: April 17, 2017

Save the Dates Coalinga

April 18 – Income Tax Due

April 19 – Coalinga Youth Ag Booster BBQ Drive Thru Dinner – 5:30pm CHS Farm

April 20 – Coalinga Woman’s Club Flower Show and Luncheon – 11 am

Chamber Quarterly Luncheon WHCC – Noon

April 20-Coalinga Middle School Open House-5:30pm

April 21 and April 22 – DSH Job Fair – 10am-2pm

April 22 – CHRPD Car Show 6am Registration

April 22 – CHS Drama Camp – 8 am

April 22 – WHC Rodeo Barrel Racing – Noon

April 26- Cheney Open House-5:30pm

April 27-Bishop Open House-5:30pm

April 29 – Coalinga Elk’s Golf Tournament – 8 am Shot Gun Start

April 29 – CHS Prom at Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant

May 2 CHS Open House -5:30pm

May 6-7 – Relay for Life – 9 am-9am (WHCC Football Practice Field)

May 8 – Battle of the Badge, Coalinga Police Dept. Blood Drive – Noon

May 13 – CHS Drama presents “Sgt. Pepper Beatle Tribute Band” – 8 pm

May 25 – CHS Oscar’s

May 26 – FCA Graduation

May 26 – WHCCD Graduation

May 26-29 – 81st Annual Horned Toad Derby Memorial Day Weekend

May 27 – Coalinga Firemen’s Club Pancake Breakfast

May 27 – Coffee with Congressman Valadao

May 27 – Annual Horned Toad Derby Memorial Day Parade

May 27 Fresno Co. EDC Job Fair Huron

May 29 – American Veterans, FCA, City of Coalinga Memorial Day Ceremony at Pleasant Valley Cemetery

Coalinga Activities   Recently updated !

Coalinga Eels

2017 Registration $75 before May 12 Applications in the Chamber Office – 265 W. Elm Avenue

Volunteer Fee $100 (returnable if requirements are met)

New Swimmer tryouts: April 24 and 25 Community Pool 6:15-7:15pm

Practice Begins May 1

Mandatory Parent Meeting May 17

For more information, please text: 287-6251 or 942-6493




SALARY: $41,278-$50,173 per year


BASIC FUNCTION: The Recreation Supervisor plans, organizes and directs a comprehensive community services program to meet the needs of the community in Huron, CA.

To obtain an Application and Job Description, visit the Coalinga-Huron Recreation and Park District

Website: http://www.chrpd.org/employment-opportunities.html

For further information contact Lisa Gonzalez/ General Manager at (559) 935-0727



WHCCD Child Development Centers Celebrate Week of the Young Child

April 24 to 28

Free and open to the public. April 29, 9 a.m. to noon.



The Coalinga Police Department will be hosting

Body Camera Program Info

Dates: April 24 and May 2, 2017

Time:   6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Location: City Council Chambers




Fresno County EDC Sponsored Job Fair


Join us and meet candidates who are ready to work!

This event is free to all Fresno County Businesses.

DATE: Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 4:00pm-7:00pm

WHERE: John Palacios Community Center – 16846 4th Street Huron, CA 93234


Call Jacob Villagomez at 559.476.2511 or email at jvillagomez@fresnoedc.com




The Coalinga Thrift Shop

at 198 W. Forest Avenue is a

Bye Bye Mattress Recycling Program collection site – Free drop-off of mattresses and box springs.

The Thrift Shop also accepts recyclable TV sets at no charge!

Please be prepared to supply the name and address of the owner during drop off to satisfy State requirements.



Westlands Water District

 is recruiting to fill one Buyer upcoming vacancy in the Procurement and Fleet Services Department at the Fresno Office. 

Applications are being accepted through Monday, April 24, 2017. 


81 Years of Horned Toad Derby! We are Coalinga!

81 years of Horned Toad Derby, how did this all begin. I was looking through past articles, writings and more to learn the history of the Annual Horned Toad Derby. The reality of 80 years of a small-town festival continuing to exist is mind blowing especially if you look at all that has changed our community in the last 81 years. According to Bill Howell, (former editor of The Coalinga Record), in 1933, the Coalinga Junior Chamber of Commerce turned the annual dinner meeting of the Coalinga Chamber of Commerce into a “big party at the Coalinga Mineral Spring’s Hotel.” The youth attending the dinner were “bored” and began rounding up critters to race. From this, evolved into the present. The first advertised Coalinga Horned Toad Derby was in 1943 and that year the Coalinga American Legion sponsored the event that began 2 years earlier at the Chamber banquet.

In 1933, The Coalinga Record reported on the upcoming banquet with no mention of the activities that were to transpire that evening. A circle was drawn, critters collected and the Derby was born. Mrs. Abel, who in 1984 reported to the Coalinga Record, operated the Coalinga Hot Spring’s Hotel in 1933, said “It took days to rid the Hotel of frogs and other reptiles from evenings activities of the Banquet.” Apparently, the evenings fun was so great that in 1934, the Chamber included the races in the annual dinner meeting’s agenda. According to Mr. Howell, in 1934, the banquet was billed in the Coalinga Record as the “The Chamber Hi-Jinks” with the races well publicized in advance. Howell continues,” it was not the Horned Toad that was featured” as the Coalinga Record called the upcoming event the Coalinga-Kettleman “Frog Derby”.

So how the American Legion came to call their 1935 Boy Scout Fundraiser the “Third Annual Horned Toad Derby” is left to speculations. There is some evidence as The Coalinga Record reported in 1935, “previously the Horned Toad Derby has been privately conducted by the Coalinga Area Chamber of Commerce and it has proven so popular that this year (1935) it was flung wide open on a huge scale and made a public affair.” It also seems the Coalinga Record can take credit for naming the Horned Toad Derby as they first coined the term in their 1934 article.

After the Coalinga-Hot Springs Hotel served as host for the Derby, the Derby moved to the Standard Oil Picnic grounds for a couple of years, then Motorcycle Hill, or better known as ‘the slab” before locating to downtown Coalinga in 1937. In 1938, the races hit big time and the California Horned Toad Racing Association was incorporated. In 1938, the race was televised by KMJ, Fresno who broadcast it to the western states.

In 1940 the Derby went Hollywood, Jim Rau from Gone with the Wind Fame entered a toad, and in 1941 Bob Hope, Rudy Vallee, Jerry Colona, The Fitch Band Wagon as well as Jim Rau all had entries in the Hollywood Handicap race.

1941 the champion trophy went to Corpus Christi, TX where Coalinga native Don Terry was training to become a fighter pilot. 1942, the Derby was never officially cancelled but due to gas rationing and many off to war, the Derby was placed on hold. 1946 the Derby returned, honoring it as the 10th Anniversary of the Horned Toad Derby and billing it as a festival of rejoicing for the homecoming of the sons and daughters who had been scattered around the world serving in the armed forces.

During the 1970’s the Derby name lost out to Joaquin Murrieta Days but continued with the honored horned toad races. In 1979, the traditional Horned Toad Derby named event returned and has been going strong ever since except for 1983, the year Coalinga was devastated by the Earthquake, with infrastructure down, the Derby was cancelled returning full force in 1984.

As we get ready to honor our beloved Toad, Coalinga Horned Toad Derby will celebrate 81years.  Change has happened over the years, but it is the Toad and Coalinga who makes the Annual Horned Toad Derby Celebration.

The Horned Toad Derby will run May 26-29, 2017 – Memorial Day Weekend, we are 81 and Having FUN!