Everyone loves a parade ... right?

El Cerrito High School will treat the community to this year's floats (expect bubbles) and units, led by the Gaucho Marching Band, at its annual homecoming parade that starts at 1 p.m. Friday in front of the school at 540 Ashbury Ave.

The parade is the buildup for the evening's homecoming contests at home against Berean Christian of Walnut Creek, with the junior varsity contest at 4:30 p.m. and the varsity main event at 7 p.m.

The Gauchos, 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the Tri-County Athletic League Rock Division, are coming off a big win at home last week that snapped the 26-game winning streak of Salesian High in Richmond.

Berean Christian is 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the TCAL Rock Division after posting a win last week over St. Mary's High.

  • Gaucho alumni, meanwhile, are stepping up to support the El Cerrito High theater program by selling a custom blend of coffee and special mugs for drinking java or other beverages.

    Gauchos' Coffee Shop Blend is custom roasted by Mike McLaughlin, a member of the ECHS class of 1957, and his wife and colleague, Barbara Marsicano McLaughlin (ECHS, '68).

    Mike McLaughlin is a Kensington native and longtime West Contra Costa teacher who went on to start McLaughlin Coffee, an importer based in Emeryville.

    Gauchos Blend sells for $10 for a 12-ounce bag.


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    Also available are two-toned 13-ounce "Spotlight on El Cerrito" mugs, both ideal for gift-giving to Gaucho alumni.

    Coffee and mugs are available at "Adorn & Flourish," a gift boutique at 7027 Stockton Ave. run by ECHS alum Kate Peterson.

    Program supporters who live out of the area can get more details or order either or both items and have them shipped by contacting Karen Shebek at karenshebek@sbcglobal.net or 510-525-1539.

    Proceeds from sales benefit the theater program.

    Tax-deductible donations for the program can be sent to ECHS Supporters of the Theater Arts, P.O. Box 2376, El Cerrito, CA 94530.

  • And we also have a benefit coming up for the speech and debate program at El Cerrito High.

    Supporters of the program will be having a garage and bake sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13 at 626 Albemarle St. as part of the annual Citywide Garage Sale.

    Offerings will include furniture, collectibles, vintage items, household goods, art, books, sporting equipment and children's items, as well as a "lavish bake sale."

    All proceeds will benefit the ECHS forensics team, a 66-year-old program that raises all its own funds.

    WEST COUNTY NOTES: We wrote back in August about the new exhibit at the Richmond Museum of History on the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

    The scheduled Aug. 6 opening of the exhibit was months in the planning but ill-timed, as it turned out, when a major fire broke out at the refinery a day earlier.

    The rescheduled "Other Days, Other Ways, A Refinery Saga" exhibit is opening 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Seaver Gallery at the museum, 400 Nevin Ave. The free reception will include music and light refreshments.

  • Outside groups continue to take advantage of the Performing Arts Center at El Cerrito High School.

    This weekend, George Brown and Richmond-based Totally Led Ministries will present the gospel stage play "For Every Mountain," a live production on dealing with mental and emotional health issues in today's society.

    Performances are at 6 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the ECHS theater, 540 Ashbury Ave.

    To reserve tickets, call 510-904-7045 or visit www.totallyled.org/events/every-mountain/index.php for more details.

  • Teri Katz tells us that the group Richmond Trees has been bolstered in its efforts to plant more street trees in the city's neighborhoods with a $10,000 grant from nonprofit organization California ReLEAF.

    The funds will go to purchase 100 trees in 15-gallon containers that will be planted in the city's North & East, Iron Triangle, Coronado and Santa Fe neighborhoods between now and next March.

    Funds will also be used to acquire a concrete saw, shovels and other equipment for all the planting.

    Richmond Trees and the city will also be working on meeting their end of the ReLEAF matching grant and are planning a Harvest Festival/Tree Planting event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 3 at Roosevelt Avenue and 29th Street.

  • The semiannual book sale by the Friends of Pinole Library will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the branch, 2935 Pinole Valley Road.

    The first hour (and best selection) is open to Friends members only. The sale opens to the public at 10 a.m.

    Friends members also receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases by showing their membership cards. New members may join at the door starting at 9 a.m.

    Details: Elaine Sturtevant, elsturtevant@gmail.com.

  • The Contra Costa County Library is offering teenagers a chance to clear up any late charges on their library card during Teen Read Week from Oct. 14 to 20.

    Under the "Start a New Chapter at the Library" program, county library locations, which include all branches in West County outside Richmond, will "designate a day and time when teen patrons can read in the library for an hour to earn a certificate to clear their account of late charges."

    Participants must bring their library card or a valid ID to take advantage of the amnesty.

    The program does not cover lost materials or accounts that have been sent to collections.

    For more details, visit ccclib.org or contact your local branch.

  • "Steamstock," an all-day concert and festival described as "Woodstock" from an alternate past, takes over the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond from 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday.

    Headliners include Thomas Dolby and Abney Park, plus a host of other acts, as well as glimpses of the Blue Angels and the Americas Cup action from the windows of the Craneway at 1414 Harbour Way South.

    Tickets and details: www.steamstock.org.

  • A free program on converting your yard to a productive organic vegetable garden will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Whittlesey Community Room of the Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza.

    The Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library is hosting the event and asks participants to register in advance at rgorganicgardening.eventbrite.com.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.