The Palermo Community Council puts final touches on their signs for the Palermo Community...
PALERMO -- The fifth annual Palermo Community Festival and Parade with car show, food, go-cart rides and free swimming kicks off Saturday, celebrating Palermo's 125th anniversary.

Palermo was founded in the 1800s by the Hearst family and named after Palermo, Sicily, Italy, due to its similarity in climate and ability to grow olives, according to information at

The event that draws 300 to 500 people is one of two yearly fundraisers by volunteers on the Palermo Community Council.

Council President Mark Adams said all proceeds from the festival help fund community projects including the Butte County sheriff's substation, Palermo Middle School graduation pictures and flowers, and the county's Fire and Safety Training Camp.

This is the largest community gathering in Palermo each year.

"It gets the community out and brings the community together," Adams said.

The parade starts at the four corners of Lincoln Boulevard and Palermo Road at 11 a.m.

Participants march to Palermo Park at 2350 Ludlum Ave. for the car show, booth food, music, vendors, exhibits, children's activities, games, free swimming and more after the parade.

The grange next to the park serves breakfast from 7-10 a.m.

Line up along Palermo Road between the post office and school to watch the parade, or near the parade's grandstand across from the Council Hall, 2094 Palermo Road, according to an email from Beverly Gentry, vice president of the Palermo Community Council.

Follow the parade to the festival activities centered around Palermo Park.

The car show runs from noon to 3 p.m. at the Christian Faith Center parking lot next to the park, and you can vote for your festival favorite.

"This year, try out Go-Carts and the Space Ball ride near the Grange, and our first ever Back-Seat Driver Competition," Gentry said.

The grange offers a "Trash to Treasures" sale 8 a.m.-3 p.m., as well as a cool place to sit, rest or eat.

Palermo Pool opens for free swimming from noon to 5 p.m.

Cal Fire-Butte County exhibitions include emergency helicopter demonstrations.

Gentry said many agencies and organizations participate in the festival.

The first post office was established in Palermo in 1888. The population is estimated at 5,720 over about 39 square miles.

The community council meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Palermo Community Council Hall, 2094 Palermo Road, and is always looking for new members.

Reach Mary Weston at 533-4415 or