Clowning around

“The definition of ‘The Sons & Daughters of an Original Astoria Clown’ is: ‘A group of 60-year-olds who found the original clown car, which their fathers drove when they started the clown troupe in 1955,’” Jeff Daly told the Ear. The group isn’t affiliated with the current Astoria Clowns, he noted.

“For this year’s Regatta, four ‘Wives of an Original Astoria Clown’ joined the parade to celebrate the nearly 60 years of clown history,” Jeff reported. “The Sons and Daughters were able to capture another piece of history when a ‘float’ to carry honorary guests was discovered in Arch Cape.”

Found just weeks before the parade, the float is actually a 1963 minibus (pictured) long ago retired from the Los Angeles Zoo, which can carry 25 people. “It sat in a garage for over a decade on the Oregon coast,” Jeff explained, “then was dumped in a scrap yard. Hours before its demise, the minibus was rescued (and restored) and is now a proud member of the Original Clown’s entourage.” You can watch the transformation at

As a side note, the L.A. Zoo was delighted to hear the minibus had been found and saved, and requested to borrow it for their anniversary in 2016.

“Another few weeks of restoration will have the yet-to-be nicknamed vehicle available for rent for parties and events,” Jeff added. “The first ride will be given to the winner of naming the old bus. Submit your suggestion to”

Better yet, Jeff says the winner will “get to pick a tour of Astoria, starting at the Custard King, with milkshakes in hand!”

­— Elleda Wilson

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