2021 Vacaville Fiesta Days Grand Marshalls
Moreno and Vasquez, legacy names in Vacaville. Which is, in part, why Kevin and Georgia Moreno, owners of Wren’s Cafe and related to the Wren and Vasquez clans, were selected to be 2020 Fiesta Days grand marshals. “Kevin is involved in quite a few community things,” said Karen Juilfs, past general chair of the Fiesta Days Committee, who made the announcement, then explained the group’s consensus choice for the 63rd annual citywide event that begins May 21 and continues to May 25, Memorial Day. The nearly weeklong fete, celebrating Vacaville’s Western and Hispanic heritage, reaches a highlight with the popular parade that will begin at 10 a.m. May 23 on Merchant Street. The Morenos will help lead the colorful, family-friendly happening that typically features a color guard, marching bands, a contingent from Travis Air Force Base, vintage cars, floats, equestrian groups, local beauty queens and more. During an interview Tuesday at their well-known Merchant Street cafe, Kevin said, “It’s quite an honor to be named.” The son of Joseph and Carmen Moreno, born and raised in Vacaville and a 1974 Vacaville High graduate, Kevin recalled attending Fiesta Days as being “better than Christmas morning.” “It’s kind of hard to believe I got honored,” he added, a sincere air in his voice. “I was kind of shocked.” On parade day, when the Morenos travel down Merchant Street, most likely in a convertible car, they will join a considerable list of past honorees that includes George Duke (1981) and Toby Garcia (1991), and, more recently, Len Augustine (2004), Richard Rico (2005), Debby McGuire (2006), C.C. and Regina Yin (2010), and Carol Warren (2015). For Georgia, the daughter of the late Bernie Vasquez and Myra Vasquez, raised in Vacaville and a 1979 graduate of Vacaville High, she will carry on a family tradition of Fiesta Days grand marshals that includes her aunt and uncle, John Vasquez Sr. and Nicha Vasquez and their four sons: John Jr., George, Donald and Mark. Active in citywide events and local and county organizations, the Morenos help with the Vacaville Boys & Girls Club breakfast, American Legion Post 165 in Vacaville and the Stan Foster Memorial Golf Tournament. Georgia recently retired from the human resources department at Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield and remains a volunteer at CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Solano County. Wren’s Cafe, literally a stone’s throw from busy Interstate 80, also was recognized in 2019 as the Small Business of the Year for Assembly District 4. During the interview, Kevin also recounted the cafe’s history, which can be seen on the front of menus. He opened it in 1986, naming it after his grandparents, Luther Albert Wren and Annie (nee Lopez) Wren. His grandmother’s family settled in Vacaville in 1916 after emigrating from Lubrin, Spain. She and Luther married in 1940 and 10 years later bought the land where the cafe stands today. Their first business was a fruit stand, and in 1968 it became a restaurant named Mr. Ed’s. Luther died in 1991, Annie in 2008. No surprise, it is a family affair at Wren’s Cafe, and Kevin and Georgia regard their 10 employees and steady customers as friends, and, as Kevin noted, “Friends become family.” When “regulars” do not show up for breakfast or lunch — cafe hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays — Kevin said, “We track ’em down.” In other words, it’s food and service with a personal touch at the cafe, whose regulars also include Kevin’s father, 92 and soon to be 93.
“It’s kind of like (the 1980s and 90s TV show) ‘Cheers,’ ” said Georgia, adding, “When you walk in and everyone knows your name.” For Kevin, at least, retirement is not in the immediate future. “I enjoy it, all the customers in the morning,” he said, smiling, his face turning ruddy at the thought.