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Downtown is ground zero for fun this Saturday & Sunday

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Downtown is ground zero for fun this Saturday & Sunday

Some 35,000 people are expected to flock to downtown Manteca Saturday and Sunday for the 14th annual Crossroads Street Fair.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED April 9, 2010 2:40 a.m.
Shopping – just plain browsing – is pure fun whenever the Crossroads of California Street Fair takes over downtown Manteca streets.

The 14th annual event is not just a chance to inspect and buy the wares of over 300 vendors offering everything from crafts, unique music tapes, flea market-style toys and novelties to the famous Lockeford sausage and kettlekorn but is a great time to people watch, take in what promises to be a beautiful spring weekend. Upwards of 35,000 people typically attend the two-day event.

The street fair takes place both Saturday from 10 a. m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Yosemite Avenue from Library Park to Manteca High as well as on several side streets.

It will also include non-profits ranging from political organizations to youth football clubs. There also will be new autos, recreational vehicles and “big boy toys” from Delta Power Sports on display both days.

There is a Kids Zone featuring games and rides as well as free entertainment both days.

The Community Emergency Response Team will conduct a safety fair on Saturday and a car show on Sunday. Delta Power Sports will also have numerous sports recreation vehicles to inspect.

Many people make the street fair a two-day venture. Some will browse the first day and return the second for serious shopping. Most, however, who make it a multiple day adventure do so because they either wanted to go back and get something that caught their fancy the first day but couldn’t decide on whether to buy, to try a different food item that they simply ran out of stomach room for on their initial trip or to savor the atmosphere which allows you to leisurely stroll and strike up conversations with friends and neighbors.

Although it doesn’t officially open until 10 a.m., many vendors welcome people to browse - and even buy - before that time. Most arrive downtown between 3 and 6 a.m. Saturday morning. It’s organized mayhem as they set up for the two-day event but usually by the time 8:30 a.m. rolls around many are either raring to go or are just putting finishing touches on their booths.

It is an excellent time to get a bit ahead of the crowd and scout out your plan of attack if you’re a dedicated street fair shopper.

Parking never seems to be a problem. Even at peak times throughout the weekend you always seem to be able to find a parking space within two blocks of the downtown triangle.

Even with the 100 and 200 blocks of Yosemite Avenue blocked off and side streets connecting to Center Street closed, there are still more than 600 parking spaces on the streets and public lots available within three blocks.

Some of the lots that are overlooked include behind Kelley Brothers Brewing Co. in the 100 block of South Grant and the public lot at the FESM Hall in the 200 block of North Main. Both are within a block of the street fair.

A small but growing number of people - avid walkers primarily - access points along the 3.4-mile stretch of the Tidewater to reach the street fair primarily from Manteca’s northern neighborhoods.

It’s an ideal way to take in early spring blooms to and from the street fair.

There are two ATMs at the street fair. One is near the food court by the Library Park gazebo and the other is at Maple and Yosemite avenues.

Be ready for the unexpected. Over the years, people have returned from street fairs with framed Thomas Kincaid reproduction, unique rebar creations for their garden including a wheel barrel and a tea cart, toe rings, handcrafted shirts and the list goes on.

None of the items people end up buying and cherishing over the years did they necessarily go looking for specifically. That is one of the charms of street fairs. You’ll see stuff that will catch your fancy.

You can also make practical purchases.

Remember not to eat before you venture out to the street fair.

There are countless opportunities you won’t be able to resist from funnel cakes and kettle corn to ice cream, Lockeford sausage and culinary creations you never dreamed of that your nose will absolutely love.

If you don’t want to snack your way through downtown but still need to keep up your strength, there is a host of downtown spots within the street fair that are well-worth trying if you haven’t yet.

They include the Athens Burgers, Kelley Brothers, several Mexican dining spots, bakeries, Chinese food, and sandwich shops as well.

By the same token, don’t forget to check out the downtown stores that will be open, especially on Saturday.

Don’t worry about working up a thirst. The Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau will be selling cold canned soda and water at various locations.

It is also a great opportunity to check out changes in downtown including the new “Manteca Snow” mural celebrating the almond blossom season gracing a wall along Manteca Avenue across from Library Park.

Since you’re downtown, you also might want to use the opportunity to stroll two blocks to the west on Yosemite and visit the Manteca Historical Society museum. It is open Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. It’s free and definitely entertaining.

A number of people make the street fair a two-day event. If they come on Saturday, they usually return with another friend on Sunday or else just come back to hit the food booths again or to simply chat with people.

Street Fair entertainment
Entertainment on Saturday includes the Dakota West band from Lodi at 10 a.m.; Soundchek, from Livermore at 11 a.m.; GK Music presents Facade, Amanda Armstrong, and Brieanne Jansen at 1 p.m.; Manteca Youth Focus Entertainers at 2 p.m.; current Manteca Idol title holder   Shellie Hoyt, current Manteca Junior Idol winner Annie Banks as well as Manteca Idol contestants Brieanne Jansen and Kaylie Dotson at 3 p.m.; singer Jordan Waters at 4:30 p.m.; and  GK Music presents Braata, Ben Tolman, and Chelsea Jordan at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday’s line-up includes Launchpad Away at 10 a.m.; Woody Hawkins at 11 a.m.; GK Music presents Zephyr and Neon Ink at noon; Taberna Martial Arts demo at 1 p.m.; singer Amy Dias at 2 p.m.; GK Music presents Braata, Elle’ Lewis and Brieanne Jansen at 3 p.m.; singer Felicia Zapata at 4 p.m.; and The Core Band of Ripon at 4:30 p.m.

Legion post serving street fair breakfast
The American Legion is serving a breakfast this Saturday at the Legion Hall, 220 E. Yosemite Ave., next to the PG&E office from 5 to 11 a.m.

Breakfast will consist of biscuits and gravy for $3 or eggs, hash brown, biscuits and gravy for $6. Coffee and juice will also be served with breakfast.

The proceeds go towards the Legion’s scholarship fund and helping send incoming high school seniors to Boys State. If you have any questions contact John Aguilar at 823-7980.

Hit the Streets for Hunger 5K on Saturday
Hit the Streets for Hunger is a 5K Walk/Run with 1 mile and 5K courses along the Tidewater Bike Path in Manteca taking place on Saturday, April 10, in conjunction with the CVB Street Faire.

 This will be the first, of what will be an annual event, to raise awareness and funds for Second Harvest Food Bank.  This is a family friendly event and all ages are welcome to participate.

Registration forms are available at Second Harvest Food Bank, 704 Industrial Park Drive or the CVB office, 1422 Grove Ave, at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley.

Entry fees are as follows; Pre-registration $15, day of registration $20, family registration (pre-registration only) $45.  Race-day registration is near Elm and Center streets starting at 7:30 a.m.

Contact Alanna Robins at  239-2019 for more information or to get registered.
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