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Farmers market lures hundreds downtown

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Farmers market lures hundreds downtown

Anthony Campuzano weighs an order for a customer as he takes another from one standing by.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED June 10, 2009 1:57 a.m.
Karen Beauchamp didn’t know what to expect when she came out to the Manteca Convention and Visitors Bureau Farmer’s Market Tuesday afternoon.

Being a Manteca resident for only one year, it was her first experience with the weekly summer event that has already gotten off to a great start thanks to the mild weather and customers looking to buy produce directly from the farmers.

“I think that it’s a really nice event,” Beauchamp said while holding a bag of raspberries. “I think that it’s good to have events like this in town that brings people together.”

From now until the end of August, every Tuesday night will feature a tent-lined street along Manteca Avenue and an abundance of people in Library Park – with farmers from the immediate area and some coming from as far away as Merced to bring their freshest wares for customers eager to bring home bags full of various fruits and vegetables.

While it isn’t his first year working at the Manteca Farmer’s Market, Kao Yang – who drives up every Tuesday with his family from Merced – always looks forward for the chance to come to a town that he says is full of friendly people and produces an atmosphere that’s hard to duplicate.

“It’s a chance to get out and talk to people, and the people here in Manteca are very nice and that makes being here not seem like work,” Yang said. “Plus you get the chance to talk to other farmers and find out how they grow things and you get to take that knowledge home.

“It’s just a great all-around event.”

Still early in the season, Manteca CVB Events and Membership Manager John Heath says that there are plenty of events planned for the summer long series including kids nights, a graffiti night and car show, and possibly even a motorcycle display – adding variety into what has evolved from a farmer’s market into a small community fair.

Seeing the smiling faces and the happy customers flooding into downtown, Heath said, is one of the things that mark a successful event.

“This is something that promotes downtown and promotes that community spirit among people – bringing people together,” he said. “If we can get people to come down and stop by some of our downtown businesses or notice something that they didn’t know was there, then it was a total success.”

Rental space is still available for those wishing to partake in the weekly gathering. Food vendor spaces are currently renting for $40 a week, commercial spaces for $25, and produce spaces for $20. Non-profit events are always free. For more information, or to book a space, contact the CVB at 823-7229.
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