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Almonds & fun: It’s time to go nuts!

51st festival takes place Friday thru Sunday in Ripon

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Almonds & fun: It’s time to go nuts!

Ripon Girl Scouts were whipping up Girl Scout cookies on their float in the 2012 parade. This year’s parade is at 1 p.m. Saturday.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED February 21, 2013 1:12 a.m.

So why are people nuts about the Ripon Almond Blossom Festival?

If you’re a Ripon resident it’s a way to enjoy an old-fashioned community celebration with neighbors and family.

If you’re from neighboring communities, it is a great way to celebrate the approach of spring with the first “street fair” style event, and parade on the 2013 calendar for the San Joaquin Valley.

If you’re a former Ripon resident, it’s a community homecoming.

For 51 years, the Ripon Chamber of Commerce has celebrated the arrival of the almond blossoms along with community and families.

This year is no different

• THREE-DAY FESTIVAL: The “street fair” portion of the Almond Blossom festival starts Friday, Feb. 22, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 24  at the Mistlin Sports Park 1202 E. River Road in Ripon.  There will be a variety of food and craft vendors at the three-day festival Hours are noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24. There is a $5 parking charge.

• CARNIVAL: The California Carnival is having a special $1 per ride night on Thursday, Feb. 21, starting at 5 p.m. at Mistlin Sports Park. Carnival hours on Friday are 4 to 11 p.m., on Saturday they are noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday they are noon to 5 p.m.

• PARADE: The parade this year is on Saturday, Feb. 23, and will begin at 1 p.m.  The route remains unchanged through downtown Ripon. The theme “Blossoming with Age” honors Bethany Home.

• SPAGHETTI  DINNER: The Lion’s Club Spaghetti Dinner runs from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Community Center.

• QUEEN CORONATION: The Almond Blossom Queen Coronation is Thursday, Feb. 21, starting at 7 p.m. at the Community Center and marks the actual start of the Festival. 

• DIAPER DERBY: The return of the nationally famous Diaper Derby is Saturday, Feb. 23,  at 10 a.m. at the Ripon High School  Abeyta-Hortim Gymnasium.   This year the Diaper Derby is sponsored by the MOMS Club of Ripon-Salida.  For a fee of $5, this venue allows babies of crawling age to show their stuff in a race to the finish for cash prizes and trophy. To pick up an application please stop by the chamber office.

• QUARTERBACK CLUB DANCE: The Ripon Quarterback Club will have their annual dance on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 8 p.m. to midnight. There is a $10 donation and you must be 21 and over to attend the dance.

• FUN RUN: The Annual Almond Blossom Run is Saturday, Feb. 23, with a 1-mile and 8K Run.  Entry fee is $20 per person or if you would like to run both races the fee is $25.  Medal awards and cash will be presented to the winners in each race.

The entry forms are available at the Ripon Chamber Office.

• GRANGE BREAKFAST: The Ripon Grange #511 Breakfast is on Saturday, Feb. 23. Hours are from 6 to 11 a.m. at the Grange Hall, 827 Ripona Ave., Adults  are $6, children under the age of 10 years are $4. Tickets are available at the Ripon Chamber of Commerce office and the Tank House Gift Shoppe.

• CRAFT & BAKE SALE: The Ripon Senior Center is having their Almond Blossom Festival Craft & Bake Sale on Friday, Feb. 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ripon Senior Center and Saturday, Feb. 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The Ripon Senior Center is located at 433 South Wilma Ave.

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