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Pumpkin Fair’s the ticket for police officer

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Pumpkin Fair’s  the ticket for  police officer

Attendees fill Sycamore Avenue during last year’s Manteca Pumpkin Fair.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED September 29, 2013 11:24 p.m.

Patrick Danipour knew that when he joined the Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis that he was one day going to inherit a committee.

It’s just one of those things that happens when you pledge to be a part of a service club that helps make up the fabric of what Manteca is all about – you learn a little bit about the process, you take on more responsibility and then one day you’re the one at the head of the table.

But he didn’t think that within six years he’d been the Chairman of the Manteca Pumpkin Fair Committee – overseeing everything from the broad-strokes of Manteca’s largest annual community celebration to the smallest details that are ironed out on the fly while the event is actually going on.

“You know coming into it that there’s going to be a little bit of responsibility, and I knew that I wanted to do what I could for the community, but it’s a big job,” he said. “It’s one of those events that really takes everybody to make happen, and you learn that very quickly when you become a member.

“There’s only two or three months right after when we’re not working on the next festival, so it’s a big part of what we do.”

The service club is gearing up for their 29th addition of the Manteca Pumpkin Fair in downtown this Saturday and Sunday from 10 .am. to 6 p.m. The Pumpkin Fair carnival (see ticket information and hours on Page A3) and runs through Sunday near JC Penney at the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley. The actual street fair routinely draws up to 40,000 people over two days.  In the past 28 years the fair has helped the club generate enough to contributed more than $550,000 to community non-profits.

As a Manteca Police Officer Danipour has a different outlook than most people on the community that he patrols on a daily basis. Through his assignments he has seen some of the worst of what the city has to offer. And he has seen some of the remarkable kindness of the people that call Manteca home. It’s through those experiences that gives he and his family him desire to give back and make a difference – knowing that there are people out there that are freely willing to give of their time and their effort to try and change things.

And it isn’t always an easy line to toe.

Being a police officer isn’t the most stress-free job in the world, and when you’re working with a team that’s planning on throwing open the doors to tens of thousands of outside visitors – and planning for all of those contingencies – it can be a bit overwhelming.

At the end of the day, he says, everything will end up getting done and working out the way they always do when you have such a dedicated team that runs an operation as well-oiled as the Sunrise Kiwanis Pumpkin Fair.

“It’s something that’s family friendly and just generally great for the people that live here and want to bring their kids down and have a good time, and it’s good exposure to bring people downtown and let them see what we have here in Manteca,” he said. “I think that anybody that’s ever been can see those benefits.”

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