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Harvest Festival today & Sunday
Plenty of food, entertainment, games & auctions
Jacob Kautzer, 10, left, and Zach Leja, 8, go over their game plan for what they plan to do during the St, Anthony’s Harvest Festival during Friday’s set-up. - photo by HIME ROMERO
The annual St. Anthony of Padua Harvest Festival featuring a host of family fun, food, games, auctions both live and silent, in addition to a beer garden for adults will help usher in fall in Manteca this weekend as it has for more than half a century.

The festival takes place at the church located at Fremont Avenue and North Street. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

There will be various games for children, a booth for bookworms, and live entertainment featuring homegrown talents.

The longstanding live auction will be one of the major attractions, with a slight difference from the way it used to be. Instead of having it on the grounds with bidders and watchers seated on fresh and fragrant bales of hay or in bleachers, while real live cows and other animals up for bid mooed and bleated in a secured area behind them, this guaranteed upbeat and lively event will take place inside the gym.

In addition to the live auction, there will be a silent auction taking place also in the gym. Among the items offered for silent bidding are theme baskets put together and donated by each class at St. Anthony’s School.

There will be ongoing opportunities both days for festival goers to snag some big-ticket prizes such as a notebook computer, bicycles, iPod Shuffles, a digital camera, restaurant bundles, barbecues and a day spa package. These are among the raffle prizes to be given away. Tickets for this drawing will be sold on the festival grounds both days. Drawings will be held continuously both days. Ticket donations are a buck apiece or 6 for $5, and 12 for $10.

There will be two grand prizes - $1,000 in cash, and an eight-day, seven-night stay at a Northern California Wyndham. Drawings for these major prizes will be held at the conclusion of the festival at 8 p.m. on Sunday. One need not be present to win.

Among the sponsors of the festival this year are St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, In-Shape Health Club, Hafer’s Home Furnishings, Farmer’s Insurance, Wal-Mart, La Guadalupana Catholic Goods, P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Service, Delicato Family Vineyards, Financial Center Credit Union, Ability Mortgage and IHOP.