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Downtown Ripons Main Street offers slower pace
Traffic can sometimes appear to be faster than a speeding bullet in the slow paced Ripon downtown that will be the focus of a spirited Ripon Chamber of Commerce photo challenge that will attempt to compliment this picture of a pickup truck driving into town under the Stockton Avenue arch. - photo by HIME ROMERO

RIPON —From arch to arch at each end of Ripon’s slow-paced historic downtown there is a past, a present and a future that has formed a rich fabric of community memories including old early day hotels that are today only a distant memory.

A state-of-the-art fire station can often be the center of interest when calls are answered throughout the entire consolidated fire district along with high school students walking together from their campus at noon time to places like Pizza Plus – a longtime favorite for many years.

The Ripon Chamber of Commerce hopes to capture the heart and soul of their central business district with what promises to be a spirited photo contest recording a little contemporary history that beginning on October 1 and continue for three weeks until Oct. 22.  There is no age limit to compete with other Riponites and it might make a wonderful extra credit for elementary and high school students in underscoring community life.`

It’s going to focus on what is happening day-in and day-out between those arches and asking the community – adults and children alike – to capture digital candid photos of people, places and things to include dining at restaurants like the Ripon Road House to a children’s hour at the Ripon Library and even tearly morning joggers and bicycle riders.

Coincidentally,  during that three-week period,  Ripon will also be having its “Main Street Days” that should offer a great opportunity to take action pictures of family life and close-up shots of the friends it will draw to the center of town showing the overall tenor of the citizenry that is forever prevalent in the community.

There are always great opportunities at Main Street Days with children eating the many tasty treats they can coax their parents to buy for them from suckers to hot dogs.  Speaking of dogs there are usually a number of pets on leashes visiting the homemade dog treats booth that come from a home kitchen in Ripon.  The samples look so real it is not unusual to see someone pick one up to give it a try before they are usually stopped.

It is hoped that some mothers will take telephoto shots of the youngsters visiting the library for “story hour” and others at the Veterans Museum along with the city’s Clarence Smit Museum on Main Street.  There might even be picture opportunities with parents focusing their cameras at the school children crossing the Acacia and Main Street intersection in all directions after school – all candid, hopefully action photographs, nothing posed.

Ripon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rebecca Naranjo witnessed an older couple walking down Main Street this week, hand-in-hand, that she said would be a perfect photograph – maybe even silhouetted at sundown.  And those high school students chomping down on a pizza at Pizza Plus at noontime would be another moment in time.

There is always a police car in the business district at noontime keeping an eye on student safety – with maybe a close-up of the officer that would add to the spirit of the time period.  An important note is not to always shoot pictures from eye level but rather from cameras held high from overhead to a position below the knee and the foot.

Candid shots in the Barnwood Gun Shop along with contrasting Friday night dinner crowds at the Ripon Road House both have potential for interesting photos to mark what is happening downtown in 2012.  Even pictures of several women at the Barbouri Hair Salon would have some interest.  All of these photos can be striking accounts of the community for residents 50 years from now to view.   Some may even bring a chuckle.

The community photographers are being asked to email their pictures to the Ripon Chamber of Commerce at  They will be judged by the chamber staff and a professional photographer and chamber members as well.  One will be selected to be posted at the chamber office on Main Street for a year along with the four runners-up.  The chamber will reserve the right to use all photographs for publicity uses in the future.  There is no fee for entries but the name of the photographer and the date the photo was taken must be attached.



209 staff reporter