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Almond Blossom events start Thursday
The Ripon High marching band will be part of Saturdays 1 p.m. Almond Blossom parade in downtown Ripon. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Ripon’s 54th annual Almond Blossom Festival gets underway Thursday with a dollar night for carnival rides, the queen crowning, and a spaghetti dinner.
The queen coronation takes place Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Ripon Community Center on Fourth Street.  The eight candidates are Kylie Varelas, Nalani Alhambra, Megan Harlan, Emily Hodges, Mireya Garcia, Claire Wever, Michelle Pappas and Kaydee Cruz-Sampson. The winner will be crowned by reigning Miss Ripon Jean Neely.
The Ripon Lions’ Club spaghetti dinner is set for Thursday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the community center as well. The all you can eat and drink spaghetti dinner also includes salad and beverages. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. If purchased at the door tickets are $14 and $6.  Meals are also available for takeout. You can purchase advance tickets at the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, 929 W. Main St.
The carnival opens at Mistlin Sports Park on Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. All rides are $1 each Thursday.
The carnival is also open Friday, Feb. 26, from 4 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, from noon t11 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25, from noon to 5 p.m.
You purchase a one-day ride voucher that can be used on any one specific day of the three days of your choosing in advance for $20 through the Ripon Chamber of Commerce. Not only can you save a third of the price but you can also help fund the chamber’s various community activities throughout the year. The chamber receives a portion of the advance ticket sales.
The day you want to use it for is up to you. You simply show up the day you want, take the voucher to a ticket booth and receive an all-day wrist band for rides.
Advance discount vouchers are available through Thursday, Feb, 25, at 4 p.m. or until supplies run out.
They are available at the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, 929 W. Main St., Ripon, (599.7519) today and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at the Ripon Police Department on Wilma Avenue after 5 p.m. week days.
The actual festival at Mistlin Sports Park is Friday, Feb, 26, from 3 to 6 p.m., as well as both Saturday, Feb. 27, and Sunday, Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.