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Parade draws thousands to Ripons streets
Elaina Rapier,9, cheers on the parade. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: 47TH annual Almond Blossom Festival
• WHEN:  Today
• WHERE: Mistlin Park in Ripon
• MORE INFO: Go to

RIPON — A professional women’s tackle football team based out of Modesto, members of the Maniax are hoping to gain some exposure of their existence.

One such way is taking part in the 47th annual Almond Blossom Festival parade held Saturday on the familiar street routes in Ripon.

“We want to get the word out that we’re here and we’re local,” Dineen Goodwin said.

She and her husband, Aaron Goodwin, are owners of the Independent Women’s Football League franchise, with the Maniax playing their home games at nearby Modesto Christian High.

Players on the 42-member roster are home grown, coming from Modesto, Tracy and Manteca.

Included is Dineen Goodwin, who is a 1983 graduate of East Union High. Aaron Goodwin also grew up in Manteca. He’s a 1986 graduate of Manteca High.

Members of the Maniax, in their first-ever parade appearance, came dressed in full gear for the parade, greeting community members along with guests.

Soroptimist International of Ripon was honored at this year’s event. The theme was “Celebrating 18 years of Community Service,” with Judy Tvedt serving as grand marshal.

Prior to the parade, the Aahmes Temple Shrine’s Clown Unit of Livermore experienced some car trouble.

While no laughing matter, the likes of “Pickles,” “Klump,” “Bows,” “Wishbone,” “Chippie,” “Fez-head,” and “Gee Whiz” – those were all clown names adopted by these Shriners – did have a few chuckles at the expense of their disabled vehicle.

“How many clowns does it take to fix a car?” Pickles asked.

The show did go on as the clowns were able to promote the hospital program specifically for children during their annual appearance.

“We’ve been doing this parade for a number of years,” Pickles said.
The three-day event is a product of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce.

Among the sponsors were Assist International, Brocchini Farms, Inc., NuCal Foods, Inc., Oak Valley Community Bank, NuLaid Foods, Inc., Tuff Boy Leasing, The Commons at Union Ranch, Black Oak Casino, Bank of the West, American AgCredit, Drafting & Designs Services, Neenah Paper, FR, LLC, McManis Family Vineyards, Alfred Matthews Dealership, American Legion Auxiliary Post 190.

Parade participants also included Ripon High, Ripon Christian, Modesto Christian and Jefferson Wildcat marching bands, Valley PT Cruisers, Van Groningen & Sons, Ripon FFA, Ripon Boys Scout Pack 414, Golden Gate Nut Co., Ripon FFA, Ripon 4-H Club, Jack Rabbit “Jack Runner,” San Joaquin County Library, Ripon Police Pipe Band, Calvary Church, Brad Carey Racing, Starbucks Coffee, South San Joaquin Irrigation District, Ripon Aquatics, and Ripon Girls Scout troops No. 2128 and No. 729, to name a few.

Over 10,000 people lined Ripon’s streets for the annual procession.