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Balloons returning to Ripons skies
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Soaring Over Ripon – Labor Day’s hot air balloon and kite festival – is set for a two-day run Sept. 2-3 at Mistlin Sports Park on River Road at Jack Tone Road. It is an event that features balloon launches and a tethered balloon experience for the young and young at heart.
The event is sponsored by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  Jennifer Sanguinetti is serving as the lead coordinator.
Fun runs threading through historic Ripon include the 5K and 10K events set for 7:30 a.m.  The 3K Family Fun Run with a jog and walk, with participants being active as families, is scheduled for 8 a.m. Strollers are also welcome as it is not a competitive event. The two-mile “toddler dash” begins at 9 and is billed as a “quick jaunt” with children receiving a toy at the finish line for participating.
The Air George air ambulance helicopter from the Madera Children’s Hospital that also serves the Modesto satellite location will be on hand for closeup inspection by children and parents alike.  Skydivers will be landing at the park as well.  There will also be a jet flyover, clowns, musical entertainment and a carnival along with vendors.
The two days will begin with a pancake breakfast under the direction of Manteca’s Jeff Leotard of Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Manteca and Ripon who recently took over the restaurant’s Ripon location on West Main Street.  Also expected to arrive early on the grounds is Mistlin Sports Park benefactor, Tony Mistlin, who made the park a reality.
The festival is set to open at 6 a.m. and run until 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday with a free toy giveaway and kite show.  Valley Children’s Satellite facility, being built on Pelandale Avenue in Modesto, will benefit from the proceeds.
Race registration at the park and package pick-up is set for 6:30 a.m.
Those wishing to witness the balloons being inflated should arrive by dawn both mornings.  The balloons usually soar off to the southeast in a light wind that will take them into the Salida and rural Modesto areas. Timing for the 5K and 10K events provided by On Your Mark Timing Co.
Fees at the time of registration include the Toddler Dash, $10; 3K Children Fun Run, $20; 5K Run, $25 and the 10K Run, $35. T-shirt sizes range from youth small to adult extra-large.  Completed registration and waivers can be mailed to the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, 929 West Main Street, Ripon, CA, 95366.  Checks may be made payable to the Ripon Chamber of Commerce.  Participants are urged to register early to guarantee the availability of a shirt of their size.  Free parking will be available with the showing of the participant’s bid number.
Pre-packet pickups will be available Thursday, Aug. 31, from noon until 4 p.m. at the chamber office.
To register online go to and search for “Soaring over Ripon.”  Registration forms may also be picked up at the chamber of commerce office in Ripon.
The sponsors include Gallo Family Vineyards, Producers Dairy, 7-Up, Marcia Hermann Design, Van Groningen & Sons, Taco Bell Live Mas, On Your Mark Timing Co., Fleet Feet Sports and KAT 103. 
Help support Manteca
Police K-9 unit while
enjoying a taco dinner
The American Legion Post 249 along with the Kiwanis Club of Manteca are supporting the Manteca Police Canine Unit with chicken tacos, rice, beans, chips, salsa and drink on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the post home at 220 East Yosemite Ave. in downtown Manteca from 1 to 4 p.m. Dinner tickets are for sale at $15 each. 
Entertainment at the Post will feature Mary Elizabeth Boutte.
Past fund raisers in the community for the police canines have purchased bullet proof vests and cooling jackets for the dogs when on duty.
For tickets call Elizabeth Solis at 450-5979 or Art Smith at 482-5571, Ben Cantu at 679-5204 or George Montross 456-7389. 
Raffle prizes will also be offered at the dinner. 

Ripon Chamber mixer
set for this Thursday
 A Ripon Chamber of Commerce mixer is set for Thursday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. at the State Farm insurance office of Dean Uecker and co-hosted by Doug Wesson of the adjacent Wesson Hearing Aid company in the 1400 block of West Main Street in Ripon.
Uecker is currently the mayor of the city of Ripon.  Wesson has offices in both Ripon and Manteca to serve his clientele.

To contact Glenn Kahl email