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Lathrop celebrates city incorporation date
Becky Fields gets pieces of watermelon ready for residents. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

He stood all of four-feet tall, needing the help of a platform trailer to give him the stature necessary to attract the attention of the crowd.

And when “Gangnam Style,” the mega-hit by Korean rapper Psy, came on over the speakers, Isaiah Ramos did his best to keep those who had gathered nearby captivated.

People seemed unmoved after hearing the song over and over and over again.

But his dance moves – a dead-ringer for those of the Korean superstar – were enough to draw them in.

After breaking out into the trademark horse-style dance number, Ramos had people flooding to the front to capture him on their cameras and cell-phones. If he fumbled through a part it didn’t seem to matter – he gained the crowd back again when he spun in a circle and whipped his hand over his head.

Little did he know that what he was doing on the makeshift stage was a perfect symbol of why everybody was gathered at Mossdale Landing Community Park in the first place – celebrating Lathrop’s annual birthday and preserving the sense of community that has remained strong since even before the city incorporated in 1989.

“I think that it’s nice having something like this in our community,” Kynetta Spurell said. “It brings people together and gives them a chance to meet one another. It’s a good thing to have.”

Those that came out enjoyed free hot dogs courtesy of the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District – cooked up by the Lathrop-Manteca Firefighters Local 4317 – as well as complimentary watermelon.

A fireworks show paid for by the Lathrop Sunrise Rotary Club capped off the night.

Daniel Tran – Lathrop Youth Focus’ Lathrop City Ambassador – was one of the event’s emcees, and said that he sees value in something like Monday’s culminating festivities because of the strong sense of unity that it fosters.

The small-town feel, he says, is one of the things that enjoys about being a Lathrop resident, and Monday’s celebration reinforces that.

“It’s about unity and a chance for our community to come together,” Tran said. “I like the fact this is a small town, and that I get to know the people that live here. I get to actually be friends with them.

“That’s the best part.”