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Carnival gets jump on street fair
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Linda Davisson of the California Carnival Co. readies some balloons for a midway game Friday afternoon in the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley parking lot. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL/ The Bulletin

Sara Lopez didn’t quite know what she was going to do with her kids on Friday afternoon.
Her plans on going to the park were dashed with the rainstorm that rolled across Northern California, and when her daughter brought back a perfect score on a school report she knew she had to do something.
It wasn’t until she was on her way to Modesto to go shopping at Toys R Us that she saw the perfect alternative – the carnival in the parking lot of the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley.
“We already had umbrellas in the car when we went to leave and I figured that a little bit of rain never hurt anybody,” Lopez said on Friday at the opening of what will be a two-weekend run for the Sacramento-based California Carnival Co. in conjunction with the annual Crossroads Street Fair. “And when you have a car full of kids and you pass by, it’s hard to say no to something like this.”
The carnival, which is being run by the same company that has the contract for both the Street Fair and the Pumpkin Festival as well as being the ride provider for the Almond Blossom Festival in Ripon, will run today from noon until 11 p.m., and on Sunday from noon until 10 p.m. After two days off, it will return next week for its run in conjunction with the Manteca Convention and Visitor’s Bureau event that draws crafters and vendors from throughout Northern California and the West and serves as one of the city’s largest public events.
Carnival hours next week are Wednesday, March 29, and Thursday, Mach 30, the carnival will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Hours on Friday, March 31, are 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, April 1, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, April 2, from noon to 10 p.m.
The kickoff event for the street fair takes place Friday, March 31, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Library Park. It includes live music as well as wine and craft beer tasting among other attractions.
The actual street fair takes place along downtown streets Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking is free.
It also features entertainment in Wilson Park behind the post office and across from the library as well as at the Library Park gazebo stage.
How successful the street fair is typically depends on the weather.
Current forecasts for Manteca call for rain on Monday – one of the two days that the carnival is set to be closed before opening up next week for the fair run – and spring like conditions reaching 80 degrees by April 2, the last day of the weekend-long event.
The rain on Friday was enough to keep Mark Douglas, a local father of two, away until Sunday when he will be able to come back with his family.
“We wanted to come down because my daughter loves the Ferris Wheel they have but she doesn’t want to ride it in the rain so it looks like we’re going to have to come back,” he said. “The good thing about the first day is there typically aren’t big crowds, but the rain is kind of a no-go for us, which isn’t a big deal – we’ll be back.
“It’s one of the cleaner carnivals around here and it’s nice not having to drive to the Bay Area to do something fun with the whole family. “
For additional information about the carnival, including the availability of discounted presale ride passes, contact the Manteca Convention and Visitors Bureau at 209.823.7229.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.