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Chamber maps way for Ripon to help lure visitors dollars
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The illustrations of the streets and landmarks on this map of Ripon may be reminiscent of that of a popular theme park.

Regardless, the Chamber of Commerce just received its bulk of the maps made possible by Jessica Coleman, president of Color the Skies – that’s the hot air balloon festival planned for Labor Day weekend 2014 – and the Chamber’s Danielle Pierce.

“We just got (the maps) on Friday and already people have been here to get one,” Chamber Executive Director Tamara Spade said on Monday.

She noted that the illustrations should give out of towners as well as locals some easy-to-follow listings and locations of the various businesses, services, restaurants, schools, parks, churches and landmarks in Ripon.

City of Ripon Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart and his wife, Janelle Zuidervaart, who is also the Chamber president, also helped out, making sure all streets were spelled correctly.

“This is more of a destination map rather than a street map,” said Pierce.

The map features the Historic Ripon arches in downtown along with the two signature water towers, including Mistlin Sports Park, site of the balloon festival and “Rise She Give Run” route. Proceeds from the Color the Skies events will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Central California along with youngsters in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

Cost for the maps came from paid advertisements coupled with coupled with donations from the Chamber and Color the Skies.

Spade and Laura Roots Spence, who serves as the Chamber’s event coordinator, indicated that this map will help those attending the Christmas Tree Lighting, Taste of Ripon, Almond Blossom Festival, and Main Street Day, for example, to find their way around town.

Spade was especially thrilled with the success of the recent Taste of Ripon, which brought in well over 400 including many visitors.

Elected leaders, meanwhile, would like to have the maps in place at new softball fields at the Mistlin Sports Complex.

 “The city is beginning to market the complex,” Mayor Chuck Winn said last week. “We’ve always planned for a kiosk at the complex with this type of map, and there could also be signs around the city.

“This map would be a good building block.”

Coleman ordered 15,000 maps, in which the Chamber received 5,000 to distribute, and Color the Skies will have 5,000 to pass out.