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Chamber sparks Manteca holiday magic
Doctors Hospital of Mantecas entry in last years holiday parade. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Joann Beattie is among those who are behind the magic of Manteca’s Twilight Holiday parade set for Saturday, Dec. 5, at 5 p.m. in downtown Manteca.
The parade has been the Manteca Chamber of Commerce’s gift to Manteca for more than 40 years. It is being held this year in conjunction with the second annual Holiday Street Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on South Grant Street off East Yosemite Avenue.
Street fair booths are available for $200 for food, $125 for commercial, and $75 for crafts or non-profits. For information call 823.6121 or go on line at
When Beattie accepted the position as the Executive Director for the Manteca Chamber of Commerce, her primary goal was to grow the chamber in such a way that business owners could better connect with each other as well as with the members of the community through various activities and events.  Although the nature of this goal is an ongoing process, now with nearly two years under her belt, Beattie is achieving her goal and enjoying the fruits of her labor.
Adding over one 100 new members since stepping into the Director position,  Beattie continually creates networking opportunities through activities such as weekly chamber coffees where business owners interact with each other, along with a bulletin board listed on the chamber website which allows members to post their business news as well as job positions they may have available. A regular email (e-blasts) is also used as a way to help members learn more about each other, their businesses and what they have to offer the community. 
Being a part of making the connection and growth happen is why Beattie loves her job at the Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m really excited about the growth we are having,” she said. “That’s what I really wanted.  Every Wednesday at our chamber coffees we are now averaging 50 to 60 people and it’s become a really good source for networking and helping members grow their business.
Being able to implement her ideas for business members and the community as a whole has become one of the best perks of her position. 
“Of course I run things by the board but they are just so supportive,” she noted. “They help me with whatever I need and they like my ideas.  It’s wonderful and they are phenomenal.”
One of the many wonderful community-minded ideas Beattie was able to put into action last year was the Holiday Street Fair which was held during the day prior to the Holiday Parade.
Having great success its first year, members of the community will once again get to enjoy the Holiday Street Fair this year.  During the day, visitors will enjoy an array of craft booths located on South Grant St. along with face painting, games, rides, a Mariachi band playing at the American Legion Hall and all sorts of food vendors who plan to stay open during the light parade as well, which will begin at 5p.m.  on Yosemite Ave. at the railroad tracks and end at Garfield Ave. 
This year marks the 43rd Annual Manteca Holiday Light Parade. The theme will be Away in the Manger and will include decorative floats, bright lights, school bands, old-school cars, horse drawn vehicles and of course every child’s favorite—Santa Clause.  The evening will conclude at the American Legion Hall where judges will distribute various awards.
From chamber coffees, to street fairs and holiday parades with floats and good Ole Saint Nick,  Beattie and the Chamber of Commerce work to keep this family friendly community connected and strong.