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Creedence Clearwater playing in Lathrop?
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Creedence Clearwater Revival may have been stuck in Lodi but Ron and Susan Dell’Osso hope they will go hog wild for Lathrop.

The husband-wife team that brought Northern California the state’s most successful corn maze, introduced the world to pumpkin blasters, organizes mud runs, and made it possible to go snow tubing and ice skating in the valley each December is now working to bring large outdoor concerts to Lathrop.

And what better way to get things rolling than trying to book their favorite band?

While booking CC&R is on their wish list, given what the couple has done in the past 19 years there is little doubt they will make that happen — and then some.

They plan to open the Northern San Joaquin Valley’s biggest concert venue — it can accommodate 25,000 people — as well as festival grounds next June with a Bacon Festival. The partner in the venture is Bill Andreetta of Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats — the West Coast’s premier bacon processor that is preparing to increase its Manteca plant space on West Yosemite Avenue by 65 percent.

One more name is needed on a contract to land one of the biggest names in the current crop of popular TV cooking shows to offer cooking demonstrations over the course of the two-day event. They also plan to christen the concert stage during the festival as well.

And, yes, they plan to go hog wild. Besides booking food vendors offering everything bacon, plans are in the works for FFA chapters in the region to enter dressed pgs for costume contest, a sooie calling contest, and more. You might see pig races, greased pig contests, and pig themed games.

Who knows, they might even repurpose ATMs on site as “piggybanks” for festival goers to access their bank accounts.

Given Ron’s imagination and the fact the third generation Lathrop farmer is a big kid at heart you will probably be amazed at what he can come up with.

The entire idea for the extremely popular pumpkin blasters — bazooka-style devices that hurl miniature gourds at speeds in excess of 100 mph at targets ranging from metal pumpkin cutouts to junked vehicles — came about one Christmas season when Ron was puttering around the barn and was thinking about how his mom never got him the BB gun he wanted for Christmas as a young boy.

He started fashioning pumpkin launchers out of PVC pipe and such. Actually he didn’t settle on mini pumpkins to shoot until trying various fruit. Since it was winter and there were not small gourds available, he headed to Costco and got a couple of cases of ammo — oranges.

His first launch of an orange was a big surprise. It went sailing from the launch point at the four silos near the Dell’Osso home eastward until it splattered on the side of a semi-truck heading south on Interstate 5. For obvious reasons they never launched an orange in that direction again.

The pumpkin blasters are back in operation this Saturday when the 19th annual Pumpkin Maze opens for a month-long run through Halloween at Dell’Osso Farms.

What’s next for Ron?  Here’s a hint: As a kid he used to watch Tarzan movies on Saturday mornings before they headed out to the farm and river to play.

Work is  now underway on a Tom Sawyer style adventure island where kids will eventually be able to crawl through tunnels, climb in tree houses, swing from trees and do everything kids used to do,

The island, which is surrounded on three sides by water, could one day host a unique regatta competition —people racing in hallowed out giant gourds. The waterway would also be conducive for Tom Sawyer style raft racing.

And if the man who has created an agricultural version of Disneyland does manage to book CC&R you can bet he’ll make sure they play “Suzie Q” in honor of his bride.