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Ripon church event starts Friday
St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church treasurer George Benjamin looks over the items that will be part of the Egyptian bazaar for the three-day St. Mark Egyptian Festival that starts Friday at the Ripon church. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Ripon will celebrate its big event of the year.
The three-day Egyptian Festival ’16 event begins  Friday, Oct. 14, at the church located at 315 S. Orange Ave.
“We’ll have people coming from all over,” said George Benjamin, who is the treasurer at St. Mark’s. “They’ll come from San Francisco and the Bay Area.”
The admission-free festival will again have live music and an Egyptian cuisine featuring kebabs, gyros, sweet treats and more.
Every hour will be a tour of the church.
“It’s (setup) like the Orthodox churches were over 2,000 years ago,” said Benjamin, who noted that St. Mark’s has been at its current location since January 2001. “Everything inside is from Egypt.”
Included are the stained glass windows and the series of paintings in handmade picture frames that tells the story of Jesus, from his birth, life, death and resurrection.
St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church is made up of folks from Manteca, Lathrop, Stockton, and Ripon. “We have about 40 families,” said Benjamin.
He added that many of them as well as others will be volunteering their time for the festival.
Other attractions include the Pharaoh Bazaar boutique featuring traditional garb and apparel, and the Coptic Book Store and the Nefertiti Gallery, where visitors can pick up souvenirs and other keepsake items.
Festivities will take place indoor and outdoor in the church grounds.
Games for children will be available along with henna tattoos and face painting.
Those attending can also have fun with Pharaoh Photo Studio or enter into a drawing for prizes.
The festival hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 14), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 15) and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 16).
For more information, call 925.357.7555 or 209.599.3310.