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10,000 expected at low-key community festival
The pavilion stage is where the entertainment takes place today during the Escalon Park Fete at Main Street Park in Escalon. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: Escalon Park Fete
• WHERE: Downtown Escalon, 10 miles east of Manteca on Highway 120
• COST: Admission is free
• EVENTS: Kids’ carnival and vendor booths open at 1 0 a.m., the parade is at 10:30 a.m., and the Dennis Borba Invitational International Professional Bull Riding Show is at 6 p.m. (Admission to  the bull riding show is $15 for ages 11 to adult, $5 for ages 5 to 11, and ages 4 and under are free.) Music today includes Matt Vaughn at 1 p.m., Better Left Said at 2 p.m., Adventurous Type at 3 p.m., Rough Edges at 5 p.m., Tail Lights at 7 p.m., and Jukebox Heroes at 9 p.m.

ESCALON – Main Street Park might be the place to be this weekend.

According to the Escalon Chamber of Commerce, the Park Fete is expected to attract 10,000 people from throughout the area. The two-day community festival sponsored by the Escalon Lions Club and Escalon Premier Brands concludes today.

“We’re hoping to get more out here, especially with this weather,” said Chamber Treasurer Annie Gallagher, who was enjoying the unseasonably mid-70s cool temperatures at the cozy downtown park on Friday. “It’s almost perfect.”

She along with Chamber President Pat Brown and Chamber Vice President Judy Rigby were among those operating the Chamber booth. Up for grabs were plenty of home-grown products, including canned goods, olive oil (Bava Family Oil), a gift certificate for free storage space (Stor Kwik) and a gift certificate for free gasoline (Wright’s Petroleum). All it took was 25 cents and a spin of the wheel.

Park Fete offers plenty of vendor booths, including those benefiting the non-profit organizations.

Trinity Church, for one, was preparing tri-tip beef, linguisa, and hot dogs on the grill. Proceeds will go to men’s ministry, women’s ministry and youth ministry programs, according to Pastor Jim Davis.

“We do OK (at Park Fete),” he said. “We always look forward to this event.”

If there’s a must-try item at the Trinity Church booth it’s the seasoned potatoes.

“It’s cooked like French fries but with the (potato) skin and our special secret seasoning,” Davis said.

Perhaps one of the biggest supporters of Park Fete is the South San Joaquin Irrigation District.

“We use it as an outreach to educate folks about our services,” said SSJID community coordinator Troylene Sayler.

SSJID officials are offering free goodie bags for those stopping by their information booth.

Today, the vendor booths along with the Kiddie Karnival will open at 10 a.m.

Park Fete also has live music, a parade (10:30), a Stick Horse Rodeo for children age 4-7 (11 o’clock) and a Horse Shoe tournament (noon).

But before that, breakfast will be served at the Masonic Hall from 7 to 11 a.m.

Music at the park pavilion includes Matt Vaughan (1-2 p.m.), Better Left Said (2-3 o’clock), Adventurous Type (3-4:30), Rough Edges (5-6:30), Tail Lights (7-8:30), and Jukebox Heroes (9-11 o’clock).

For some, Park Fete is the highlight of the summer in Escalon. Just ask Justin Stroud and Brandon Krowell.

“(Main Street) is usually jam-packed with people,” said Krowell, who is an incoming sophomore at Escalon High.

Added Stroud: “This is the place to be in the summer.”