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Food, folks & fun
Two-pronged Taste of Ripon a success
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Ripon Chamber President Tamra Spade enters one of the many shops taking part in the Thursday night wine stroll. Coming in the door is chamber staffer Dawn Ribiero. - photo by GLENN KAHL/ The Bulletin

The rain stopped, the clouds parted and the annual “Taste of Ripon” went on Thursday night without a snag from the center of the downtown business district to the Schemper’s Hardware Shopping Center at Wilma Avenue and Main Street.
The crowd was cheerie with a collective spirit of one big family where no one was out of line as they marched hand in hand with their wine glasses getting sumptuous finger foods in every shop they visited.
The Schemper’s center is celebrating its 10th year in its current location as are many of the adjacent shops.  Owner Ward Schemper had a 30X40 foot tent erected in his parking lot so all could be together as part of the wine stroll that included Save Mart Market and four wineries including Lucca and McManis wineries of Ripon.  Also under the tent were Ripon Café, Oak Valley Community Bank, , Dean Uecker Insurance, Round Table Pizza and All Glam’d Up salon.
Other shops open for the Taste of Ripon included A Matter of Taste, Almond Blossom Optometry, American Legion Post 190 Bugbee Veterans Center, Bank of Stockton, Bank of the West, Barbara’s, Boutique Couture, Burgess Baking Company, Clarence Smit Museum, Debbie’s Pet Grooming, Divine Salon and Spa, Fitness Evolution, Johnny’s Plumbing, Magpie Antiques, Main Street Floral, Natural Path Wellness, One Eleven Boutique, Releve, Re/Max Executive/Ability Mortgage, Ripon Free Methodist Church, Ripon Jewelers, Ripon Roadhouse, Sana Food Mart and Tri-Valley Lending.
Shuttle buses carried the small groups from Wilma Avenue on the west to Stockton Avenue on the east as Christmas music was heard throughout the community.  One of the standouts was  the Divine Salon and Spa where owners Heather Hernandez and Pam Baugh had their staff members dressed in Christmas costumes – including the “Grinch” who stole the show in hosting the event with his green rubber face mask and costume.
Outside was a snow machine that created a snowfall for the visitors who were walking through their front door to find exceptional decorations – some attempting to catch the drifting “snow” in their mouths finding it was really soap.
Six staffers at Bank of Stockton welcomed those off the street with an array of food and drink that included small steak sandwiches, cookies and small pumpkin pie bar squares that folks were saying melted in their mouths.

To contact Glenn Kahl email