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Forecast: Fair fun, fair skies
Downtown event continues today
Maple Avenue was jammed with people during the opening day of the street fair on Saturday. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: 15th annual Crossroads of California Street Fair
• WHERE: Downtown Manteca
• WHEN: Today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ruth Kelley was all smiles as she made her way down Yosemite Avenue along downtown Manteca on Saturday morning with her grandson Matthew in tow.

With the sun finally started to peek through the overcast sky, Kelley was eager to find her way over to the bounce house and the children’s play area of the 15th annual Crossroads Street Faire.

She was also looking forward to browsing the numerous crafts booths that dotted the downtown streets.

“We come to this every year, and right now we’re looking for a place that Matthew can go have fun,” said Kelley. “We’ve been here when it’s been blistering hot, and we’ve been here when it’s been rainy and windy. Right now the weather is perfect, and that’s makes for such a good time.”

Thousands of people flooded downtown Manteca Saturday for the first day of the two-day street festival – which continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The brisk early morning weather scared off some of the customers, said vendor Tony Hamberg, but with the sun coming out at around noon and Sunday’s weather expected to be sunny all day, he had high hopes that his sales and the overall attendance would rebound.

“This is typically one of the better weekends that we have,” said Hamberg – who sells tin signs and themed antennae-like balls at his booth. “I do this every weekend, and this is the first one in a month that hasn’t been rainy and windy and miserable. The sun’s coming out now, so hopefully things will pick up.”

Manteca resident John Gross took his time browsing the booths in front of Library Park but also showed his gratitude for what was shaping up to be a much nicer weekend that what organizers and vendors had to deal with last year.

“We enjoy doing this just to get out and walk around and exercise,” Gross said. “This is a really nice break in the weather and it feels great to be out here.”

Volunteers took to the streets at 3:30 a.m. Saturday to prepare the check-in for the hundreds of vendors that would line each and every one of Manteca’s downtown streets by the time the fair began at 10 a.m.

Getting there early before the crowd got out of control was the plan of attack for Crystal Downs, who pushed her daughter in a stroller as she browsed the booths.

“I love coming here, but pushing a toddler in a stroller can be chore when it gets packed in the afternoon,” she said. “It’s kind of chilly, but nothing that a sweatshirt can’t take care of. I’m just glad it’s dry and I get the chance to do all of my shopping early this year.”

Today’s Library Park Gazebo Stage entertainment line-up includes High Voltage at 10:30 a.m.; Brieanne Jansen at 11 a.m.; Ben Tolman at 11:30 a.m.; Ben Tolman at noon; Maddy at 12:30p.m.; Early Light at 1 p.m.; Carbon Canvas at 1:30 p.m.; J.D. Greet at 2 p.m.; Neon Ink at 2:30 p.m.; Vintage Cruisers at 3 p.m.; Zephyr at 3:30 p.m.;  Roundhouse Chuck at 4 p.m.; and Lelle Lewis at 4:30 p.m.