Putting on Manteca’s biggest bash of the year — the annual Sunrise Kiwanis Manteca Pumpkin Fair that attracts over 30,000 people to downtown — takes a small army of volunteers to stage.
For the past five years the effort has been overseen by Carol Davis, the retired Give Every Child a Chance executive director who serves as the Pumpkin Fair chair. Planning is a year round endeavor but the biggest work starts at 3 a.m. the first day of the event when volunteers help direct upwards of 150 vendors to their spots in downtown to set up to days of family fun on Saturday, Oct. 6, and Sunday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Seeing all the people come out and enjoying themselves as a community makes it worthwhile for me,” Davis said.
As for her “must visit” booth it is the homemade pumpkin bread.
“It’s delicious,” Davis said.
She noted the recipe has been handed down over the years to various non-profits from the Federated Women’s Club of Manteca that had baked and sold the pumpkin dessert for decades. Last year it was the fundraiser for the Be.Tech Academy Key Club that Davis oversees as an advisor. This year the bread is being made from scratch by the Be.Tech culinary arts program.
New this year is a “home grown” pumpkin growing contest 181 people entered this summer. The popular free Saturday movie night is back with “Hocus Pocus” being the featured film.
There’s main stage and community stage entertainment, a car show on Sunday, kiddie rides, food vendors, pumpkin games for kids, pumpkin sales and a maximum of 150 vendors.
The Pumpkin Fair carnival will take place, Thursday, Oct. 4, through Sunday, Oct. 7, at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley between JC Penney and the fitness club. There is a new carnival operator this year that will offer different rides.
This is the 47th anniversary of the initial pumpkin fair and the 35th annual version staged by the Sunrise Kiwanis.
Vendor booth is still available but it is capped at 150. There are discounted rates for non-profits as well as legitimate arts and crafts vendors. The arts and crafters will again be clustered along Maple Avenue.
“We will sell space until we run out,” Davis said.
Vendor information is available at www.mantecapumpkinfair.org