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2-day St. Anthonys event this weekend
Harvest Festival volunteer Pat Trone shows off the George Perry theme basket, one of several theme baskets that will be offered at the silent auction both days. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

For family fun, food and a slew of opportunities to snag a prize or an auction deal to bring home, head out to the annual St. Anthony Harvest Festival this Saturday and Sunday.

The tents over the festival fairgrounds are already up, thanks to the crew of faithful volunteers headed by parishioner Leo DeGroot who make this happen every year days before the weekend extravaganza.

Other volunteer groups are likewise finalizing preparations for the auctions – both live and silent – and the raffles that will be taking place both days of the festival. The silent auction will be conducted inside the gym both days. The live auction, one of the festival’s longstanding traditions, will be held outdoors starting at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday following the 10:30 a.m. concelebrated Mass on the festival grounds. Craig Yeszin, a St. Anthony School parent and a business owner in Tracy, is coordinating this year’s live auction.

Among the auction items are several dozen theme baskets. They include a George Perry watermelon basket, so named because the contents include fresh watermelons from Perry & Sons in Manteca, an Italian basket that includes pasta bowls, wine, and plates, an Elvis Presley-themed basket with various memorabilia featuring the late singer; a basket filled with everything one needs for Christmas baking, and many more. Bicycles with trainer wheels, one for a boy and the other for a girl, and an ornate metal garden bench courtesy of Dan and Judi DeRuyter are three of the big-ticket items that will be available for silent bidding as well.

The decades’ long attractions will be in place as usual. These include the many game booths for the entire family to enjoy, food booths that run the gamut from Filipino lumpia and pancit to Mexican tacos and Portuguese linguica, plus the ever popular Farmer’s Market and book sale. In one corner, for adults only, will be the usual Beer Garden.

For those who are nostalgic about the bingo games that used to be hosted by St. Anthony’s School in the past, there will be bingo games conducted in the gym both days of the festival both Saturday and Sunday.

As with previous years, souvenirs like shirts, grocery tote bags, and bracelets bearing the theme of this year’s festival – One in Spirit, One in the Lord – are now on sale at the church office at 531 E. North St.; however, they will be available also both days of the festival. The T-shirts are priced according to sizes. They are available in kids’ sizes as well as adult sizes up to XXL. The tote bags are $3 apiece.

The family-oriented fun-filled festival is open to the public; one does not have to be a member of the parish to attend. Admission is free.

Festival hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

The church is located on the corner of E. Fremont Avenue and E. North St. The festival grounds are on the corner of E. Fremont Avenue and Sutter Street.