The Fourth pf July aerial fireworks display may have been a dud but as a result Christmas may sparkle in Manteca.
The City of Manteca is taking the $12,000 refund it received after the Independence Day display had to be stopped a third way into the show due to a launch site accident and partnering with the Manteca Chamber of Commerce to bring an ice skating rink to Library Park in downtown as part of an expanded municipal Christmas celebration.
Chamber Executive Director Joann Beattie said the celebration dubbed “Christmas in the Park” will be conducted in conjunction with the traditional tree lighting ceremony at the Civic Center that’s followed with a Christmas program at the Manteca Senior Center and the chamber’s annual downtown holiday parade.
“If it is successful we plan to take the money we earn this year and fund it for next year,” Beattie said, noting the city funding is intended to be a one-time endeavor made possible by the fireworks mishap.
Beattie is confident the expanded yuletide event will more than make up for the disappointment that thousands had who were unable to see a full fireworks show on the Fourth of July.
The rink would be open Friday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 10 p.m. and then all day on Saturday, Dec. 3, until 10 p.m. There would be food vendors on Dec. 2.
The Dec. 3 date would include arts and crafts vendor booths, a band, and carolers among other things. Beattie said church groups will be asked to create Christmas scenes to decorate the park. There also are plans for a Christmas tree decorating contest as well as “reindeer rides” in the form of ponies.
The Christmas tree decorating contest fees are $10 for a family tree, $20 for a commercial tree or scene and $15 for a non-profit tree or scene.
Early bird fees for booths paid by Nov. 10 are $200 for food, $150 for commercial, $75 for homemade crafts, and $50 for non-profits. The fees go up $25 after Nov. 10 for all booths except food booths that increase $50.
The parade’s theme this year is a Norman “Rock” well Christmas. The quotations marks are designed to have parade entrants think of traditional Christmas creations and ones that may be a taken off on the song “rocking Around the Christmas Tree.”
There is a $50 entry fee for the 44th annual holiday parade that starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, and follows a route through downtown along Yosemite Avenue.
For more information go to www.manteca.org or call the chamber at 823-6121.