LATHROP – It isn’t necessarily the events themselves that impress Gabe Goulart.
As Lathrop’s Recreation Supervisor, he sees examples of people coming together to achieve a common goal on a regular basis.
But when it comes to the planning of Lathrop’s annual birthday celebration – the monster, multiple-day bash that draws thousands and provides a unique glimpse into the fabric of the community – Goulart sees the efforts of those that pull together to help make the event a reality and marvels at their dedication.
That’s what impresses him.
“It’s a lot of hard work but it’s the community that tackles it and presents something that is low or no-cost for everybody to come out and enjoy,” he said. “A lot of cities do things like this, but basically this is a free event for our residents. In a day and age when you have to be wary about the discretionary cash that you spend, I think it’s important to see things like this.
“And you see the same people putting these things together – the people from the Mayor’s committee and the other committees that are so active in the community. It’s a way of having dialogue with community members that want to be involved and the staff helping help them shape that vision. It’s kind of the community putting this on for themselves.”
The weekend event – which begins on Saturday, June 29 – will include a softball tournament, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a 5K run, a talent competition and a community festival where vendors will provide their wares for those that appreciate the fair-like atmosphere.
There will be a cricket demonstration at Mossdale Landing Community Park. There will be family-friendly games and attractions.
And nearly all of it will, according to Parks and Recreation Administrator Kyle Dowley, be free.
The weekend will culminate with a fireworks display Monday evening after the sun goes down – independent of the weekend festival in both funding and scheduling. It will and mark the start of the weeklong lead-up to the Fourth of July holiday where residents typically purchase their own fireworks for driveway and sidewalk displays of their own.
Commemorating the city’s incorporation, however, will be a birthday party all its own.
“Our whole idea is to feature ideas that will bring people out to the parks over the weekend,” Dowley said. “It gives the community something to do – a place to come out and socialize – and allows people to come out and see what exactly what the event has to offer.”
The event kicks off at Valverde Park on Saturday, June 29 at 9 p.m. with a community softball tournament. Events continue throughout the day and will include a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and a talent competition. Things pick back up again on Sunday at Mossdale Landing Community Park with the Lathrop 5K Levee Run and Walk. The event begins at 8 a.m., and registration – which will be accepted the day of the event – begins at 6:30 a.m. The softball and 3-on-3 finals will both be held on Sunday, and a cricket match and demonstration will also be held.
For additional information about the event visit the City of Lathrop’s website at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us or call (209) 941-7200.