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Lathrop youth showcase talents
Miss Harvest Festival Cecilia Fernandez, a senior at Lathrop High School, renders a melancholy song during the annual Youth Talent Show Tuesday night as part of the Lathrop Days Celebration this week. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO
LATHROP – Not all the stars were shining in the sky competing with the luminous moon Tuesday night, at least in Lathrop. A good number of them were inside the newly named Scott Brooks Gym in the Community Center delighting the audience there with lively dance and musical numbers performed by the city’s talented youth.

The event was the annual Youth Talent Show which is just one of the highlights of the week-long annual celebration of Lathrop Days at Valverde Park in Historic Lathrop.

While the evening was well attended, Diane Lazard, who chairs the Lathrop Celebration committee, noted that the attendance was somewhat smaller than that of the previous year. Still, she said that everyone who was there which included a number of families with young children, enjoyed the program.

Performances ran the gamut, from a member of the Youth Focus reading his own poetry and Kristina Candelaria doing an energetic song-and-dance number that included members of the audience, to San Joaquin Delta College student Sarah Bungcayao strumming a ukulele while singing a duet medley with Lathrop Youth Focus Ambassador alumnus Chris Navalta, and Joseph Widmer Jr. Elementary School seventh grader Kriszel Ramos who sang a Myley Cyrus number titled “When I Look at You.”

Joining Lazard in the audience were Lathrop Youth Focus director Anna Candelaria and Sabrina Nunes of the Lathrop Little League.

The cast of performers at the evening talent show included the following members of the Lathrop Youth Focus: Miss Lathrop Stephanie Quibin, Lathrop Ambassador Samuel Dacu, Miss Teen Lathrop Lacey, Lathrop Teen Ambassador Darren, Miss Holiday Fair Jenna Howard, Lathrop Holiday Fair Ambassador Jorvic Ramos, Miss Teen Holiday Fair Haley Nieves, Miss Harvest Festival Marissa Candelaria, and Lathrop Harvest Festival Ambassador Anthony Contreras. Grizele Ramos, Anna Candelaria’s co-director, was also one of the singers.

The Lathrop Days celebration was followed by the annual chili cook-off contest at the Lathrop Senior Center, and the Lions-Rotary softball challenge at Valverde Park.

More talented local residents will show off their musical skills this evening with the annual South County Idol Competition starting at 6 p.m. in the Community Center. It will be followed by the Movie in the Park program at 7:30 p.m. outside. Admission is free.

There’s more to come Saturday with several activities slated from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Valverde Park. They will include breakfast at the Senior Center and a parking lot sale, also at the Senior  Center, starting at 8 a.m. The second part of the South County Idol competition will begin at 3 p.m. in the Community  Center. Winners will receive cash prizes.