Christmas at the Promenade this Friday and Saturday is surpassing San Joaquin County Health Department requirements to address COVID-19 related concerns.
“We have put a lot of money into making sure things are safe and so the community (can enjoy a traditional Christmas event),” noted Manteca Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joann Beattie.
The event that takes places on the corner of Atherton Drive and Union Road in The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley parking lot near JC Penney is this Friday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There are 47 vendors — primarily arts and crafts — along with food trucks. Given San Joaquin County has slipped back into the purple tier, the petting zoo and children’s rides have been dropped.
Santa will be there with a Plexiglas safety shield in place. There also will be decorated Christmas trees that are part of a contest you can vote on as your favorites.
The chamber besides meeting and exceeding county COVID-19 guidelines has obtained all required city permits.
To assure maximum separation, the chamber is securing off 87,000 square feet with a temporary fence.
Such an outdoor area under normal circumstances allow upwards of 6,000 people.
County pandemic guidelines now in affect based on 87,000 square feet would cap the number of attendees out at 25 percent or 1,500. The chamber — to assure maximum safety and maximum comfort of those attending — is capping the number of people allowed inside the fenced off area at 7 percent or 425 people at any given time.
Everyone entering must pass a touchless temperature check and be wearing a mask. It is mandatory the mask be on at all times inside the fence area except when eating or taking a sip of a drink.
Besides volunteers, the chamber has hired security — which is not a requirement — to make sure the mask mandate and social distancing are followed and to assure general overall safety.
There will be hand sanitizers at every booth, the entrance, and by the restrooms.
Due to the purple tier rules there will be no chairs or tables anywhere to sit down and eat items obtained from the food trucks.
Beattie noted the weather is cooperating based on the National Weather Service forecast. Both days will have clear skies with a high of 65 degrees. The Friday low is expected to drop to 34 degrees and the Saturday low to 35 degrees.
“By the time we wrap up each night it will still be in the 40s,” Beattie said.
Christmas parade is
set for Saturday, Dec. 12
There is still room for a few entries for the chamber’s twilight Christmas parade taking place at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley as well on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m.
The parade will use Perimeter Drive that encircles the shopping complex anchored by Bass Pro Shops. It is a bit longer than the traditional downtown route the chamber opted not to use this year as it would have had to been cancelled as it was impossible to enforce social distancing.
The more expansive setting at the Promenade along with the ability of people to watch from their vehicles if they wish makes social distancing possible.
Beattie said Orchard Valley is making sure bushes are trimmed along the route to allow for maximum sightlines. Volunteers will also help make social distancing can occur.
The entry fee is $50 for the parade themed “Home for the Holidays”. The entry form can be found at the chamber’s website at manteca.org.
Information on the parade or park event can be obtained by contacting Beattie at 209-823-6121 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry forms for the parade and Christmas in the Park can be downloaded from the chamber’s website at manteca.org.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com