Stockton boasts about asparagus.
Now Manteca has decided to celebrate melons.
The Manteca Chamber of the Commerce — on the heels of one of their most successful street fairs ever — is switching the annual event to the first weekend of June going forward.
One of the reasons is the resounding success of the addition of the watermelon component made possible by the pandemic that forced postponing the Crossroads Street Fair held the first week of April both last year and this year.
“We definitely want to build on the watermelon festival,” noted chamber executive director Joann Beattie.
She noted the watermelon contests for kids were well-received by fairgoers.
Perhaps more important Beattie noted people liked the date this year — June 5-6 — that served as an unofficial kick-off to summer.
Beattie said a number of vendors sold out this year and favor the switch going forward to the first week of June.
At the same time the first week of April has been problematic with winds often playing havoc as well as rain.
By the chamber opting to build future street fairs around the watermelon festival, it will mean Manteca’s two largest community events on the calendar — the Crossroads Street Fair and the Sunrise Kiwanis Manteca Pumpkin Fair the first weekend in October — will celebrate what comes out of the fields around Manteca.
The Manteca area grows almost 80 percent of all the commercially sold pumpkins in California. Brokers in the area — led by George Perry & Sons that is the largest mover of melons on the West Coast — also draw extensively from fields around Manteca.
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