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St. Anthony’s harvest festival is Sept. 13-15
harvest festival

Manteca’s widely attended food, fun, and family community celebration for well over half a century is taking place in about two weeks.

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church is again staging its largest fund-raiser of the year, the annual Harvest Festival, with the three-day event starting Friday, Sept. 13, to Sunday, Sept. 15.

“We’re encouraging all families to come out,” said Jennifer Yeszin who, with husband Craig, are chairing the festival for the third year in a row this year.

Friday’s attractions will begin with a sit-down dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the gym. Dinner tickets are $20 each, and free to those who purchase a $100 ticket for the tent raffle. The menu will consist of pork loin, beans, green salad, and choice of beverage. The drawing for the annual tent raffle also will take place that evening with $10,000 as the grand prize. Cash awards will also go the other prizes — $2,000 for second; $1,000 for the third, fourth and fifth winners; $500 each for the sixth, seventh, and eighth place winners; and, $250 for each of the ninth to 13th ticket holders.

Money raised from this special drawing will cover the cost of the professionally installed tents over the festival area on the parish grounds.

Reminder to the cash winners: they will be responsible for all applicable taxes.

Those who want to purchase a ticket for this drawing are encouraged to get them as early as possible; only 500 of these are being sold. They may be purchased in the parish office located in the building on the west side of the church on East North Street during regular business hours, at the St. Anthony’s School office, or after the wekend Masses. Credit card, cash, or check payments are accepted.

The drawing will be held following the Friday night dinner on the main stage of the festival where various entertainment numbers are on tap. These include a family karaoke, live band performances featuring 1970s and ‘80s rock hits by local talents.

Winners need not be present to win at the drawing.

More of the same plus all of the regular festival features such as food and game booths, beer garden, and auctions await visitors on Saturday and Sunday. A talent show “like the America Got Talent” popular television program will be one of the attractions on Saturday, Yeszin said. Participants may be individuals or a group, and there will be judges to select the winners, she said.

The live and silent auctions, popular perennial harvest festival offerings, will take place on Sunday starting at 1:30 p.m.

In addition to the cash drawings, the annual raffle featuring donated prizes will be held throughout the festival as well.

For those with a yen for ethnic foods such as Filipino egg rolls and Mexican tacos, this is the place to go that weekend. The usual popular American food fare such as hot dogs and pizza will be on sale as well.

Joining the food booths will be the farmer’s market where corn, watermelon and fresh vegetables and fruits will be offered, children’s game booths such as Spill the Milk, Ring Toss, and a variety of kids’ carnival games, a used-book sale, and a beer garden which will be open only to those age 21 and older.

The festival drawing at a $1 a ticket, available for purchase during the festival, will be drawn throughout both weekend days.

“We’re still looking for donated items” to give away as prizes, Yeszin said. These include weekend vacations, certificates for business services, and the like. In previous festivals, computers, video games, armchairs, hay and live animals for slaughter were among the prizes donated.

Bring all donations to the church office, or call 209.823.7197 for more information.

The festival is open to the community. Entrances to the festival grounds will be manned by security guards. Admission is free.

There will be no outdoor Mass the weekend of the festival. All regularly scheduled Masses on the weekend will be held inside the church.

This is the only major fund-raiser sponsored by the church every year.

For other details about the festival, email