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Singers sought for 74th annual presentation
Singers that participated in a recent presentation of Handel’s “Messiah” at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Ripon. - photo by Bulletin file photo

It’s not yet Halloween and Thanksgiving is still a month away, but if you want to be part of the four biggest holiday traditions in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop — Christmas parades and a rich rendition of the “Messiah” — now is the time to start planning.

The 74th annual presentation of Handel’s “Messiah” takes place at the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, 517 Orange Ave., Ripon on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 3 p.m.

Rehearsals take place the next four Sundays — Nov. 3, 10, 17, and 24 — at the Ripon church.

All singers are welcome. The presentation is in its 74th season and is one of the oldest an longest running presentation of anything during the holiday season in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. They have what organizers refer to as “just regular singers” coming from many communities, including Manteca, Modesto, Sonora and Tuolumne City. New singers are encouraged to join the rehearsals and the presentation. 

The director is Bob De Ruiter, the organist Glenn De Jong, and the pianist Barbara Viss. If you have questions contact Nancy Vander Veen, 209-996-0468.

Manteca Chamber Christmas

 in the Park & holiday parade

The Manteca Chamber of Commerce is looking for participants for its 47th annual holiday twilight parade on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 5 p.m. in downtown Manteca as well as its Christmas in the Park event taking place Friday, Dec. 6, through Sunday, Dec. 8, at Woodward Park.

This year’s parade theme is “A Candyland Christmas”.

The closing date for entries is Monday, Nov. 26. The entry fee is $50. 

The new location for Christmas in the Park at Woodward Park will feature a snow play area, photos with Santa, carnival rides, food trucks, vendors, petting zoo, rock painting, children’s activities, a holiday cheer tent, Christmas tree decorating contest, and more. The Friday, Dec. 6, hours are 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Non-food vendor fees before Nov. 10 are $150 for a business booth/chamber member, $200 for a business booth/non-chamber member, $100 for homemade crafts/chamber member, $125 for homemade crafts/non-chamber member; $75 non-profit/chamber member, and $100 non-profit/non-chamber member. After Nov. 10 the fees go up $25.

Food booths for chamber members are $250 and $300 for non-chamber members. After Nov. 10 the fees go up $50.

The entry forms for the parade as well as vendors can be downloaded from the chamber site at

Ripon Chamber Christmas parade

The Ripon Chamber of Commerce Christmas Light Parade takes place on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. in downtown Ripon.

The theme is “Peace on Earth”.

Entry fees are $20 per single vehicle or $30 for two vehicles or more including horses.

The deadline for entries is Dec. 9.

Entry forms can be found at

City of Lathrop Christmas Parade

The City of Lathrop Christmas parade takes place Saturday, Dec. 14, at 11 a.m. starting at Fifth and J streets.

The theme is “The Music & Magic of Christmas”.

For entry information contact the Lathrop Community Center at (209) 941-7370.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email