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Manteca parade offers Independence Day fun
Manteca Fire Department reserves cool down parade spectators along Main Street in what has become as Manteca Fourth of July tradition. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

It wasn’t exactly the fictional Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon Vacation.

Nor were they the actual Griswold family from the 1983 comedy about a cross country trip to Wally World gone awry.

But the Manteca Independence Day Parade entry of the Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis did evoke enough chuckles to fans of the movie, including the subtle touch of a dog leash dangling from the rear bumper of the old white station wagon with side wood paneling.

According to Brian Mills, parade chairman, his service organization had a little fun with this year’s parade theme, ‘Traveling the USA.’

Over 34 entries were involved in this annual Fourth of July event on Friday that once again ran along North Main Street to Center Street, terminating in front of the Manteca Public Library.

Featured were military vehicles, service veterans, vintage cars, tractors, and youth organizations, to name a few.

Co-sponsored by the City of Manteca and Sunrise Kiwanis, the parade also included several dignitaries riding in Cabral Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram vehicles.

For the Manteca Futbol Club, the Independence Day event meant World Cup soccer enthusiasm in addition to patriotic pride.

“A few of our Under-9 players got together the other day to watch the World Cup (on television),” said Marina Crain, who is a board member  of this local youth sports group with over 200 players, ranging from age 8 to 23.

About 40 players helped out with the parade float.

This marked the second year of the Manteca Futbol Club’s involvement with the parade.

“The kids were all excited,” Crain said. “I think the (parade) also brings awareness to our club.”

The Independence Day event brings awareness to the Temple of Sikh Manteca. This year, nearly 50 from the temple took part, including the select few who displayed the combat forms of the northwestern Indian martial arts of Gatka.

More importantly, the Sikhs enjoy displaying their patriotism at the parade. “We show our love for America,” said Jaspreet Singh, who is a Sikh teacher.

The parade, in addition, brought some awareness to Atlantah Hoge’s ‘Princess Party Fun.’

She came dressed in costume as Anna from Disney’s Frozen. Hoag was joined by Natalie Cervantes (Elsa from Frozen) and Jordann Maxin (Show White).

“We also had Cinderella and Ariel (from the Little Mermaid),” Hoag said.

She started the business not too long ago because “I always wanted to be princess, but I didn’t want to move to Southern California,” said Hoag, who graduated from Big Valley Charter School in Modesto.

For now, her business of doing parties caters to young girls. But ‘Heroes Party Fun’ is right around corner, featuring guys dressed up as super heroes for boys’ events.

At Princess Family Fun (see:, the slogan is “Making dreams come true…One party at a time.”

As temperatures soared, Manteca firefighters were the popular figures on the parade route. Their water cannon – fire hose hooked up to the hydrant – provided a cooling blast cascading on children of all ages.

The Fourth of July concluded with aerial fireworks at Big League Dreams in Manteca and Mistlin Sports Park in Ripon.