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22nd annual gathering Sept. 13
Standing with two of the cars that will be on display at the Manteca Historical Society& Museum Fall BBQ & Ice Cream Social on Sunday, Sept. 13, at the Manteca Transit Center are, from left, Sondra Berchtold of Fagundes, BBQ Chair Marvin Brocchini, raffle chairs Jeanie and Alan Marsden, and Al Trabuzio of the Central Valley Early Iron Club. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The 23rd annual Manteca Historical Society shindig — the Fall BBQ & Ice Cream Social — is taking place on Sunday, Sept. 13, starting at 2 p.m. at The Manteca Transit Center,

It’s an appropriate setting for a Manteca gathering that brings people together with a common love for the community’s history.

The station is built on the old Tidewater Railroad right-of-way. Just seven miles up the line along French Camp Road was “The Grove.” It was a popular gathering place in the 1870s and 1880s. Mantecans would catch a ride on the Tidewater Railroad to a point about a half mile from where Cutler Salmon built his home at Dutch Point in 1866. They’d then trek the short distance to The Grove that even had its own wooden dance floor.

The trek to the BBQ on Sept. 13 will be by automobile to downtown Manteca. They’ll be music, but probably not much dancing unless someone can persuade society President Dave Winegarden to dance with his wife Cynthia.

There will be, though, plenty of socializing and food. It’s what brought Mantecans together 145 years ago. And it is what will bring them together Sept. 13 for what has become one of the biggest traditional gatherings of the 21st century.

The BBQ social starts at 2 p.m. with dinner served at 3 p.m. It consists of tri-tip, BBQ chicken, pastas, salads, watermelon, ice cream, and beverages. There will also be a raffle, antique car show and music provided by the Second Chance Band.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $9 for children. They are available at the Manteca Historical Society Museum, 600 W. Yosemite Ave., from any board member or by calling 209.825.3021.

The BBQ Social is one of two major fundraisers the society counts on each year. They accept no funding from government sources for operation of the museum. The other big event is the Gourmet Sampler.

The museum is located in the former Methodist/Episcopalian Church at 600 W. Yosemite Ave. The society was started in 1989.

The society’s collection today is so big it fills two buildings and then some.