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Plenty of food, fun for entire family
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LATHROP – Here’s a party that’s open to everybody.

It’s called Park in the Park, and it takes place today at the Manuel Valverde Park in downtown Historic Lathrop from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

“We welcome everyone to come and celebrate Lathrop Days,” Gabe Goulart of the city Parks and Recreation Department said, explaining the reason for all the family-oriented celebration. “Come and hang out, boogie on down. We’ll do a little dancing, have a little fun.”

The fun actually began on Tuesday when Mayor Kristy Sayles started the council meeting by presenting the Lathrop Days proclamation which officially launched the weeklong festivities.

If you missed all of the excitement at the Youth and Teen Talent Show Wednesday night, or the chili cook-off Thursday evening at the Senior Center, no need to worry. There’s a lot more coming up today through Sunday.

This evening at the Party in the Park, there will be a deejay playing “family-oriented music, so we’re inviting families to come and hang out,” said Goulart about this new feature of the annual old-time community celebration.

“We’ll have a guy selling nachos and sno-cones, Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Church) will be selling churros, and the YACs (Youth Advisory Commission) will be selling sno-cones, and we’ll be showing a movie outside for the kids,” he said.

Bring a lawn chair or picnic blankets to sit on while enjoying the movie, said Goulart who was still not sure Thursday night what children’s movie will be featured.

For the weekend, there will be “a host of entertainment and lots of great food. Our firefighters will be serving tri-tip, the Chamber (of Commerce) will be doing a food booth, and the Rotary will be serving drinks. Then when all that winds down at around 3:30 p.m., the first night of the South County Idol starts in the gym. Meanwhile, during the day, we’re having softball tournaments going on with six to eight teams playing,” added Goulart.

The climax of the weekend events will be the finals of the softball tournament in the morning and the South County Idol in the evening.

Below is a quick glance at the day-to-day happenings today through Sunday:

Today, Friday: Party in the Park for all ages at Valverde Park featuring music, dancing and food.

Saturday, Sept. 26:

•7:30 a.m. – pancake breakfast at the Community Center and Gym and multipurpose room hosted by the Lathrop Lions Club.

•10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Health and Wellness Fair at Valverde Park and Senior Center featuring entertainment, food, public safety and health vendors.

•8:30 a.m. – Co-ed softball tournament at Valverde Park and Sangalang Park at Stonebridge behind Joseph Widmer, Jr. Elementary School.

•Sept. 26-27 – 3:30 p.m., South County Idol Competition in the gym at the Community Center. Admission is free to both participants and guests.

For further details about any of the above, call (209) 941-7370.