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Pumpkin Fair offers smashing fun time
Sisters Corrine, left, and Sienna Jones try their luck at the Waffle Ball game at the Kids Zone at the downtown Sunrise Kiwanis Manteca Pumpkin Fair. The fair continues today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Pumpkin Fair carnival is from noon to 10 p.m. next to Best Buy at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley at the Highway 120 Bypass and Union Road. - photo by HIME ROMERO


• WHAT: 26th annual Sunrise Kiwanis Manteca Pumpkin Fair
• WHERE: Downtown Manteca
• WHEN: Today, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Everyone was busy at Athens Burgers all day Saturday, but they were all smiling. Business was so brisk that the hours around lunch time saw long lines of hungry customers.

It was the same story at MCB, the eBay trading store next door to Athens. And those who went by Janis Music late in the afternoon found themselves in the middle of a crowd gathered there for a special concert performance.

Downtown businesses, it appears, were enjoying the fringe benefits of the perennially popular annual Pumpkin Fair in the heart of downtown Manteca.

Even in the near triple-digit sweltering heat that this part of the valley is known for, there was a steady stream of fairgoers, many of them three-generation families with some grandparents walking on canes while grandchildren were being pushed by their parents in strollers. Several young boys were indulged by parents and grandparents like Donna Goncalves with a purchase of a plastic toy rifle that they slung over their shoulders like cowboys.

While energetic entertainers strutted their stuff on the Main Stage near the Library Park to an admiring crowd, another group was busy working on the latest community mural project at Crystal Downs State Farm just a block-and-a-half away from the heart of all the action on Yosemite Avenue.

With cooler temperatures expected today, the final day of the fair, there should be more reason to walk around and linger at the scores of attractions around Manteca’s downtown. They run the gamut - from scrumptious fair food staples like the ever popular Mexican treats and piping hot Lockeford sausage that people are lining for just to get a taste or two of this filling food, not to mention the sweet-smelling kettlecorn. One of the most popular purchases of the day, though, was the long-stemmed plastic glasses of lemonade that went for about $7. But as one happy fairgoer pointed out, that price included as many refills as you wanted. In fact, one customer happily pointed out that she went and got eight free refills throughout the day.

The same attractions, and more, await Pumpkin Fairgoers today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. About 3 p.m., the community mural titled “Our Family City,” is expected to wrap up with everyone involved in the project gathering together for a souvenir photo in front of the new painting. The Crystal Downs State Farm building where Manteca’s newest mural is located is just across the street from FESM Hall on North Main and right next to the former First Assembly of God church, now the Valley Presbyterian Church. Best of all, admission to the Pumpkin Fair is free.