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36th show taking place at former Best Buy
Previous quilt shows have taken place at the MRPS Hall in downtown Manteca. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Thanks indirectly to an ADA requirement, one of the largest annual crowd attractions in downtown Manteca is moving to another location.

The thousands of people that descend upon the MRPS Hall the first weekend of March every year for the annual Manteca Quilt and Doll Show will be trekking instead to the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley, also known to many as the Bass Pro Shops center. In a round-about way, the reason behind that change of venue is the mandated Americans with Disabilities which, in the past year, has been the bane of many businesses in Manteca and elsewhere.

Manteca Quilters Guilt officials said the decision to move their popular show south of the 120 Bypass was due to the hall’s high rental cost. According to one Quilters Guild official, MRPS raised their rent because of the ADA-related improvements and other remodeling completed late last year.

“They raised the fees so much. We couldn’t afford the new fees. For us, a non-profit organization, it was just too much of a raise, so we looked around and we were able to get Best Buy,” 2015 Quilt Show chairman Leanne McMabb explained.

“One time, I think we were paying $4,000. Now it’s over $5,000; that’s a lot for us,” she said.

The venue change was a hard decision to make, “but at the same time, we have to try and make some money, and the reason is our philanthropy (project). The money we make from the show is used to buy materials for our philanthropy,” added McNabb.

Every year, the Quilters Guild donate a wide variety of quilted items to neo-natal babies at San Joaquin General Hospital, lap blankets for Hospice, quilts for veterans at the Livermore Veterans Hospital, dialysis patients, and the Women’s Shelter. Guild members meet weekly at First Baptist Church to make these items that are distributed at various times of the year but especially at Christmas, said guild member Bonnie Guzman who was president of the group last year.

The new show location that formerly housed Best Buy at the Promenade Shops will need a little bit of work getting it ready for the show, McNabb said.

“But we’re thinking it’s going to be a nice change. Hopefully, we’ll get some people who have not seen a quilt show because of the new location being more visible. It will bring crowds that have never seen a quilt show before. We don’t know for sure if it’s going to happen, but we’ll go from there,” said a hopeful McNabb.

“Hopefully we’ll do it again (at Promenade Shops), but we don’t know how long Best Buy will be available for lease. It’s the only one vacant and usable (at this shopping center) because some of the other ones, even though they are vacant, they don’t have infrastructure whatsoever, all the improvements when you rent a new place,” said McNabb, referring to restroom and dining facilities, among others.

She noted that the weekend Quilt & Doll Show which is now in its 36th year, to take place March 7 and 8 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday – will also have many shopping opportunities for visitors.

For more information about the Quilt & Doll Show, call Leanne McNabb at 209.815.6754 or visit the group’s facebook page at quilters guild.