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Ripon movies in park debuts on this Friday
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RIPON – Just because school started doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice all of the benefits of spending time outside in the summer.

On Friday, Aug. 13, the City of Ripon is welcoming all residents out to the Mistlin Sports Park amphitheater – located in between the two baseball diamonds in the rear of the park – for a free showing of the wildly popular family sports movie “The Blind Side” starring Sandra Bullock.

It’s the first time that the city has sponsored such an event this summer. It’s expected to begin at around 8:30 p.m. when the sun finally sets.

The event could help serve as another avenue for residents to get together in a community setting to temporarily replace the annual National Night Out event at the Ripon Community Center that had become a local staple before the budget crunch forced the City Council to cut the funding for the event last year.

The council also had to cut the roughly $30,000 they had planned to set aside for the massive fireworks show that had also developed a reputation of its own as it moved out to  Mistlin Park to accommodate the crowd while at the same time following the state’s new laws for a fireworks fallout zone. The largest shells – which help draw the largest crowds – couldn’t have been fired off from a central location like Ripon High School anymore because of a new state law regulating insurance rates for public schools.

Ripon was the first community in San Joaquin County to formally legalize the sale of fireworks. Since then, Manteca, Escalon, and Stockton as well as Lathrop – which just allowed their sale this year – have followed suit. Lodi, Tracy, and unincorporated San Joaquin County still outlaw their sale.

Those who come out to Mistlin Park on Friday are encouraged to bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and will have the chance to purchase concessions.