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St. Anthonys harvest fete: Family fun, food & games
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Manteca’s longest-running annual weekend event is again offering a slew of attractions for the entire family.

A Manteca staple for more than half a century, St. Anthony of Padua’s 2009 Harvest Festival is set for the weekend of Sept. 19-20 on the church grounds at the corner of Fremont and Sutter streets.

On tap for the two-day event are many food booths, game booths, silent and live auctions, a produce stand, bookworm booth and a host of other things that families can enjoy.

In addition, the harvest festival is again holding a raffle which offers a wide variety of big-ticket prizes. One of the two grand prizes to be awarded is $1,000 in cash. The other grand prize is an eight-day, seven-night stay at a Northern California Wyndham hotel.

Other prizes include a bicycle, an Ipod Shuffle, a Day Spa package, a digital camera and a restaurant bundle which will all be drawn the first day of the festival. Another bicycle, Ipod, restaurant bundle, barbecue and a notebook computer will be awarded to the lucky winner on the second day. The grand prizes will be drawn at the conclusion of the festival on Sunday evening.

Donation for each ticket is $1, or you can have six tickets for $5 or 12 for $10. One need not be present to win. One need not be present to win. Admission to the festival is free.

This year’s festival theme, “Alive for God in Christ Jesus,” was the motto chosen by Bishop Stephen Blaire when he was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Stockton. It’s incorporated in the art work featured in this year’s commemorative T-shirts which are now available for purchase at the church office which is the building west of the church on East North Street. The art work is the creation of Sister Ann Venita who has also designed those used in previous years’ festival T-shirts.

The religious highlight of the celebration is the concelebrated outdoor mass on Sunday at 10:45 a.m. held on the festival grounds. The liturgy and service music are multi-lingual reflecting the rich multicultural make-up of the parish.

Among the sponsors of this year’s festival are the following: Ability Mortgage, IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant, In-Shape Health Club, Hafer’s Home Furnishings, Farmers Insurance, Wal-Mart, La Guadalupana Catholic Goods, Delicato Vineyards, Financial Center Credit Union, P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Service, and St. John’s Catholic Cemetery.

The harvest festival is the church’s biggest fund-raiser during the year.

Tickets for the drawing may be obtained at the church office. For more information about the festival, call 823-7197.