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Street Faire offers new things to do April 2-3 weekend
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• WHAT:  15th annual Crossroads of California Street Fair
• WHERE: Downtown Manteca
• WHEN: Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Sunday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• MORE INFO: Call the Manteca Visitors Center at 823-7229

The 15th annual Crossroads Street Faire is expected to draw thousands of people to downtown Manteca on April 2-3 for two days of food, shopping and fun.

And this year there are a few new twists thrown in to help draw even more people to the two-day fair.

According to Manteca Convention and Visitors Bureau Events Manager Errol Schmall, new additions like a 40-foot trailer with arcade games for the kids as well as the Night Express – a small train that will weave and work its way around the fair – are just two of many new additions to the family-friendly lineup.

“We’re getting phone calls from people and they’re excited about it coming up,” Schmall said. “Of course they want to know if it’s going to rain or not. We also have some new vendors coming in this year, and of course the familiar faces that people have come to expect every year.”

Almost all of the vendor spots are currently spoken for, but Schmall says there are a small number that can still be reserved for the busy weekend by contacting the CVB office and submitting a vendor application.

Other new additions for the 2011 Street Faire include:

•The PG&E-sponsored “Green Street” along Maple Avenue designed to promote eco-friendliness and to show customers how they can conserve electricity and gas.

•The GK Music stage in Library Park that will feature local musicians, bands and singers throughout the two-day event.

•A week-long carnival in the Best Buy parking lot that will run from March 29 through April 3. The carnival – being operated by the same California Carnival Company that operated the rides at the annual Almond Blossom Festival – will feature pre-sale tickets available at the CVB office.

Like last year, two food courts will be available – with one located at the intersection of Main Street and Yosemite Avenue and the other in Library Park – while the heart of the fair will be reserved for vendors selling everything from hand-crafted items to framed pictures.

“We go every year as a family and it’s something that we’re definitely looking forward to,” said Greg Lewis – who plans on buying advance tickets for the carnival as well as attending the street faire both days with his wife and two young boys. “Hopefully the storm we’ve got coming through this weekend is the last of it so we can expect a beautiful time.”

The 15th annual Crossroads Street Faire will run on Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Advanced tickets for the carnival at a 50 percent discount can be purchased Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Manteca Visitors Center located at 1422 Grove Avenue – just around the corner from the AMC Showplace 16 and Bass Pro Shops.