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Talent shows, softball games part of 2010 Lathrop Days
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LATHROP – Lathrop is pulling all the stops this week for the annual Lathrop Celebration.

With different free activities and programs scheduled every day from Wednesday to Saturday, no resident can complain that there is nothing happening in Lathrop. Everything is double the fun because in addition to celebrating the annual extravaganza previously called Lathrop Days, San Joaquin County’s youngest city is also observing the 21st anniversary of its incorporation.

There is something for every member of the family to enjoy, but one of the biggest attractions is The Youth Talent Show coming up on Wednesday, said Diane Lazard who is chairing the event committee.

“This isn’t a contest. It showcases some of our local talents. There have always been some great kids that show up to entertain. It is amazing watching these young kids belting out a song or doing a dance routine,” she said.

The show is pure wholesome fun because it’s devoid of the competition element, she added. Performers and spectators alike can come and simply enjoy the entertainment, Lazard said.

The Youth Talent Show will begin at 6 p.m. in the Community Center at Valverde Park.

For chili fans and those who fancy themselves as chili chefs, the event to mark on the calendar this week is Thursday’s chili cook-off taking place at 6 p.m. in the Senior Center. The contestants will let the special cayenne peppers out of their secret bags in the battle for cash prizes, with $75 going to the selected top chili cook this year. After the judging, which will begin at 6 p.m. at the Senior Center located in Valverde Park, the public will have an opportunity to taste-test the winning recipe along with the other entries for a nominal fee. Other food selections including hot dogs will be available for purchase as well with all the proceeds going to the Senior Center.

After sharing a chili meal, guests can segue into the baseball fields and watch the Lathrop Lions and the Lathrop Morning Rotary duke it out in the diamonds. It’s a friendly challenge that plays out every year during the Lathrop Celebration.

The free talent shows will continue on Friday, Sept. 24, and Saturday, Sept. 25, with two episodes of the perennially popular South County Idol Competition where cash prizes also will be awarded to the lucky winners. Friday’s show will begin at 6 p.m., and 3 p.m. on Sunday, both in the Community Center gym. After Friday’s Idol competition, guests can then segue into the park with their blankets or lawn chairs for a special Movie in the Park presentation starting at 7:30 p.m.

It’s a mixed bag of entertainment that awaits visitors on Saturday when the day-long extravaganza will be ongoing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Valverde Park. The day’s events actually will begin at 8 a.m. with a breakfast at the Senior Center and a parking lot sale in front of the building. The breakfast will end at 11 a.m.; the parking lot sale will go on until 2 p.m. Also starting at 8 a.m. will be the co-ed softball tournament at Valverde’s baseball fields. The Lathrop Police Department will have a booth as well on the festival grounds where various information materials on safety will be available.

The ever popular annual Old Timers Reunion is likewise having an encore on Saturday with a slight difference. This year, it’s by invitation only. It will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the Lathrop School Gym on  the corner of Fifth and O Streets.

For additional information on the Lathrop Celebration events, call (209) 941-7373.