True to its name, the 22nd annual “A Taste of Ripon” wine stroll gave revelers a taste not of just wines made from grapes grown in the Ripon district and nearby farmland as well as local culinary offerings but it also provided a taste of Ripon’s small town atmosphere.
A record crowd of 600 plus attended the downtown Ripon Thursday evening during the annual Ripon Chamber of Commerce event.
Chamber President Tamra Spade said the successful event had not only the largest crowd ever but also the most businesses participating.
There were 27 businesses that had stayed open for the yuletide stroll offering a variety of wines and finger food appetizers to their guests down the length of Main Street from the Clarence Smit Museum to the Burgess Baking Company and Swier Tire.
There was piped Christmas music that could be heard on the street and inside the stores as friends met friends that many hadn’t seen for the past year renewed old friendships. The Bank of Stockton offered several different wines and small tri-tip sandwiches prepared by the Old Towne Restaurant on Highway 120 at North Ripon Road.
Carol Noceti of Boutique Couture located at the main downtown intersection and Janet Dyke with her Magpie Antiques in the 100 block of West First Street, both said they had many sales to the wine-tasting customers who had strolled into their shops.
The other locations that welcomed Ripon citizens along with many from Manteca and some even from Modesto included the American Legion Post, 190, on Stockton Avenue, Austin Meat Service in the 100 block of Walnut Street, Bank of Stockton, Central Valley Nutrition, Clarence Smit Museum, Debbie’s Pet Grooming, Deegan Ripon Memorial Chapel, Divine Salon and Spa, Events 22, Magpie Antiques, in the 100 block of First Street; Main Street Flora, Natural Path Wellness Center, One Eleven Boutique, Re/Max Executive, Releve, Ripon Jewelers, Ripon Print Studio, Ripon Roadhouse, Sana Food Mart, Silverado Building Materials, Studio 101 Hair & Skin Salon, Studio Joy, Tim Wheeler, CPA; Tri-Valley Lending and Integrity First Realty and Burgess Bakery and Restaurant.
Many of the old timers gathered in the old museum on Main Street and got into warm and deep discussions about years past in Ripon, many who knew the late former city administrator Clarence Smit who did most of the organizational ground work establishing the museum years ago.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.