City’s Park Fete Cel­e­bra­tion A High­light For Com­mu­nity

Escalon Times - - FRONT PAGE - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­times.com

Tem­per­a­tures that peaked near triple dig­its may have kept the crowd num­bers down a lit­tle bit this year, but those that turned out for the city’s an­nual Park Fete cel­e­bra­tion found plenty to en­joy.

From the corn­hole tour­na­ment and mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment on Fri­day night to the pa­rade and non­stop ac­tiv­ity on Satur­day, the an­nual Escalon sum­mer cel­e­bra­tion went off well.

Nearly 400 peo­ple took part in the early morn­ing Park Fete runs, break­fast was served up at the Ma­sonic Lodge and kids en­joyed com­pet­ing in stick horse races on Main Street.

The fes­tive pa­rade fea­tured Grand Marshal Don Ritchey and his wife Lil­lian en­joy­ing a seat of honor, while other en­tries ranged from mu­si­cal groups to danc­ing horses, the Escalon City Coun­cil and lo­cal busi­nesses, in­clud­ing RCM power wash­ing, which closed out the pa­rade by dous­ing happy watch­ers with a spray of cool­ing water.

Em­cee Robert Swift, who en­joys get­ting a few com­ments from each pa­rade en­trant as they pass by, got a cou­ple of un­ex­pected an­swers from among the youngest par­tic­i­pants.

He asked newly crowned Lit­tle Mr. Escalon, Max Vil­lanueva, what he wanted to say to the com­mu­nity of Escalon.

“It’s re­ally great to be a king,” the young­ster said, bring­ing plenty of chuck­les from the pa­rade watch­ers.

Lit­tle Miss Escalon Daisy Lozano was a lit­tle more prac­ti­cal with her thoughts: “Straw­ber­ries are

healthy.”

The newly crowned Miss Escalon, Grace Stime, and her royal court also rode in the pa­rade, start­ing off their year of rep­re­sent­ing the city.

Plenty of young­sters spent some time in the Kids Cor­ral tak­ing ad­van­tage of free ac­tiv­i­ties.

“We come out every year, we watch the pa­rade, been do­ing it over 20 years,” noted Jin­nohn Sil­veira of Escalon, who was at the event with her grand­chil­dren.

Tak­ing ad­van­tage of the chance for a cool treat, sib­lings Alden, 6, and Bai­ley Schultz, 8, both agreed that “eat­ing ice cream” was the best part of the fes­ti­val.

Mu­si­cal groups tak­ing the stage in­cluded The New Past, Rem­edy, Azores Band of Escalon and more, with the Pow­er­house Dance groups also per­form­ing for the crowd on Satur­day. Lo­cal busi­nesses and ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tions hosted food and bev­er­age booths, sev­eral ven­dors were on hand with a va­ri­ety of mer­chan­dise, the spon­sor­ing Lions Club had their beer booth, the po­lice depart­ment’s new Zero elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cle made a few quiet ap­pear­ances and the over­all feel was one of com­mu­nity spirit.

“I think it’s great,” said Lions Club pres­i­dent Kenny Tag­gart. “It has been a real nice turnout, though I wish the weather was a lit­tle cooler. But it’s al­ways a great com­mu­nity event, it’s nice to have it and I hope we con­tinue to do it for years to come.”

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Get­ting ready for the Peace Of­fi­cer Memo­rial Run in Modesto on Oct. 1 and an­other event in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. on Oct. 22, th­ese of­fi­cers took part in the Escalon Park Fete 10k on Satur­day, run­ning in full uni­form. From left, Neil Cer­venka, Tur­lock PD; Juan Mendez, San Joaquin County SO; Josh Petitt, Stanis­laus County SO; Sean Dodge, Modesto PD. On right is re­tired LAPD of­fi­cer Anita Fin­ner. See ad­di­tional Park Fete photos, Page A2.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Rid­ing in style in the Satur­day morn­ing pa­rade, Grand Marshal Don Ritchey looks out at the crowd as wife Lil­lian keeps the um­brella handy to pro­tect them from the bright sun, which brought near triple-digit tem­per­a­tures along with it.

TIMES PHOTOS BY MARG JACK­SON

Grace Stime, cho­sen as Miss Escalon 2017, smiles as she takes a turn on the run­way at the Escalon Com­mu­nity Cen­ter fol­low­ing her crown­ing at a Wed­nes­day night pageant.

The Escalon Parks Foun­da­tion ran its wine booth and Michael Sipes was work­ing a shift, with the sales ben­e­fit­ting the skatepark project, with de­signs in hand for the park that will be in­cluded in the ex­pan­sion at the Ho­gan-En­nis Park ad­ja­cent to the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter.

Geral­dine the goat, from Escalon, was a vis­i­tor to the down­town Park Fete on Satur­day, here with 18-month-old Scar­lett McClary keep­ing hold of the leash.

Lo­cal mu­si­cians, both grad­u­ates of the Class of ’90 from Escalon High, Aaron Brown and Mike Martin lead the band The New Past, per­form­ing on Fri­day night.

At­tend­ing the Park Fete fes­ti­val as a ven­dor for the first time, lo­cal res­i­dent Ryan Rhoten brought his Old Tra­di­tion Signs to the Main Street Park, set­ting up shop for the week­end.

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