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Street Faire dates back 25 years ago

POSTED May 1, 2013 3:30 p.m.

It's hard to believe that the Ceres Street Faire is already 25 years old.

It seems only yesterday that the Ceres Lions Club and Ceres Chamber of Commerce members founded the Ceres Street Faire in October 1988. It was an effort to combine an antiques and collectibles show that Richard McBride was attempting to put together as a fundraiser for the Ceres Lions Club, with the effort of the Ceres Chamber of Commerce to move the historic Peach Harvest Festival from Smyrna Park to the streets of downtown Ceres.

The main goal was to create a fundraiser for not only the Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce, but to also offer fundraising opportunities to other Ceres non-profit organizations. Envisioned were food booths, an antique and collectibles show, and entertainment.

The founders of that first event included then Vice Mayor McBride, Allan Graham, Don Goudeau, Paul Caruso, and Cheryl Winter (who was the Ceres Chamber of Commerce executive vice president.) The special committee of Lions Club and Chamber members dubbed the celebration the "Ceres Street Faire."

Eldon Frost of Denair created a logo for the first annual event. It consists of a plane carrying a banner reading Ceres Street Faire - Rain or Shine.

To boost attendance, it was decided no admission fee would be charged. The success of the first Ceres Street Faire exceeded all expectations for everyone involved, and its popularity has continued throughout the years.
The success of the first Street Faire can best be summed up with the story of the Lions Club food booth. The Lions offered barbecued chicken and beef rib dinners during both days - Saturday and Sunday. Things were so successful for the Lions Club during that first year that 1,000 barbecue chicken dinners were sold. They ran out of chicken on Saturday, and after purchasing more, nearly ran out on Sunday.

In 2013, 25 years later, Faire goers will be treated to:

• Arts & crafts booths;

• Commercial booths;

• Food booth vendors operated by non-profit Ceres groups;

• Two stages of local entertainment;

• Custom Car Show on Saturday;

• A Children's Fun Area;

• The sale of commemorative Ceres Street Faire T-shirts.

Currently, the Ceres Street Faire has a committee of over 20 individuals. This includes representatives of both the Lions Club and the Chamber of Commerce, a city of Ceres representative and citizen volunteers. Each year exchanges a chair person chosen from the Ceres Lions Club or the Ceres Chamber of Commerce.

The Ceres Street Faire was born of a long tradition of community festivals in Ceres. In the 1930s Ceres came together to celebrate and annually picked a Goddess of Ceres to reign over its festival.

Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, 1968 the city celebrated Golden Jubilee Days to mark the 50th anniversary of Ceres' incorporation.

Later came the Ceres Peach Festival, which was held at Smyrna Park until it became the Ceres Street Faire.



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