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600 cheer on jousters in dual school fundraiser
Athletic programs of Ceres, CV high schools split proceeds
Imperial Knights
Actors from the Imperial Knights touring entertainment company took their swords to each other for a special fundraiser show at the Diamond Bar Arena outside of Ceres on Wednesday evening. - photo by Photo courtesy of Becki Nicholes

A large and exuberant crowd of about 600 persons turned out at Diamond Bar Arena south of Ceres Wednesday evening, Sept. 24, to cheer on their favorite horse-mounted members of the Imperial Knights, a touring company that recreates the thrill of a medieval joust and tournament. The dinner and entertainment show raised between $5,000 and $6,000 apiece for the Ceres High and Central Valley High athletic programs.

"The evening was a success," said Shawna Nunes, the athletic director of Ceres High School.

The show employs actors carrying authentic style Medieval-era weapons and clad in armor along with colorful heraldry and costuming for each character.

The arena hosted the first Imperial Knights event in 2009.

The Imperial Knights Production Company, which is based in Norco, Calif., presented a show with about eight players in a similar fashion to the Medieval Times venue in Southern California and Orlando, Fla. Knights jousted and put on a medieval type show as well as offered displays of weaponry.

Nunes said the event was a major production with dinner tables sold at $300 per table and other spectators in the bleachers who paid $10 for the show.

Members of the Ceres Lions Club barbecued a chicken and turkey leg meal as part of the fundraiser but members of the public had the option of just watching the show. The meal was rounded out with salad, beans and dinner roll.
Wrestling team members and cheerleaders from both schools worked the event.

"Putting on an event like this takes a lot of combined effort, and both schools worked hard to make the event go," said Nunes, who helped organize the event with Greg Magni, athletic director of Central Valley High School. "Greg and I were very pleased with the results."

Nunes said she heard comments from those who attended ranging from "This is such a great event" to "I'm so glad my kids have an opportunity to see something like this." One person said "We've never seen anything like this before; it's really nice that you are able to get this type of event here."

She said the event was made possible by Shane and Kim Parson who donated the use of their arena on South Central Avenue at Keyes Road. "They are huge supporters of the Ceres community, and are key in making this event successful."

The traveling show was introduced to Ceres in 2009 when the traveling troupe called Parson about the possibility of boarding horses on the way up and down Highway 99 to venues.