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Hot & cold for Street Faire
Thousands turn out for annual festivities
Face painted
Ella Valerio gets her face painted at the Ceres Street Faire with mom Jessica Valerio watching on. (Below) members of Ceres Karate demonstrate self-defense techniques in Whitmore Park on Saturday afternoon. - photo by Courtesy of Don Cool

A wild mixture of weather resulted in two different experiences for Ceres Street Faire goers over the weekend. Those who came Saturday experienced hot summer like weather perfect for shorts and sandals while Sunday's cool overcast and winds brought on the threat of rain and windbreakers.

The weather didn't seem to affect attendance all that much, however.

"Overall it was a very good event," said Mike Borges, chair of the Street Faire Committee. "We had a similar number of vendors as in years past. The crowd looked a little smaller on Saturday than normal but I think heat may have played a factor in that. It did cause some medical issues handled by our medical personnel. They handled quite a few medical aid calls for people overheating. It looked like the heat got to some people."

The downtown Ceres event, sponsored by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce, the Ceres Lions Club and the city of Ceres, featured live local entertainment, arts and crafts booths, commercial and food vendors and a Saturday car show that attracted over 70 vehicles.

Ceres Police reported no problems and estimated the crowd to be somewhat less than in previous years.

Chief of Police Art deWerk estimated Sunday's attendance to be greater, possibly because of cooler temperatures.

"Overall it looked to me like a successful Street Faire," said deWerk. "The Street Faire is pretty unique to the county. It just seems like a lot of people from all over the area come to the Ceres Street Faire."

Borges said many of the non-profit food vendors saw brisk sales and many sold out of product but some commercial vendors thought "sales were down a bit." One vendor who frequents similar events in the region told Borges that the economy has resulted in 25 percent less attendance at venues.

Food booths operated by non-profit organizations were busy both days. People were also standing in long lines for the tri-tip sandwiches sold by the Ceres Lions Club.

"The non-profit vendors all reported profits from their food/beverage sales," said Lisa Mantarro Moore, a committee member.

One of the busiest parts of the faire were the attractions for children, which Borges noted was "constantly full."

The Whitmore Park gazebo hosted a number of youth groups and musicians who entertained. The downtown stage on Fourth Street featured a performance by Greg Scudder of Ceres, a finalist in the Colgate Country Showdown in 2011.
Saturday's car show drew lots of admirers of classics and modified cars, said event organizer Nicole Chapman.

"The car show was a huge success," said Chapman. "The weather was perfect and the car show drew hundreds of people. We choose one car each year to be on the T-shirt for the next year, and this year Keith Loforti's car was chosen. He, along with his father and son enter the car show every year. They are always the first arrive, park their cars, go to eat breakfast and then return to check-in when we are set up and ready to go."

A handful of lucky people will remember the 2013 Street Faire for the place they won some great prizes during Saturday's 6th annual CUSD Foundation Raffle fundraiser. Proceeds from ticket donations support activities at Ceres schools and provide supplemental instructional support for Ceres teachers.

With cash prizes of $2,500, $1,000, two $500 and five prize packages valued at $500 or more, anticipation was in the air during Saturday's drawing.

Janette Schlarb of Modesto won the $1,000 cash prize donated by the Ceres Rotary Club. Cory Robinson of Modesto was the winner of a $500 cash prize donated by West America Bank. The second $500 (also donated by West America Bank) winner was Katie DeLeon of Modesto, parent of an Adkison Elementary student. Cecilia Yeager of Ceres won the $500 shopping gift card donated by Diamond Bar Arena. Glenda Tapp of Ceres won the $500 grocery package donated by Cost Less Foods. Kimberly Carrico, a fifth grade teacher at Hidahl Elementary, won the $500 entertainment package donated by Black Oak Casino which also included dinner for four at Three Sisters Restaurant.

Additional prizes included $2,500 cash donated by Bank of the West, a $500 fuel package donated by E.R. Vine & Sons, and a $500 barbeque grill donated by Lowe's of Turlock. A bonus prize, a huge brown grizzly bear was donated by Bank of the West.

All winners have been notified.

Participating in the drawing of the tickets were Dave McConnell, CUSD Foundation founder and current vice-president; Bank of the West's Emily Carlson, CUSD Foundation president; Rita Yousefzadeh with West America Bank; Vice Mayor Ken Lane, Mike Welsh of Ceres Pro Tow and member of the CUSD Board of Trustees; and Andrew Mendes, a seventh-grader at Whitmore Charter School.
For the sixth year, Ceres City Councilman Eric Ingwerson was the emcee for the drawing.