The jousting, horse-mounted Imperial Knights will return to Ceres to help raise money for student activities at Ceres High and Central Valley High students.
The success of the first Imperial Knights dinner show event in 2009 is what has event organizers running at a full gallop for planning a similar event at a Ceres roping arena this month. The Imperial Knights dinner and show is set for Wednesday, Aug. 24 at the Diamond Bar Arena, 6055 Central Avenue southwest of Ceres. The event is being cosponsored by the city of Ceres, the Ceres Chamber of Commerce and Ceres Unified School District.
The Imperial Knights Production Company's show is similar to the Medieval Times venue in Southern California and Orlando, Florida. Held annually since 2009, the event typically draws a large crowd with about 70 dinner tables sold and 400 to 500 spectators in the bleachers.
"We hope to give between $8,000 and $10,000 to each high school this year after the fundraiser," said Diamond Bar Arena owner Shane Parson.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6:30 p.m. and performance at 7:30 p.m.
Pre-joust activities, exhibitions and displays will also be included. Riding exhibitions by the Stanislaus County Horse Council will be from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
"It's a fun family event," said Parson. "We hope this year that it's bigger."
Reserved tables with arena seating for eight persons is $400 per table. Tickets may be purchased from Ceres High School's Shawna Nunes at 541-4795, Central Valley's Greg Magni at 648-3797; or from Diamond Bar Arena owner Shane Parson, 608-5704. Checks may be payable to Diamond Bar Arena or Spring Run Classic.
Those who can't buy a table can get in for $50 per person by calling Parson.
A lot of student clubs at both schools are selling tickets for a share of the proceeds.
Dinner consists of turkey legs barbecued by the Ceres Lions Club, salad, beans and dinner roll. Food, some of it donated by the community and prepared by volunteers, will be served by notable community members acting as wenches and servants.
The traveling show first came to Ceres because the troupe from Norco called Parson about the possibility of boarding their horses on the way up and down Highway 99 to other venues. "In their conversation with Shane is how this came about."