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Street Faire delivers for 31st time
• Picture perfect weather brings out crowds to Ceres Street Faire
Dancers at Faire.jpg
Members of Steps Dance Studio performed for audiences in Whitmore Park during the Ceres Street Faire this past weekend. The event also featured other dance groups, such as junior and high school groups and Footnotes Dance Studio.

Organizers of the Ceres Street Faire couldn’t have asked for better weather. With temperatures in the 70s and clear skies for the annual weekend affair, thousands attended to enjoy community, food and entertainment and do a little shopping among the street vendors.

Saturday’s car show attracted 132 car entries, which spilled over into the Ceres Community Center parking lot. Last year an estimated 120 cars were entered.

“We were so pleased with the enormous turnout both days,” said Street Faire Committee chair Kim Chapman Johnson. “Most of the food vendors had to re-stock for Sunday as Saturday was such a huge success and a majority sold out Sunday as well.”

She said the faire attracted an “incredible new mix of vendors” and that even established businesses were receiving business from Faire goers.

New this year was a Sunday RV/Boat/Off-road/Motorcycle show. Johnson said the event was a success and provided interesting items to follow the Saturday-only car show.

The Car Show, led by Lisa Mantarro Moore, had the most entries ever with 132 and included an eclectic mix of cars and trucks.

“It did not matter your generation or interest, you had something to admire,” said Kim. “Our Grand Champion will be a beautiful addition to next year’s shirts.”

Sunday’s entertainment lineup had Ceres’ own Greg Scudder and the Beer:30 come out of retirement to entertain the crowd.

“It was just a great party feel and a perfect way to end a wonderful weekend,” commented Johnson.

“I have to say that the committee loves the new look … with the re-model of downtown and with Diamond Bar’s help we were able to expand upon that even more and have already discussed ideas to further this endeavor for next year. It has brought back a great nostalgic vibe and people have been very gracious in their complements and input. We are just so pleased and thankful that we are able to continue to offer this event for the people of Ceres and elsewhere.”  

Renee Ledbetter, the Ceres Chamber of Commerce’s executive director said the event continues to improve and this year proved that.

“In my opinion, the planning in this year’s Street Faire seemed to take a pivotal turn in the future of this event and as a result made this year’s event perhaps the most successful in terms of turnout,” said Ledbetter. “We really owe a lot of credit to co-chairs Kim Chapman and Lisa Mantarro Moore who have been leading the planning efforts of this event for many years. It seems that over the past four or five years we’ve been adding new features like more rides for the kids, food vendors and an RV & Boat Show on Sunday, and moving the programs to the park area, are examples of how the event just keeps getting better.”

She said the Street Faire Committee evaluates the faire each year and considers suggestions for improvement.

“It’s a cooperative effort and we have a great committee that is working towards making the Street Faire more successful every year,” Ledbetter noted. “I really enjoy working with this group because they are not afraid to try new things.”

The new look of downtown since its 2017 renovation has “just added so much to the ambiance of the event,” she opined. ”It seemed more downtown businesses were involved and opened their doors for business.”

Little Zoey Swartz was having a fun time “driving” her kiddie car at the Ceres Street Faire this past weekend. Lots of fun activities were offered in Whitmore Park during the two-day affair.

“The weather couldn’t have been better and the attendance was good each day as a result,” said Tom Westbrook, the director of Community Development for the city of Ceres. “Many vendors and food booths to choose from and lots of things to see. The car show on Saturday had its usual following and this year on Sunday there was a recreational vehicle show, which included trailers, boats, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles.  My lunch was a corn dog and garlic fries from our Ceres firefighters. Unfortunately, I didn’t get past the Cutco Knife booth without spending some money but on the other hand, I did manage to come away with an early Father’s Day gift.”

One of the automotive beauties on Fourth Street.

During the Car Show the Grand Champion award went to Ernan Mendoza’s 1969 Chevy Camaro. John Dias earned the Street Faire Choice Award for his 1929 Ford sedan. The “Best of Show Car” award went to Richard Mora for his 1949 Cadillac while the “Best of Show Truck” award went to Harry Pimentel for his 1957 Chevy Stepside. The Ceres Chamber of Commerce Choice award was given to Tony and Josie (last name not available) for their 1949 Chevy Deluxe. The Lions Club Award was bestowed on Keith Mello for his 1969 El Camino. The Competitor’s Award was earned by Art and Charlene Ramos for their 1968 Chevelle. The Elvis Award went to Doug Wallick for his 1933 Pontiac. Roger Kephart’s 1952 Buick Estate Wagon earned the People’s Choice award. The Sponsor’s Choice went to Carl Wright for his 1935 Master Deluxe. Sal Urruita’s 1963 Chevy Impala won the “Most Unique.” The “Best Bike in Show” award went to Ruben Aguilar of Boulevard Classics for his 26-inch Lowrider Stretch Bike.

The CUSD Foundation’s 12th annual Raffle Fundraiser took place Saturday during the Street Faire. Three $500 cash prizes and three prize packages valued at $500 each were raffled and proceeds support activities at Ceres schools and provide supplemental instructional support for Ceres teachers.

The three $500 cash prizes were won by Jessica Merriam of Hughson, Denice Zamora of Riverbank, and Arby Hoobyar of Turlock who purchased winning tickets from La Rosa Elementary, Walter White Elementary and Whitmore Charter School, respectively. The prizes were sponsored by J.L. Bray & Son, Inc. and United Inspection.

Sierra Dunning of Modesto won the $500 grocery package donated by Cost Less Foods. This package contained $500 of grocery certificates and a variety of food items. This ticket was purchased from a Carroll Fowler Elementary student.

The $500 entertainment package was won by Andrea Borrell of Riverbank, who purchased her ticket from a Westport Elementary student. The package included items donated by Black Oak Casino, California State Railroad Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Gilroy Gardens John’s Incredible Pizza, Raging Waters and Children’s Museum of Stockton.

A $500 gas grill barbeque donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement Store of Modesto was won by Blanca Longinos of Ceres who purchased the ticket from a Central Valley High School student.

All winners have been notified by the CUSD Foundation staff.

Additional donors included Westamerica Bank, Ceres Rotary, Ceres Lions Club, FF&J Architects and Dr. Scott Siegel.

Local talent on display at the Ceres Street Faire included a number of youth dancing to music.

This year resulted in the highest amount raised since 2011, with over 8,500 tickets sold and $41,758 raised. All proceeds stay in Ceres Unified with schools receiving 70 percent of the earnings and the CUSD Foundation getting the remaining.

“It was a record year for tickets sales and we look forward to the opportunities this funding will bring our students and schools,” said Julie Martin-Borba, CUSD Foundation representative.

Participating in the drawing of the winning tickets were local business and education representatives: Dave McConnell, CUSD Foundation founding member; Mike Welsh, CUSD District board member; Chad Adams and Scott Smith, both Ceres Lions Club members; and Stan Sinclear, CUSD Foundation board member.

Eric Ingwerson served as the emcee for the 10th time. The coordination and planning of this event was led by Martin-Borba, a grants administrator for CUSD and representative of the CUSD Foundation.