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Street Faire attracts thousands
Ideal to cool temperatures and sometimes cloudy skies mixed with good times for a well attended Ceres Street Faire over the weekend.

The downtown Ceres event featured live entertainment, arts and crafts booths, commercial and food vendors and a Saturday car show.

The heaviest crowd was experienced on Saturday when the weather was nice. Sunday's numbers were smaller on account of Mother's Day, church and chillier temperatures temperatures.

Vice Mayor Ken Lane said the Ceres Lions Club sold 2,700 tri-tip sandwiches before the end of the Faire on Sunday. He also commented that downtown Ceres was spruced up nicely for the event.

"It was very well attended," commented Mayor Chris Vierra. "It was a success. I heard that there was nearly 12,000 people who attended and no significant problems and it appeared everybody was having a good time.

"It's a great event and I think it helps bring our community together," he added.

Police reported few problems at the event.

"On Saturday we had a few gang members show up and there were a few little fights but for the most part it was a good time," said Ceres Police Lt. Brent Smith.

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 January.


The CUSD Foundation's 4th annual Raffle Fundraiser, emceed by Eric Ingwerson, took place at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Street Faire. The CUSD Foundation raised over $63,000 through raffle ticket sales and cash donations. In addition, local businesses donated five prize packages collectively valued at over $2,500.

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 the raffle. A bonus prize, a huge brown grizzly bear, was donated by Bank of the West.

The $2,500 cash grand prize donated by Bank of the West went to Carmen Sandoval.

Butch Duffy won the $1,000 cash prize donated by Ceres Rotary.

Jack Welsh won the entertainment package donated by Black Oak Casino that included dinner for four at Three Sisters, a gift bag filled with a variety of items and much more.

Frank La Gasca won 125 gallons of gasoline valued at more than $500, donated by E.R. Vine of Ceres. Included in the prize package was a car wash kit donated by the CUSD Foundation.

Tony Manriquez's name was drawn for the outdoor gas grill barbeque donated by Lowe's of Turlock.

The winners of the remaining prizes that included; two $500 cash prizes, a Cost Less Foods certificate of $500, a WalMart gift card for $500, and a huge stuffed baby grizzly bear have each been notified.

Participating in the drawing of the winning tickets this year were local business and education representatives that included: Dave McConnell and Emily Carlson, CUSD Foundation board members, Diamond Bar Arena owner Shane Parson, and Whitmore Charter School Assistant Principal Laran Gambs.

Emily Carlson, CUSD Foundation Vice President and Bank of the West Ceres branch manager commented on "what a great event this has been," and said she was "pleased to see so many people support the CUSD Foundation this year."

Carlson stated that she appreciated the support of businesses, community members, and private donors who contributed to this year's raffle.

Vierra said the City Council wants to recognize the 12 Street Faire Committee members at the next council meeting. "A relatively small group of about 12 dedicated volunteers make up the Street Faire committee...and work tireless hours. A number of communities used to have events like these and they've all fallen by the wayside but we're fortunate to have this band of volunteers who keep this activity going. I think at times we take them for granted."

The event is sponsored by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce, the Ceres Lions Club and the city of Ceres.