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Thousands pack Faire
Great weather and a happy crowd made for a successful 20th annual Ceres Street Faire.

Promoters said that the greatest attendance was on Saturday when crowds were thick on Fourth, North and Third streets.

Saturday morning's car show drew over 70 car entries making it the largest car show ever at the Ceres event, noted organizer Nicole Chapman.

The 20th annual Ceres Street Faire included street vendors, community service organization booths, entertainment by local groups, arts and crafts vendors and children's carnival type games.

"You couldn't beat the weather," said Doug Lemcke, a member of the Street Faire Committee. "Everybody seemed to functon well together. We seemed to have some great entertainment."

Many of the non-profit organizations permitted to sell food at the event reported brisk sales. The Ceres Lions Club booth ran out of tri-tip for sandwiches early on Saturday after barbecuing and serving 1,000 pounds. Another 700 pounds were sold on Sunday.

At a booth maintained by the Ceres Youth Soccer Organization, over 300 children were signed up for the 10-week league play that starts in September. Lou Toste of CYSO said his organization has room for a total of 1,000 players.

The city of Ceres used the Street Faire to promote its memorial brick sales program. The city is selling engraved bricks which will pave the west entrance to the Community Center now under construction. The city will use the revenue to pay for maintenance of the facility.

"We didn't sell too many bricks but they gave out a lot of applications for the bricks and we think we'll get quite a few back," said Lemcke.

As of Monday, the city has sold a total of 27 bricks for a total of $4,200. New orders are coming in each day, said Lemcke, with checks made out to the Ceres Community Foundation.

The city also helped families sign up their youngsters for summer swimming lessons on a laptop at the outdoor booth.

Ceres police reported only two minor incidences with rowdy subjects. The first involved fighting at 2:35 p.m. Saturday at Fourth and North streets with inebriated subjects. Deputy Chief of Police Mike Borges said that the incident happened when two men got into an argument. Ivan Gonzalez, 31, of Merced, was arrested for provoking a fight and Valeriano Aguiniga, 35, of Riverbank, was arrested for provoking a fight, resisting arrest and public intoxication. A third man, Andrew Amador, 26, of Empire, was arrested for interfering with officer John King as he tried to make an arrest.

On Sunday at 2:45 p.m., police arrested Kalvin Xavier, 53, of Ceres, for sexual battery and publc intoxication at the faire. Xavier allegedly groped the buttocks of a 17-year-old girl near the Fourth Street stage.