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Street Faire success owed to organizers
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Our recent Ceres Street Faire was, by all measures, a huge success! Some 12,000 people took part in the festivities, which included food and drinks, a diverse range of different things to buy, arts and crafts, information booths, live entertainment, a car show, dancing, music, martial arts demonstrations, and the list goes on. It was a safe environment with ample security and medical personnel on hand. The Ceres Street Faire is one of the few of its kind this region that does not charge attendees an entrance or parking fee. The aforementioned are just a few of the reasons why the Ceres Street Faire has remained so popular throughout the years. This year's event marked our 23rd annual Street Faire.

Ceres Lions Club and Ceres Chamber of Commerce members founded the Ceres Street Faire in October of 1988. It was an effort to combine an Antiques & Collectibles Show and move the historic Peach Harvest Festival from Smyrna Park to the streets of Ceres. The main goal was to create a fundraiser for not only the Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce, but to also afford fundraising opportunities to other Ceres nonprofit organizations

The Street Faire is now co-sponsored by the Ceres Lion's Club, the Ceres Chamber of Commerce and the City of Ceres. The Ceres Street Faire receives material and labor support from the City of Ceres in many ways, such as providing electrical power, dealing with traffic issues, event safety and security, rubbish disposal and education on City programs. But by itself, our City government could not do all that it takes for the Street Faire to materialize. With little recognition (and no expectation thereof), there is a group of dedicated, self-motivated and generous members of the community who, in preparation for the Street Faire, quietly begin meeting six months prior to the actual event, sometimes multiple times monthly to attend to the countless details required for a successful event of this size. They do this work with such little fanfare that, over the years, we have made little notice of them to the point that they are taken for granted. To be sure, if not for them, there would never have been, nor could there be in the future, any more events of this nature in Ceres.

Planning for any major community activity involves an incredible amount of details. The Ceres Street Faire Committee consists of 12 unpaid volunteers who screen vendor applications to make sure that they meet appropriate standards, ensure there is minimal duplication of products or services, collect fees, manage insurance, financial and health department issues, fret over the weather, code enforcement, physically help with the set-up, take-down, and clean-up of the event, plan and enforce booth space usage and distribution, and the list goes on. Members of the committee have served many years in an effort to maintain the continuity and integrity of the Ceres Street Faire.

The Street Faire also thrives from the efforts and programs of our local businesses and groups. This includes the musicians, karate and dance studios from the Ceres community, who dedicate themselves to their craft. So many people, including myself, look forward to their performances during the festival.

As an employee of the City of Ceres, I am proud to be part of a community that works so hard for one goal: the success of our community. I see this same spirit in our City organization and am so pleased to see that same commitment by the community at large. This community and our Street Faire have such selfless volunteers who seek nothing, not even recognition, to ensure that we have a successful Street Faire. It is community events like this that remind each of us that we have so much to offer, even during difficult economic times. I want to thank those who worked so hard to put this program together and participated in the activities. I look forward to next year's event.