By DENNIS WYATT
Joann Beattie plans to be rocking around the Christmas tree when Dec. 2 rolls around.
That’s when the Manteca Chamber of Commerce — the business organization Beattie oversees — is partnering with the city to give the community gift: Christmas in the Park.
It’s a two-day Christmas celebration at Library Park in downtown Manteca on Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3 that includes:
*eight food vendors both days with craft booths and more on the Saturday.
*a Christmas tree/scene decorating contest.
*a rock band on that Friday playing rock classics along with Christmas favorites such as “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.”
*”reindeer rides” from ponies decked out for the season.
*continuous entertainment that Saturday.
*the chance to meet and have photos taken with the Disney princesses that Saturday.
Beattie said the chamber is maxed out on food booths but there is still some space left for Saturday, Dec. 3, for commercial booths ($125), homemade crafts booths ($100) and non-profits ($75).
Among the number of vendors already signed up is the Manteca Unified be.tech industrial arts program.
Manteca Avenue will be closed on Dec. 3 to accommodate vendors.
“We have a lot more (vendors) already than we did last year (the Christmas crafts fair that was held on Grant Street).” Beattie noted.
The ice skating rink is made possible with a refund the city received from the Fourth of July aerial fireworks show that was stopped when a mortar accident injured a technicians. The chamber is hoping the response is good enough this year that it will allow them to bankroll the return of the ice skating rink for the 2017 holiday season.
There is also room still to enter the Christmas tree/scene decorating contest. The cost is $10 for a family tree, $20 for a commercial tree or scene, and $15 for a non-profit tree or scene.
Christmas in the Park festivities are Friday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The chamber is also staging the 44th annual holiday parade on Saturday, Dec. 3, starting at 5 p.m. along Yosmeite Ave.
Those that enter by Nov. 28 will be judged. There is a $50 entry free.
The theme this years is a ‘Rock’well Christmas. The idea is to inspire people to either go with entries that reflect the Norman Rockwell sentimentality or a more modern “Rock Around the Christmas Tree” approach.
Entry forms for all of the activities are available at Manteca.org or by calling 823-6121.
Manteca’s traditional lighting of the city Christmas tree on Thursday, Dec. 1, kicks off an evening of holiday fun at the Civic Center.
The 6:30 p.m. tree lighting hosted by Mayor Steve DeBrum and Veronica DeBrum takes place in front of the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St. Those attending are invited to bring a homemade ornament to hang on the tree. There will be music and entertainment.
At 7 p.m., the festivities move to the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane.
The free activities include children’s games, face-painting, craft stations, story time, local entertainment, cookies and hot chocolate, and live music as well as photos with Santa.
Those attending are invited to bring an unwrapped toy for the annual Stuff the Bus for Kids’ Sake toy, coat and food drive.
All items donated benefit Manteca Unified School District students and their families in Manteca, French Camp, and Weston Ranch communities.
The Stuff the Bus drop-off dates and locations are:
*Saturday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Manteca Trailer & Motorhome, Vasconcellos and East Yosemite avenues.
*Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Manteca Wal-Mart on South Main Street.
*Sunday, Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Manteca Wal-Mart on South Main Street.
*Saturday, Dec. 10, from noon to 5 p.m., at the Manteca Wal-Mart on South Main Street.
If you can’t make a stop, there are barrels at the Manteca Senior Center, Manteca Unified School District office, all Manteca fore stations, Manteca Trailer & Motorhome, and Eagle’s Nest Harley Davidson.
If you are interested in adopting a family email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you have questions contact Brandy Clark at email@example.com or call (209) 456.8623.
The events are being staged by the Manteca Parks & Recreation Commission working in conjunction with the Manteca Senior Advisory Committee and the Manteca Youth Advisory Commission.
Breakfast with Santa
at the Senior Center
The popular Breakfast with Santa takes place at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane, on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 9 a.m. Parents and grandparents are invited to bring children ages 10 and under to the festive breakfast event.
Each child will have a photo taken with Santa. They will make an individual craft, receive a small gift from Santa and can have their faces painted.
Tickets are $7 apiece and are sold on a first come, first served basis at the Manteca Senior Center. Only 125 children’s tickets will be sold.
Angel Tree Project
Homebound and/or lonely seniors who receive few or no gifts at Christmas are the benefactors of the Senior Center Angel Tree Project.
There will be a Christmas tree in the senior center lobby from Dec. 1-14 with names on a tree and that senior’s wish list. Gift cards are also welcome. For more information call the senior center at 209.456.8650.
on Dec. 2-3
The Heart of Christmas — “Tidings of Comfort & Joy” — is being presented by SONdance on Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Ripon Christian Schools, 435 N. Maple Ave., Ripon, Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. For ticket sales or more information contact SONdance at www.sondance.org or call (209) 823.1740.
Santa & Mrs. Claus
The annual Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be held on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Manteca Presbyterian Church, 275 N. Main St. There will be crafts to purchase, a drawing for Christmas baskets and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children over 6, and children 6 and under will be free. Tickets will be for sale at the door.
The Manteca Historical Society open house is Sunday, Dec. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the museum, 600 W. Yosemite Ave. Snack food and beverages will be served. The event is free.