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Annual Fete Fun For All
Bucking bulls, homegrown entertainment, plenty of food and fun, and sizzling temperatures added up to a successful 2010 edition of Park Fete for the Escalon community over the weekend.

New to the fete this year was the Saturday afternoon bull riding show, put on by Escalon promoter and matador Dennis Borba in conjunction with Humps 'n Hornz out of LeGrand. Bull riders representing the USA, Guatemala, Brazil and Mexico took part and some of the bulls came from Borba's own Escalon operation. The show also featured trick ropers, dancing horses and a bull breaking up a poker game.

It was just one of the activities that drew large crowds to the heart of the community, with events centered around the Main Street Park both Friday night and all day Saturday.

The Park Fete run went off without a hitch on Saturday morning (See story, photos in Sports, page A13) and the events also included the popular parade, horseshoe competition, nearly nonstop music at the Main Street stage, a petting zoo and adoption center hosted by the city's Animal Control personnel and more.

"Actually it went very smoothly," said Escalon interim Police Chief Jim Shaw. "We were very, very pleased. With the number of people that attended, the crowd behaved well, there was no violence."

Shaw said given the heat on Saturday - which peaked just shy of 100 degrees - he anticipated some issues but was "pleasantly surprised" with how peaceful everything was throughout the festival grounds.

"It worked out well, a good community effort," Shaw said.

Brianne Cerasi was visiting Park Fete on Friday night with sons Luca, 2, and A.J., 3, and the boys were eagerly trying out the various rides.

"We just moved to Escalon in April so this is our first time," Brianne said of coming to the celebration. "It's fun, we're excited."

Kicking off the entertainment on Friday night was local resident Mark Macsenti and his Taillights band, which drew a younger crowd, there in part to support their peer, Tanner Roark. He was on stage playing guitar with the band. Macsenti is his uncle.

"I remember playing on the stage when it was in the middle of the grass," Macsenti said of his earliest appearances at Park Fete. "It's awesome, it's hometown. It's a family thing and it just keep getting better."

Friends Madison Kimble and Jessikka Gonzales, both 10, were looking forward to the rides.

"I like the teacups 'cause they make me dizzy," said Madison.

"I like being in the parade," added Jessikka, who was marching with the Escalon Outlaws youth football and cheer squads.

Young Keoni Inouye, 10, visiting here for the summer, took a spin on the trampoline thing, grabbing some serious air and getting a look at the festival from way above the venue.

"I like going high up," he said. "It felt scary at first, but then you get used to it."

Dent student Nathan Barry, 9, also tried the trampoline thing for the first time.

"I did 20 flips," he proclaimed proudly. "You get kind of dizzy."

Vendor booths ranged from the popular Scentsy line of air fresheners to toys and boutique clothing, while food booths featured staples like pizza and linguica to homemade pie and ice cream.

Race car driver Eric Holmes had the place of honor as Grand Marshal for the Saturday morning parade and the sponsoring Lions Club organization worked the beer booth, keeping the suds flowing while residents enjoyed the wide variety of activities centered in the downtown area.

The Lions Club took over organizing the festival several years ago and continue to put all proceeds from their various events back in to the community. Escalon Premier Brands was the corporate sponsor for Park Fete, with the entertainment stage sponsored by H. Naraghi Farms.