Organizers say “It wouldn’t be summer in Escalon without Park Fete” and that will hold true this week, as the community’s annual celebration takes place.
Festivities are scattered throughout the week with some pre-event pageants and a recognition luncheon, but the two-day downtown celebration runs Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14.
Prior to that, the Senior Mr. and Mrs. Escalon are feted; this year’s honorees are John and Marylyn Salvin, recognized in a Tuesday, July 10 luncheon. The new Miss Escalon will be crowned at a pageant on Wednesday night, July 11 and the Little Miss and Mr. Escalon pageant is Thursday, July 12.
For the Park Fete festivities, staged in and around the downtown Main Street Park, the fun begins on Friday, July 13 at 4 p.m. when vendor booths open and the carnival, with rides, games and treats for kids, opens at 6 p.m. The Police Department cornhole tournament is set for 6:30 p.m.
Entertainment is featured on the Main Street Stage throughout the weekend, with music from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and then a variety of performances throughout the day and evening on Saturday.
On Saturday, July 14, attendees can start the day by participating in the Escalon Park Fete Run – sign up at Runsignup.com or register that morning starting at 6:30 a.m.; both a two-mile and 10k are offered.
Breakfast will be served at the Masonic Hall, 1500 Viking St., starting at 7 a.m. with a cost of $10 for adults, $5 for children.
Downtown, festivities begin with the popular returning stick horse races for kids from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in front of the Kid’s Corral on Main Street. The stick horses are provided and there are prizes in each of three age groups, starting with the youngest 5-year-olds on up to 13-year-olds.
The carnival and kid’s corral open at 10 a.m., along with the vendor booths and sign-ups for the chalk art contest also begin at 10 a.m., at the Escalon Chamber booth. The contest itself starts at 2 p.m. and entries must be completed by 3 p.m. with three different age groups available. A petting zoo runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Park Fete parade begins at 11 a.m. with Grand Marshal Gary Haskin, a longtime local resident, former City Council member and mayor and a Lion’s Club member, being honored for his many contributions to the community.
Sign-ups for the horseshoe tournament start at 11 a.m., with a cost of $30 per team for the double elimination event; the competition starts at noon.
A wide variety of food booths will be open both Friday and Saturday, with a centralized tent for seating, and other booths will feature merchandise and information. The Escalon Lions beer booth will be open 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Entertainment on stage Saturday starts at 11:45 a.m. and continues throughout the day, wrapping up with the finale from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., closing out the Park Fete festivities.