In a week that saw temperatures hit the century mark, backing off by just a few degrees for the weekend, it was nonetheless a festive Park Fete celebration for Escalon.
With Fete-themed activities earlier in the week, Tuesday through Thursday, the real festival portion of Park Fete kicked off Friday afternoon and continued all day and into the evening on Saturday.
Along the way there was plenty of fun, games, music, entertainment, food, competitions, a parade and more.
A police department cornhole tournament had dozens of teams competing on Friday evening, the horseshoe pits were jammed on Saturday afternoon and several youngsters took part in the Saturday morning stick horse races on Main Street, shortly before the annual parade. Runners also participated in both the 2-mile and 10k events for the annual Park Fete runs. Longtime local resident Angelo Blanco served as parade Grand Marshal this year and entries also included several community groups, musical entries, equestrian units, businesses and newly crowned Escalon royalty. Miss Escalon, Little Miss and Mr. Escalon and Senior Mr. and Mrs. Escalon all were feted along the parade route, with Miss Escalon’s court and all the Little Miss and Mr. contestants taking part as well.
Musical groups and strolling entertainers were a constant presence on Friday evening and throughout the day on Saturday, while the kids’ corral that featured fun, free activities including a chalk art contest, bean bag toss, sand box and more drew a steady stream of youngsters.
Local businesses and vendors set up shop in the Main Street Park, offering everything from artwork to Scentsy products, and food from restaurants and non-profits.
Escalon Animal Shelter had some animals on display and up for adoption, the fast draw gunslingers were back for another year, the sponsoring Lions Club hosted its popular beer booth and the Escalon Skate Park Foundation had its wine booth and also had drawings of the skate park on display.
Young Carter Silva, 5, was among the winners of the Stick Horse races, which had a few different heats and age divisions.
“He fell at the finish line but he rolled through it,” said his mom, Staci, with a chuckle.
Watching the parade was the Krasko family from Gothenburg, Sweden. Escalon High alum, Class of 2002 member Greg Krasko, was there with his wife Marcella, who is originally from Sweden. They met at UC Santa Barbara and were back in town for the festivities, with children Elias, 6, and Noah, 3½, also enjoying the day.
Elsewhere, nine-year-old Emma Churchill of Escalon was cleaning up with some prizes at the balloon toss game while local businessman Herbhajn Singh of the Plaza Mini Mart brought in some free waters to hand out as temperatures climbed into the 90s on Saturday.
Curt Cook was busy at the Trinity Church booth, grilling up tri tip and hot dogs for the church to sell while Victor Rodriguez, 9, of Escalon was sharing an ice cream cone with little brother Anthony, 3, and deciding which ride to go on next.
The annual Park Fete celebration is sponsored by the Escalon Lions Club, with support from a number of local businesses and individuals. It brings the community together, officials said, for a celebration of small town life.