Friday, Sep. 21, 2012
Fairgoers get a three-fer
Chamber event is full of booths, quilts and hot cakes
By Thaddeus Miller / email@example.com
Shoppers looking to buy used books, a snow cone or anything with reggae icon Bob Marley's face on it, among many more items, found what they were looking for Saturday at the Fall Downtown Street Faire.
Piggybacking on an event that draws thousands, was the Pacheco Pass Quilters Pumpkin Patch show and Los Banos Rotary Club's pancake breakfast fundraiser.
This was Daniel Gonzalez's second visit to the fair. He and his wife checked out the three-plus blocks of booths.
"I bought this, a T-shirt," said the 59-year-old Santa Nella resident. "I do fabric paint."
Gonzalez said the turnout looked about the same as last year.
Among the purses, toys and jewelry were also handmade crafts.
Sherri Coronel of Los Banos said she tries to come every year to the Los Banos Chamber of Commerce-sponsored fair. The 35-year-old, who brought her daughter, said she never knows ahead of time what she's going to get.
"I like the arts and crafts best, and to look at everything that's different or unique," she said. "I like stuff for the house, you know?"
Throughout the day, a karaoke sound system blasted the voices of fairgoers as they tried their hand at being a pop or country star while a constant stream of bubbles floated by.
Some children nibbled on cotton candy and snow cones, while others chose slabs of meat smothered in barbecue sauce.
Los Banos' Emily Rivers just happened to be doing business downtown and perused booths while she was there. A few things caught her eye, like the "Baby Cakes" fundraiser shared by Relay for Life and Habitat for Humanity Westside.
"I hate it that I didn't know in advance," the 59-year-old said. "I probably would have scheduled more time."
A stitch in time ...
Quilts hung from rafters of the Ted Falasco Arts Center, sewing machines hummed and ladies talked shop at the Pacheco Pass Quilters trade show.
The quilting guild opened Pumpkin Patch for the first time with wine and cheese.
Ken Gresham brought several models of sewing machines from his store in San Jose, Ray's Sewing Machine Center.
His premier piece of equipment at the show was the Janome Memory Craft 350E, an embroidery machine with a USB port.
"That USB stick can go right into your computer, download the design then right into the machine," Gresham said, adding "embellishments" are what most quilters are interested in.
Not a quilter himself, Gresham took over the family business from his father, Ray.
Hilmar-based Divine Quilters is a one-woman operation of Dea Oskerson. She is the go-to long-arm quilter in the area.
"It's my passion," Oskerson said. "It's just what I do."
Customers send her their quilts, already stitched together around the edges, and she adds the artistic stitching pattern that runs throughout the body. Oskerson said she gets quilts from all over the country, as well as "from Canada, I've gotten one from New Zealand -- I get them from everywhere," she said.
The Pacheco High School Band also played outside the Arts Center on Saturday.
Pancakes, ham, eggs and a drink raised cash for Rotary early Saturday.
Proceeds of more than $1,000 from the Rotary breakfast will go to youth-oriented groups and functions like Interact Club, Rotary's speech contest, the Wee Wigglers storyhour and local Boy Scouts, among others, President Brenda Latham said.
Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.