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A Special Publication of the
Escalon Times August 3, 2022
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PARK FETE HISTORY:
TRACING THE ROOTS OF THE CELEBRATION It was back in 1922, the fall of 1922 to be exact, when the groundwork was laid for what has become an enduring Escalon tradition. “As everything begins small, so did the annual affair for the purpose of improving and maintaining the appearance of the local park,” indicated a story about the Fete’s beginnings, featured in a 1980 special section published for the Park Fete festival.
Escalon Historical Society member Evelyn Swass displays a story featured in a July 1980 issue of The Escalon Times, detailing the very beginnings of Park Fete, which started out as a celebration of a park beautification effort in 1922.
Written by Pat Chandonais, the story goes on to include an excerpt from the Escalon Tribune, from Sept. 29, 1922 talking about the inaugural event that came after a project designed to spruce up the Main Street Park.
Helping Valley Business Grow Celebrating 100 Years of Park Fete We’re committed to supporting the needs of the communities we serve. If you’re building, buying, or banking on the Central Valley, we’d love to learn more about your plans. Call us today!
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The copy for that story is as follows:
Park Improved Last Monday, Mrs. P.M. Pierce, member of the Park Committee, made the rounds of the town and ordered every businessman to be at the park the next day at 4 p.m., and bring either a lawn mower or a rake. We are proud to say that every businessman responded to the call. There were about half a dozen lawn mowers and a dozen rakes, and the work went merrily on. Now when passengers pass by on the train they might imagine they get a glimpse of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, when they see our beautiful park. The beautification effort, in turn gave way to a “big lawn party” – according to The Tribune – which was hosted on Oct. 4, 1922. It was a dedication of the park, put on after the businessmen heeded the call to maintain and beautify the site. This initial “Park Fete” started an annual tradition. Though the time of year, formal name and focus changed from time to time, the festival has nonetheless expanded through the years and has always been a special celebration for the community. A couple of year later, in 1924, it was reported that “the neat sum of $98.75 was procured in this way for park development” as there were a couple of booths set up for the festival. “It would have been more,” the Tribune story noted, “but a large sum was invested in wiring that can be used at future fetes.” By the mid-1930s, a dance was added, along with more
booths and entertaining activities for all ages. By that time, the event drew huge crowds and was enjoyed by families as a summer outing. A brief hiatus went into effect during World War II; as community residents “concentrated on war efforts, including Victory Gardens and bandage rolling for the Red Cross,” Chandonais wrote in the 1980 article. Resuming in 1946, the festival was moved to July and was planned for Saturday, July 27 with free admission, free music and free ice cream for kids. A Saturday night dance featuring Lou Allara and Orchestra did come with an admission fee; 83 cents, plus 17 cents tax for a $1.00 total. Steady growth saw the addition of a talent contest in 1953. “By that time, the fete had taken on a “homecoming” flavor for former Escalonians,” noted Chandonais. That year, the prize for traveling the farthest distance to attend went to Mr. and Mrs. Vito Poma, former residents who made the trip from Detroit, Michigan to be in attendance. The 1960s brought a milking contest, a parade, crowning of the Park Fete Queen and a whiskers-growing contest for the men. The late ‘60s brought more change, however, as the festival was moved from July to earlier in the year. Renamed the Spring Festival, it was then offered in late April or early May and often dodged chilly weather and some raindrops. In 1973, organizers reported some 2000 people downtown on Saturday for the parade and at least half the crowd staying on after the conclusion of the two-hour parade
to enjoy the afternoon and evening entertainment and activities. After several years in the spring, the Park Fete returned to a summer event and at one time covered portions of three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; more recent history featured the two-day celebration. Booths traditionally now open on Friday afternoon and Saturday brings a full day and evening of activities. Supported by local businesses, community service organizations and hosted for many years by the Escalon Chamber of Commerce, the primary sponsor for the past several years now has been the Escalon Lions Club, working in cooperation with a Park Fete planning committee. Community support to put on the annual festival remains key, and – with “homecoming” remaining the theme – longtime residents and former residents alike continue to turn out for the festive family event. The Fete returned to the park in July for several years, sometimes late in the month and some years right after the July 4 holiday. Following a one-year break in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration resumed in 2021 with a new date in August. Pandemic restrictions began to ease in early June, 2021, allowing planners to put on the Park Fete, albeit at a later time than normal. They have kept the early August date for 2022; marking the official 100-year anniversary of Mrs. P.M. Pierce’s “big lawn party.”
CT Brayton & Sons, Inc. a part of Escalon for over 75 years!
Carl, Sadie and sons, Franklin and Donald Brayton
From humble beginnings in 1946, Carl Towne Brayton and his sons, Franklin and Donald established C. T. Brayton & Sons working in schools, commercial and retail construction and retail projects throughout California and in Escalon, including the Petri Winery, Cadlolo Winery, Escalon Packers and Pioneer Memorial Hospital. With multiple generations joining the firm and enterprising and skilled teams critical to success, today's C.T. Brayton & Sons Inc. is going strong at 75 years. They focus on commercial, school, industrial construction and concrete tilt-up buildings, while remaining true to its strong ties to the past. Robert “Bob” Brayton, the 3rd generation joined the firm in 1975 and Ross Brayton, the 4th generation, came aboard in 2011. The company home offices remain in the same historic building on Jackson Avenue in Escalon, originally Carl's and wife, Sadie's, residence and supporting many local events, scholarships and charities. Looking forward to the upcoming years, this Escalon business is embracing change, new methods and emerging technology and stands focused on the well-being of their employees and families and the satisfaction of their customers.
1804 Jackson Avenue, Escalon 209-838-7388 • ctbrayton.com • Lic#257952
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Escalon Feed & Supply Serving our Escalon neighbors since 1971. Thank you for your business.
Feed • Seed • Pet Food • Vet Supplies • Boots Clothing • Friendly Down Home Service
Meet up with friends and neighbors on our outdoor dining patio. Cool down with a beer or milkshake.
17407 S. Escalon Bellota Road • Escalon
escalonfeed.com • 838-3326 • M-F 8-5:30 • Sat 8-4
Best Burgers in the Valley!
Open every day 8am - 9pm Dine In • Take Out • Drive Thru Corner of Hwy 120 & David Drive, Escalon
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We are pleased to congratulate Escalon on its th
100 Park Fete!
Please support our hometown businesses by shopping locally.
Coming soon! Warehouse spaces 1000 sq ft units with small office space and restroom. Email email@example.com to reserve your space now
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Tom Hagan, DVM
Frank Hagan, DVM
Carmen Hagan, Practice Manager
Andrew Hagan, DVM
Sara Hagan Assistant Practice Manager
Serving our community for 3 generations The Hagan Family – Since 1950
Escalon Small Animal Clinic • Veterinary Clinic • 209-838-3512 Escalon Small Animal Center Boarding and Grooming • 209-838-9970 • Clinic: 1050 Escalon Avenue, Escalon Center: 1345 Miller Avenue, Escalon
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ALIGNMENT, BRAKE, REPAIR & SMOG
The team at Main Street Garage salutes our Park Fete, a century strong!
Customers can call and speak with our team to schedule service, diagnostic, repairs or smog at
209.838.7635 - Main Street Garage - Main_Street_Classics 1906 Main Street, Escalon Corner of Third & Main Streets
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100th Park Fete
We join the Escalon Community in Celebrating our Past and Looking to the Future! Huller & Processor System Design and Construction for the Tree Nut Industry
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With pre-planning, you will help When Memories minimize your family's financial and emotional burdens. Matter SERVICE
Protecting Escalon Families & Their Homes Since 1998 Commercial & Residential Services
for voting us Best Pest Control 9 years running!
We appreciate your business! We have a pest maintenance program for your bug tolerance level. Black Widows • Ants • Roaches • Earwigs Crickets • Rodent Control Free Estimates
Ashley Vella, Managing Partner, FDR 3639, Jack and Joanne Deegan, Ambassadors
Ripon (FD987) 111 S. Palm Ave. 209-599-3413
Escalon (FD932) 1441 San Joaquin St. 209-838-7321
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Congratulations, Escalon, on the 100th Park Fete! A Tradition of Service for 3 Generations
Serving the Escalon Area for over 100 Years Services
• Custom Cabinets • Custom Furniture • Antique Restoration • Screens & Rescreening • Glass Cutting Pipe Threading • Specializing in Rustic Design
• Lumber • Plywood • Fencing • Pine • Hardwood • Firewood • Roofing • Vinyl Windows • Glass • Screens & Rescreening • Sack Concrete • Pipe & Fittings
ESCALON LUMBER 1463 Roosevelt Avenue, Escalon Open Monday - Saturday 8 am - 5 pm
NICK CATON PMZ REAL ESTATE | DRE. 01180469
209.380.7083 | NICKCATON.COM
MAIN STREET MARKET
USDA Choice Beef, Premium Produce & Superior Service 1900 McHenry Ave., Ste. 101, Escalon 838-2479 - Open 7 days a week 7am-9pm
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AN ESCALON TRADITION CONTINUES
Arthur Sipma with 1956 Ford 1/2 Ton Factory Flat Bed
MAKING YOUR VEHICLES BEAUTIFUL FOR OVER 45 YEARS!
L – R Grant Landon, Gretchen Sipma and Molly Landon
ARTHUR SIPMA INSURANCE AGENCY Serving you since 1968
Business • Home • Auto • Crop 1700 Main Street, Escalon
We hold ourselves to the very highest standards of performance because customer satisfaction is extremely important to every member of our staff. Our reputation as a premier auto body and frame repair shop is because of you, our customers, and we appreciate your business and loyalty. Thank you!
Escalon Body & Frame 2228 Main Street, Escalon / (209) 838-7783
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The Barton family has been proud to be a part of the Escalon community since 1912 when our family business founders planted their first walnut orchard. As the orchards have grown, we further solidified our presence here with the construction of the GoldRiver Orchards processing plant east of town in 2013. We offer our hearty congratulations to all of our Escalon neighbors and friends and celebrate with you at this year’s Centennial Park Fete. Here’s to another 100 years!
GoldRiver Orchards, Incorporated
(209) 838-2000 18400 Enterprise Road, Escalon, California
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Nut Services from Field to Huller and Beyond Orchard Management Custom Farming Harvesting Hulling / Shelling
Local Handling & Packaging HACCP Certified Facility and Trained Staff Quality Assurance and Lab Testing Full service in house booking & shipping International Exporting Competitive Rates
Professional Service for 3 Generations
Proud of our Sustainability Processes
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Events Calendar Tuesday August 2nd 12:00pm Senior Mr. and Mrs. Escalon Luncheon
Wednesday August 3rd 6:00pm Miss Escalon Pageant
Thursday August 4th 6:00pm Little Mr. and Miss Escalon Pageant
Friday August 5th 4:30-6:00pm Goat Hill Girls | 5:00pm Sierra Gun Hawks 6:15-7:45pm Los Niteliters | 8:00-9:30pm Remedy | 9:30-11:00pm Tailites
Saturday August 6th 7:15am Park Fete 10k Run | 7:30am Park Fete 2 Mile Run 9:00am Horseshoe Tournament | 9:00am Chalk Art Contest | 10:30am Parade 11:15am Sierra Gun Hawks | 11:30am Junior Stick Horse Rodeo 11:45am-12:30pm Powerhouse Dance Studio | 12:30-3:30pm Various Stage Events 3:30-4:30pm Dennis Parrish | 4:45 - 5:45pm Tony Freitas as Elvis 6:00-7:30pm Gary Gervase & the Kickstart Blues Band 7:45-9:15pm Weekend at Jimmy’s | 9:30-11:00pm Gotcha Covered