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Friday, January 27, 2023

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Next week’s Raisin Day Festival highlights upcoming activities

Jon Earnest

It’s just a week until Dinuba’s biggest community event of the year – the annual Dinuba Raisin Day Harvest Festival. For four days Rose Ann Vuich Park will be filled with residents and visitors enjoying music, activities food and carnival games. Tickets go on advance sale Friday, Sept. 16, for the carnival midway, which runs all four days of the Sept. 22-25 festival.
After a miserably hot summer (even for Central California), it appears that this year’s Festival will catch a break when it comes to the weather. This weekend would have been the perfect setting, with high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s, but the expected low-to-mid 90s still is a relief compared with the recent scorching temps around 110 degrees. Even better, the air quality is expected to be greatly improved from last year’s fire-driven skies; provided no new wildfires erupt in the Sierra Nevada.
The usual Saturday parades, downtown and in front of the park, will highlight the weekend festivities along with the regular attractions. This year’s theme is “A Raisin for Renaissance” with a celebration of music, education and culture. Kicking off the festival is a Ministerial Night on Wednesday, Sept. 21, and Family Fest Thursday on Sept. 22.
Also gaining a benefit from the milder weather is the weekly September Sanger Street Fair & Farmer’s Market event; which returned last Saturday (Sept. 10). Remaining theme nights for the Saturday attraction includes “Disney Night” this week on Sept. 17, and “Country Night” on Sept. 24. Attendees will be greeted with food, music, and fixed up downtown streets.
Reedley also gets into the act with weekend activities. The Saturday morning Farmers Market events at Reedley College are under way, and this Friday, Sept. 16, Fresno Street Eats is bringing its popular program to Pioneer Park from 5 to 9 p.m. Food trucks, music and shopping vendors will be on site.
The countdown also continues to the annual Reedley Fiesta on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-8 in downtown Reedley. This year’s theme is “Reedley Beach Party” and attendees can enjoy all the popular events (Friday night festivities in Pioneer Park, Saturday morning Fiesta Run and annual parade, two-day events in the park and along G Street).
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The high school sports scene is regaining a bit of stability as the heat subsides and the past two years’ issues with COVID-19 also has seemed to wane. The first of many Homecoming Night festivities begins this week in Dinuba, with the Emperors hosting Washington Union on Friday, Sep. 16. Reedley High’s Homecoming game is Friday, Oct. 7, against Hanford West at Orange Cove High’s Titan Stadium, while Sanger High’s is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 14, against Madera.
A special salute goes out to Sanger’s 2001 Central Section football champions, who were honored at the Apaches’ home game against Lemoore High on Sept. 9. The 2001 squad was one of the special championship teams under Chuck Shidan that shined on the very field named for the retired longtime coach.
Jon Earnest is news-sports editor for The Times.

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