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Jack-o-lanterns, night market haunt downtown

Jack-o-lanterns, night market haunt downtown

The R.A.M. Farms, Inc. Pumpkin Patch, now in its third year of operation, offers 21 varieties of pumpkins, a scary shack, and pumpkin bowling to visitors.

POSTED October 26, 2010 9:28 p.m.

With the sort of ghouls and goblins that inhabit the night this time a year, many Turlockers are – quite rightly – afraid of the dark.

Not the folks running the Turlock Certified Farmers Market.

For the first time this year, Turlockers will have the chance to shop for fresh produce in the dusk, as the Turlock Certified Farmers Market will hold an evening market and Fall Fest at the Market this Friday.

“We've had a lot of people really interested in coming down to the Farmers Market over the course of the season,” said Brandon Follett, Turlock Certified Farmers Market organizer. “But a lot of people work during that time so we wanted to make another time available when people could come out.”

While the market will still run from 8 a.m. through 1 p.m., as always, after a brief intermission the vendor-laden street will come to life again. From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., the stretch of Broadway between Olive Ave. and A St. will be transformed into a family friendly celebration with a shift from sweet summer fruits to hearty fall vegetables.

Two bands will play – country and classic rock, appealing to diverse sensibilities. A variety of food vendors will open up shop for those in search of a bite.  And, of course, the children’s activities will be plentiful.

Young produce enthusiasts will have the chance to trick or treat at vendor booths, play games, and even have a balloon animal made.

Appealing to market-goers of all ages was key in planning the Fall Fest at the Market, Follett said, as Turlock’s market has become notable for the number of children wandering the aisle. Compared to Modesto’s popular Thursday market, Follett said, the amount of families and mothers with young children who visit Turlock’s market is staggering.

Vendors, who have enjoyed interacting with those children, were eager to rearrange their schedules to sell at the Fall Fest, Follett said.

“It was a little bit difficult, but everybody really wanted to give it a try and see how it would go,” Follett said.

Depending on how Friday’s evening trial run goes, organizers hope to plan additional nighttime markets in the future.

A possible date is already penciled in for Nov. 26, to coincide with Turlock’s tree lighting ceremony. Next year, planners may hold one evening market a month.

But it all hinges on the turnout for this Friday’s event.


Halloween to haunt downtown

Those walking to the Farmers Market on Friday will face the imposing visage of tens of carved jack-o’-lanterns peering out from the windows of downtown businesses.

The Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest, sponsored by the City of Turlock Recreation Division, Teen Advisory Council, Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association, and the Turlock Journal, will judge the best carved and decorated pumpkins to be displayed in shop windows through Sunday.

Pumpkins must be dropped off at the Turlock Journal today between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. For full rules and details, visit and click on The Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest.

On Saturday, downtown will play host to the Downtown Halloween Trick-or-Treat, featuring a fun house maze sponsored by the 12:10 Lions Club of Turlock and the Kiwanis Club of Turlock, a carnival sponsored by the Iota Beta chapter of Alpha Xi Delta, and trick or treating at downtown businesses. The event, which will run from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m., draws approximately 500 children to downtown Turlock each year.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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