Before his term in office comes to an end Mayor John Lazar will leave his post in Turlock and head to Modesto to be recognized by the Latino Community Roundtable as their elected official of the year.
“We want John to be recognized for all he has done before he leaves office. He is a role model that will be sorely missed,” said Maggie Mejia of the roundtable.
“I don’t take the honor lightly. It’s very gracious of them to acknowledge my time in Turlock and the region,” said Lazar.
The Latino Community Roundtable was instrumental in having Measure A placed on the ballot this year which, if approved, will trade at-large city council elections to a district format.
While Lazar will be singularly recognized as the official of the year at the roundtable's Dias de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, celebration on Nov. 1, he will be joined by other individuals who will be highlighted for their contributions. Honorees include President and CEO of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce Cecil Russell, Sandra de Alcuaz of Modesto First Tee, Homera Mejia of Congregations Building Communities, and Maria Magdalena Ruiz of the Fairview Elementary School folkloric dance group Los Falcones.
The organization will also be honoring a slew of Latino businesses within Stanislaus County for their contributions to the community including La Morenita Restaurant, La Perla Tapatia, Don Juan Foods, Je T’Aime Bridal and Tuxedo, El Rematito Flea Market, Total Image Salon and Spa, and the owners of Donut Deli who also opened Taqueria El Rincon, George’s Steakhouse, and Bel Piatto Italian Cucina.
The annual celebration of the Dias de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, will include a host of community-oriented events and culminate in a dinner reception.
The Mexican holiday is a cultural tradition to honor and celebrate those who have passed. In an effort to draw community members of all ages the festivities will include face painting, sugar skull crafting, traditional altar displays at Modesto Centre Plaza, as well as a car show in front of the Brendan Movie Theater between 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Following, a motorcade will lead a parade from the parking lot of Saint Stanislaus Church through the downtown to the Modesto Center Plaza where a banquet dinner, awards ceremony, and dancing will take place. There will also be dances outside of the venue for the community to watch featuring several Mexican dance troupes including Los Luceros of Osborn Elementary.
Tickets to the dinner banquet are $35 a person or $20 for students. Tables are $350 for a table of 10 or $375 for a business sponsorship. Tickets are available at Modesto Visitors Convention Bureau, 1150 9th St., Modesto. For more information, call 303-2664.