Will a name change be enough to draw people to downtown Tracy for the two-day festival? With the recent news of the nearby Stockton Asparagus Festival going under, will organizers pull from the resources in that city?
“We’ve heard what people have said over the past years, and our goal this year is to turn this festival around for the community,” Cliff Hudson, vice chairman of events for Tracy Chamber of Commerce, said. “Now that the Asparagus Festival is over, we need to make sure everything we are doing is in the best interest of the community. We want this festival to be bigger than in the past and attract people from all over the valley.”
Highlights this year will include cooking demos and tasting events, children’s events, vendors and a strong art theme. Organizers are working on art competition for young artists ages 5 to 18, whose artwork will be judged and on display at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts during the first day of the festival. Winners will receive prizes, to be determined. Hudson said the target audience for the redesigned festival will be families.
A media campaign will be launched soon and will expand into nearby Stockton. Social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, will be utilized, and a mobile application will be available July 1.
An opinion poll on the Tracy Talks Facebook page during the past week yielded mostly positive comments about the new festival name and redesigned theme. The new name adds a level of class, and residents are hopeful for a local festival that could draw out-of-town guests into downtown.
Feedback also included hopes for a higher level of entertainment, more crafts and food options, and interactive activities for kids to take part in. People would also like the festival to remain true to include items from right here in the valley area.
For my two cents worth, I am willing to support the effort in redesigning a festival we can be proud of. I would love to see an inclusion of the four-legged set in a petting zoo or other venue — so long as the summer heat issues are properly addressed. See you in September!
• Anne Marie Fuller, National Mrs. Beauties of the Nation and Mrs. California BOTN, is the host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26. Contact her at email@example.com.