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Rain slows attendance to Galt Strawberry Festival

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Posted: Sunday, May 21, 2006 10:00 pm

If you wanted to go to a festival Sunday and not wait in line, Galt was the place.

Sunday's rain certainly put a damper on the final day of the 11th annual Galt Strawberry Festival, sponsored by the Galt District Chamber of Commerce. Because of the rain, admission was reduced from $7 to $3.

However, the festival was packed on Saturday, which had cloudy - but dry skies - said Grace Malson, who works for South County Transit and volunteered at the festival.

Food booths had strawberries available in a myriad of forms - pies, shortcakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries, waffles and crepes.

But the carnival rides were pretty much empty on Sunday. No lines for the rides; just step right up.

A couple of carnival rides were shut down for safety reasons. One was the high slide, which had Butler Amusement employees staffing the attraction, just to make sure nobody got on it.

The Dragon Wagon ride had to be shut down because the motor was too wet, said ride operator Tony Dixon, who lives in Houston, Texas.

"We had a steady line (Saturday)," Dixon said. "All the kids liked the ride."

A popular ride in spite of Sunday's rain was the merry-go-round - probably because it was covered enough that no one got wet. One boy, Daniel Moreno, 31/2, had the time of his life on the merry-go-round. He had a perpetual smile on his face and waved at his mother and sister every time he went by.

But what possessed the Moreno family to come to the Strawberry Festival in such damp weather?

"He made us come," his mother, Shalisha Moreno, laughed.

Daniel Moreno, 3 1/2, of Galt, had the time of his life riding the merry-g0-round at the Galt Strawberry Festival on Sunday. It was one of the few rides where people could keep dry. Next to young Daniel is is father, Luis Moreno. (Ross Farrow/News-Sentinel)

The Morenos were across the street at the Gora Aquatic Center on Chabolla Avenue on Saturday so older sister Katelyn Moreno, 11, could swim. Young Daniel saw all the fun at the Strawberry Festival and pleaded with his parents to take him there on Sunday. Saying no was not an option, his mother said with a smile.

The festival also featured vendors selling their wares, live music and bingo benefiting the Galt Community Concilio.

Sunday wasn't the only day it rained on the Strawberry Festival. Galt got a downpour at 6 p.m. Friday, just as the Wine, Berries, Art and Jazz gala was to start.

But the Galt Parks and Recreation Department had a contingency plan, Malson said. The event was moved indoors, without a hitch, to Littleton Community Center.. Littleton was packed, she said. The Friday event featured 14 local wineries, about a dozen artists with their paintings and photographs, and live music.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

First published: Monday, May 22, 2006

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