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Thousands seek hot deals at Lodi Street Faire

40,000 hit the streets in search of bargains, fun

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Posted: Monday, May 7, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:41 am, Mon May 7, 2012.

With temperatures exceeding 80 degrees on Sunday, the Lodi Street Faire attracted an estimated 40,000 as visitors crowded Downtown Lodi to see their favorite vendors and some new ones.

People young and old carried strollers for their children, and many a dog seemed to have a great time perusing bargains at the Street Faire.

One vendor from Turlock, who goes to festivals all over California and Nevada, said that Lodi had the best Street Faire she had seen, according to Pat Patrick, president and CEO of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the twice-a-year event.

The first day of May is quite unpredictable. Previous Street Faires have been held in hot, toasty weather, cold weather, wind and rain.

"Today, we had a perfect day," Patrick said. "We had to get additional sodas and water. We ran out twice."

In addition to the two food courts, antiques, pony rides and political candidates, the Street Faire was graced with live music. One band consisted of the Stockton-based Neo Hipsters playing rock 'n' roll oldies music and Texas-style rhythm and blues. They were joined by Jennifer Lind, a Lodi resident who sings for The New Christy Minstrels.

Buddy Rodgers, who sings and plays guitar for the Neo Hipsters, said he enjoys performing at events like the Street Faire because people who don't go to night clubs can enjoy the music. For example, one elderly woman was seen dancing in the street on Saturday afternoon, and a young couple with their two small children were dancing.

"We like to support the community," said Zak Domich, a Stockton resident.

"And it's family-oriented," said Domich's wife Hannah Bates, who grew up in Lodi and is a Street Faire veteran.

The Neo Hipsters perform on the first Friday of every month at cellardoor in Downtown Lodi.

Because critics of previous Street Faires said it's "always the same," Patrick said the chamber took the criticism to heart. Though there continued to be the usual sunglasses and cellphone cases for sale, the chamber tried some new things as well, Patrick said.

A new feature to the Street Faire was the "Wine on Pine," which included not only wine, but accessories to wine products. This year there was higher-end jewelry for sale, and a landscaper brought some large elm and maple trees for the first time.

The landscaper did very well on Sunday and plans to return to future Street Faires in Lodi, Patrick said.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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