by Cheryl Senn
Perfect weather, streets adorned with seasonal blossoms, more than 1,000 run participants, 80 car show entries, and more than 75 arts, crafts, and food booths, created a successful 25th Annual Sanger Chamber of Commerce Blossom Day Festival, Run and 6th Annual Blossom Festival Car Show.
“What a great event it turned out to be,” said Sanger Mayor Joshua Mitchell. “With numerous families and organizations selling their goods to the many visitors we had, that decided to spend their weekend enjoying the tremendous event coupled with the great weather.”
The Blossom Day Run provided race opportunities for all age groups and all levels of abilities. Race opportunities included: 10K Walk, 10K Run, Two Mile Run/Walk, and races from 1/8 of a mile to 1/4 mile for the kids.
Race participants received a Sanger Blossom Trail Run t-shirt. The overall male and female winners in the two-mile run/walk and 10K were awarded City of Sanger Blossom Trail ‘Commemorative Trees’ and awards were given to the top three places of each gender in each age grouping in the two-mile and 10K run. Medals were also given to the first place winner of each gender in each of the kid’s races.
City of Sanger Recreation Specialist and race coordinator Sean Fitzgerald said, “The event was awesome. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had as the race coordinator.”
Fitzgerald said registration went well and pre-registration and packet pick up went well too. “The highlight for me, is that the school district had the highest percentage of pre-registered runners actually attend.”
There had been a challenge of getting all the registered school district runners to attend the day of the race, in the past. “The school district has been working hard to get those numbers up,” added Fitzgerald.
Wilson Elementary School earned the Top Participating Sanger Unified School in the Sanger Blossom Festival Run this year with nearly 10% of the entire Wilson student population participating in the race. “This was pretty amazing,” said Fitzgerald. Centerville School placed second and Quail Lake Environmental Charter School placed third.
Run participants visiting Sanger came from a variety of communities from throughout the state, like Pacific Grove, Oakhurst, Walnut Creek, Bakersfield, and from other states like Arizona.
Overall female 10K winner was Maria Rivera from Visalia, who turned in a time of 37:31. Overall male 10K winner was Jesus Campos from Fresno, who turned in a time of 34:08. The oldest female participating in the 10K was 64-year-old Linda Hammer-Brown from Fresno, who ran the distance in one hour four minutes. The oldest male participant was 70-year-old Cornelius Pigott from Clovis, who turned in a time of 56:36.
The racing trio, who call themselves, the Bad News Bears Runners, Michelle Alexander, Katie Heaton and Glenda Finley, said this is the second year they have participated in the Blossom Run. “The race was better this year,” said Alexander and Heaton.
“I’m very glad to hear that,” said Fitzgerald. “And hopefully they’ll come back, again, next year, and bring some friends.”
Fitzgerald said the run transitioned well into the festival and car show portion of the day.
Downtown Seventh Street, between Academy and O St., was lined with arts, crafts and food booths. Kid’s activities were also available in Brehler Square and in some of the booths.
Informational booths also lined Seventh Street and the Sanger Chamber of Commerce Booth provided information about Sanger, had Blossom Trail maps, and had the 2013 Blossom Trail Poster for sale.
The Sanger Police Department and Animal Control handed out information about the department and also had pets for adoption. Sunset Waste Systems’ booth had recycling tips, and people could sign up for the upcoming Relay for Life event.
The Sam Academy provided Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities for children of all ages. Children enjoyed building rockets with the Sam Academy team.
The 6th Annual Blossom Festival Car Show had many makes and models of cars for people to see. Twenty-six awards were handed out during an afternoon awards ceremony. Category winners were given a plaque in categories such as Best of Show, Best Muscle Car, Best Street Rod, Best Truck, and Best Interior. The Best of Show Award went to Don Walley for his 2001 Chevy Corvette.
During the six-hour festival, there were musical, dance and exercise performances and demonstrations for those attending the festival. Local singer, Krystal Moreno, performed musical selections in English and Spanish. Local Starlite Dance Studio performed various dance routines to showcase what classes are offered at their studio. UCan2 Fitness led festival attendees in some Zumba fitness routines and encouraged people to sign up for classes.
Festival attendees could also donate blood at the Blood Mobile from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Sanger Library held their annual book sale during the festival and the Sanger Museum was open for visitors.
You can also learn more about Blossom Trail events on their KRL event page.
Watch KRL for more Sanger related articles by Cheryl!