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Mercado set ups on a fast deadline before Old Spanish Days begins

A fast paced timeline is underway for those who are preparing for the 2018 Old Spanish Days mercados, stages and entertainment sites.

Drills, hammers and other tools are actively in use at the mercado in De la Guerra Plaza downtown and at MacKenzie Park on the north end.

They are the primary sites for thousands to enjoy food, dancing and live music from Wednesday through Sunday. Each booth is a fundraiser for a non profit group and in some cases it is the biggest money maker of the year

Greg Ruiz was with his father working on the assembly of a booth they move to various festivals in Southern California. He says marking the pieces correctly is a key. “That’s very important other wise you will be making the same mistake over and over and some do.”

He says it will take him a couple of hours because he has done it so many times. For others it takes more than a day. Ruiz is with Twin Berry Farms specializing in strawberry shortcake to raise money for Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM). Other booths raise money for youth groups, churches, sports teams, children’s programs and service organizations.

Trent Rameson was working on a set up involving a small old fashioned engine that turned a frozen dessert device. “This is home made ice cream right here and that ( another display) is home made root beer and we are going to combine the two and make root beer floats,” he said. MacKenzie Park will have a carnival area to go with the food booths and performance stages. De la Guerra will have a large area of retail vendors with novelties and clothing for sale.

The mercados will be open from 11 am to 11 pm each day during Fiesta.

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