Good news today for Asparagus Festival fans; a local farmer/businessman is reviving the festival. However, Tony Nosceti says it’ll be at the fairgrounds, where he’s successfully promoted auto racing.
That tempers the good news for many Stocktonians and others wary of the fairgrounds’ location. ”South Stockton isn’t exactly on the Top 10 list of family friendly locations,” Dennis Wyatt wrote in the Manteca Bulletin last year.
Wyatt was talking about the county fair. Surely the same applies to the festival.
“People admit that they make sure their doors are locked driving Charter Way from Highway 99 or Airport Way up from Manteca,” Wyatt went on. “The extensive graffiti unnerves them. The general rundown condition of the surrounding neighborhood makes them weary. It is a place that many say they would never travel at night.”
That’s not just a Manteca sentiment. When the board pulled the plug on the Asparagus Festival, numerous Stocktonians said they preferred Oak Grove Regional Park to downtown Stockton. To many of these folks, a move to the fairgrounds is a step in the wrong direction. Some out-of-town visitors will balk, too, once they get a load of the surroundings.
But let’s not dwell on that for now. Noceti did not say whether the revived festival will be for-profit or nonprofit. That’s raises the first of many questions to ask Wednesday morning at his press conference.