Debbie Croft: Lots to do in Mariposa -- from family fair to Gold Rush dance

March 22, 2013 

DEBBIE CROFT

Have you seen the website yet for Mariposa Safe Families Inc.? It's adorable. And full of information and resources for strengthening families. Go to www.mariposasafefamilies. org.

MSF's spring Family Fun Fair is today. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., local families are invited to Mariposa Elementary School to share laughter and discovery, while learning how to take better care of themselves and each other.

Most activities are geared for elementary and middle school ages, but Cinnamon Fleener, executive director, said families with children of all ages are welcome.

The school is at 5044 Jones St., between Sixth and Eighth streets.

"Healthy Habits" is the theme.

Free activities are scheduled throughout the day. Hunt for Easter eggs, meet the Easter bunny and munch on healthy snacks. Watch martial arts demonstrations or listen to music by Colorado Road.

Complimentary health screenings will be available, plus lots of educational games and activities to enjoy.

The Mariposa County Health Department, John C. Fremont Healthcare District and Mariposa First 5 are some of the organizations that will be on hand at information booths.

MSF is a family enrichment center with much to offer. Call during the week for more information at (209) 966-2211 or stop by at 5078 Bullion St., between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Farm Bureau dinner

Believe it or not, I do have a few neighbors in this forgotten, historic ghost town. They recently reminded me about tonight's benefit dinner sponsored by the Mariposa Farm Bureau and featuring the group's famous barbecued pork ribs.

The price is affordable at $10 for adults and $5 for children age 12 and under. Dinner is served from 4 to 7 p.m., and take-out meals are available. Though you may want to get in line early to buy your tickets before they're sold out. This event will be held at the Stagg Hall in Hornitos.

It's the Farm Bureau's way of thanking friends and neighbors for their continued support. And a way for ag folks to swap howdys. (Ag is short for agriculture, and swappin' howdys is what folks do when we get together around here.)

Funds raised tonight are given back to the community in various ways. Local 4-H members are supplied with needed tools for raising their animals and completing projects. The bureau also contributes to Ag in the Classroom, which introduces school-age students to the benefits of agricultural efforts in their communities.

Dance in 49ers style

The Soroptimists' Gold Rush Dinner and Dance will also be held tonight. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. in the Sequoia Room at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds, about a mile south from town on Highway 49.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m. with tri-tip or chicken by Dave's Barbecue, side dishes and Nancy MacArthur's famous cheesecake. MacArthur is the Soroptimist Sierra Pacific Region president.

I was told she's making

98 cheesecakes by hand for this evening's popular fund-raiser.

Country music by Keith Keenom and the Mountain Fever Band will keep things lively. And UPS Sue is giving line-dancing lessons. Also on the program are a silent auction and a huge raffle.

Tickets are $20 each, available at Happy Burger Diner at 12th Street and Highway 49-140 in Mariposa.

The Western theme suggests Western attire. And Soroptimist members may be surprised to see their faces on "Wanted" posters around the room. (I was given permission to let this secret out.)

Dianne Fritz is chairman of the annual dinner, as well as the Soroptimist president-elect. She's excited about past success of this event.

"With funds raised, we're able to reach out to abused or underprivileged women, helping them rise above their circumstances through scholarships and grants," Fritz says.

For details about the Soroptimists, call MacArthur at (209) 742-5165 or (209) 617-0554.

It's another big weekend in Mariposa County. If you're looking for something to do, or just want an excuse to leave the traffic and smog, and head for the hills, we've got something for everyone.

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at composed@tds.net.

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