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Cap & Town in downtown Merced honors grads with fun and food

Music, food, art, dancers, a rock climbing wall and bounce houses were on tap for the third annual Cap & Town Festival on Friday night.

The Ultimate Block Party ran from 5 to 10:30 p.m. in downtown Merced, the city said in a news release.

Main Street was filled with the sounds of reggae and rock ‘n’ roll, the smells of kettle corn and Brazilian barbecue and the sights of folklorico and Polynesian dancers and more.

The annual event is a tribute to the region’s academic achievements and celebrates all of our grads, from preschoolers and high schoolers to those collecting their Ph.D.s.

“We time Cap & Town so the parents of UC Merced grads coming here can feel welcomed and experience the charms of our city,” said Maria Mendoza, the event coordinator and a member of the city of Merced’s Economic Development team. “But we also want to highlight the academic accomplishments of our Merced College students and our other graduates.”

Some of the highlights of the event included pony rides, on-the-spot art, arts and crafts vendors, a beer garden, three different stages with blues and indie rock, eight bounce houses and face painting. Foods available ranged from Mexican and Chinese cuisine to hot dogs, tri-tip sandwiches, roasted corn and old-fashioned ice cream.

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