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Loomis FamilyFest livens up downtown

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Editor
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Downtown Loomis is hopping on Thursday nights in summer. Loomis FamilyFest, held weekly at the Loomis Train Depot from 6 to 9:30 p.m., draws neighbors, friends and even folks from out of town who come to shop, eat, drink, relax, dance and visit. Strolling through the festival on a warm summer evening with live music playing reminds people of how much they like living in a small town. They are just bound to run into someone they know. Marie Blomgren and Tim Plummer, both Del Oro High School graduates, started the event last year and continued it again this summer. Blomgren said, ?I just wanted to do something for our community, so people wouldn?t have to leave town to have fun.? She said she?d never organized anything quite like FamilyFest, but Plummer used to do event planning for convention centers so he mentored his friend Blomgren. Blomgren said last year she had to scour the county looking for vendors to participate, but she said this year the festival has a reputation and vendors are seeking her out. Community groups also participate in the event. Last week, a Mary Kay sales representative was sandwiched between booths for the Placer Tea Party and the Democratic party, but no arguments broke out. Dogs on leashes, babies in strollers, toddlers holding parents? hands and kids with painted faces are all staples at FamilyFest. Daniel Outlaw, 21, a Del Oro grad and recent Cal Poly San Luis Obispo graduate, visited FamilyFest with his parents. He sat with them and enjoyed a locally brewed beer purchased from the Loomis Basin Soroptimist booth. ?It?s pretty nice to be in a small town again. To see people I know,? Outlaw said. Outlaw said he is only here until August when he will travel to Scotland with an improvisation team. James Harlen, of Loomis, was showing his 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air at the car cruise-in held in the parking lot of Taylors restaurant as part of Familyfest. His was just one of many cool, classic and muscle cars on display. Marci Miller, of Marci?s Pony Pals, was selling tickets for children to ride her ponies. The riders were quite content to be sitting up high, strapped onto the ponies? backs and walking in a circle. Mary Kay beauty consultant Jean Marchbanks, who used to live in Loomis stood at her pretty pink booth and chatted with passersby. Marchbanks wasn?t selling anything, just offering an opportunity to sign up for a free microdermabrasion facial. ?This is a really nice community event. I see a lot of people I know and the food is really good,? she said. For more information on FamilyFest, go to www.loomisfamilyfest.com. Loomis FamilyFest What: Street fair with food, kid fun zone, craft and business vendors, beer and wine, live entertainment, car cruise-in When: 6 to 9:30 p.m., Thursdays through August Where: Loomis Train Depot Cost: Free admission Information: www.loomisfamilyfest.com