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Chief Fuller Day A No-Go, Spaghetti Soiree Still On Schedule

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Sonora, CA -– While a snafu caused one Labor Day Weekend mainstay to be officially canceled, another one particularly noted for its ‘special sauce’ is still on.

Chef Fuller Day organizer and Mi Wuk Kettle Corn owner Mike Laurance shares with Clarke Broadcasting that the annual craft fair event, scheduled this year for Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., was unable to proceed. The reason, as he explains, is he could not amend and submit traffic plan paperwork in time. The annual event has been held nearly every year since 2013 when it was created to help boost the community, both morale-wise and economically, during the Rim Fire.

Despite having permission from the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, Laurance says a recent change over the summer in Caltrans’ requirements — and the retirement of a Caltrans contact as well as Duke York, the county’s roads engineer — led to a communications lapse that could not be mitigated for in time. As Laurance recounts, “We got a call from the State of California — Caltrans — on August 22nd, saying we did not have the correct paperwork and permits, and we did not have a permit fee of $490.”

After making inquiries, he discovered that Caltrans is now requiring traffic control plans for events to be stamped by a certified engineer every two years and the Chief Fuller Day plan of 2016 he had on file was no longer valid. He laments that the new requirement will add another cost to the free to the public event, which operates without a budget, and donates all the $40 vendor fees it collects to a local wildlife rescue group.

Sabbatical For Chief Fuller Day, Spaghetti Soiree Staging Underway 

Laurance adds that county officials he reached out to would have needed to bring the issue before the supervisors at their next meeting in order to help provide a suitable remedy. However, since the board is not scheduled to meet until next week, there was no way to provide a fix before the weekend. However, with the county’s interface and a longer planning timeframe next year, he says he is confident Chief Fuller Day will be back.

Touting its sauce recipe, Laurance says the yearly Mi Wuk/Sugar Pine Fire Protection District fundraiser is an event that attendees clamor to, not just to enjoy a community get-together, but to pick up extra portions to bring home and freeze to savor later.

Still on as scheduled Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the fire station (24247 Highway 108), dinners include salad, garlic bread, beverages, and ice cream for just $10 per adult; $5 children ten and under. By the way, the fabled homemade sauce is also for sale by the pint for $5 with all proceeds benefitting the fire protection district.

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