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Everything from Art in the Park to Chocolate & Cherry festivals

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POSTED May 15, 2014 12:42 a.m.

The Manteca Junior Women’s Club is staging Children’s Art in the Park on Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Library Park in downtown Manteca. There will be free arts and crafts. That is in addition to food vendors, art displays as well as demonstrations, entertainment and merchandise being available for sale. For more info click go to our online Community Calendar at

If you are looking for something to do on Sunday, come out and enjoy action packed racing at the Spreckels Park BMX Track! Anderson’s Mower and Bike holds BMX beginner rider clinics once a month, where you can loan a bike and a helmet (on a first-come first-serve basis) and try the sport yourself. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. For more info click go to our online Community Calendar at

If you have any old household appliances or electronic devices, you can bring them to Weston Elementary School (1660 Stanley) in Ripon for their e-Waste Collection Day on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can also schedule a free pick up for three or more large items from now until May 31 by calling Cal-Green Recycling 209.668.1738 and make sure you mention Weston Elementary in Ripon. For more info click go to our online Community Calendar at


What are you doing this weekend?

Your kids probably attract mud and dirt like crazy. Why not use their natural ability (that drives you insane) and sign them up for the Valley’s original kids’ mud run this weekend? Lil Mud Runner Kids/Family Fun Mud Run at the Eagal Lakes in Tracy is designed for girls and boys ages 4 to 13 who like to get dusty and dirty. A one-mile obstacle course is kid friendly and they will have to face obstructions such as hay bales, tunnels, mud pits, mud slides and a tire course. This year, parents can also run together with their children in three family waves. After the run, everyone will get a chance to dip into the clean lakes to rinse off, eat, dance and play games. But bring spare shoes, because a non-profit organization, Green Sneakers, will be on site to collect all of your muddy shoes, so they can clean them and distribute them to people in need. Run check-in is on Saturday, May 17, at 8:30 a.m. Price: $30 - $35 

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What do Nate Diaz, The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner, Tony Dominguez, former hometown fighter and Rodney Jones, former light middleweight champion, have in common? They were all trained by professional boxing trainer, Richard Perez, and all three of them will attend the grand opening of Richard Perez’ new boxing studio. Will you take picture with all three of them? 

Perez recently retired after 35 years as the head custodian at French Camp Elementary School and decided to finally open his own gym to teach people how to box. The grand opening of the first boxing gym in Manteca in 10 years will take place on Saturday, May 17, at 212 N. Main Street from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be refreshments, appetizers, free raffle with prizes, and you definitely should not miss it. 

Price: FREE Learn more at

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What is better than Elvis? What about Elvis and a buffet dinner? Enjoy an “Elvis Tribute” featuring Jim Anderson in Stockton’s Whirlow’s Tossed and Grilled (1926 Pacific Avenue) and a delicious dinner to boot. Buffet dinner will include southern favorites – Elvis himself was a Southern boy through and through – so fill up your plates with BBQ ribs and chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, corn bread and banana tart. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. So the only decision you need to make is the amount of food you plan to eat – because how can you dance to Jailhouse Rock when your belly is full?

Price: $10 cover, $16 buffet dinner. Learn more at

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Only 30 minutes stands between you and chocolate. Tons of chocolate. Chocolate truffles, chocolate cheese cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate covered almond toffee, frozen hot chocolate, chocolate dipped strawberry lemonade … Should we go on and on? This and more is waiting for you in Oakdale at the 22nd annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 17 – 18, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be two entertainment stages: Chocolate Challenge Stage with chocolate activities for the kids and community performances; and Main Stage with a variety of music. Oakdale is the Cowboy Capital of the World, so try your luck at the Big West Mechanical Bull, get some tips on how to get rich from Delta Gold Diggers or transform to a human hamster in the Walk on Water attraction. Price: $6 adults, children 12 and under FREE. Learn more at

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There are not enough festivals this weekend, because just a few miles north from Oakdale and their delicious “Chocolate Gone Nuts” is another festival that will get your taste buds going. The Linden Cherry Festival will take place on Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Start the day off right by participating in the Cherry 5K Run/Walk at 8 a.m. (burn some calories before you over-eat at the festival), then get ready for the parade to head down Front Street at 10, leading straight to the festival grounds at Linden Elementary School. There will be everything – live bands playing throughout the day, the presentation of the Linden Cherry Queen, delicious tree-ripened cherries, pie eating contests, craft and food booths, a fantastic car show, rides and games for the kids, and much more.

Price: FREE. Learn more at


Have more fun this weekend (Farmers’ Markets)

• Large variety of fresh produce and fresh baked goods and everything tasty the Central Valley has to offer will be at the Weberstown Mall Farmers’ Market in the Dillard’s Parking Lot on Thursday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (open every Thursday, April to November).

• Cut flowers as well as baked goods, oils, vinegars, herbs, nuts, and fresh mushrooms are available at the weekly downtown Stockton Certified Farmers’ Market on Main Street in front of the Bob Hope Theatre on Friday, May 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (open every Friday, May through October).

• Fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, flowers and other local products are available at the weekly San Joaquin Certified Farmers’ Market in downtown Tracy (10th Street between Central Avenue and B Street) on Saturday, May 17, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (open every Saturday, April to October).

• A year-round weekly market run by Stockton Certified Farmers’ Market Association offers fresh produce and other local goods in the west parking lot of West Valley Mall in Tracy on Sunday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (open every Sunday, May to October)

• Organic produce, including local honey, fresh eggs, baked goods and hot food will be available at the Park West Place Farmers’ Market in front of Lowe’s at Park West Shopping Center in Stockton on Sunday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (open every Sunday, May to December)

• Sonora Farmers Market will celebrate its opening day on Saturday, May 17, at 10 a.m. The farmers’ market runs every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and is located on Theall and Stewart Street in Downtown Sonora (open every Saturday, May to October).

• Downtown Lodi Farmers’ Market will celebrate its opening day on Thursday, May 15, at 10 a.m. featuring over 100 growers, producers, art & crafts and food vendors and an upscale wine and beer garden (open every Thursday, May to September).


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