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Stockton Asparagus Festival opens Friday

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POSTED April 26, 2012 1:15 a.m.

STOCKTON — The 2012 Stockton Asparagus Festival is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 27, 28 & 29. 

The festival promises three exciting days of entertainment on the Main Stage at Weber Point, sponsored by Bud Light.  All performances are illuminated on the huge LED screen. Starting off the power-packed weekend on Friday at 1:30 p.m. is Rockin’ Down the Highway, a Doobie Brothers tribute band, followed by the Grammy Award Winning All-4-One at 4:30 p.m. This multi-platinum music group is known for their soulful pop/R&B sound with hits like “I Swear” and “I Can Love You Like That.”

Following the Michelob Ultra Great Spear-It Run Saturday morning at 8 a.m., and the Deep-Fried Asparagus Eating Competition, sponsored by Bud Light and the California Asparagus Commission, at noon at the Main Stage, American Idol finalist Bucky Covington takes over the stage at 1:30 p.m. Welcomed by country music fans with open arms, this charismatic and talented performer is known for singles like “I Wanna Be That Feeling”, and is releasing a new album this year. At 4:30 p.m. Restless Heart commands the Main Stage.  With 26 hits that have graced the Billboard country charts, Restless Heart is a long-time favorite among country fans with hits like “When She Cries” and “Tell Me What You Dream.”

Main Stage entertainment kicks off again at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday with Average White Band, or AWB, widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music, earning several gold selling albums and multi-Grammy nominations.  Then at 4:30 we pull out all the stops with Tower of Power.  For 40 years this beloved Bay Area band has been making music and wowing audiences with their own brand of percussive, horn driven “urban soul music.”  Undeniably entertaining, don’t miss this funky, high-energy show.

The beautiful, shade-covered waterfront venue at DeCarli Square features a full schedule of local and regional entertainment.  Entertainment on the DeCarli Square Community Stage, sponsored by KB Homes, kicks off on Friday at 11  a.m. with The Advocates from Person Centered Services and concludes with Wendi Maxwell and Tres Hot Jazz at 5:15.  Saturday entertainment begins with the popular Caesar Chavez High School Mariachis and Show Choir at 10 a.m. The Mike Torres Band wraps up the day’s entertainment starting at 4:30.  The rousing dumbeats of Stockton Bukkyo Taiko opens the DeCarli Stage on Sunday at 10, with the Latin Magic Band ending the weekend’s schedule at 5:15 p.m.

Another highlight of the annual Best of the West Food Fest is the all new Chef of the Fest venue presented in the main hall of the Civic Auditorium.  Sponsored by Delta Health Systems, this new offering is coordinated by San Joaquin Delta College Culinary Arts Instructor Mark Berkner and his students.  The new format will take spectators to a whole new level with the introduction of a chefs competition, both pro and amateur.  Preliminary competitions for amateur chefs will occur on Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., with a semifinal each day at 5 p.m. The final competition between winners will take place Sunday at 5 p.m.  The Pro Chef Competition will pit the last two year’s Charter House Chef Challenge winners against each other in a cook-off on Sunday at 3p.m.  Ruben Larrazolo, Chef/Owner of Alebrijes Mexican Bistro & Catering will compete against Richard Hyman, Chef/Owner of Mezzo.  Pro Chef Demonstrations will feature James Ablett, Taste Restaurant in Plymouth on Friday at 11 a.m., and Kenn Bunns, Twin Rivers Unified School District on Saturday at noon. Culinary Arts students will demo on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Visit the festival website at www.asparagusfest.com for all the details.

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