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Satisfying tostada munchies plus a wild & wet time in cave

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POSTED February 26, 2014 8:27 p.m.

Tostadas! Good Shepherd Mission’s 34th annual Tostada Dinner is Sunday, March 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Mission, 305 E. French Camp Road. Tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children. For information, call 209.983.8829.

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Who will serve the best dinner this Saturday? The Manteca Rainbow Girls Assembly will! The 26th annual Manteca Rainbow Girls Assembly Ham Dinner is Saturday, March 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 212 N. Powers Ave. in Manteca. Dinner includes ham, scalloped potatoes, vegetables, salad and dessert. For more information  call 209.823.4357.

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It’s time to put on your walking shoes, because this weekend you will be busy outside with walking, hiking, climbing and sliding. Start your outdoor adventure with the Trails of Lakes Walk Tour, a guided tour suitable for the whole family and only available during the wet season (so if you miss it, your next chance comes with the next couple of rainy days). With rainy weather predicted for California over the weekend, this is the perfect time to explore the California Caverns, called appropriately a Trail of Lakes during this season. When the water table rises, pools of water will form throughout the cavern and you can enjoy the mirror effect of the water reflecting the crystalline formations along the trail. The tour is about an hour long and it meanders over nearly level, well-lit passages and walkways. It starts every Saturday and Sunday in March at 10 a.m. at California Caverns, 9565 Cave City Road in Mountain Ranch. 

Price: $14.95 adult, $7.95 child (ages 3 - 13)’ Learn more at http://www.caverntours.com/CalifRt.htm#ToLa

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If you are out and about and get a little hungry (and don’t mind driving to get to a good food), head over to the picturesque town of Murphys nestled in the Sierra foothills. Murphys was once voted one of Traveler Magazines Top Ten Coolest Small Towns, so you will probably get lost in the selection of restaurants offering mouth-watering dishes and wineries producing award-winning vintages. This is where Murphys Food and Wine Walking Tour come in handy. You can stroll along 1800s era Italian brick and stone buildings during the 3.5-hour tour with up to nine stops at the best restaurants and shops, tasting everything from local favorite fish taco with slaw dressing to locally sourced chicken Thai salad with lime-chili vinaigrette and topping it off with rich creamy dark chocolate-covered almonds. Your Instagram friends will be jealous of your artistic culinary snaps! Satisfy your inner foodie this Saturday, March 1, at 11 a.m.  

Price: $55 to $65. Learn more at https://my.getinsellout.com/providers/local-roots-food-tours/skus/murphy-s-food-and-wine-walking-tour/info?pl=-1

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Keep your hiking shoes on, because on Sunday you will get in touch with nature again. Cosumnes River Preserve is home to lots of water birds during wintertime, sometimes even clocking up more than 100,000 birds in a single day (that is more than the population of Manteca!). You can get very close to them, because on most weekends during the winter the preserve is setting up four to six scopes out on the boardwalk to allow visitors a close-up of these incredibly beautiful birds. The boardwalk trail is a half-mile mile round trip trail plus the preserve offers a 1-mile loop Wetlands Walk and 3-mile loop River Walk, both with variety of habitats and dramatic views. Start your adventure with nature at the Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center, open every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: Free. Learn more at http://www.cosumnes.org/faqs/ 

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“And the winner is …” Where will you be when these precise words are announced several times during the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday? Let us help you, because there are only two acceptable answers: Watching at home in your fanciest dress, tiara and Mimosa in your hand, or watching it in the same attire during the Hooray For Hollywood event in the State Theatre of Modesto, complete with the Red Carpet Party & Dinner, on Sunday, March 2, at 4 p.m. 

Glitz, glamour and Art Deco décor are the keywords for the night, so make sure you are dressed appropriately. There will be a live simulcast from the red carpet in Hollywood, a fabulous buffet dinner prepared by Executive Chef John Surla, owner of Surla’s Restaurant (including succulent mini short ribs, grilled chicken skewers basted with Surla’s signature balsamic glaze and Chef Johns homemade Pan de Leche), and plenty of champagne of course. Are you practicing your acceptance speech yet?

Price: Free ($15 for the dinner buffet). Learn more at http://www.thestate.org/calendar/event/241

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Xin Nian Kuai Le! It may be the beginning of the third month of the New Year for many of us, but the Chinese Cultural Society of Stockton will celebrate the Lunar Year 4712, Year of the Horse, on Sunday, March 2, at the Stockton Civic Memorial Auditorium, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s free, it’s fun and it’s full of great Chinese food! A parade will begin at 10 a.m. and the Civic Auditorium will be bursting at the seams with talented dancers, drummers, martial artists, musicians and acrobats entertaining the crowd, including you of course. Don’t miss the chance of perusing vendor booths for souvenirs, books, and arts and crafts. Price: Free. Learn more at http://www.stocktoncnyc.org/

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Have more fun this weekend!

• Remember Freddy Mercury at One Night of Queen at Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m. ($29 - $44)

• Laugh with Elle Woods at Legally Blonde, the Musical at Morgan Hill Playhouse & Theater in San Jose on Friday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. ($15 - $19)

• Celebrate a night out at the Night at the Museum Mardi Gras at the Children’s Museum of Stockton on Saturday, March 1, at 6 p.m. ($50)

• Visit a free opera preview of Cinderella at the Livermore Public Library of Livermore Valley Opera’s upcoming performances of Cinderella at the Bankhead Theater on Sunday, March 2, at 2 p.m. (FREE)

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