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Fish fry, gourmet sampler Celtic Faire & much more

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Fish fry, gourmet sampler Celtic Faire & much more

The Sonora Celtic Faire starts a three-day run on Friday.

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POSTED March 6, 2014 12:07 a.m.

If you want to eat out, support your community while doing so. Start your weekend right with the St. Anthony’s Young Men Institute’s fish fry on Friday, March 7, with takeout from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and sit-down dinner from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Anthony’s School cafeteria. Tickets are only $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under! 

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On Sunday, head over to a food event of a different kind – the 22nd annual Gourmet Sampler food and beverage tasting event offers samples from 23 area restaurants and other food, wine, beer and coffee vendors. The event is organized by the Manteca Historical Society and Museum at the Manteca Senior Center on Sunday, March 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. The $20 tickets may be purchased by calling 209.825.3021 or 209.256.3114. No ticket sales at the door.

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St. Patrick’s Day falls on Monday this year, but if you want to celebrate the Irish in you (or Scottish, Welsh or Breton for that matter) during a weekend, then the Sonora Celtic Faire is the place for you. America’s original Celtic Faire, featured on National Geographic, returns to the Mother Lode Fairgrounds on March 7 – 9 for three days filled with Scottish and Irish clans, dancers, food, fire breathing dragons and of course a whiskey bar. A family day is scheduled for Friday with knights and their fair ladies, archery for the kids and plenty of historical reenactments with more than 800 costume-clad volunteers. You will find entertainment for your ears at five stages filled with Celtic music and for your eyes during a jousting competition. Do you have your kilt ready yet?

Price: All three days for only $50, individual ticket prices vary

Learn more at

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Roller derby is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and most dynamic sports you can ever witness. Sitting breathlessly on a plastic foldable chair in the corner of an ice skating rink, just inches away from the strong and determined derby girls circling the rink oh-so-fast – you will almost wish you were one of them. Almost. Until they get tripped, punched, smacked and bruised by the other team of equally strong and determined derby girls. Come support your local green and black Port City Roller Girls, Stockton’s only roller derby league, as they kick off their ninth season of roller derby on Saturday, March 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Stockton Indoor Sports Complex. It’s going to be fast, intense, and you will love it. 

Price: $10. Learn more at

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How do you know the spring is in the air? By the smell of flowers? By the sound of buzzing bees? Or by the taste of fresh, warm air? You can get an abundance of all three at the annual Blossom Walk at the Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood on Sunday, March 9, at 11 a.m. You’ll start the day with a bee breath led by yoga instructor Sandy Carmellini, continue with a stroll through rows of soft pink and white flowers and listen to the secrets of honey bees by beekeeper Alan Hawkins. He will let you peek inside a hive and maybe even sample honey straight from the comb! If you bring your lunch, you can eat it in the orchard while listening to Carl and Corbin Pagter from the Mt. Diablo String Band and finish it off with a blind olive oil tasting by Chef Anna. Following lunch, if you are interested, Dr. Gordon Frankie and Jaime Pawelek from the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab, will tell you more about the busy creatures flying all around you.  Price: Free. Learn more at

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You will wish you were a child when you sign up your little ones for a Carnival Kids Course held at the Tuolumne River Regional Park in Modesto on Sunday, March 9, at 8 a.m. There will be one-mile obstacle course, color run, potato sack race and carnival just for kids, including clowns, jump houses, face painting and music. The course is designed to challenge children’s physical fitness while giving them a fun experience filled with obstacles, color splashes, and bubbles. Every child who signs up will receive a Carnival Kids Course shirt, bib, temporary tattoo, and medal at the finish. Girls ages 4 – 8 will start at 9 a.m., boys of the same age group 15 minutes later, following by older girls 9 – 13 at 9:30 and finishing off with boys of the same age at 9:45. Running is fun when it’s THIS fun!

Price: $35. Learn more at

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Mirror mirror on the wall, what is the shiniest, sparkliest and prettiest place of them all in the 209 this weekend? The mirror’s reply will probably be: the Gem, Jewelry and Rock Show in Turlock, of course! Almost a hundred of exhibit cases full of gemstones, including a dark tent for fluorescent rocks and minerals; pearls, fine jewelry and gold for sale, real dinosaur fossils and even some shiny objects from outer space? Sounds like fun to us! The whole big bang will be held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock on Saturday and Sunday, March 8 – 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. But the exhibition is a little more than just shiny rocks and stones. This year you can enjoy the display in a Black Hole Imaging Tunnel, which highlights astrophotography, and also the Tethys Ocean Project with amazing marine fossils plus the giant jaws and teeth of the extinct Megalodon, one of the largest sharks ever to have hunted the prehistoric oceans. Scary!

Price: $6 for adults, children 12 and under Free. Learn more at


Have more fun this weekend! 

u Compete with your friends (and plenty of knowledgeable locals) at the 23rd annual Trivia Bee at the Stockton Civic Memorial Auditorium in Stockton on Friday, March 7, at 5 p.m. 

u Gaze into the sky at the Astronomy in the Park evening at the Oak Grove Regional Park on Saturday, March 8, after sunset (6 p.m.). You’ll see the moon, Jupiter, Orion Nebula and the Pleiades. 

u Celebrate the best in the pop culture at the Wizard World Sacramento Comic Con at the Sacramento Convention Center Friday through Sunday, March 7 – 9. 


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