We're coming up on the most patriotic day of the year and it's not too late to make plans for a very special Fourth of July. Certain towns and places in California have better patriotic vibes than others and, if you're interested in a Mayberry USA Fourth of July – or some time paying homage to one of our nation's great military generals – we have some suggestions for you. First a couple of patriotic towns:
JAMESTOWN - The 4th of July extended holiday is a perfect time to visit and support Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP)! Special rides behind Sierra No. 3 -- widely known as the "Movie Star Locomotive" -- and aboard the prized Caboose No. 7 are available on the weekend leading up to the holiday (June 30 & July 1) and on Wednesday, July 4, as well. Plus, entertaining and festive live old-time music performed ...
Boom. Crackle. Whistle. Sparkle. Poof. They're all common sounds this time of year thanks to the sale of "safe and sane" fireworks. And they all make me giddy like a schoolchild. For whatever reason, I've always been drawn to fireworks – the smell of burning sulfur and the sight of the flashes and the sparks and the way that the cone sends a final burst when it reaches its end. <p ...
TNT Fireworks OPENING SHOW COLORS: Red, green, yellow and orange PATTERN: Short, flowering burst to tall, Christmas tree-like explosion COST: $59.99 INFO: Despite the name, the large popcorn bucket-sized attraction serves a dual purpose as an opener and a closer thanks to its bright, vibrant colors and it's multiple features – sound, sparkles and variety. STAR ...
Looking to a quick getaway for the Fourth of July? Try parts of the Mother Lode, where plenty of traditional Independence Day events are in the works. Check out the dazzling "Fireworks on the Water" at the Don Pedro Lake in Tuolumne County on Tuesday. This half-hour pyrotechnic display will take place by the Don Pedro Dam beginning at about 9:30 p.m. Make a day of fun in the sun by ...
STOCKTON - Banner Island may be the inspiration of Ernest Lawrence Thayer's famous poem "Casey at the Bat."
Saturday, June 30
The Tracy Chamber of Commerce calls the Fourth of July "A Hometown Celebration."
ESCALON – Dennis Borba is a busy man. It's to be expected when you run a thriving livestock business and serve as both an advisor and intermediary for the colorful and pageantry-filled Portuguese bullfights that take place throughout Northern California in the late spring. Throw in the fact that you're the only active, American-born matador on the planet – something that has turned his Escalon-based Campo Bravo arena into a ...
Hidden in a rural corner of Turlock, champion horses and riders are being groomed at the Maxfield Riding Center. Every year for the past 16 years Maxfield has boasted amateur and professional level state, national or reserve champions in dressage and three-day eventing.
HUGHSON - Local wildlife orphaned or injured have a second chance at survival thanks to the efforts of dedicated staff and volunteers at the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center.
LODI – Ever see a Chilean pudu? This small, short-legged member of the deer family with a low-slung body can be found at the Micke Grove Zoo. Home to over 130 species – included are monkeys, lemurs, snow leopards, various reptiles and birds of all sizes – this five-acre zoo was founded in 1957. Noted naturalist Ronald Theodore Reuther was its first curator. Micke Grove Zoo is currently undergoing ...
The Micke Grove Zoo gives folks and opportunity to adopt their favorite animal.
Driving through California's Central Valley it's easy to speed right on by Bakersfield, the southernmost of the Valley's good-sized cities and the last one you'll pass before you head up the Grapevine toward Los Angeles. But next time, consider this: You're passing through Music History and it just might be worth your while to stop.
MERCED - The Merced National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 10,258 acres of wetlands, native grasslands, vernal pools, and riparian areas. It was established in 1951 under the Lea Act to attract wintering waterfowl away from adjacent farmland where foraging ducks and geese were causing extensive damage to crops.
JAMESTOWN – Santa is taking some time out of his busy schedule to make special daytime and nighttime appearances at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown this holiday season.
PATTERSON - Alongside harvest season comes football, and Fantozzi Farms in Patterson is ready for both with its 25-acre corn maze inspired by San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
A happy Halloween is a scary Halloween. For that celebration formula to be complete, add safe to the ingredient to make the popular dress-up annual occasion a truly family-oriented entertainment.
STOCKTON - There's a pumpkin patch out there that may be ideal for young children.
Editor's Note: This is a profile on florist and amateur makeup artist Cheryl Airrington, who was recruited to turn Managing Editor James Burns into a zombie for this weekend's 209 edition.
"We can make your eye pop out of the socket and hang there up against your cheek. ... I've got a brain you can carry around. ... We can also make it look like the bone is popping out."
Whether you want to be a wicked witch, a tiger, a vampire or a member of the walking dead, local business Daydreams and Nightmares can help bring your favorite Halloween character to life. Through the use of professional makeup and talented makeup artists, Daydreams and Nightmares can help add that perfect finishing touch to complete your Halloween transformation.
Remember Miley Cyrus' VMA performance with Robin Thicke?
If you ever wanted to visit Yosemite National Park without fighting tourist traffic every inch of the way, this month may be your best chance. In a kind of Perfect Storm combining the normal fall dip in traffic with public concerns about the Rim Fire, the park actually may have fewer visitors than just about any other time in recent memory.
With the leaves changing colors and the weather cooling down, it's time to get outside and enjoy the autumn season. The following are three suggestions of the best places to see the season in Stanislaus County.
In New England there are entire companies built around the annual changing of the foliage.
COLUMBIA - A real life nugget from the days of the Gold Rush is the Fallon House Theatre that was built in 1850 and continues with its stage productions year-round today.
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is busy organizing its 29th annual Harvest Festifall, to be held in Columbia State Historic Park on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
When it comes to fall colors, Manteca and Ripon – or the South San Joaquin County area – is not Vermont or Maine, or even the Sierra foothills and surroundings by any stretch of the imagination.
STOCKTON - My buddy Kurt once lived along a picturesque tree-lined street in Stockton's University District.