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 by the local band "Sequoia" will be provided on Wednesday, July 4.
Boom. Crackle. Whistle. Sparkle. Poof.
Looking to a quick getaway for the Fourth of July?
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.
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?
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.
MODESTO – The neon lights are the first thing that grabs your attention.
Sam Robinson slides forward on his feet as he approaches the foul line.
Max Garrido Jr. has one perfect game and an 800 series to his credit.
STOCKTON - Everything from Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 to the music of Billy Joel, from the dazzling symphonic spectacle of Carmina Burana to the anticipated return of Cirque de la Symphonie, from classical music inspired by planets far, far away to some of the best known compositions of Leonard Bernstein is part of the Stockton Symphony's 2014-15 Season.
LATHROP – It can be brown and it can be murky, but it's also one of the most critical waterways in California and it has a long and storied history and has provided recreational opportunities for local residents for decades.
As a member of the Stockton Rowing Club, Kathy Brown has been in and around the San Joaquin Delta and its many tributaries.
The roads wind.