Heading up either Highway 120 or 88 into the foothills always offers an interesting respite in the towns of Sonora and Columbia to Murphys and Angels Camp and even into Groveland's Pine Mountain Lake – especially for newcomers to the Central Valley.
National parks in California are some of the most beautiful in the country but anyone who has tried to visit Yosemite National Park in summer will almost certainly agree: things are starting to get a little crowded. One wonders if the pioneers who had the foresight to set aside these scenic lands would be appalled at the sight of hundreds of tour buses plying the park's narrow roadways.
The Associated Students of Modesto Junior College continue to demonstrate their lively (or perhaps, deadly) holiday spirit by sponsoring their eighth annual Halloween Carnival and Haunted House extravaganza today, held at Modesto Junior College's West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave. The event begins at 2 p.m. and thoroughly finishes off their black magic at 9 p.m.
Don't count on spirits being low this Halloween. Despite the trademark holiday landing on a Wednesday, Ceres Community Center is hosting a Halloween Festival from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. that is free to monster mashers of any age (although, children must be accompanied by an adult). The event, which will be held at 2701 4th St. in Ceres, offers a multitude of mysteries and mysticism that are designed to keep everyone entertained, and primarily safe for this invigorating weeknight.
MODESTO - In anticipation of All Hallow's Eve, The State Theatre is conducting what is billed as the First Annual Fete & Film for Kids, a spellbinding and memory-making event for youngsters that includes sweet treats, kindly ghouls and goblin boys, a costume parade and an enchanting cast of young, local actors portraying scarecrows, benevolent witches and characters from favorite fairy tales.
RIO VISTA - Today and Sunday the Western Railway Museum will run special Pumpkin Festival Trains. Now in its 15th year, this old time harvest festival is a highlight of autumn and for many, a family tradition.
TRACY - It's Fright Night at The Grand Theatre Centre for the Arts in Tracy. What's even more scary – at least for pre-teens who enjoy everything frightful about Halloween – is that this artful dread-full walk-thru event is only open to teens and adults.