Joey Chestnut is the reigning king of Stockton’s Asparagus Festival.
When it comes to the deep fried stalks, he’s devoured more than anyone in the allotted time, putting away 8.3125 pounds last year while holding on to his title as the World Asparagus Eating Champion. Chestnut will look to defend his crown for a third straight year.
The Asparagus Festival kicks off this year’s season of fun, food and good times.
Entertainment on the Weber Point Main Stage will be the Houserockers (April 26, 1 p.m.), Starship featuring Mickey Thomas (April 26, 4 p.m.), Great White (April 27, 1:30 p.m.), Night Ranger (April 27, 4:30 p.m.), Foghat (April 28, 1 p.m.) and Gin Blossoms (April 28, 4 p.m.).
Asparagus Alley Food is on the check list for those attending this Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce function that, in 2012, donated $314,972 to 129 non-profit organizations.
Chef Mark Berkner will again lead the “Chef of the Fest” activities inside the cool and comfortable Stockton Civic Auditorium on all three days.
In addition, the Great Spear It Run featuring 1-mile, 5K and 5-mile races has been moved to Sunday, April 28.
Here’s a rundown of the some of the area festivals and street fairs:
WHAT: Asparagus Festival
DATE/TIME: April 26, 27, 28 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on all three days)
WHERE: 221 N. Center St.
COST: $13 for adults (age 18-59); $8 for college students with proper ID, $8 for teens (13-17), seniors (60 and older), and active military cardholder with proper ID; and free for children 12 and under. Food and drink tickets are $1 each.
INFORMATION: firstname.lastname@example.org, 209-644-3740.
WHAT: Lodi Street Fair
DATE/TIME: May 5 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
WHERE: Along West Pine Street and North Church Street.
ABOUT THE EVENT: Sponsored by the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce, this event is held twice annually (the next one is planned for the first Sunday in October) and covers a 10-square-block area featuring about 700 vendors selling arts and crafts, commercial items and a variety of foods and snack items.
EVENT: Linden Cherry Festival
DATE/TIME: May 19 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
WHERE: 18100 Front St.
ABOUT THE EVENT: The Cherry Festival kicks off with a parade down Front Street followed by the presentation of the Linden cherry queen, freshly picked cherries, pie-eating contests, bake-off, arts and crafts, and food booths. Games, rides and activities are available for children.
INFORMATION: www.zvent.com/linden or call 209-547-3046.
WHAT: The 21st annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival.
DATE/TIME: May 18 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), May (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
WHERE: Junction of Highway 120 and 108 at Wood Park and surrounding area.
ABOUT THE EVENT: Over 200 vendors are expected, offering unique arts and crafts, Chocolate Avenue (fudges, truffles, ice cream, cheese cake, etc.), a variety of food and other activities (Fun Run and classic car show).
WHAT: 18th annual Strawberry Festival
DATE/TIME: May 18 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and May 19 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
WHERE: Veterans Field, 900 Charoline Ave.
ABOUT THE EVENT: Arts and craft along with food vendors, plenty of fun for children, and a classic car show (May 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is part of the two-day event. General admission is $5 and free for children age 5 and younger.
WHAT: Escalon Park Fete
DATE: July 12-13
WHERE: Main Street Park, 1771 Main St.
ABOUT THE EVENT: This annual city festival features food, music, and plenty of fun. Included is 5K and 10K run on July 13.
WHAT: Pumpkin Fair
DATE: Oct. 5.
WHERE: Downtown Manteca along East Yosemite Avenue.
ABOUT THE EVENT: Sponsored by the Sunrise Kiwanis, this annual event celebrates Manteca as the “Pumpkin Capital of the World.” Featured are over 200 vendors, entertainment, pumpkin contests and lots of pumpkin foods.
WHAT: Main Street Day
DATE: Oct. 19
WHERE: Main Street along historic downtown Ripon.
ABOUT THE EVENT: Held on the third Saturday in October, Main Street Day, sponsored by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, features sidewalk sales, crafts, booth, and a health fair.
INFORMATION: Ripon Chamber of Commerce 209-599-7519.
By VINCE REMBULAT
209 staff reporter