• WHAT: 35th annual Riverbank Cheese & Wine Exposition
• WHEN: Today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• WHERE: Downtown Riverbank. Take Highway 120 east to Oakdale. Turn right on Highway 108 at the main traffic light in Oakdale and follow Highway 108 to Riverbank.
• COST: Free admission. Wine tasting is $35.
• NOTES: Free cheese sampling, 200 vendor booths, petting zoo, pony rides, two entertainment stages, beer and microbrews, wine tasting.
RIVERBANK — Family-friendly is the goal and that’s exactly the kind of entertainment scheduled for the Riverbank Cheese and Wine Exposition, today and Sunday on Santa Fe and Third streets in the heart of downtown Riverbank.
Event Chair David Rodrigues said this year’s festival is going to knock your socks off from the 200 vendors, wine tasting, and cheese sampling to the rocking and bluesy musical style of some of the hot-test local bands in the Central Valley.
“We’re trying to keep the entertainment family focused. There’s a larger pet-ting zoo than we had last year and there is something there for everyone. It’s a great day to take your kids out and have fun,” Rodrigues said.
The musical lineup today will feature such local favorites as Tara Tinsley with her unique musical style where she will wow the crowds with her artistry. ”She’s an amazing acoustic artist,” Rodrigues shared with enthusiasm.
“She’s a vibrant singer and songwriter. You’re in for a real treat with this artist.”
Also on the schedule for today: Hari Kari, Rock Lobster, All American Brothers and Sisters, DJ Slate & The Rocket 88s. On Sunday, the lineup includes: Kelly Flynn, Hollopoynt, Mario Flores, and Homegrown. There will also be a microbrew garden in the newly upgraded Plaza del Rio stage area. ”We’ve really upgraded and improved the area around the stage. It’s really great,” Rodrigues said.
Although the performers haven’t been announced for the Rock 104 stage - it’s a closely guarded secret until the week of the festival - officials are confident that festival goers are going to have a great time. Different this year is that the cheese samplers will have product to offer for sale. This was one of the suggestions from attendees last year and coordinators agreed it was a fabulous idea so be sure to check out the delicious cheese producers and their wares. You might just have to take some cheese home.
An interesting item on display will be the “iron lung,” a medical device, which was used in the past, to keep polio victims alive. Rotary volunteers will be staffing the booth and providing information on Rotary International’s ongoing effort to eradicate polio.
To contact Kim Van Meter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org