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Community Events
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Almond Blossom Festival

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The Ripon Almond Blossom Festival will be held Feb. 20 to Feb. 23 at Mistlin Sports Park in Ripon. The annual event will feature a queen coronation, carnival, fun run, a bake off and bake sale, an antique show, a parade, a cutest pet photo contest, and more. The event is sponsored by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce. Admission is free, though some activities may have a cost. Mistlin Sports Park is located at 1201 River Road in Ripon. For more information email info@riponchamber.org or call  (209) 599-7519.

An Evening at the Derby

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Without Permission will host their 8th annual benefit gala, An Evening at the Derby, to raise funds to combat human trafficking in the region. The gala will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Martin G. Peterson Center in Modesto. The night’s festivities are modeled on the Kentucky Derby and attendees can wager on video horse races, purchase a virtual racehorse, compete in the Derby Hat Contest, and enter winnings in the raffles, all the while enjoying dinner and cocktails. Individual tickets are $100 and table sponsorships, which includes eight tickets, are $1,000. For more information or tickets visit https://withoutpermission.networkforgood.

Chinese New Year

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The annual Stockton Chinese New Year parade and celebration is planned for March 1. This marks the 42nd year of the event. It will usher in the Year of the Rat with lion dances, a food court, a kids’ zone, and live performances. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Weber Point in Stockton. The festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information email cnyccelebration@stocktonchinese.org.


Spring Obsession Art and Daffodil Shows

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Ironstone Vineyards is holding an art competition and sale, along with a daffodil show March 7 and 8. The 2020 Spring Daffodil Show is brought to you by the Northern California Daffodil Society and the Calaveras County Garden Club. The county road leading into Ironstone Vineyards will be lined with thousands of naturalized daffodils. The show will display daffodil exhibits in horticulture, artistic design, and photography. The daffodil show is free and open to the public starting at 12 p.m. each day. The art show, which is in its 23rd year, is accepting entries and cash prizes will be awarded. For more information about the daffodil show email robert_spotts@comcast.net, or visit http://www.daffodil.org. For information about entering the art show visit https://www.ironstonevineyards.com/spring-obsession/Ironstone Vineyards is located at 1894 6 Mile Road in Murphys.

Pasta Dinner

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The Castle Air Museum is hosting a pasta dinner fundraiser from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 7. Tickets for the dinner are $12 and can be for dine in at the Atwater Community Center, or for take-out. All proceeds benefit the museum. Tickets can be purchased at 5050 Santa Fe Drive in Atwater or online at https://www.facebook.com/castleairmuseum/

Jedi Academy

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The Merced Theatre Foundation is bringing David Engel’s Jedi Academy to town on March 7. Designed for all ages, the Jedi Academy will teach the ways of the force and how to use a light saber, along with some comic antics, physical challenges and magic. The event starts at 1 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $25 and can be purchased at mercedtheatre.org.

Songwriting Retreat

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The Yosemite Songwriting Retreat provides an opportunity for anyone with a desire to work on their songwriting skills or explore songwriting for the first time. There will be opportunities to perform and record songs, and a concert featuring the retreat instructors, including Mary Gauthier and Keith Greeninger. The retreat will be held March 20 through March 23 at the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort in Midpines. The cost is $400. For more information, a complete schedule and registration, visit https://yosemitesongwriting.com/.

Murphys Irish Day Parade and Festival

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Thousands of people will gather in the historic gold rush town of Murphys on March 21 to honor its Celtic heritage. The day begins with a pancake breakfast.  At 11 a.m. the swirl of bagpipes heralds a parade of marching bands, classic cars, horses, community organizations, novelty entries. Throughout the day, there is continuous entertainment.  And some lucky raffle ticket buyer will win a trip for two to Ireland. Sponsored by the Murphys Business Association, Murphys Irish Day is a fundraiser for many community projects and non-profit organizations. For more information email info@visitmurphys.com.

Modesto Tattoo Expo

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The first tattoo convention for Modesto has been set for March 21 and 22 at the Centre Plaza. The expo will feature tattoo artists from around the world, live music, sideshow performers, vendors, food and drinks. Attendees will be able to get tattoos at the event. The expo will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 21 and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 22. A one-day ticket is $20 and a two-day pass is $30. Kids 12 and under are free admission. The event is hosted by Central Valley Tattoo. For more information or tickets visit http://modesto.tat-expo.com/.