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Festivals: Central Valley celebrations

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Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:00 am

Looking for something to do on a weekend in Lodi? Beginning in spring and running nearly year-round, it seems there's always something happening in or around the city.

Area festivals celebrate everything from local wine to locally grown produce. The biggest is the Grape Festival in September which celebrates, you guessed it, Lodi's favorite fruit to be fermented.

Here is a glance at other celebrations:

Spring

Lodi Spring Wine Show

March at Lodi Grape Festival. Music, food, wine seminars. 209-369-2771.

Stockton Asparagus Festival

April in Stockton. Celebrate asparagus at this annual event, enjoy music, crafts, food-eating contests and entertainment. 209-644-3755.

Zinfest

May at Lodi Lake. Cooking demos, live entertainment, wine seminars and wine games. 209-367-4727.

Cherry Festival

May at Linden Elementary School campus. Food, live entertainment and more. 209-547-3046.

Oakdale Chocolate Festival

The third weekend in May in Oakdale. Chocolate tasting, arts and crafts booths, food, entertainment and children's activities. 209-847-2244.

Galt Strawberry Festival

May in Galt. Arts and crafts, strawberry products, fun run and live entertainment. 209-745-2529.

Sacramento Jazz Jubilee

May at various Sacramento locations. Regional and national jazz musicians convene at this annual event. Food vendors abound. Lodging available. 916-372-5277.

Summer

San Joaquin County Fair

June in Stockton. Nightly live entertainment, horse racing, food and livestock exhibits. 209-466-5041.

Crawdad Festival

Fathers Day weekend in Isleton. All things cajun at this crustacean event, including live music, entertainment and a ton of crawdads. Food vendors, crafts, art and games. 916-777-5880.

Obon Festival

June at the Buddhist Church of Lodi. Japanese food, music, Taiko drums, bazaar and more. 209-368-5589.

Gilroy Garlic Festival

July in Gilroy. Garlic, food and family fun at this annual event. 408-842-1625.

California State Fair

July at Cal Expo in Sacramento.

Weeks-long event featuring exhibits, food, rides, horse racing and entertainment. 916-263-3000.

Bear Valley Music Festival

July in Bear Valley. Featuring bluegrass, jazz, opera, orchestral, Broadway and pop. Wine and food available. 800-458-1618.

Fall

California Dry Bean Festival

September in Tracy. Two-day event with emphasis on beans. Kids' area, arts and crafts, food, plus the bean tasting pavilion and chili cook-off. 209-835-2131.

Lodi Grape Festival and Harvest Fair

Second weekend in September. Food, rides, exhibits and live entertainment. 209-369-2771.

Greek Festival

St. Basil Greek Orthodox Christian Church in Stockton. Greek cuisine and pastries, music, dancing and games. 209-478-7564

Oktoberfest in Lodi and Galt

Oct. 23, 2010, at American Legion Building, 320 N. Washington St., Lodi. German music, traditional dancers, bratworst and chicken schnitzel, and beer, of course! For details and last minute changes 209-333-6709.

Oktoberfest

October in downtown Galt. Traditional German dancers, German beer, bratwurst, food and craft booths. 209-745-2529.

Our Lady of Fatima Celebration

Third weekend in October at 26500 N. Sacramento Blvd., Thornton. Parades, dancing, Catholic Masses, food and bullfighting. 209-794-2661.

Winter

Sandhill Crane Festival

First weekend in November at various Lodi locations. Sight-seeing tours, bird watching and children's activities. 800-541-6150.

Wine and Chocolate Festival

Valentine's Day weekend at wineries in and around Lodi. Wine tasting, food samples and contests. 209-367-4727.

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