MODESTO — As sure a thing as spring in the valley is the abundance of festivals and fairs that bloom when it arrives.
April and May are filled with celebrations in the valley and Mother Lode just what we all need to get us stretching out from our winter cocoons and enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures.
Here's a look at some of the larger events on the schedule this month and next:
MODESTO NUTS FAN FEST April 13: Meet and greet the 2013 Modesto Nuts at a festival with face painters, balloon artist, dunk tank and more. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive, Modesto. (209) 572-4487.
KITE FESTIVAL April 14: Day full of kite flying, competition, crafting and entertainment. First 500 kids will receive a free kite. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Livingston Middle School, 101 F St., Livingston. Free. (209) 277-1402. www.livingstonkitefestival.com.
EARTH DAY IN THE PARK April 20: Community event highlighting ways to make your community more "green" through information booths, music, demonstrations and food. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Graceada Park, Sycamore and Needham streets, Modesto. Free. (209) 577-5495.
TASTE OF TURLOCK April 20: Eighth annual annual event featuring food samples, demonstrations, vendors and entertainment. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $1. Main Street, downtown Turlock. (209) 634-6459.
FLY-IN AND OPEN HOUSE April 20: Air show and open house with formation flying team, barbecue, aircraft and classic-car displays, Calaveras Community Band, airplane rides and more. Free admission; airplane rides $5 for children, $10 for adults. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Calaveras County Airport.3600 Carol Kennedy Road, San Andreas. (209) 736-2501.
MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL April 27: Delhi's fourth annual event, with live music, a car show, food, games, information booths and children's activities. 1-8 p.m. Delhi Educational Park, 16881 W. Schendel Road. (209) 632-2436.
SONORA SPRING FESTIVAL April 27: Arts and crafts, live music, street entertainment and fair. Disco boogie car wash and more. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Downtown Sonora. Free. (209) 532-7725. www.sonoraca.com.
GOLD COUNTRY PEDDLER'S FAIRE April 28: Historic Knights Ferry Gold Country Peddler's Faire features antiques, collectibles, crafts and more than 100 dealers. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Knights Ferry Recreation Area. Free. (209) 881-3517.
MERCED COUNTY SPRING FAIR May 1-5: Showmanship competition, live music, animal attractions, kids activities and food. Merced County Spring Fairgrounds, 403 F St., Los Banos. (209) 826-5166.
MARIPOSA BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL May 4-5: Butterfly releases, parade, art show, entertainment. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Downtown Mariposa, Highway 140 at Highway 149. (209) 966-3232; www.mariposabutterflyfestival.net.
CERES STREET FAIRE May 4-5: Live entertainment, car and truck show, food booths, crafts and collectibles, exhibits and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday in downtown Ceres. www.ceresstreetfaire.org.
CINCO DE MAYO FESTIVAL May 5: Tuolumne River Regional Park, Modesto. Details to be announced.
CAFE SHALOM May 5: Jewish food, cultural arts and music festival. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Congregation Beth Shalom, 1705 Sherwood Ave., Modesto. (209) 527-5556.
CALAVERAS COUNTY FAIR AND JUMPING FROG JUBILEE May 16-19: Annual jumping frog competition and county fair with food, exhibits, bronco and bull riding, entertainment, vendor booths and more. 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday,8 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, 7a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday. Calaveras County Fairgrounds, 2465 Gun Club Road, Angels Camp. www.frogtown.org.
MODESTO FAMILY CYCLING FESTIVAL & HARVEST MOON CRITERIUM May 18: Annual festival and bike race. Festival offers free children's bike helmets, BMX stunt shows, obstacle courses and races, bounce houses, rock climbing wall, face painting and more. Criterium offered in a variety of race categories from beginner and child to professional. Festival, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Criterium, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Downtown Modesto, festival atI Street between 11th and 12th streets. For festival information, (209) 571-5193; for criterium, (209) 604-6414.
COULTERVILLE COYOTE HOWL & CAR SHOW May 18: Main Street parade, classic-car show, live music, vendors and coyote howlers. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Coulterville Park, Junction of Highways 49 and 132. (209) 878-3015.
OAKDALE CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL May 18-19: 21st annual festival with arts and crafts, Chocolate Avenue, food, fun runs, kids activities, entertainment and more. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday,9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.Wood Park, Highways 120and 108, Oakdale. www.oakdalechamber.com.
SPRING PEDDLERS FAIRE May 25-26: More than 70 booths of antiques, collectibles, handcrafted items, foods, vintage jewelry and more. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; pancake breakfast 7:30-11 a.m. both days. Downtown Arnold. www.gocalaveras.com.