MODESTO — If you're making plans for the weekend, you've got a lot of opportunities in the area.
The weekend packs a major festival punch, from Modesto to the Mother Lode. On tap are the Modesto Family Cycling Festival and Harvest Moon Criterium; the Oakdale Chocolate Festival; and the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee.
Here's a look at those events and details on what you'll find if you attend:
MODESTO FAMILY CYCLING FESTIVAL The City of Modesto's 18th annual event in downtown features information on safe bicycling and activities to participate in, along with events to watch. Each year, children receive free bike helmets at this popular event. Also planned are prize drawings, bounce houses, face painting, rock climbing, bicycle and obstacle course races, a BMX stunt team and an interactive display by the city's Public Works Department. Children who bring their bikes can participate in races, ride an obstacle course and have their bike licensed. The event runs May 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on I and 11th streets. Admission is free. For more on the event, call (209) 571-5193.
HARVEST MOON CRITERIUM In conjunction with the Family Cycling Festival for several years, the criterium features bike racing in downtown Modesto. Community members and professional racers will compete throughout the day. Criterium races begin and end at 13th and I streets, where there will be a sign-up booth set up. Parents or guardians must be present for any child to participate in races. The event is May 18 from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more, call (209) 606-6414.
OAKDALE CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL The 21st annual Chocolate Festival dubbed Cowboys 'n Chocolate returns with an abundance of sweet treats and activities. More than 200 vendors are expected to peddle arts and crafts, food and more. The signature Chocolate Avenue is filled with fudge, truffles, ice cream, cheesecake and other items. Also on tap area fun run, 5K and 1-mile run on Saturday and a classic-car show both days. Community groups will perform. The event is May 18 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and May 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $6 adults, $5 seniors and free for children younger than 12.
CALAVERAS COUNTY FAIR AND JUMPING FROG JUBILEE The frogs will jump again at Frogtown starting Thursday in Angels Camp. One of the longest-running events in the state, its roots date to 1893 in Copperopolis. Entertainment, exhibits, livestock, arena events, food are all included. And, of course, there will be the frogs, who will vie against one another in a series of jumping competitions, culminating in the grand finals Sunday. Both professional and novice frog teams will compete. Fair hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 16, 8 a.m. to midnight May 17-18 and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. May 19. Tickets are $5-$12. For more, see www.frogtown.org.