Get ready to get nostalgic about a film about nostalgia.
The annual ode to sun and cars known as Graffiti Summer kicks off May 31 with a tribute to the film that started it all, "American Graffiti."
The Graffiti Tribute celebrates the 35th anniversary of the 1973 film by Modesto native son George Lucas. The movie was an ode to his days cruising around the valley. It's tagline is the wistful "Where were you in '62?"
Graffiti Tribute is an all-day event May 31 at the State Theatre that pays tribute to Lucas and fetes some of the film's principal players.
Attending the event will be "Graffiti" cinematographer Haskell Wexler, actress Candy Clark, car customizer Gene Winfield, former Vito and The Salutations singer Frank Fox and one of filmmaker Lucas' sisters, Wendy Lucas, who now lives in Arizona.
The event is co-sponsored by the Modesto Film Society and Modesto Junior College in association with the State Theatre, the Modesto Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Central Valley Doo-Wop Society and the Graffiti Summer Committee.
The festival kicks off at 11 a.m. Memorabilia, items from the film and other "Graffiti" artifacts will be on display. At noon, the event will begin its "Making of" seminars and lectures, which will include a look back at the Faros car club, the group that inspired the Pharaohs club in the film. Actress Clark (Debbie Dunham in the film) cinematographer Wexler and car customizer Winfield will speak at the event.
Then get taken back to the sounds of the '60s with the Rock 'N Roll & Doo-Wop Revue at 4 p.m. (a VIP reception precedes the event from 2 to 4 p.m.). The concert will feature songs from the "American Graffiti" soundtrack performed by Frankie and The Fabletones, featuring Frank Fox, The Sensations, Carpediem and an all-star closing number by The Central Valley Doo-Wop Society and audience.
"I've been involved with Graffiti Summer from the beginning, and this event really puts us back on the Graffiti map," Doo-Wop Society founder Bruce Jones said. "As long as there are classic cars and classic rock 'n' roll, that era is still very much alive."
Afterward, featured speaker Peter Kramer, a film-studies lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain, will discuss the impact of Lucas' films and their place in American nostalgia. Kramer is the author of "The New Hollywood: From Bonnie and Clyde to Star Wars."
The day ends with a screening of the film itself. Admission has been rolled back to $2.50, with $1 off for everyone who arrives in period clothing.
Graffiti Tribute festival admission is free. Concert admission is $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Movie screening is $2.50, $1 off for period clothing. For more information, visit www.graffititribute.com.
Cars, cars and more cars are the staple of the 10th annual North Modesto Kiwanis American Graffiti Festival from June 6-8. The event kicks off with an evening parade of more than 600 classic cars, hot rods and vintage autos. The festival and car show will feature close to 700 cars of all makes and models. The family-friendly event is the largest fund-raiser of the year for the club. Proceeds raised go back into the community through scholarships, youth programs and more.
New this year is a concert June 7 featuring performances by tribute groups California Dreamin' and the Bangin' 58s. Also appearing at the festival will be Chip Foose, star of the TLC series "Overhaulin'," to sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature a display of the Munster Koach from the TV series "The Munsters," as well as exhibits by auto vendors, memorabilia sales, arts and crafts booths, children's activities, live entertainment, food and more.
WHEN: Parade 7 p.m. June 6; festival 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 7 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 8; concert 8 p.m. June 7
WHERE: Parade downtown Modesto, festival Modesto Junior College, East Campus, concert State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto
TICKETS: Parade free; festival $7 ($2-off coupons available; call to learn where), children under 12 free; concert $20
It won't be hard to guess the favorite car for the folks at the PT Cruiserfest. The annual ode to the Chrysler PT Cruiser returns, bringing in a car show, festival and live music. Proceeds from the Valley PT Cruisers Club-sponsored will benefit Veterans Affairs and Modesto Gospel Mission.
The weekendlong festivities kick off June 6 with a Modesto Nuts game, fireworks and a car show at PT Cruiser Night at John Thurman Field. The next evening, enjoy a free outdoor show with area bands featuring Modesto-based R&B group Simply So at Tenth Street Plaza. The night also will feature a show-and-glow.
The free two-day event at the Fruit Yard will feature a car show, vendors, food, entertainment and hundreds and hundreds of PT Cruisers. The family-friendly festival includes games, raffles and an award presentation.
WHEN: 7 p.m. June 6; concert 7 p.m. June 7; Cruiserfest 8 a.m.-5 p.m. June 7 and 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. June 8
WHERE: June 6 Nuts game at John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive, Modesto; June 7, show and glow at Tenth Street Plaza; June 7-8 festival at Fruit Yard, 7948 Yosemite Blvd., Modesto
TICKETS: Cruiserfest and concert free; Nuts game $15 two people, $5 each additional person
Graffiti Summer may be all about cars, but that doesn't mean a little blues can't creep in now and then. On June 14, the Modesto Blues Festival brings its scorching sounds to Graceada Park. The event raises money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It will be preceded by the United Community Walk and its annual Walk for Hope and Recovery, a mental health awareness event.
Performing at the all-day blues festival will be Reno-based groups Blue Haven and the Whisky Haulers. Also performing will be such area favorites as the Mofo Party Band, DJ Slate and the Rocket 88, Rene Solis and the Guitar Extravaganza featuring Lucky 13, Laura Chavez and Johnny Cat and Rhythm Deluxe.
The festival includes arts and crafts vendors, food and drinks and a hot-rod and custom-bike show. More information at www.jbpresents.com.
WHEN: Walk 10 a.m.; festival 1-8:30 p.m. June 14
WHERE: Graceada Park, Modesto
There's a host of Graffiti Summer events continuing through June and even beyond. For more information, visit www.visitmodesto.com or call 526-5588. Here's a rundown of the highlights:
Every Friday and Saturday night through summer
A&W Graffiti Summer
Classic cars, Elvis, Hula Hoop contests, karaoke, and root beer floats served by carhops on roller skates. A&W Root Beer, 1404 G St., Modesto. Free. 522-7700
Oldies Concert & American Graffiti Tribute
American Graffiti Tribute celebrates the 35th anniversary of the movie.
11 a.m.-7 p.m. State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto. Tribute free (donations accepted), concert $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 527-4697.
Graffiti Classic Car Show
Modesto Area Street Rod Association car show. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Modesto Junior College West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave. Free. 529-0366.
Mid Valley Chevy Club
Free car shows throughout Modesto and Riverbank. 5-9 p.m. Various locations. Free. 523-3772.
American Graffiti Car Show and Festival
Tenth annual event presented by the North Modesto Kiwanis includes parade, festival, music and car show. Parade at 7 p.m. June 6 in downtown Modesto and concert 8 p.m. June 7 at the State Theatre.
Festival 9 a.m.-5 p.m. June 7 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 8. Modesto Junior College East Campus. $7. (888) 746-9763.
PT Cruiserfest 2008
The Valley PT Cruisers Club presents all things PT Cruiser, with car shows, festival, music and more. Baseball night June 6 at John Thurman Field and concert 6 p.m. June 7 at Tenth Street Plaza with a show-and-glow event.
7 p.m. June 6. ($15 two people, $5 each additional). John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive, Modesto; Festival 8 a.m.-5 p.m. June 7, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. June 8. Fruit Yard, 7948 Yosemite Blvd. Free. www.cruiserfest2008.com.
Back to Graffiti at the Fruit Yard
Annual event will feature the F-100 Elites car club, DJ'd music, classic cars and more.
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fruit Yard. Free. 523-4479.
Modesto Blues Festival and United Community Walk
Show will feature Blue Haven and The Whisky Haulers, Mofo Party Band, DJ Slate and the Rocket 88, Rene Solis and the Guitar Extravaganza and Rhythm Deluxe.
Walk 10 a.m., music 1-8:30 p.m. Graceada Park, Modesto. Free. 537-1516.
Rock-n-Roll on the Rails
Enjoy a three-course menu and live music by Johnny Rocket and The Thrust on the Sierra Dinner Train.
6:30 p.m. Sierra Railroad, 330 S. Sierra Ave., Oakdale. $58.50. 848-2100.
Annual Graffiti Summer Party
Enjoy the third annual event with a hot-rod and classic-car show, music by Carpediem and screening of films "The Blob" and "The Thing."
5 p.m. Galaxy Theatres, 2525 Patterson Road, Riverbank. Car show free, movies $2.50. 863-8900.
Moband Concert in the Park
The first concert of Moband's annual summer concerts in the park will feature favorites from "American Bandstand."
8 p.m. Graceada Park, Modesto. Free.
The life and music of rock 'n' roll icon Janis Joplin explodes onto the stage.
Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. $30-$60. 338-2100
Riverbank Favorite Rides Car Show
The third annual event features classic cars, new and project cars, trucks and motorcycles with live music, food, farmers market and games for kids.
5-8 p.m. Riverbank Community Center Park. Free. 480-2271.
Modesto Nuts Graffiti Night
Family fun includes root beer floats, Graffiti-themed music and baseball.
7 p.m. John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive. Game $5-$10. 572-4487