Downtown Modesto’s biggest music festival returns with an exclamation point for its 15th year. The Xclamation! Festival, or X-Fest for short, brings in headlining hip-hop acts Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, E-40, Brener and Snow Tha Product, as well as electro-pop performers 3OH!3 and Dev, classic rockers Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam, popular Los Banos band the Moonshine Bandits and the DJ-dance troupe the Dancetronauts. The event will feature some 120 bands on more than a dozen stages.
WHEN: Gates open 5 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Downtown Modesto
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TICKETS: $20 general in advance, $30 express entrance pass, $200 VIP access; at gate, $30 general
CALL: (209) 526-5588
Guitar great Robben Ford returns to the region. The multiple Grammy nominee plays a mix of blues, jazz and rock. Musician magazine named Ford one of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century.” He has played with everyone from Joni Mitchell to Miles Davis, George Harrison to Brad Paisley. Opening for Ford will be Pacific Northwest-based singer-songwriter Zoe Muth, who has been called “Seattle’s Emmylou.”
WHEN: 8 p.m. today
WHERE: State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto
CALL: (209) 527-4697
Smoke on the River
Good eats and good sounds await folks at the first-ever Ceres barbecue challenge and music festival. The Smoke on the River event from the Ceres Chamber of Commerce brings barbecue and musicians together at the Tuolumne River Lodge. Teams can compete for best barbecued chicken and pork ribs as judged by the California Barbecue Association. Performing will be Central Valley bands Remedy, Black Rose Band and Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame. The event also will have arts and crafts vendor booth.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Tuolumne River Lodge, 2429 River Road, Modesto
TICKETS: $10 in advance, $20 at gate
CALL: (209) 537-2601
Gold & Outdoor Festival
The Delta Gold Diggers invite the public to take part in the Old West traditions at the Gold and Outdoor Festival. The event will feature gold and prospecting workshops and activities. There will be a gold panning area, prospecting seminars, a metal detection hunt, equipment demonstrations. Participants also have a chance to win $3,000 in buried treasure and $10,000 in door prizes.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Mother Lode Fairgrounds, 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora
TICKETS: $5 adults, free children 10 and under
CALL: (209) 606-0085
Taste of Oakdale
Fire up the flavor jets and get ready for a trip to the Taste of Oakdale. The city’s Chamber of Commerce hosts the sixth annual event, which will feature an array of delectable dishes and drinks from Oakdale-based businesses. The event also will feature cooking demonstrations and a raffle. The event is meant to raise awareness of Oakdale’s food, beverage and catering services.
WHEN: 5-8 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: Gene Bianchi Community Center, 110 S 2nd Ave.
TICKETS: $25 presale, $35 door
CALL: (209) 847-2244
Crazy Ivan finale
After 17 years playing together, the popular Tuolumne County band Crazy Ivan will call it quits with one final show. The group, led by original members Greg Noll on vocals and Jim Anderson on drums, has played rock ’n’ roll party music throughout the foothills since 1996. Since June, the band has been on a farewell tour of sorts, dubbed the Summer of Ivan, which will conclude with the Black Oak Casino show.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Willow Creek Lounge, Black Oak Casino, 19400 Tuolumne Road North, Tuolumne
CALL: (877) 747-8777
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