Baby, it’s hot outside.
So you wouldn’t necessarily believe that this Labor Day weekend also marks the unofficial end of summer — and, with that, the unofficial kickoff of the region’s fall festival season.
Autumn may not be in the air, but its spirit is on the streets, in the parks and in the community centers of many of the region’s towns and cities.
This weekend alone brings the Color the Skies festival back to Ripon and fall-flavored festivals in Newman and the Mother Lode — the latter of which just might be the place to escape some of that aforementioned valley heat.
One of the bigger festivals in the region is the Ripon event. Normally, the skies over that city are colored by several hot air balloons; this year, however, those skies will get their color from kites. The event has been changed to a kite show because of construction at the Mistlin Sports Park in Ripon. While there will be two hot air balloons on display today, there won’t be any launches. Balloons are expected to return in 2014.
The following is a look at some of the larger festivals scheduled through the end of October.