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Marijke Rowland: Exercise your right to vote — cast one for MAMA

Gallo Center for the Arts board President Marie Gallo will receive a lifetime achievement award at this year's MAMAs.
Gallo Center for the Arts board President Marie Gallo will receive a lifetime achievement award at this year's MAMAs.

Modesto, I want you to vote.

It's your patriotic duty. It's your responsibility as a citizen. It's the only way to ensure that your voice is heard.

Now, more than ever, it is important to be part of the process in this critical time for our community.

Modesto needs you. Your country needs you. So, seriously, just do it.

Go vote for the Modesto Area Music Association Awards.

I'm sorry, did you think I was talking about something else?

The MAMA Award voting is in full swing and nominees are campaigning hot and heavy for your all-important mouse click.

For those who have yet to go online and vote, the polls stay open until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 13 at

The winners will be announced live Oct. 16 at the State Theatre at the eighth annual MAMA Awards.

But, you ask, what's all this MAMA business? In case you haven't been paying attention these past seven years, the MAMA Awards honor the area's best music, events, venues and promoters.

This year boasts the most nominations yet, with 120 bands, artists, DJs, presenters, clubs, restaurants, festivals and the like competing in 15 categories.

As in years past, the awards celebrate a diverse array of genres, from pop to indie, hard rock to blues.

New this year is the best dance promoter category. Eight promoters are competing for the trophy. Over the past few years, the number of dance parties and dance nights has grown exponentially, highlighting the continued strength of Modesto's entertainment scene.

In addition to the publicly voted-upon honors, the MAMAs again will hand out a lifetime achievement award. This year, Gallo Center for the Arts board President Marie Gallo will take home the honor.

Gallo spearheaded the Gallo Center project over the years and was instrumental in finally bringing the center to fruition last year.

"Good Day Sacramento" reporter Alan Sanchez will repeat as master of ceremonies.

While the event is not open to the public, it will stream live at

So get out there, Modesto. Vote. Your music needs you.

Elsewhere around the Scene:

Enjoy German culture with a Portuguese twist at the second annual Gustine Oktoberfesta on Saturday.

The event, sponsored by Wolfsen's Meat & Sausage and several Gustine community service organizations, features food, music and fun. Enjoy sausage tastings, Bavarian pastries, Portuguese delicacies, beer, wine, nonalcoholic beverages and other snacks. The day's entertainment includes music from the Joe Smiell Band, as well as Portuguese, German and other dance ensemble performances.

The free festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. at the corner of South and Railroad avenues in Gustine. Visit or call 854-6456. ...

Not enough fermented beverages for you yet?

Then squish away your worries at the Calaveras Grape Stomp and Gold Rush Street Faire on Saturday in Murphys.

Stompers are encouraged to grab a partner and throw on a crazy costume for the 15th annual event. The fair includes more than 100 arts and crafts booths.

The fair is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Murphys. Admission is free. Call 728-9467 or visit ...

And finally, Las Vegas gets a little taste of Modesto-style entertainment as X-Fest! Las Vegas bring the noise Saturday to Sin City.

The event, from Modesto promoter and Modesto's X-Fest founder Chris Ricci and his company The Producing Group, will feature headliners Pepper, Reverend Horton Heat, Kottonmouth Kings, The Vandals, Stevie B, Richard Vission, Biz Markie and Vanilla Ice.

The downtown Vegas, all-ages, outdoor rock festival will feature more than 30 bands and take up six blocks in the city's new Fremont East Entertainment District.

Music is from 6 p.m. to midnight, gates open at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance. For more information, call 312-3463 or visit

Bee entertainment writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at or 578-2284. Read her blog SceneIt at