Take heart hot weather sufferers, autumn ultimately will arrive, with its cooler days and brisk evenings. It also will bring some great reasons to get out into the great outdoors.
September in the Modesto and Mother Lode regions holds a fresh batch of festivals and fairs just made to celebrate the changing of the season.
So while we’re still sweltering in summer around these parts, fall is in the air, festival-wise at the very least. Here’s a look at the bigger events across the region that will bid adieu to summer while welcoming fall.
MARIPOSA COUNTY FAIR – Aug. 31-Sept. 3: Horse shows, agricultural events, displays, demonstrations, entertainment, rodeo, destruction derby, midway and more. Noon-1 a.m. Aug. 31, 8 a.m.-1 a.m. Sept 1-2, 8 a.m.-6 p.m Sept. 3. Mariposa County Fairgrounds, 5007 Fairgrounds Road. $5-$10. www.mariposafair.com.
LABOR DAY WEEKEND ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL – Sept. 1-2: The end of summer is celebrated during this 46th annual event in the Mother Lode town of Arnold. There will be beer and food, more than 50 booths filled with art, crafts, face painting and live music both days. Performers include Modesto band Home Grown and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Grounds of Bristol’s Ranch House Cafe, 961 Highway 4 in Arnold. Free.
NEWMAN FALL FESTIVAL — Aug. 30-Sept. 2: 48th annual community celebration. The Miss Newman pageant at the West Side Theatre kicks off the festivities on at 6 p.m. Thursday. A 21-and-older wine, cheese and craft beer event on Main Street will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, the same day that the carnival opens from noon to 11 p.m.; the carnival also runs 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. on Sunday. A parade on Sunday begins 11 a.m. at Mariposa Street and travels along Main Street. Festival at Pioneer Park, 1250 Tulare St., Newman. Free. 209-451-2815.
EDIBLE EXTRAVAGANZA – Sept. 6: The Center for Human Services’ 32nd annual fundraising event will feature local restaurants, caterers, bakers, confectioners, vintners, beverage purveyors and local growers. 6 to 9 p.m. Modesto Centre Plaza, 1000 L St. $50 advance, $55 door. www.centerforhumanservices.org.
DENAIR FARM AND FAMILY FESTIVAL – Sept. 8: Food and craft vendors, entertainment, farm equipment show and more. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Downtown Denair. www.denairfestival.com.
ACORN FESTIAL – Sept. 8-9: The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians celebrates the 52nd annual celebration of the black oak acorn harvest with traditional dancers, hand games tournament, native arts and crafts, and more, including an intertribal pow wow, deep-pit barbecue dinner and Indian tacos. 10 a.m. to dusk both days. Tuolumne Rancheria, 19595 Mi-Wu St., Tuolumne. mewuk.com.
ASSYRIAN FOOD FESTIVAL – Sept. 8-9: 21st annual Assyrian Food Festival presented by the Assyrian Cultural Center of Bet-Nahrain. Authentic food, art and artifact exhibits, music, dance, arts and crafts and more. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Assyrian Cultural Center, 3119 S. Central Ave., Ceres. $15 advance, $17 at the door. www.assyrianfoodfestival.com.
49ER FESTIVAL, CHILI & SALSA COOK-OFF – Sept. 15: Kids activities, parade, live entertainment, Old West re-enactments, beard contest, auctions, chili and salsa tastings and other activities. Also, annual chili cook-off competition and tasting. Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. with parade on Main Street and goes on until 5 p.m. Mary Laveroni Community Park, Groveland. www.49erfestival.blogspot.com.
GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL — Sept. 15-16: The 53rd annual event features a Greek dinner, outdoor coffeehouse, marketplace, bakery and tour of the host Byzantine-style Orthodox Church. Take-out meals available at drive-up window and shuttles available from Panera parking lot. Noon-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 313 Tokay Ave., Modesto. $15 advance; $18 adults at the door, $9 under age 12. www.goannunciation.org.
ASSYRIAN FESTIVAL — Sept. 15-16: You’re not seeing double — there is, indeed, a second Assyrian fest planned for September. This one is the fourth annual hosted by the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, Diocese of California. Food, historical exhibits, live entertainment and a kids zone will be on hand. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 900 N. Broadway, Turlock. $1 entry. www.cvassyrianfestival.com
COLUMBIA ART SHOW – Sept. 16: This 46th annual event features more than 50 painters, potters, sculptors and photographers displaying art on the streets of Columbia State Historic Park. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Columbia State Historic Park, Main and State streets. Free. 209-536-1329.
MODESTO ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN WEEK – Sept. 16-23: Formerly the Modesto Architecture Festival, the 11th annual celebration now encompasses design. Event features tours, exhibits, films, workshops, speakers, installations, kids activities and special events. Events held at various locations at various times; mostly free. www.madweek.org.
EGYPTIAN FESTIVAL – Sept.21-22: Music, food, bazaar, tours of church grounds, pharaoh photo studio, activities for kids, clothes boutique. 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, 315 Orange Ave., Ripon. Free. 209-599-3310.
COYOTEFEST – Sept. 22: This 33rd annual event features a coyote howl contest, live music, booths, food and vendors, kids activities, antique and classic car show and parade. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Downtown Coulterville. Free. coultervillehistorycenter.org
IRONSTONE CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE – Sept. 22: 22nd event with more than 300 antique and classic cars and other vehicles. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ironstone Vineyards, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys. $25-$45, free under age 14. 209-269-6950.
PRIDE IN THE PARK — Sept. 22: Live entertainment, food vendors, community resources, shopping and more from the Central Valley Pride Center. 1-8 p.m. John Thurman Field, 601 Neece Drive, Modesto. mopride.org.
FIDDLE & BANJO CONTEST AND CHILI COOK-OFF – Sept. 29: The “Bango” misspelling dates way back when this 36th annual event began. Musicians compete for prizes for fiddle, banjo, vocal, guitar, mandolin and song categories. Chili cook-off, too. 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gazebo at Columbia State Historic Park. Contest free, chili $5. 209-536-1672.
ROCK ON THE RIVER — Sept. 29: A rock and blues festival with Alameda All Stars, Gregg Allman’s Touring Band, Jimmy Dewrance & Friends, Bill Clifton’s Chicken Whiskey Band, Chuck Bradley & The Damn Liars. Food and beverages available. 5-11 p.m. Del Rio Vista Gardens, 25306 E River Rd, Escalon. Age 21 and older event. $20. 209 985-0467.