Festivals, fairs rev up June in Modesto region

Plenty of apricots will be at the Patterson Apricot Fiesta.
Plenty of apricots will be at the Patterson Apricot Fiesta. Modesto Bee

Summer’s about to put the pedal to the metal across the region.

June arrives next week, promising not just a new season, but a carload of festivals and fairs as well. Modesto and the Mother Lode rev up this time of year with outdoor events celebrating community bounties, cultures and, yes, classic cars.

That last item is a nod to the annual fete of all things “American Graffiti” as Modesto honors its most famous son, filmmaker George Lucas, and the movie he made in homage to his youth in the city. Graffiti Summer events run throughout the month. Other events in June promise large celebrations such as the annual Scottish Highland Games and the Apricot Fiesta.

While Congregation Beth Shalom postponed its annual Cafe Shalom to June this year, it will be a pared-down event called Shalom Deli. A new and expanded Cafe Shalom will return May 2017.

Here’s a look at the fests and fairs coming up, finished off with a rundown of Graffiti Summer:

Apricot Fiesta – June 3-5: Patterson’s 46th annual celebration of the summer crop returns with an antique farm equipment show, downtown vendors, food booths, parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, kids games and teen zone, historical displays and live entertainment. 5-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Downtown Patterson.

Modesto Scottish Highland Games and Celtic Festival – June 4: 35th annual games presented by Modesto St. Andrews Society. This family festival celebrates all things Celtic. The annual fest features athletic events, rugby, bagpipers, Celtic music, children’s games, dancing, heritage and history information, Avenue of the Clans, vendors, food and beverage booths. Tuolumne River Regional Park. $15, free ages 10 and under. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The St. Andrew’s Society of Modesto puts on the annual Highland Games; the club was organized in 1980 to further Gaelic heritage and culture in Stanislaus and surrounding counties.

Pick and Gather Festival and Merced River Fair – June 4-5: Annual organic farm festival and river fair. River fair on Saturday only. Pick and Gather both days with activities, live music on three stages, dance and storytelling, food, demos and more. 10 a.m. to dark Saturday, $10 general, $5 children and seniors; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, $5 general, $2 children and seniors. River Dance Farms, 12230 Livingston Cressey Road, Livingston.

Royal Flush Crapper Derby & Craft Faire – June 4: Third annual event from Twain Harte Rotary. Parade at 9 a.m. Fest features outhouse races and a craft fair with food, music, beer and wine, children’s games. Event is 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at Eproson Park, 22901 Meadow Drive, Twain Harte. Free. 209-586-1225.

Strawberry Festival – June 5: Live music by Plan B, vendors, children’s activities, wagon rides, food and fresh strawberries. Beer, wine and strawberry drinks. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Copperopolis Town Square, 100 Town Square Road, Copperopolis. Free. 209-785-2050.

Shalom Deli – June 5: Celebration of Jewish food and culture with kosher pastrami sandwiches and deli sides; bake sale and the gift shop open. $15 lunch, with eat-in and take-out options. 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Congregation Beth Shalom, 1705 Sherwood Ave., Modesto. 209-571-6060.

Merced County Fair – June 8-12: Livestock exhibits, grandstand events, carnival games, rides and food. Concert artists include Jimmy Needham, The Long Run Eagles tribute, Tower of Power, Lonestar and Banda Machos. 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. $7 ages 6 years and over; parking $5. 209-722-1506;

Juneteenth celebration – June 17-18: A talent show on Friday evening kicks off the festivities from 6 to 8 p.m. The winner will perform onstage Saturday during the festival, which also includes activities for children, food, bands, DJs, vendors, gospel singers, cultural performances, educational exhibits, a black business expo, and community resource information. Noon to 5 p.m. King-Kennedy Memorial Center at Mellis Park, 601 S. Martin Luther King Drive. 209-522-6902.

Bacon Fest – June 18-19: Inaugural celebration with celebrity chef Guy Fieri serving as emcee of cook-off competitions. 18 live bands on two stages, bacon-eating contests, demonstrations, dozens of Bacon Alley food vendors, microbrews, car show, crafts and more. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Dell’Osso Farms, Lathrop. $25 general, $12.50 ages 6-14, free 5 and under.

Father’s Day BBQ and Blues Festival – June 19: Music from Lil Wingnut & the Rhythm Disciples, Jeramy Norris & the Dangerous Mood, slide guitarist Leo Bootes, and Tessie Marie & Allie Cat. Food and more. 11 a.m. St. George Hotel, 16104 Main St., Volcano. Tickets $10 advance, $15 at the door. 209-296-4458.

The team Tug of War contest has been the Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee’s main event since it’s inception.

Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee – June 23-26: The 67th annual event celebrates the logging industry with vendors, carnival, parade, games, music, arm wrestling, logging contests and more, ending with a tug-of-war contest on Sunday. 5-10 p.m. June 23, 3-11 p.m. June 24, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. June 25, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. June 26. Tuolumne Memorial Park, Tuolumne. Free; charge for carnival attractions. 209-352-4698.

Hilmar Dairy Festival – June 25: Bovines return to the spotlight with entertainment, art, activities, Little Milkman and Milkmaid contest, exhibits, vendors and fireworks. 5-10 p.m. Hilmar High football field, 7807 N. Lander Ave., Hilmar. Free.

Graffiti Summer

There’s a host of events celebrating Graffiti Summer again this year. Below is a quick glance:

▪ “American Graffiti” film screening, June 4 at the State Theatre

▪ Graffiti Classic Car Show, June 5, McHenry Village

▪ Mid-Valley Chevy Club Car Shows, June 6-9, various locations

▪ Graffiti Cruise Route Presentation, June 8, Tenth Street Plaza

▪ MoBand Concert with music of the 1950s-60s, June 9, Graceada Park

▪ Kiwanis American Graffiti Car Parade, June 10, starts downtown Modesto

▪ Elvis Tribute, June 10, 10th Street Plaza

▪ Kingsmen, Surfaris & Token concert, June 11, Gallo Center for the Arts

▪ American Graffiti Car Show and Festival, June 11-12, Municipal Golf Course

▪ Back to Graffiti fest, June 17-18, Fruit Yard

▪ Graffiti Summer Block Party, June 18, 10th Street Plaza

▪ Modesto Nuts Graffiti Night, June 18, John Thurman Field

▪ Sing-along “Grease,” June 18, State Theatre

▪ Rod and Custom Car Show, June 26, Elks Lodge