News & Notes

Out & About

Five things to do this weekend, plus Free Fun:

1 Stomp on over to the 14th annual Calaveras Grape Stomp and Gold Rush Street Faire. Today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Murphys Community Park, Main Street, Murphys. Free. 728-9467.

2 Get ghoulish at the ShockerFest International Film Festival featuring the best in independent horror, sci-fi and fantasy films. Today, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Galaxy 12 Theatres, 2525 Patterson Road, Riverbank. $20 per day, $25 all weekend. 537-5221, 765-7815.

3 Feel the blues at the ninth annual Central Valley Blues Festival featuring performances by Mike Hammar and the Nails, Deja Blues, Big Nation, Ron Hacker and the Hacksaws and more. Today through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Merced County Courthouse Park, 20th and N streets. $20 adults, free children 12 and under. 383-4958.

4 Eat, drink and be merry at Gustine's first Oktoberfesta featuring food, drink, music and entertainment highlighting the Portuguese and German cultures. Today, noon to 6 p.m. Wolfsen's Meat & Sausage, South and Railroad avenues, Gustine. Free. 854-6456.

5 Hear top mariachi groups perform in the Gerardo Hernandez Promotions' "Noche del Mariachi" concert. Sunday, 7 to 10:30 p.m. Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. $45 to $65. 338-2100.

FREE FUN: See a diverse array of cultural and ethnic performances at the International Heritage Festival's "An Afternoon of International Music and Dance" concert. The event includes a world information area, children's activities and a musical instrument petting zoo. Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Foster Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Free. 338-2100.

-- Marijke Rowland

Snow closes passes

Snow closed three mountain passes Friday, according to the California Department of Transportation. Highway 120 over Tioga Pass was closed from Crane Flat in Yosemite National Park to five miles west of Highway 395. Highway 108 over Sonora Pass was closed 26.4 miles east of Strawberry to 5.3 miles west of Highway 395. Highway 4 was closed a half-mile east of the Mount Reba turnoff to the junction of Highway 89.


50 YEARS AGO: It took six men to carry Mike Foley's pumpkin from his pickup to the scale. Gary Fatzer, one of three co-chairmen of Manteca's annual pumpkin festival, announced the weight at 250 pounds -- a record.

-- Karen Aiello