An­nual Fes­ti­val Ready To Wel­come Thou­sands To Town

Escalon Times - - CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL -

One of the area’s best known late spring-early sum­mer events, the an­nual Oak­dale Choco­late Fes­ti­val is on the sched­ule for Satur­day and Sun­day, May 19 and 20 this year.

Sit­u­ated in the heart of down­town, en­com­pass­ing a sev­eral block area, the fes­ti­val grounds run from F Street south­ward to­ward J Street along South Yosemite and stretch east­ward to Sierra Avenue.

New this year, the Choco­late Chal­lenge Stage will be lo­cated in­side the Oak­dale Com­mu­nity Park off Yosemite and H streets. The Kids Zone will be ad­ja­cent to the Sierra Din­ner Train site, while the Cow­boy Crit­ters pet­ting zoo and the Bungee Fun ar­eas will be near Cal­vary Chapel Church.

There are also arts and crafts ar­eas with spe­cialty mer­chan­dise, food booths, ven­dors, the clas­sic car show along South Yosemite be­tween G and H streets, the com­mu­nity stage and more. The fun kicks off Satur­day morn­ing with the one-mile and 5k run­ning events, prior to the fes­ti­val gates open­ing for the day.

Ad­mis­sion for this fam­ily-friendly event is $6 for adults; $5 for se­niors; chil­dren 12 and un­der are ad­mit­ted free. You can also bring a canned food item to get $1 off ad­mis­sion; the canned food items are do­nated to the lo­cal Oak­dale Com­mu­nity Shar­ing. Kids 12 and un­der must be ac­com­pa­nied by an adult.

Through­out the week­end, there will be mu­si­cal per­for­mances on the com­mu­nity change, Zumba, hip hop, the choco­late chal­lenges and more on the Choco­late Chal­lenge stage, while the cooking stage near Choco­late Avenue will fea­ture such treats as mole, four-layer choco­late cake, bon bons and more.

Also, rides and games will be open at the Kids Zone, three will be wa­ter ballerz and the bungee jump­ing, pony rides and the pet­ting zoo and demon­stra­tions by the Delta Gold Dig­gers gold pan­ning group.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Satur­day, May 19 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sun­day, May 20.

The event is also pet­friendly but no cool­ers, bi­cy­cles or skates are al­lowed. Skate­boards can be rid­den within the skate park area but not on the fes­ti­val grounds.

Hosted each year by the Oak­dale Cham­ber of Com­merce, of­fi­cials are ea­ger to wel­come the crowd to this year’s 26th an­nual event.

In the ven­dor area, hand­crafted signs have been a main­stay for years at the an­nual Oak­dale Choco­late Fes­ti­val, al­ways draw­ing a crowd.

This young­ster en­joyed getting her face painted to look like a cat.

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