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Annual Festival Promises Sweet Fun For All



hether you are looking for a unique piece of jewelry, want to hear some good music, delight in a plate of freshly made food or stroll Chocolate Avenue for a tasty morsel of something sweet, you can do it all at the 22nd Annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival. The festival arrives this weekend, May 17 and 18, and as usual, kicks off with the annual 5K and one mile Fun Runs on Saturday. The one mile starts at 8 a.m., followed by the 5K. From there, the festival runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 17 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 18 with something to keep you busy all the time you are there. There will be pony rides and a petting zoo, demonstrations by the Delta Gold Diggers, the chance to ride the Big West Mechanical Bull, kids can enjoy the mini amusement park rides and games, and there will also be water games and

the popular water ballerz available. The Congressional Gun Fighters are also a popular returning attraction, with photo opportunities, quick draw displays, staged gunfights and more, and the gunfighters will also spend some time strolling throughout the festival. Entertainment will be non-stop on both the Main Stage and the HAWK Chocolate Challenge Stage, featuring a variety of musical acts, specialty groups and the fun (and messy) chocolate challenge games throughout the weekend. Sponsored by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, the festival draws thousands of people to the downtown area during the weekend. The vendors bring a variety of specialty merchandise; there are food and beverage booths, sweet treats and the always busy Chocolate Avenue that offers up vendors utilizing chocolate in some form, whether it is chocolate-dipped fruits or homemade fudge. The Classic Car Show also runs both days of the festival and local service

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Downtown Oakdale will play host this weekend to thousands of visitors, as they come in to enjoy the food, music, vendor booths and chocolate as part of the 22nd Annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival, Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18. clubs and organizations often have information booths and do some fundraising as well. Admission to the festival is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and children 12 and under are admitted free. You can bring a canned food item for $1 off admission; the donated food items benefits the local food cupboard to help those in need in the area. Chamber CEO Mary Guardiola said this year’s theme has changed to re-

flect the rich nut production area of the Central Valley, with Chocolates Gone Nuts being used, replacing the longtime Cowboys and Chocolate slogan. The weather forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s, which should make for a warm but pleasant late spring festival. The Oakdale Chocolate Festival is set up in the center of town, on Yosemite Avenue between F and J streets.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Have Fun, Go Nuts

Welcome To The 2014 Oakdale Chocolate Festival


n behalf of the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors and staff, I would like to thank you for attending our 22nd Annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival. We are grateful to the founders of the fesMARY GUARDIOLA tival whose goals, visions and commitment were instrumental in creating an event to be enjoyed by the entire family. As Oakdale Chamber CEO I want to thank and acknowledge the Chocolate Festival Committee members and volunteers who donate their time and energy to produce our successful event. This year we are celebrating agriculture and the nut production our area is so rich in. We have chocolate dipped in just about any type of nut you can think of, which is why we are offering our new theme for the year: Chocolates Gone Nuts. Thank you for attending, I hope you and your family will enjoy the many activities at our 2014 Oakdale Chocolate Festival this weekend. Enjoy!

- Mary Guardiola, Oakdale Chamber of Commerce CEO

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New Year, New Theme



he Oakdale Chocolate Festival took some inspiration from a local commodity to kick off a new theme this year: “Chocolates Gone Nuts.” Oakdale Chamber of Commerce CEO Mary Guardiola reported that nuts are the number two crop in Stanislaus County, behind dairy, and in Oakdale alone, millions of new nut trees have been planted. “We, as a community – the nut industry means a lot to us economic development wise,” she said, adding that there are growers, packers, shippers, lenders, insurance, and more in the job industry as a result of tree nut production, all of which means a lot to Oakdale. “We looked at it from the economic development standpoint. It’s good for our community and that’s why we’re highlighting it,” she said. Guardiola reported that the chamber’s board of directors usually comes up with the theme each year. She said that in crafting a theme, they talk about what’s hot now and what’s fun. “It’s a fun topic, this one particularly. It works perfect with chocolate,”

she said of the Chocolates Gone Nuts theme. “We may expand on this one in years to come – such as highlighting specific nuts. “We were looking for something different this year that we could highlight and this is a good one,” she added. Guardiola noted that a lot of nuts are used in various chocolate treats. She referred to local candy company, Sconza, that makes a lot of chocolatecovered nut products including walnuts, almonds, and pistachios as an example of how well chocolate and nuts go together. She reported that there are also two new nut vendors who will be at the Chocolate Festival this year, and they only sell roasted nuts. Guardiola said that sometimes the event themes carry over from year to year. After Hershey’s left town, she recalled, the theme was “The Tradition Continues.” Later on, “Cowboys and Chocolate” was done for four or five years. And, there have also been times when the theme was changed every year. A few others over the life of the festival have included “Chocolate Frontier,” “Cruzin’ For Chocolate” and “Chocolate Paradise.”

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Milk Chocolate Peppermint Bark Ingredients:

Original recipe makes 3 1/2 pounds 2 (12 ounce) packages milk chocolate chips 2 (12 ounce) packages white chocolate chips 2 teaspoons peppermint extract 8 peppermint candy canes, crushed, divided


Line a 12x18 inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Melt the milk chocolate in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 5 minutes (depending on your microwave). Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch. Stir in the peppermint extract. Spread the chocolate evenly in the prepared pan; chill until set, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the crushed candy canes. Spread the white chocolate mixture evenly over the milk chocolate. Sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces evenly over the white chocolate layer. Chill until set, about 1 hour. Break into small pieces to serve.

Easy OREO Truffles Ingredients:

Original recipe makes 3-1/2 dozen 1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided 1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted


Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Avocado Irish Cream Fudge Ingredients:

Original recipe makes 28 servings 2 avocados, peeled and pitted 1/2 cup butter, melted 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder 6 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup white chocolate chips


Place the avocados and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Blend with an immersion blender until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Scrape the mixture into a saucepan and stir over low heat. Pour in the Irish cream and stir. Add the cocoa powder and stir until completely incorporated. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, making sure the sugar is completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth before adding the next cup. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on your microwave). Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch. Pour the melted chocolate into the sauce pan and mix thoroughly. Remove from the heat. Line a 9X11-inch pan with wax paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray. Pour the fudge mixture into the prepared pan. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.




Local Musical Talent Due At Festival



ith a focus on local talent this year, music for the 22nd annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival – Chocolates Gone Nuts – will have the audiences enjoying a variety of acts performing. “It’s all about local,” said Music Chairperson Victoria SuttonKrippner, who’s made Chocolate Festival music entertainment a seventime Modesto Area Music Association (MAMA) nominee. “We like local, we sign local. We have such amazing tal-

ent in the area; we don’t have to look far.” The lineup kicks off on Saturday, May 17 at 10 a.m. with the acoustic music of Clerical Estate. That will be followed by songwriter and Americana folkish-blues musician Patty Castillo Davis at 11 a.m., taking her turn in the spotlight on the main entertainment stage. Davis, from Ceres, is an acoustic guitarist and vocalist. Her songs are typical of the Indie genre, which include original music and cover songs ranging from Beyoncé to Johnny Cash.

Songwriter and blues musician Patty Castillo Davis will be part of the musical entertainment on Saturday, May 17 at the Chocolate Festival main stage. Her songs include original music and cover songs ranging from Beyoncé to Merle Haggard. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

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Some of the artists that have influenced her original music include Sarah McLachlan, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Sheryl Crow and Merle Haggard. “She has such a great voice,” said Sutton-Krippner. “I’d describe her music as ‘old soul.’ It’s just amazing. The pop/rock music of the Josh Rosenblum Band follows on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Rosenblum, of Modesto, originally played as a free-lance solo artist in 2006 and 2007, using various back up musicians and sitting in with other artists on both trumpet and guitar. In 2008 he started what was to become “Josh Rosenblum Band” with other musicians he had known from high school and junior high (Andrew Melendez and Cedric Jones). The band played as a power trio until they added a fourth member (Elliott Dominguez) in 2010. Saturday concludes with music by Third Party rom 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., doing classic covers in what SuttonKrippner described as “one of the best for the area.” Third Party is a Modesto band with Chris Murphy, Gary Nelson, Chad Johnson, Brett Hughes, and features a large playlist of music from the 1960s and on up to the current day, spanning more than five decades. They have opened for The Beach Boys and have done Beatles Tributes as well. The entertainment continues with three acts on Sunday, May 18. Up first will be CallBox, playing from

10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and featuring a mix of acoustic rock, blues and jazz. Francesca Bavaro is the next scheduled act on Sunday, taking the stage at noon and playing through 1:30 p.m. Bavaro is a 21-year-old singer and songwriter from Modesto. She’s been singing and playing piano since the age of 5. The winner of Valley’s Got Talent in 2011and invited to the Glee Project auditions, she performs a rearranging of music from the 60s, 70s and 80s into rock piano ballads. The Highway 99 Party Band concludes the music entertainment on Sunday with a great mix of classic R&B and rock tunes, playing from 2 p.m. through 4 p.m. “If you notice, we close out both days with huge party bands,” said SuttonKrippner. “They are also great to hear.” Highway 99 was formed in the fall of 2008 by three members that previously played together in another band for more than five years. The trio teamed with other musicians who have performed with the likes of The Temptations, Mic Gillette from Tower of Power, Bobby McFerrin, and Cold Blood, and began polishing their horn-driven sound. The bands that play at the Chocolate Festival do so at no cost to organizers, coming to play for the exposure and experience, as well as to enjoy interacting with the audience. “The performing groups are very generous at heart,” said SuttonKrippner. “Give these people a listen.”

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


FESTIVAL FUN, FOOD AND FRIENDS Oakdale’s own Cowboy Toffee Company was among those vendors setting up shop along Chocolate Avenue for the 2013 festival, with a variety of toffee flavors sure to please all.

With plenty of grassy areas to find some shade, festival goers can take a break from strolling the grounds to enjoy a bite to eat and a bit to drink, after visiting the many food and beverage vendor booths.

Returning to entertain the crowds again this year will be the Congressional Gun Fighters, who offer both staged gunfights and a more informal ‘meet and greet’ time as they make their way around the festival.

Always popular with the youngsters, waterballerz returns again, with kids able to try rolling around in the hamster-like ball on the water.

A tasty stop on the festival grounds, you can get everything from crepes to chocolate dipped fruit and marshmallow kabobs here, while other vendors serve up fun festival fare such as kettle corn and ice cream.

Vendor booths with a wide selection of merchandise are set up along Yosemite Avenue for the festival and in the adjacent Wood Park, the festival itself hosted in the heart of Oakdale.



Chocolate Challenge Returns To Add Fun To Fest



he 22nd Annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival will have new interactive entertainment at all the different radio station stages. Those will include the always popular Hawk’s Chocolate Challenge near the main Yosemite Avenue and F Street intersection, in addition to events at stages hosted by Kat Country 103, KHOP, and KWIN on Saturday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 18 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Hawk stage will feature the main Chocolate Challenge event at their stage as they have for many years. There will be three challenge opportunities throughout the day on both days with three or four different games in each challenge. Organizers try to pick kids from the crowd to participate and try to get them as messy as possible, adding to the fun. A popular game consists of contestants meeting up with a chocolate pie filled with whip cream and chocolate syrup with a chocolate candy kiss hidden somewhere in the pie. The participants in the challenge are brought up on stage, have with their hands behind their back and then, once the ‘start’ signal

is given, try to be the first contestant to find the kiss within the chocolate pie. It, of course, requires diving face first into the whipped cream. Another game they host is similar to the chocolate pie, however, this is more a chocolate and peanut butter soup in a bowl, looking for the hidden candy kiss. Messy is really the name of the games at the Chocolate Challenge. The third game will include three or four teams of two, often a parent and child or siblings, who must work together to achieve the goal. In this challenge, one person stands on stage blindfolded with a bottle of chocolate syrup and the other person stands below them wearing a garbage bag to protect their clothing and holding a small plastic cup on the top of their head. The object is for the person on stage to dispense as much chocolate as possible to fill the cup, which as you can imagine, doesn’t always wind up in the cup. Much of the chocolate syrup ends up streaming down the face of the cup holder, as opposed to actually making it in the cup. Other fun games are also being planned by the different stages; times

and exact events can be found by visiting those stages, scattered throughout the festival. Among the activities at the main Hawk stage, there will be performances from groups including Gym Stars, West Coast Martial Arts, USA Elite Gymnastics, Oakdale Mixed Martial Arts, You Can Dance Company, and much more. The festival itself will have many other things to enjoy like Chocolate Avenue, rides and games for the kids, pony rides, petting zoo, and water games to name a few. The Congressional Gun Fighters will make their appearance strolling through the festival or you can witness a gun fight in area by the Oakdale Cowboy Museum. Go nuts for this year’s Chocolate Festival, where there is something for everyone.

Participants in the HAWK stage ‘Chocolate Challenge’ prepare to dive in – and get a little messy – at one of the chocolate-themed games.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Fundraising Show

Classics Cruise In To Chocolate Fest



t’s that time of year again chocolate lovers, yes that’s right, the 22nd annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival is here. Set aside the dates, Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18 and get ready to hit the streets running to enjoy fun activities for all ages. There will be arts

and crafts, music, food, a petting zoo and more chocolate than Willy Wonka’s Factory. Perhaps one of the annual event’s top eye-catchers in the past has been the car show, and this year is no different. The 22nd annual Classic Car Show will be run this year by Bill Adams of Primary

This customized Corvette was a big hit at the 2013 Oakdale Chocolate Festival. The owner of it installed Scissor doors, causing them to open upwards and also added ‘angry eyes’ to its blowers for a fun, and unique touch. To the right of it, is a 1950’s model Chevy with purple flames that also drew attention.

Residential Mortgage, Incorporated of Oakdale. Adams has been on the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce board for three years and this is his first time running the car show. “I’m excited for the event, and the opportunity to coordinate it,” Adams said about the car show. “I have shown cars in the past and I am looking forward to seeing everyone out there.” The proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Heroes Project, which is a charity that assists veterans and helps provide them with everyday needs, including service dogs for those who need one. “As a veteran, I realize that it’s tough to come back from service and try to build a life outside of it. The Heroes Project is a great organization and I am glad to have them on board with us,” Adams added. For more information on the Heroes Project, log onto Adams said as far as the show itself, there are ample opportunities for participants to take home some hardware. “What’s different and unique about our show, is that we give numerous trophies out during the course of the weekend. We

will have one trophy per class,” Adams explained. “That is one of my favorite things about our show, is that we will have a wide range of different makes and models of cars, so there will something for all car enthusiasts. “Also, the car show itself has been a large part of the weekend in general, whereas most car shows separate themselves from festivals and fairs. We embrace the Chocolate Festival and all those who come out.” The car show area is in the midst of the festival and there is no shortage of ‘shop talk’ among the owners, who are also happy to share more about their vehicles with the crowd. “Every car has a unique story and fascinating history to them,” Adams said. “We encourage everyone, including the kids to engage with the owners and learn about the cars, while still having fun.” The car show is for all ages and is free with admission. You can see the car show on both Saturday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, situated between G and H streets along Yosemite Avenue.

Runners Lace Up For Festival Events


ith a one-mile flat course walk or run and a 5K fun run that is a fast ‘out and back’ course in Oakdale, the annual Chocolate Festival runs will be offered on Saturday, May 17. Presented by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce and assisted by the ShadowChase Running Club, cost for the onemile or 5K run is $30 for ages over 12; $25 for those 12 and under. For those that want to participate in both events, there is an additional $5 fee. Entry fees include a new Chocolate Festival Fun Run T-shirt, free entrance into the Chocolate Festival, race entry and refreshments. Awards are presented to the

first male and first female finisher for both runs and to the top three runners in each of the nine age groups in each run. Registration and race packets will be available starting at 7 a.m. on race day at the starting line, in William Meyer Park near the corner of South Second Avenue and G Street. Computer-based timing and results are computed by the ShadowChase Running Club out of Modesto and the awards will be presented shortly after the end of the 5K run (about 9:30 a.m.) at the starting line area. Age groups range from 12 and under up to 80 and above. Registration forms are also available on the ShadowChase Running Club website,

Runners in the 5K take off after the completion of the one mile fun run/walk, as many opt to take part in both events on Saturday morning, just prior to the start of the festival.







10-11AM Clerical Estate Acoustic 11-1PM Patty Castillo Davis Acoustic 1:30-3PM Josh Rosenblum Band Pop/Rock 3:30-5:30PM Third Party Classic Covers



10-11:30AM CallBox Acoustic Rock, Blues, Jazz 12-1:30PM Francesca Bavaro Alt/Rock/Jazz/Blues 2-4PM Highway 99 Party Band Party Rock


MAY 18



MAY 18

10:30AM HAWK Chocolate Challenge 10:30AM Family Support Network of Oak Valley Hospital-Folklorico Dancers 11:30AM Gymstars 11:30AM USA Elite Gymnastics 12:30PM West Coast Martial Arts 12:30PM HAWK Chocolate Challenge 1:30PM HAWK Chocolate Challenge 1:30PM Oakdale Mixed Martial Arts 2:30PM USA Elite Gymnastics 2:30PM HAWK Chocolate Challenge 3:30PM Los Luceros de Osborn 3:30PM You Can Dance Company 4:30PM HAWK Chocolate Challenge 4:30PM HAWK Chocolate Challenge


10AM: Western Music and Meet-up! Get your photo with a real cowboy! 11:30AM, 1PM, 2:30PM, 3:30PM: Gunfights Gun Spinning, quick-draw displays, Western Musical entertainment & Cowboys strolling throughout the festival!


Amusement Park & Games, Big West Mechanical Bull, Delta Gold Diggers, Pony Rides & Petting Zoo, Water Games/Water Ballerz, & Kenny the Clown.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014






2014 chocolate fest tab