PHOTO BY MARG JACKSON/ 209 Magazine
tinued with much success and there may be other tours in the future of Oakdale businesses during the festival.” The festival’s Main Stage will have non-stop local bands and vocalists both days like Third Party Band, Highway 99 Party Band, Callbox, a kid band called Silly String Band, and Francesca Bavaro, just to name a few. The Chocolate Challenge Stage will host three chocolate challenge game times each day along with five performances each day of local dancers, karate demonstrations, and gymnastics. To remind you that you are in the ‘Cowboy Capital’ there will be five performances each day of a Buffalo Bill style show with gun fights, quick draw competitions, whip cracking demonstrations, gun safety, and strolling performances. The family festival will also have kids’ rides, pony rides, and a petting zoo. This year the classic car show is a benefit for Project Heroes and has added a scale car drag racing track in addition to the 80-plus cars that will be on display. “They will also have die cast cars and wood model kits to purchase and take home,” added Guardiola. “This is some added fun for the car enthusiast and those that can’t drive quite yet.” The first couple of years there was a tennis tournament that corresponded with the festival and now each year includes a Chocolate Festival run. The Fun Run will be held Saturday morning and is a 5k or one mile walk or run. “We have many groups that come out to participate in this, a little competition among friends
or just to help stay healthy,” said Guardiola. “This event is on Saturday morning only and the first 100 that sign up get a $10 certificate to discover new varieties of craft bean-to-bar chocolates from Cococlectic.” Interested parties can register on Active.com or at the Oakdale Chamber website. This weekend event that is usually held on the third weekend in May typically brings in 50,000 to 60,000 people over the two days. The Oakdale Chocolate Festival will be held this year on Saturday, May 16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “While most of the chocolate is located in Wood Park we do have a few scattered around to tempt you as you stroll,” stated Guardiola. “This event promotes tourism for Oakdale.” The day is sure to please with a variety of enjoyable events, bands, vocalists, food, and the spotlight on chocolates to taste or to watch on the Chocolate Challenge stage hosted by the Hawk radio station. Participants of the challenge will win prizes like chocolate or other candy items. “So in addition to strolling around the arts and craft areas and eating the yummy food you can have some fun with chocolate,” expressed Guardiola. Thousands of people from all over attend the twoday festival and with warm weather on the horizon, it is sure to be a day of fun. Visit downtown Oakdale this May for the 23rd annual Chocolate Festival; your taste buds are sure to thank you. ■
The annual Chocolate Festival Run, which hosts a one-mile and the 5k shown here is the first of the season’s local runs put on by the Modesto ShadowChase Running Club and helps kick off the two-day chocolate-themed festival in downtown Oakdale.