Sweet sounds and spicy flavors permeate the annual Taste of San Joaquin, which attracts local merchants and bands for a cook-off under the summer sun. During the fest, a BBQ competition will feature smoky creations. Patrons can sample pork ribs, loaded baked potatoes, and beef brisket off the grill while sipping on frosty beers. Kids can play in the activity area with face paint and activities, while live bands cover everything from blues classics to lively Latin tunes.
Proceeds from the event go to stimulate the local economy and support nonprofits, with $0.80 of every dollar spent going to the locally owned business that sponsored the food and $0.20 going to a local charity. In the past four years, the Taste has donated more than $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations such as the San Joaquin Bike Coalition and the Child Abuse Prevention Council.
Don your faire finest for an action-packed day of Renaissance fun as a colorful cast of storytellers, musicians, and acrobats resuscitate the past with an invigorating blend of Elizabethan entertainment. Oversized turkey legs complement an appetizing blacksmithing performance, and medievalists can bow down at the throne of Mary, Queen of Scots. Athletically dodge under and around stilt-walkers as you prep your eye-sponges to absorb the gravity-defying juggling and ropewalking of MooNiE the Magnificent. Stroll around the grounds, stocking up on eats, ale, and Renaissance gear before cheering on combating knights and watching historical re-enactments of the origin of social networks.
The inspiration behind Alebrijes Mexican Bistro is the stuff of nightmares—Pedro Linares’ nightmares, to be specific. At the age of 30, the Mexican artist fell deathly ill. As he lay in bed, unconscious, he dreamt of a strange world filled with brightly colored monsters—a donkey with butterfly wings and a rooster with the head of an eagle among others—all shouting “alebrijes, alebrijes, alebrijes!” When he awoke, he wanted to show his family and friends all that he had seen, so he replicated his first alebrije from brightly painted papier-mâché. To this day, his family still crafts these strange creatures to serve as unusual home accents.
Pedro Linares' monsters inspired Alebrijes Mexican Bistro's name, as well as its decor, which showcases brightly colored paintings of his nightmarish beasts. In 2012, the bistro also won the Lodi News Reader’s Choice award for Best Mexican Restaurant, thanks to its gourmet burritos and regionally inspired dishes such as oaxaca mole, guanajuato bacon-wrapped prawns, and guacamole prepared in the style of Mexico City. The restaurant also infuses their own tequilas.
With thousands of frame-and-mat combinations, Deck the Walls can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate ($100+), personalized jerseys glisten ($300+), and man-cave movie posters sparkle (many 24"x36" pieces are less than $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. Deck the Walls' no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
Automatic scoring screens hover above West Lane Bowl's polished hardwood floors, allowing players to focus solely on sending balls on a collision course. Inside the spacious facility, families and pros alike compete during 10-frame series as the coffee shop serves wings, burgers, and pizzas and the sports bar welcomes players into its TV-filled enclave for a cocktail or a game of billiards. Those celebrating a birthday or successful weaning off of bumper bowling can gather in the private party rooms for cake and festivities between games and send guests home with swag-filled goody bags purchased from West Lane Bowl's pro shop.