Almost everything in John Gottschalk's life comes back to music. A french horn player since fifth grade, he earned money throughout his teenaged years working at the Gottschalk Music Center location his grandparents opened in 1951. After graduating from college with a music-education degree and teaching a year of elementary-school band, John rejoined the family business full time.
Under John, the company has not only expanded to two locations, but also grown its inventory from orchestra and band instruments to guitars, amps, and DJ equipment. A team of dedicated technicians fix any malfunctioning equipment in-house, while the store's wide selection of band and orchestra instruments are available for monthly rental. Via a team of expert instructors, Gottschalk Music Center even supplies private lessons in everything from guitar and piano to clarinet and ukulele.
At Yogolicious, guests take dessert cravings into their own hands. They swirl frozen yogurt or Italian-style gelato into cups, selecting exactly the right amount before adorning the twisted peaks with combinations of more than 50 toppings. Fresh fruit, cereals, nuts, and syrups sit atop frozen treats, with dollops of whipped cream to crown the entire dessert.
Bunkers, barriers, and trailers speckle The Paintball Zone’s five themed playing fields, serving as venues for sneaking or sniping. On Saturdays or the last Sunday of each month, players disperse throughout the arenas, marking opponents with random paint splatters or impressionist haystacks. The outdoor facility includes a covered staging area for protection against the sun and rain. The Paintball Zone sells paint and rents markers, ammo, gear, and compressed air tanks and recommends players wear a long-sleeve shirt and shoes that provide good ankle support.
The stockade of new and gently used goods at Hinds Hospice Thrift Store bestows surrounding communities with a multifarious cove of everyday items, collectibles, and hidden treasures. Stock barren bookshelves with paperback books ($0.25+) or stabilize a wobbly house on stilts with the tenacious reinforcement of a hardback tome ($1.50+). Stylish pairs of women’s shoes ($8+) wait patiently for ankle inhabitants, and a wide variety of vintage furniture ($35+) stands by to enliven barren apartments or uninviting human terrariums. Proffering goods for every occasion, season, or made-up holiday, the thrifty store also stocks an expansive selection of kitchenware, sporting goods, and appliances.
Very few people alive today can remember a time when the Stanislaus County Fair wasn’t around. The 10-day summer festival began humbly in 1911 as the Melon Carnival, but expanded throughout the decades in length and notoriety, with California recognizing its Arch Gate as a State Point of Historical Interest in 1999.
The fair’s headlining acts complement entertainment on secondary stages, whose performances range from community square dancing shows to canine daredevil acts. Meanwhile in the carnival area, visitors shoot down sudden rollercoaster drops and spin in dizzying circles, as tots frolic on size-appropriate kiddie rides and plot ways to turn their classrooms into zero-gravity chambers. Broncos attempt to buck riders to the ground in the rodeo, whereas those who prefer mechanical steeds can check out monster-truck shows, motocross contests, and motorcycle daredevils.
At E&M Auto Service, technicians aim to keep cars and trucks on the road with oil changes, air-filter replacements, and brake checks. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic technology, they detect problems relating to the everyday use of automobiles, attempting to ensure that while driving, hoses don't wear out, belts don't snap, and wheels don't fall off and into the arms of the nearest strongman. They also provide a complimentary email-reminder service, letting drivers know when they are due for routine maintenance.