Food & Drink

Taste of Merced County: Eat, shop downtown

The Merced Downtown Association will present its last Thursday Night Fest of the year from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday.

The festivities take place between M and K and Canal streets from Bob Hart Square to 18th Street.

A variety of booths will be on site, in addition to a farmers market. Come meet your neighbors while enjoying fresh food and shopping in downtown Merced.

For more information, call Mike at 209-722-3633.


Sandwiches in the sun

United Way of Merced County will have its seventh annual Lunch in the Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

Come to Courthouse Park at 21st and N streets for tri-tip sandwiches, beans and soda. Take-out also is available.

Tickets are $8. For more information, go to


Tasty competition

The "Blazin Hog" Competition Barbecue and Zydeco Music Festival will be from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Mariposa Fairgrounds. It will pit teams of public safety personnel, private businesses, clubs and groups, and individuals against each other as they vie to prepare the best barbecue in three categories: beef, pork ribs or chicken.

Zydeco music was derived in the south and is a Cajun/Creole blend of rock, blues and country. The "Blazin Hog" will be presented by the John C. Fremont Hospital Foundation to raise funds to support Mariposa County's only hospital.

For more information, call 209-966-3994.


A gala of food

Catholic Charities will have a Gathering the Harvest Annual Gala at St. Patricks Hall of Merced, at East Yosemite Avenue and Mansionette Drive.

The event will be from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. Chicken, pasta, salad, drinks and dessert will be on the menu.

Live entertainment will be provided by The Crosstown Traffic.

Admission is $25 per person, and advanced tickets are required.

For more information, call 209-383-2492.


Carnitas for the heart

University Surgery Center will have a carnitas take-out dinner in support of Merced's chapter of the American Heart Association.

Tickets must be purchased by Monday for this event that will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19. Dinners can be picked up at the University Surgery Center, 1390 E. Yosemite Ave.

The menu includes an authentic Mexican dinner with traditional carnitas, beans, rice, chips, salsa and tortillas. Tickets are $8.

For tickets or more information, call 209-580-3400.


Chicken for a cause

A benefit drive-through, pick-up chicken dinner will take place Sept. 22 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 2916 N. McKee Road.

Meals can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. On the menu will be chicken, beans, bread, homemade coleslaw and cookies. Tickets are $8. Funds raised will benefit Wanda Salmon, who is undergoing treatment for for colorectal cancer.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Melinda Price at 209-386-4047 or 209-617-2851.

If you'd like to submit information for Taste of Merced County e-mail or send a fax to 209-385-2460.