Summer Guide: From cars to music, plenty to do in coming weeks

Looking for a little hot fun in the summertime? The region's got you covered.

From fiestas, festivals and county fairs to concerts and car shows, there will be more than enough to keep you basking in the summer glow of pure fun.

You can travel to somewhat cooler foothill climes, or keep the heat in the valley sun. The following is a list of just some of the season's bigger events.

First up is the monthlong valley tradition of ...

Graffiti Summer -- It isn't June in Modesto unless all things "American Graffiti" are being celebrated. Car shows, concerts and parties will fete the classic Modesto tradition of cruising and the George Lucas film that made it famous.

Check out:

Hooligans MC Street Bike Fest -- June 5. Classic-car shows, monster-truck displays, street-bike stunts, powder-puff game, petting zoo and more. Free. All day in downtown Modesto. 568-1883.

Graffiti Classic Car Show -- June 6. Modesto Area Street Rod Association's fifth annual classic-car show with vendors, music and more, including an appearance by master custom car builder Gene Winfield. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Modesto Junior College West Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave. Free admission. 552-0358.

Mid-Valley Chevy Club Car Show -- June 7-11. Car shows are free and at a different location in Modesto each night from 5 to 9 p.m.: June 7, JC's Cafe, 500 Kansas Ave.; June 8, Knuckleheads Bar and Grill, 500 N Carpenter Road; June 9, 5 Minute Car Wash, 1115 Oakdale Road; June 10, Mike's Roadhouse, 3250 Dale Road; June 11, parade in downtown Modesto followed by show at Velvet Grill & Creamery, 2204 McHenry Ave. 523-3772

Kiwanis American Graffiti Car Show and Festival -- June 11-13. Festival begins with a parade in downtown Modesto on Friday evening at 7, with the car show at MJC West Campus on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 746-9763 or

Summer Graffiti Beach Party -- June 12. Music from the heyday of 1960s surf rock. Dean Torrence and his Surf City All Star Band perform original Jan & Dean hits including "Surf City," "Dead Man's Curve" and "Little Old Lady From Pasadena," while Papa Doo Run Run performs Beach Boys tunes such as "Surfin' Safari," "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Good Vibrations," as well as its own hit songs, such as "Be True to Your School." 8 p.m. at the Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. $29-$65. 338-2100.

Winter Dance Party Tour -- A Tribute to Buddy Holly -- June 11. John Mueller's dance party returns featuring the music of Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly. 8 p.m. The State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto. $20-35. 527-4697.

Back to Graffiti at the Fruit Yard -- June 19. Classic-car show, raffle, music, kids activities, vendors and more. Free to the public. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Fruit Yard, 7948 Yosemite Blvd., Modesto. 523-4479.

Beyond Graffiti, summer holds an array of other great things (and, yes, Independence Day is tucked in there, but we'll leave that set of fiery events for another day).

One other note: the annual Modesto Art & Wine festival has moved from August to September this year, so stay tuned for information on that event.

Patterson Apricot Fiesta -- June 4-6. This year marks the 40th annual celebration of all things apricot and features hot air balloons, a parade, entertainment, children's activities, food booths and more. 5 to 8:30 p.m. June 4; 6 a.m. (hot air balloon launches) to 5 p.m. June 5-6. Downtown Patterson.

Scottish Highland Games -- June 5. Athletic events, caber toss, Scottish hammer, putting the stone, bagpipers, Celtic music, children's games, dancing, Renaissance re-enactors, Avenue of the Clans, Celtic imports and merchandise, food and beverage booths. $13, free age 12 and under. Tuolumne River Regional Park, 1200 Tioga Drive, Modesto. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 529-9430 or

Ironstone Vineyards Concert Series -- June 6-Sept. 17. Concerts are at the vineyards' amphitheater, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys. This year's lineup: June 6, Crosby, Stills & Nash; June 18, The Fray with Kris Allen; June 20, Chicago and the Doobie Brothers; July 9, Sugarland, Michelle Branch and Will Hoge; July 23, Faith Hill; Aug. 1, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar and Edwin McCain;

Aug. 14, ZZ Top with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; Aug. 20, B.B. King, Al Green and Buddy Guy; Sept. 12, Willie Nelson and family with LeAnn Rimes; Sept. 17, Sheryl Crow with G. Love and Special Sauce.

MoBand -- June 10-July 15. The annual Thursday evening concerts at Mancini Bowl return with a "Summerzcool" theme. Take your blankets and picnic dinners to Graceada Park, Needham and Sycamore, for the 8 p.m. showtimes. And if you aren't into making your own picnic, many downtown restaurants will make to-go dinners to take to the park. Beer and wine are permitted. Free.

Merced County Fair -- June 15-20. The usual county fair suspects return, including agricultural exhibits, food, rides, a tractor pull, destruction derby, bull riding and more. The entertainment lineup: June 15, Sons of the San Joaquin; June 16, Skynnyn Lynnyrd, a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band; June 17, Clay Walker; June 18, Tower of Power; June 19, Night Ranger; and June 20, Alicia Villarreal. 900 Martin Luther King Blvd. Tuesday-Friday, 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturday-Sunday, noon to 12:30 a.m.

Juneteenth Celebration -- June 18-19. This annual free event commemorates the end of slavery and features music, art, food, entertainment and more. This year's celebration will include a youth talent show on June 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., and a community celebration June 19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the King-Kennedy Memorial Center and Mellis Park, 601 S. Martin Luther King Drive. 409-5482.

Riverbank Favorite Rides Car Show -- June 23. Classic cars, new and project cars, trucks and motorcycles. Live music, food and games for kids, farmers market. 5 to 8 p.m. Free entry. Riverbank Community Center, 3600 Sante Fe Ave. 480-2271 or

Mother Lode Fair -- July 9-11. This year's expo again includes the Mother Lode Has Talent show, along with other county fair events, including a demolition derby. The fairgrounds are at 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora. Friday-Saturday, noon to midnight; Sunday, noon to 10 p.m.

Modesto Blues Festival -- July 10. The annual ode to the blues returns. No lineup or details are available on the festival Web site. Mellis Park and King Kennedy Center, 621 N. Martin Luther King Drive, Modesto.

Stanislaus County Fair -- July 16- 25. The fair celebrates "Flavors of the Valley" this year with traditional favorites such as exhibits, midway rides, plenty of fair food, horse shows, a destruction derby, rodeo, motorsports and concerts. Shows at the Variety Free Stage: July 16, War; July 17, KC and the Sunshine Band; July 18, comedian Bill Engvall; July 19, Natalie Grant with Tenth Avenue North; July 20, The Beach Boys; July 21, Jack Ingram and Chuck Wicks; July 22, Boys Like Girls; July 23, Blake Shelton; July 24, Terri Clark;

July 25, Los Tucanes. Fridays, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturdays, noon to 1 a.m.; Sundays, noon to 12:30 a.m.; Mondays-Thursdays, 5 p.m. to midnight. Stanislaus County Fairground, Turlock. For admission and carnival prices and more, see

Twain Harte Summer Arts & Wine Festival -- July 24-25. The 33rd annual event features nearly 100 craft and graphic artists, a vintage-car show, wine and olive oil tastings and continuous live entertainment, all starting at the Twain Harte Arch (Joaquin Gully Road) and turning down Cedar Drive in downtown Twain Harte. 586-4482. www.fireonthe

X-Fest -- Aug. 7. Downtown Modesto will rock again this summer as the annual Xclamation Festival party shuts down the streets and turns up the amplifiers across eight stages. The lineup hasn't been announced, but 50 bands are expected, along with vendors and plenty of audience members. Tickets are $20 in advance for the 21-and-older event. Gates open at 6 p.m. 10th and J streets.

Fire on the Mountain Sonora Blues Festival -- Aug. 14. Concerts on two stages, with the main stage outside on the green, the other inside the Mother Lode Fairgrounds Sierra Building. This year also features tequila and microbrew tastings. Music lineup includes Tommy Castro, Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, Mike Hammar & the Nails and more. $40 adult pre-sale before Aug. 6; $50 after and at the gate; $5 ages 6-12; free under age 6. $5 fairgrounds parking fee. Gates open at 10 a.m., music starts at 11 a.m. 220 Southgate Drive.