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Downtown Reopening Celebration Friday
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The City of Riverbank will celebrate the completion of the Downtown Beautification Project at a grand re-opening event on Friday, Sept. 25. The event is scheduled to run from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and will be held downtown at Third and Santa Fe streets and on the stage of the new Plaza del Rio.

Sponsors include, in part, the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce, Rio Arts, Riverbank Community Theater, Images of Distinction, Esperanza's Everlasting Gifts and Karate for Kids.

The evening is full of free family fun including musical performances by nationally-renowned singer and songwriter Joni Morris; Rachel Renae, 2009 Music Award winner for "Best Alternative, Acoustic Pop Artist"; performances by Riverbank's own Ballet Folklorico Viva Mexico; and various street performers, a rock climbing wall, sno cones, popcorn, finger foods, cake and more. Dinner can be purchased locally at Pizza Plus, Mary Beth's Corner Diner, or any other local restaurant in Riverbank.

The event will also feature the "My Favorite Rides Car Show" with display of Corvettes, BMWs and classics.

The city will officiate at a ribbon cutting commemorating the occasion, and sculptor Betty Saletta will be present for the official unveiling of the bronze Ferryboatman statue that is adjacent to the Plaza del Rio stage.

Organizers are raffling off a miniature bronze replica of the Ferryboatman statue. Raffle tickets can be purchased at downtown businesses or at city Hall for $20, and the sales will be limited to 120.

The Plaza del Rio was the catalyst for the beautification project and incorporates a reminder of the Stanislaus River in the form of a water fountain, running stream and basins along with a performance stage for live music and theatrical presentations.

Popular elements of the project include wider sidewalks to accommodate outdoor displays and dining, decorative streetlights, and narrower streets and large trees to create a pedestrian-friendly environment.

Members of the public who make a purchase at a participating downtown business between now and Friday at 8 p.m. will receive a raffle ticket to enter drawings for a variety of prizes at the re-opening celebration.

For more information about the event or about establishing your business in the new downtown, contact Tim Ogden, City of Riverbank, at or (209) 863-7129.

Downtown roads will be closed for the occasion from 7 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. all day Friday, according to the Public Works Department. That covers Santa Fe Street between Second and Fourth streets including the intersection at Santa Fe and Second plus Third Street between Topeka and Stanislaus streets. Detours will be in place.