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Final Celebration Set For City’s Centennial
Centennial mural R
Local muralist Alexandra Riddle is atop a scissor lift, working on the latest mural she’s painting in Riverbank, at the back of the stage at Plaza del Rio Park. It will be part of the Centennial Celebration the city is holding this year. The unveiling is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 20, one of several city recognitions that day, which also closes out the city’s celebrations for the centennial year. Ric McGinnis/The News

The Riverbank Centennial Committee has announced its schedule for the final day of celebration, Saturday, Aug. 20. And it’s going to be one jam-packed day of activities.

To open it up, celebrants should be at the Riverbank Sports Complex, 2119 Morrill Road, by 6 a.m. that day. Launching the party will be, appropriately enough, a hot air balloon launch from out in the middle of the playing fields.

City staff is not yet sure how many balloonists will participate, which might be determined by how much wind there is that morning, and in what direction. Also a concern is the stadium light standards surrounding the fields, with one particularly taller, topped by cell phone equipment.

The balloon launch is scheduled between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Next, the schedule shifts to the Plaza del Rio Park on Third Street, in downtown Riverbank, right across the street from City Hall North.

There, breakfast will be served between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Aug. 20.

At 9 a.m., they’ve scheduled the unveiling of the new Centennial Mural, on the wall behind the outdoor stage. In addition to city officials, it’s anticipated that there will be a number of dignitaries in attendance, and participating in the ceremony. Mural painter is Alexandra Riddle and although she lives now in La Grange, Riddle is pretty well known in Riverbank as the creator of a number of the murals one finds around town. Among them is the Sister Cities mural on the south end of City Hall North, the murals on four sides on the roundabout on Westgate Drive (formerly Crawford), and the murals on the snack bar at Castleberg Park. She also painted the huge mural on the wall facing Plaza del Rio Park, right next to where she’s working on the centennial project.

Also scheduled on Aug. 20 as part of the festivities, there will be a performance by Riverbank’s own Ballet Folklorico, at 9:30 a.m., followed at 10 a.m. by a concert performance by homegrown Herb Henry Family, known as ‘California's First Family of Gospel Music.’ Herb Henry grew up in Riverbank, and his family owns a market here.

That concludes the morning’s activities.

Later that afternoon, also at Plaza del Rio Park, there will be live music, food vendors, a beer and wine garden, photo booth, and lots of activities for the kids, including a bounce house.

There will also be carriage rides offered through downtown streets, and they promise much, much more.

The afternoon activities begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m., when the official Centennial Celebration for the city will come to an end.