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Valley Talent, Classic Cars Cruise Into Weekly Market
Model A
Riverbank resident Scott McRitchie looks inside the 1929 Ford Model A convertible shown at Wednesdays Farmers Market on July 8. Escalon owner Jim Butler said, in addition to the hot rodded engine, his car has been channeled and lowered, but the upper body, including the doors and rag top were still stock, as originally built. Ric McGinnis/The News


Last August’s co-winner in the best vocalist competition at Valley’s Got Talent performed for the audience at the Riverbank Farmers Market on Wednesday, July 8. The evening also featured some classics, as car buffs brought their vehicles to a ‘show and tell’ swap meet of stories.

Alida McKeon is a 17-year-old graduate of Oakdale High School. She tied for first as a vocalist at the Gallo Arts Center in 2014. It was the first time in five years the show ended in a tie. She accompanied herself on a baritone ukulele and electric piano, respectively, singing mostly songs of her own composition at the recent market.

McKeon will be attending this year’s competition in August, to help crown the new winner. Immediately after, she said, she’ll be leaving for her first week of school at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Berklee is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known primarily as the world’s foremost institute for the study of jazz and modern American music, it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including rock, flamenco, hip hop, reggae, salsa, and bluegrass. Figures show that as of 2013, 229 Grammy Awards have collectively been awarded to 99 Berklee alumni. Since 2012, Berklee College of Music has also operated a campus in Valencia, Spain.

Composer, pianist and arranger Lawrence Berk was working at the Schillinger House music school and took over, renaming it in 1954.

McKeon was just one in a series of musicians who perform at the market in the Community Center Park. It is sponsored by the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce and runs into September, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Wednesday.

Scheduled to perform tonight is the Ryan Russell Band and the movie offered at dusk will be The Boxtrolls, from 2014.

The July 8 market also featured the chance for classic car buffs to bring in their shiny classics and share information with attendees, detailing the restoration efforts and road trips that are part of the history of each vehicle.

Along with the entertainment and special features, each week also provides market goers with the latest in farm fresh fruits and vegetables and vendors bring in a variety of prepared foods, including tacos and wood fired pizza.