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Riverbank Rotary Preps For Expo
With the 36th Annual Riverbank Cheese and Wine Expo still weeks away on Oct. 13 and 14, the Riverbank Rotary Club is gearing up to make this event a success again this year.

Riverbank Rotary Event Coordinator Chris Elswick is busily gathering sponsors for the expo and vendors to fill approximately 200 booths for the attraction that attracts over 60,000 people from throughout the region. The sponsorship deadline is Sept. 5.

The street portion of the expo is very popular and there is no charge for admission. In addition to featuring creative and intriguing arts and craft booths, two stages with live music, a children's entertainment area with slides and rides, cheese vendors selling their specialties are open to the public.

New to the Kid's Zone this year will be a water attraction with "Aqua Balls" and "Bubble Rollers" that are designed for the ability to walk or float on water, walking inside the spheres.

The highlight of the event, wine tasting in Cellar Square, will showcase many local wines as well as other regional vintages and advance tickets are now on sale for $25 apiece. Two different beer gardens will also be highlighted.

"I'll have a slew more as we get closer to the event," Elswick said as she checked off a list of the local vineyards that have already committed.

Last year's festival featured 19 different wineries.

The Point Reyes Cheese Company, Hilmar Cheese, Farmstead Cheese Company, Bravo Farms, and Valley Ford Cheese have already committed to the cheese pavilion for the festival.

Another popular returning entertainment event is the KAT Country stage. Musical groups to perform are still being determined.

In 2006 the Riverbank Rotary Club took on the monumental task of putting on the Cheese and Wine Exposition that was previously sponsored by the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce. Since assuming coordination of the event, the Rotary Club has raised over $150,000 in proceeds that have been donated to worthy causes, including local schools, needy families, scholarship programs, as well as Relay For Life.

Elswick said the various levels of available sponsorship range from $500 to $5,000, each offering a different package and promotions including booth space and logos on the annual poster.

Major sponsors so far are the Kemper CPA Group for the wine tasting and Coors Light and the Blue Moon Brewing Company.

Others to date include Oak Valley Community bank, Gianelli and Associates, Black Oak Casino, Chicken Ranch Bingo and Casino in Jamestown, and MOCSE Federal Credit Union.

To contact the Riverbank Rotary Club, call (209) 863-9600 or visit the Riverbank Cheese and Wine Expo website at