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Seasonal Celebrations Shaping Up For City

Among local celebrations for the approaching Halloween and Day of the Dead observances in Riverbank, the traditional Halloween Haunted Hayride and Pumpkin Patch will kick off its unique celebration on Friday and Saturday this week, Oct. 25 and 26.

A city sponsored event, it involves a casual hay wagon ride through the dark and scary pathways through the back end of Jacob Myers Park. Participants will surely be visited by more than a handful of ghouls and goblins, with several scary scenes along the way.

The grounds will open at 5:30 p.m., with the first wagon departing at about 7 p.m., after darkness falls, according to organizers.

Also on Saturday, Oct. 26, patrons, particularly the younger trick or treaters, will enjoy a daytime ‘Trunk or Treat’ Safety Fair, to be held at the Galaxy Theatres parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon.

A first time event at Galaxy, organizers hope it will become annual, with participants bringing a car, truck, van, SUV, or any other vehicle and offering games and candy for trick or treaters.

According to officials, the event will be “a fun and safe opportunity for the children of our community to trick-or-treat, as well as meet and interact with members of our local emergency services community. Children will spend the morning going from trunk to trunk collecting candy or other treats from participants who have decorated their vehicles for this fun fall event.”

Organized somewhat like the National Night Out in August, the Safety Fair in connection with the event will feature displays by police, fire and ambulance agencies.

Also, there’ll be prizes for the best kid’s costumes, both boys and girls, and a raffle for kids.

And if participants bring two cans of food, they’ll get free entry to the movie “Hotel Transylvania,” showing at the Galaxy Theatres following this event.

The event also will include a vote for People’s Choice for Best Trunk.


Day of the Dead

The celebration honoring friends and family members who have passed away, the Dia de los Muertos will be celebrated in downtown Riverbank this year.

Where All Hallow’s Eve is celebrated on Oct. 31 each year, Day of the Dead is celebrated on Nov. 1 throughout Mexico, particularly in the central and south regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere.

The holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember other friends and family members who have died, helping support their spiritual journey.

In Mexican culture it is said, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.

This year, it will be recognized downtown, at the Plaza del Rio Park at the corner of Third and Santa Fe streets, just across from City Hall North.

Organizers say there will be an Altar Display throughout the event, with a Catrin and Catrina parade at 6 p.m., cultural dances at 6:30 p.m., a Catrina contest at 7 p.m., along with lots of music and food throughout the evening.

Contest information can be located at and for additional information, contact Nancy Garcia at 209-869-1891 ext. 105 or

And all this is just a warm up for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to come in November and December