October makes people think about Halloween and fall but for city staff in Riverbank there are two things that are front and center: the annual Riverbank Cheese and Wine Expo and later in the month the Haunted Hayride. This year the Cheese and Wine festival, being hosted for the 43rd time, will be held in downtown Riverbank on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. with no entry fee. The City has collaborated once again with Chris Ricci Presents to host the annual festival.
There are over 80 vendors confirmed to set up shop including those with handcrafted items like jewelry, leather goods, custom wood products, wine barrel crafts, honey, local jam, and food platters as well as other items hand crafted out of rare gemstones. Approximately 23 vendors are true local vendors from Riverbank which is up from the amount of local vendors that attended last year.
With a variety of food vendors for guests to enjoy there are some fan favorites that are coming back like Lockeford Sausage and Koko’s Teriyaki.
Due to some tragic events that have occurred at other festivals this year the City of Riverbank has increased security at this year’s event. The entrances will be monitored and each guest will need to pass through a metal detector and bags will be checked. People that have knives, firearms, or weapons of any kind will not be allowed to enter the event.
Live entertainment can be found throughout the festival including the popular Hispanic Heritage Stage located on Fourth and Santa Fe Streets; also youth bands from GK Music and Valley Music Institute. The live music will entertain guests throughout each day like Triple D, Anthem, Borrowed Time, Horatio Monroe, Allison Ruiz, and Golden Boy and Koala to name a few.
The traditional wine tasting sessions each day are from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and are $20 in advance which can be purchased online at riverbankcheeseandwine.com or at the local Boyett gas stations with no service fees purchased with cash. The tasting ticket includes a collectable wine glass to fill with a variety of wines to taste, craft beers and an assortment of cheeses and other goodies. Tickets will be $30 at the event. Guests for the tasting must be 21 years or older.
Some of the wineries that are slated to be at the festival are Blanc de Bleu Winery, Wine Sorbet, Sangria, Gallo, The Wine Group, Bronco, Classic Wines with a few new wineries from Spain, France, and Italy, Ricci explained. Lagunitas Brewing Company, Saint Archer, and Indigeny are a few featured breweries that will be on hand to offer their craft beers.
New to the event this year, Ricci shared, is Human Foosball and bean bag chair cornhole that guests can enjoy.
The carnival with rides, the fun slide along with the water balls and the sip and paint activity all return for another year of family fun.