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Community Briefs 11-29-23

Community Briefs provides a listing of events and activities going on in and around the Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon areas. To have an event featured, e-mail the information to


Lantern Festival

Stockton Ballpark is being transformed into a magic forest with whimsical creatures and plants that are larger-than-life and glow at night. It’s all part of the first of its kind Stockton Lantern Festival, which runs through Jan. 14, 2024. All the larger-than-life art installations are handcrafted by lantern artisans employing the technique of traditional Chinese lantern making which enjoys a history of over 2000 years. Tens of thousands of LED lights, metal and fabric in vibrant colors are used to create unforgettable winter night lights experience. The magic begins when the sun sets, and the forest starts to glow at night. Stockton Ballpark is at 404 W. Fremont St., Stockton, and doors open nightly at 5 p.m.; for tickets and more information, visit


Linden Luncheon

The annual Linden Community Garden Club Christmas Luncheon is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 2 at noon. Doors will open at 11 a.m.; the event will be hosted at the Linden Lions Club, 5041 N. Market St., Linden. The music program will be provided by the Linden High School “Ace Choir” directed by Ken Kell and the Linden Lions will serve as chefs for the luncheon. The menu includes salad, lemon chicken, Italian pasta, vegetables and dessert. Call for reservations, Lynn Armanino with the Linden Community Garden Club, 209-931-3471. Tickets are $25. There will also be an opportunity to purchase tickets for raffle drawings at the event.


Drawing For Painting

Tickets are on sale for a fundraising Holiday Drawing to benefit the Escalon Historical Society and Museum, with an oil on canvas painting of the Jones Mansion being the featured piece for this year’s fundraiser. Local artist Annie Wyrick did the painting and the drawing will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2 following the Christmas on Main parade in Escalon. Tickets are available at $5 each and may be purchased at the museum during open hours, Wednesdays and Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m.


Accordion Music

The Good Time Accordion Club members meet on a regular basis, the first Sunday of the month at 2:30 p.m., hosted at the Escalon United Methodist Church, 2000 Jackson Ave., Escalon. Admission is $5; there are free refreshments provided. The club presents musicians of all levels and many musical styles. Anyone can bring an accordion and play or just come to enjoy listening to the musical performances. The last 2023 gathering is scheduled for Dec. 3.


TOPS Meeting

All interested are welcome to join TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) a weight loss support group that meets in Oakdale every Monday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.; meeting at 7450 River Road, Suite 4, Oakdale. This group is open to the public and anyone interested in improving their life by losing weight. Visit the website: for more information and to see a list of other meeting locations.


Garden Club

The next General Meeting for the Escalon Farmington Community Garden Club is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 7 and is open to all interested area residents. Gathering at the Escalon United Methodist Church, 2000 Jackson Ave., Escalon, the meeting time is at 1 p.m. and will also include a potluck. Those planning to attend are asked to bring their favorite dish to share and, if possible, include the recipe. There will be a gift exchange as well, with the theme of Make it, Bake it, Grow it or Buy it, with a limit of $20 or less.


Golden Agers

Check out the Golden Agers dance group at the Riverbank Community Center on Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with dancing, socializing, live music and fun for all. All adults 55-plus are welcome. Just drop in to check it out or become a member. Fees are $5 for members and $6 for non-members. Membership is $15. The Community Center is at 3600 Santa Fe St., Riverbank.


Widowed Persons Meet

Oakdale Widowed Persons Group invites you to join them the first Saturday of each month for breakfast at 9 a.m. and on the third Tuesday of each month for lunch at 1 p.m.; call for locations. All are welcome to join the group no matter how long ago you lost your spouse. For more information, contact Barbara at 209-322-2184.


Join The Jammers

The ‘Jammers’ are a loosely knit group of local musicians who gather regularly to play and share music. The origins were with Fred “Fiddlin’ Fred” Stepp who was a well know figure in the local bluegrass, country, folk music community. Weekly jams still happen at the Stepp family ranch. Members of The Jammers also set up and play at Medlen’s House of Beef, on the patio, the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. Things get rolling around 3 p.m. and typically continue until about 6 p.m., a full afternoon of music. Acoustic musicians are welcome to come and play. Featured instruments usually include guitar, fiddle, banjo, ukelele, etc. The public is welcome to stop by, listen to the music and even sing along. No cost to attend.


Star Gazing

The final star gazing event for 2023, hosted cooperatively by the Stockton Astronomical Society, Oak Grove Docent Council and San Joaquin County Parks is set for Saturday, Dec. 16. View planets through giant telescopes after sunset at this event, hosted at Oak Grove Regional Park, I-5 at Eight Mile Road, Stockton. There is a $6 cash parking fee but no cost to attend the viewing events; all are held, weather permitting. The program on Dec. 16 begins at 4:45 p.m., with a scheduled viewing of Saturn, M33 (Triangulum Galaxy). For more information, call 209-953-8800.


Celtic Music Nights

The ‘lads and lasses’ of Brennan’s Parlor host a monthly Irish music jam (aka “Ceilidh”) in the back room of the H Bar B Saloon, located at 401 E. F St., Oakdale. Gatherings are on the third Monday of the month, and run from 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. They welcome anyone – players, singers, or listeners – with an appreciation for Celtic music to join the fun. As the song says, “Come into the parlor, there’s a welcome there for you.”