10 Great Dates this September

55th Annual Saint
Basil’s Greek Festival
September 5 – 7
Step into the Mediterranean culture and celebrate all things Greek at this year’s 55th Annual St. Basil’s Greek Festival in Stockton. Come support the community in style as you experience Greek culture while dancing and playing games. Enjoy the delicious Greek food from lamb to gyros, and pastries such as baklava while relishing in the spirit of Greece. The event attracts thousands of guests each year, and the price of attendance is only $2 (free for children under the age of 12). Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Christian Church, 920 March Ln., Stockton. (209) 478-7564, gostbasil.org.

Bluegrass at the Lake
September 6
The second annual Lodi Bluegrass at the Lake event will feature several of California’s biggest bluegrass bands at the outdoor music festival. Along with top notch entertainment, guests can relax while enjoying the serenity of Lodi Lake. There will be various food and beverage vendors, including beer and wine. This year’s line-up includes Joe and Hattie Craven, Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players, Cliff Compton and Moutaintop, and Blame Sally amongst other all-star guests. The concert series is open to bluegrass fans of all ages. Get your tickets, bring your lawn chairs, grab some blankets and your dancing shoes and get ready for a good time! Lodi Lake, 1101 W. Turner Rr., Lodi. (209) 333-5511. Lodiarts.org.

Taste of the Valley
Art and Food festival
September 6 – 7
This year’s first annual Taste of the Valley Art and Food Festival will be replacing the familiar Tracy Dry Bean Festival as a celebration of all things Tracy. The event will include previous attractions such as the Chili Cook-off and family carnival complete with games, vendors and rides. New this year to the event will be an agricultural pavilion, showcasing local food and farmers as the event shifts to focus on a diversity of Tracy products. The festival will also include display community art, music and a beer and wine alley. Downtown Tracy, Tracy Chamber of Commerce 223 E. 10th St., Tracy. (209) 835-2131. Tracychamber.org.

West Coast
Outdoor Expo
September 6 – 7
Come see a collection of more than 100 different outdoor exhibitions and features, including hiking, fishing, boating and skiing, at the West Coast Outdoor Expo. The event will include a huge youth tent, family play area, and an array of family and outdoor activities. Activities will incorporate lectures and demonstrations, as well as a shooting range, crafts and outdoor clubs and/or cooking. Guests can also enjoy different food vendors while they learn how to get started on a variety of outdoor activities such as kayaking, rock-climbing, archery, or fishing complete with an outdoor pond. San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, 1658 S. Airport Way, Stockton. (209) 346-2765, Rsglobalproductions.com.

Lodi Grape Festival
and Harvest Fair
September 11 – 14
Lodi’s Annual celebration of the Grape Harvest will commence this year on Thursday September 11 and will last until Sunday September 14 in the heart of wine country. The festival celebrates San Joaquin County’s diverse agriculture, products and exhibitions. This year, the festival will introduce its inaugural bottle-shock home wine-making competition. The family-fun environment offers an educational, entertaining and enlightening celebration, complete with live music including performances from Shane Dwight. Funds from the festival will help support local charities and non-profits, which have helped raise more than $150,000 annually for different causes throughout the county. 413 E. Lockeford St., Lodi. (209) 369-2711. Grapefestival.com.

Central Valley’s
Country BBQ Fest
September 19-21
The First Annual Central Valley BBQ Fest and BBQ competition will commence at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton. The family fun event is centered on community unity and will feature live music on several different stages throughout the three day event. Local bands will get a chance to showcase their talents in Friday night’s Battle of the Bands competition. Inside and outside vendors and activities will include local and national companies, a craft fair, food vendors and sportsman type-businesses. There will also be a kid’s zine complete with activities and a carnival. In addition, check out the BBQ competition with 25-30 professional teams competing for cash prizes. Be sure to check out the long list of exhibits and displays, including semi-trucks and pick-up trucks. The event is one of California’s largest BBQs Festivals, whether it’s the area’s best BBQ food, music or activities, the event is filled with something for everyone! San Joaquin Fairgrounds, 1658 S. Airport Way, Stockton. (209) 482-6969. Cvcountryfest.com.

Live on the Lawn at
Waterloo Gun & Bocce
Saturday September 20
The series of events under the shade at the Waterloo Gun & Bocce will offer a four band concert on Saturday September 20. This will be the last series of the summer, and will be ticketed, as all proceeds will go to the Child Abuse Prevention Council. Waterloo will be selling mouth-watering BBQ food and drinks for all ages on the lawn. For those with classic cars or bikes, there is even reserved parking on the lawn. So grab a chair, a friend, some grub and enjoy the live entertainment. Waterloo Gun & Bocce, 4343 North Ashley Lane, Stockton. (209) 406-5504. Johnnyrocks209.com.

2014 Roller Derby Nationals:
September 26-28
This year, the USA Roller Sports and National Roller Derby Committee has selected Stockton to host the 2014 Roller Derby National Championships, helping to put the city on the map. More than 20 teams from all over the nation will be competing against each other to win the coveted Seltzer Trophy at the top-notch Stockton Arena overlooking the bay. The event will feature teams from the top three qualifiers in every different category, including juniors, men, women and co-ed. Over a period of three days, these teams will battle it out as they jam and fight for the National Championship titles. Stockton Arena, 248 West Freemont Street, Stockton. (209) 938-1555. teamUSA.org.

Sip Saver Lodi
September 26-28
Join Lodi Appellation’s vintners for Sip Savor Lodi – a wine country harvest celebration! Festivities kick off on Friday evening with an exquisite, al fresco Harvest Dinner in downtown Lodi, highlighting the region’s agricultural bounty. On Saturday, enjoy wine and barrel tastings, live music, delicious food and more as you tour the Lodi region during the Cellar Tours at participating wineries. During Sunday’s Grand Tasting, stroll the beautiful grounds of Wine & Roses Hotel while you sip world-class Lodi wines from over 30 wineries and savor tasty bites from some of the region’s best chefs. Ticket sales begin Friday, August 8th, 2014, and can be purchased at www.sipsavorlodi.com or by calling the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center at (209) 365-0621.

2014 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction
Thursday October 9
The March of Dimes’ third annual Signature Chefs Auction will be held on October 9th at 5:00 pm. This event showcases the valley’s incredible culinary talent and regional vintners, with over twenty chefs and wineries providing delectable cuisine. The event also hosts a silent auction and a live auction that is lively and entertaining, auctioning off trips to exotic locations, one-of-a-kind entertainment packages and private chef packages. All proceeds benefit the important work of the March of Dimes. For more information (209)416-3304 or email at JFaso@marchofdimes.com. marchofdimesstockt.wix.com/signaturechefs