This coming weekend is shaping up to be just about perfect. The weather forecast is ideal and the calendar is jammed with great events – including two of my favorites all year, the Manton Apple Festival and the Win-River 125 stock car race.
The Manton Apple Festival is scheduled for this Saturday, October 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Manton School. The annual apple fest is like Lake Wobegon with a smattering of hippies and a rural California flavor. The school field will be full of booths selling arts and crafts that range from hopelessly clichéd to exquisite. Expect the live music on two stages to cover a similar range. It’s all just delightful.
The highlight, though, is the food. People haul apple pies, apple tarts, apple fritters and just plain old boxes of apples out of there like it’s a one-day sale, which it is, of course. Plan to arrive early if you want a baked good made with apples, because the sweet, tart, sticky stuff usually sells out quickly.
Phyllis Penticoff, a festival organizer, said the last apple pies are usually sold by about 2 o’clock. However, I can tell you from experience that the apple fritters won’t last much past 10 a.m.
If you like to do your own baking, you may enter the festival contest. Simply bring your apple pie to the main tent between 9 and 9:30 a.m. No advance registration is required. There will be awards for both adult and child bakers.
Festival attendance is usually between 3,000 and 5,000 people, according to Penticoff. Although admission is free, the event does generate money for a college scholarship fund that is made available to kids from Manton and to local adults continuing their education. Parking is at a premium, so expect to walk a little way. If you’re not sure where the school is, just get yourself to Manton and then follow the crowd.
The other highlight this weekend is the biggest race of the year at Shasta Raceway Park, the Win-River 125 for super late model stock cars on Sunday, October 3.
I’ll be the first to admit that this event isn’t quite what it was 20 or 30 years ago, when scores of open competition cars, tour-style late models and even wedge-shaped dirt track cars jammed the pits beyond capacity. Still, the Win-River-sponsored race always attracts a nice collection of out-of-town competitors in the super late model and modified classes. And there is a bunch of other racing and related events throughout the weekend.
The Friday schedule calls for a legends car race, a bomber race, a demonstration by the Step It Up motorcycle stunt team and a bus race, in addition to practice laps for the super late models. The grandstand opens at noon on Friday, and I believe the idea is to have the program over before dark so that everyone may head up Highway 273 to Win-River for the happy hour taco bar from 7 to 9 p.m.
The super late models, modifieds, four-cylinder modifieds and the bombers will all be qualifying and racing on Saturday. The grandstand opens at 3 p.m. with the first race set for 6. You could spend the day at the apple festival and not miss a thing at the race track.
Sunday is feature event day and Shasta’s final racing date of the 2010 season. The super late models go for 125 laps, the modifieds for 60, the bombers for 40 and the hornets for 20. The green flag waves at noon. Check the race track website for additional details.
• Caltrans is reminding candidates for office and their overly ambitious supporters that temporary political signs may not be placed in the state right-of-way. (The cities of Redding and Anderson, and Shasta County have similar policies for the public right-of-way.) Candidates and supporters may erect signs on private property within view of a state highway only after filing a statement of responsibility with Caltrans. If you’ve ever lived or even visited a place where campaign signs are permitted in medians or on sidewalks, then I’m sure you’re for the regulations.
• The National Park Service is looking for public input on potentially major changes to the Oak Bottom campground at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. The park service is considering expanding the 30-acre campground to 50 acres but keeping the number of spaces at the current 110. Essentially, the park service would like to spread out facilities, especially the tent campground, which feels pretty darn crowded on summer weekends. The park service is also considering some boat-in campsites along the Whiskeytown Lake shoreline. A public meeting on the redesign is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight, September 30, in the community room of Redding City Hall, 777 Cypress Avenue. You may read more and provide comments on the project website.
• OK, so no one seems to be accepting my call (dare?) to open a movie theater in downtown Redding. In the meantime, I’ll pass along news from Willows, where the closed downtown theater is coming back to life; from Corning, where the city has started renovating the classic Rodgers Theater; and from Woodland, where there appear to be competing downtown theater plans. I’m only saying.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and will arm-wrestle you for the last apple fritter. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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