Earthquake Street Festival will shake up downtown Winters

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Summer is just about over when Winters’ Main Street fills up at the end of August, and the community gathers to enjoy plenty of food, friends and free entertainment.

It’s the Earthquake Street Festival, one of the biggest events of the year, and this year’s street party will have more to offer than ever. It all starts shaking on Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. downtown.

The festivities begin with free entertainment from 5-7:30 p.m., with a lineup that includes square dancing with the Vaca Valley Ramblers (5:10 p.m.), ballet folklorico and lariat performances with Los Charros Los Caporales, followed by live mariachi music with Mariachi America de Sacramento from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Inspire Dance Studio will perform street jazz and “stomp” routines at 6:20 p.m., featuring local young dancers under the direction of Sherean Maynard. Bonanza King — featuring local musicians Kari King, Keith Cary, Cedar Seeger, Bruce Brewer, Steve O’Neill and Roger Kunkle — will get toes tapping with Western swing and honky tonk from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m.

New this year will be the “Children’s Circle” on East Main Street, which, like Main Street, will be lined with food and vendor booths. At 6 p.m., the Winters Combined PTA will lead free children’s games with prizes, and at 7 p.m., magician John Fredericks will stump the audience with class magic tricks: cards, coins, ropes, cups and balls, and shells.

The fourth annual Winters Has Talent competition begins at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage. The contenders include dancer Dominic Cintas and singers Isabella Quintana, Stormi Norfolk, Taylor Rippee and Angel Swafford.

Cintas, the youngest of the bunch at age 10, will do his own dance choreography to “Robot Boy’s Audition.” Defending champion Quintana, 15, will sing the Etta James classic, “At Last.” Norfolk, 18, who is a veteran of more than one Winters Has Talent competition, will sing Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts.” Rippee, 13, plans to sing Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain,” and Swafford, also 13, will cover Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.”

The contestants will perform by order of age, from youngest to oldest. The winner will be selected solely by audience approval, as recorded by the loudest applause on a sound meter

The main attraction every year is the street dance, and the Time Bandits will take the stage at 8 p.m. The group is well known for its big, brassy sound and classic rock and R&B hits.

While all this entertainment is available free of charge, Main Street and East Main Street will be filled with food and vendor/crafts booths, and bounce houses and children’s activities. Throughout town, many local businesses, restaurants, wine tasting rooms and pubs will have special items and activities offered for the hundreds of people who head downtown to send summer off in style.

The Earthquake Street Festival began in 1992 as a way to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the rebuilding of the downtown Winters after a devastating earthquake in 1892. The festival is sponsored by the Winters Chamber of Commerce, and is one of the Chamber’s biggest fundraisers of the year.

For more information, call the Chamber at (530) 795-2329.

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