October fests offer food, brews, entertainment


A variety of food will roll into College of the Sequoias event

The College of the Sequoias Foundation and volunteer coordinator Elizabeth LaMar of Three Rivers are bringing food trucks, live music, and dance, games, and more to the COS quad this weekend (Saturday, Oct. 7) for the inaugural Food Truck Fest on the Visalia campus.  All proceeds will benefit the COS Theatre Arts program.
Entertainment will consist of a climbing wall, train rides, face painting, photo booth, and beer-tasting booths featuring Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company and Brewbakers Brewing Company, retail and craft vendors, and live music courtesy of Bear Ridge Bluegrass Band. Also performing are special guests Dancer’s Edge and the Theater Arts Alliance Jr. Company.  
Fifteen food trucks  will be on-site including Meltdown Bistro, All Fired Up Pizza, Lumpia Hut (Filipino cuisine), 4 Seasons Handy Market BBQ, Kettle Queen, Kerrib Flava (Jamaican), Quesadilla Gorilla, Jay’s Specialty Ice Cream, Garcia’s Corn, Big Kahuna Shave Ice, Twisted Bean, and El Tri Respados.  
The goal is to earn $10,000 to help theatre students attend the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival where they will compete for scholarships, audition for roles, and acquire paying  jobs. Elizabeth said that this is a unique opportunity for the young performers and that they usually spend all year raising funds to attend.
Last year, Elizabeth organized a similar food truck event that was hosted by the Sequoia Parks Conservancy at Mooney Grove in Visalia. Although a success — with some minor parking issues, Elizabeth said — new SPC executive director Karen Dallett has opted not host the event this year.  
“Come early because last year the food trucks were so busy they ran out of supplies before the end!” said LaMar. “If the event is successful we will definitely do it again next year.”
The Food Truck Fest begins at 11 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. Parking and admission are free. And the first 250 people to attend the beer-tasting will receive a commemorative mug and gift bag.  
The Valley Cats headline Brewfest
Central California’s premier party/dance band The Valley Cats are set to rock the fifth annual Woodlake Lions Club Brewfest on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Woodlake Plaza. The Cats bring their patented high-energy performances of Billboard Top 200 dance hits and perennial favorites. 
In addition to the live music, the event will feature craft beer and gourmet food from regional and local vendors.  Before The Valley Cats take the Budweiser main stage, Q97.1 FM radio personality and “King of the Afternoon Drive” Danny Salas will host the evening while DJ Rudy Salazar pumps some hot tunes. 
Bandleader and founder Michael Clark of Fresno has played with The Valley Cats for 10 years and for the last seven has molded the group into its current configuration with members from Fresno and Tulare. At center stage will be the “Valley Kittens,” lead singers Brittney Flores and
Niki Rodgers. Steve Kidd is featured on lead guitar and lead vocals; Randy Robinson performs on keyboards and backup vocals.  Anchoring the rhythm section is Donny Klein on bass/vocals and Clark on drums.  
The Valley Cats have long been a favorite for corporate events and fundraisers. They pride themselves on providing an authentic, 100-percent-live performance. A Woodlake Lion took note of the band’s performance  at the Kings Lions Brewfest in Lemoore in June. That Lion was knocked out by the high energy of the Cats and made a point to book the Cats for the Woodlake event.   
Lions Club board member and Brewfest chairman Michael Navarro said the proceeds from the event will help community  members from students to breast cancer patients.
“Over the next year we will use the proceeds and help whoever is in need in our community,” said Navarro. “For example, we recently helped a Woodlake woman get down to Santa Barbara for cataract surgery.”    
Presale tickets can be purchased for $30 in Visalia at Brewbakers and B&L Quality Meats; in Woodlake at Woodlake City Hall, Woodlake Drive-In, Dead Rat Saloon; and on the club’s website at www.woodlakelionsclub.com.  
This is an event for ages 21 and older.


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