Merced County Times Newspaper
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The Texas Tenors will perform at the Merced Theatre on June 29, at 8 p.m.
The Texas Tenors will perform at the Merced Theatre on June 29, at 8 p.m.

Now that the rain is really done until fall … or is it?

There was more than two inches of rain in May 2019. From 2016 to 2018, the average for May was .05 inches. The all-time average is 4 tenths of an inch. In any event, there are some excellent opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Too late for this year, but the annual Merced Soroptimist club’s 45th (yes, 45th!) hors d’ oeuvre’s festival was well attended and included great food, drinks and even a shuttle-bus from the Merced Mall to the Rambler Road party location. So mark your calendars now for next years event on the Memorial Day weekend.

Also well attended, Playhouse Merced took the wrapping off its 2019-2020 season on June 1 at the Merced Theatre. (Isn’t it great to see two performing arts centers cooperate with each other?). I don’t know exactly how they do it, but the coming season for Playhouse Merced is as hard to see as President Trump’s tax returns. In the past, I’ve tried to gather hints with no luck. I don’t even try any more. But 700 people filled the Theatre to see snippets of each show. It will be an exciting season of 12 shows including the opener, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Mark your calendars now for Sept. 6-27.

While you are in the “save the date” mode, here are a few more items of note this summer:

Aug. 3, 5-9 p.m. – Castle Air Museum / Castle-Atwater Kiwanis Wine / Craft Beer Festival will take place outdoors among the 70 aircraft on display at the Air Museum.

Aug. 17 – An evening with Edelweiss at the Merced County Courthouse Park. This familiar event, Playhouse Merced’s annual fundraiser, will be shaking things up. New venue. New format (no auctions!)  But I’m sure it will be a great evening of fun and sharing.

Then on Sept. 19 – 20 – Merced FEAST will take over downtown once again with it’s third annual offerings of locally produced food.  Last year it was sold out three times before they had no more room to add tables!

I expect many of you are on the mailing list for Modesto’s Gallo Center for the Arts. If so, you may have noted that their executive director explained a lowering of attendance for 2018-2019 in their season announcement booklet.

While not critical, the Merced Theatre experienced a similar trend. There are still two more shows this season, both expected to be huge hits, on June 21 and June 29. The Preservation Big Band, featuring local artists, will present a selection of jazz on Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m. Then the next weekend, on June 29, at 8 p.m., the theatre presents an up and coming country and western group, “The Texas Tenors.” Since 2009, JC Fisher, Marcus Collins, and John Hagen have released 4 studio albums, 4 DVDs, and multiple singles. They’ve earned impressive recognition over the years, including 3 Emmy Awards and the distinction of being Billboard Magazine’s 2017 #10 Classical Crossover Artist in the World. They’ve performed at the White House and many large concert venues – and are now headed for Merced. I’d recommend buying your tickets soon if you want the best seats.

Finally, summer is coming and so are the Sunday movies, 3 p.m., at the Merced Theatre!  Inexpensive movies. Classic Movies!  National Treasure. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. A Goofy Movie. Disney’s Heavyweights.  And you don’t really need to book early. The movies continue to August. Tickets are just $5 at the door. You know you want to see these classics again. You know you want to show your grandkids what movies were like back in the old days. Admit it.

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