Across Stanislaus County – including the communities of Oakdale and Riverbank – human service agency officials and volunteers spread out Thursday to try and get an accurate count of the homeless in the county.
There was plenty of warmth, good tidings and smiles going around the Family Support Network facilities on West F Street recently, as the organization hosted its annual Coats and Cookies festivities on Dec. 9 and 10.
They were lined up outside the Gene Bianchi Community Center well ahead of the scheduled opening time for the doors on Thursday, as members of the community came to enjoy a festive Thanksgiving dinner. Offered to all free of charge, the menu included all the traditional holiday favorites, from turkey and mashed potatoes to salad and cranberry sauce, topped off with a variety of choices for dessert.
Saturday's sunny skies and mild temperatures were the perfect fit to offer up the annual Salmon Festival, put on at the Army Corps of Engineers Park in Knights Ferry. Youngsters take part in one of the many craft activities, making colorful prints of salmon. Lions Club member Ralph Barajas serves up some barbecued salmon for hungry diners while the salmon mascot gathers some kids in for a hug. Many people also took the opportunity to search for the salmon making their way up the Stanislaus River, returning for the spawn.
The first Saturday of November heralded the arrival of the holiday shopping season with a couple of festive boutiques. The annual St. Mary' Catholic Church Craft Fair drew plenty of shoppers and diners both Saturday and Sunday, with breakfast and lunch available. Not far away, the Oakdale Family Church of the Nazarene played host to another craft fair, with tables set up outside and indoors. Food was also available for purchase there.