Modesto Festivals

Modesto Festivals


Graffiti Days

Hometown to the infamous George Lucas, Modesto hosts the Graffiti Days car show as a tribute to his popular film American Graffiti. The summer event encompasses the sentiment of the film that takes place in 1962, where the bubblegum fifties era was morphing into the disheveled sixties. The entire movie was modeled after Modesto, and each summer the city holds Graffiti Days that celebrates with a car show, music, and teenage abandon. There will also be raffles, activities, movies, trophies for the best time-period autos, and a costume contest. Car registration is $35, and includes a t-shirt and drink coupons. There are Graffiti celebrations throughout the summer in various locations including Downey High School, A&W Rootbeer, and Blue Gum Avenue. Check the community events calendar for dates and times.

Color the Skies Balloon Festival

Celebrate the Labor Day weekend with a 5K run under a sky full of vividly colored hot air balloons at the Color the Skies festival. Established in 2006, this event is put on to spread awareness and raise funds for the Children’s Hospital Central California, a non-profit medical center for the Central Valley. At the Color the Skies festival you can go for a balloon ride, leap out of planes to skydive, express your creativity with arts and crafts, and gawk at the Hot Line Construction’s Patriots Jet Team. There are also kite performances by Team Too Much Fun where festive kites loop and dive through tricks. There is plenty to do and see at Color the Skies Balloon Festival.

Xclamation Festival

The Xclamation Festival, or Xfest, is the biggest summer party in the Central Valley. Leave the kids at home, this scene is for folks 21 and over and is located in downtown Modesto. This event features the world’s largest outdoor disco that engulfs four city blocks and hosts over 50 bands. These groups perform for over 15,000 people that flock to Modesto for this single day event. Performers range from rock to funk to hip hop, and past headliners include Mother Hips, Eve 6, The Expendables, and Berlin. This event has been described as having a Mardi Gras feel, and although it provides a nice economic boost for the city, some locals are not as keen about having their downtown inundated by rowdy out-of-towners. If you plan to come to this event, be sure to book a hotel well in advance and be courteous to the locals. The show takes place between 9th and 12th between J and H Streets, typically on the third Saturday in July.




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