Around Town (08/14/14)

Preschool orientation

The preschool at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church will have a parent orientation at 7 p.m. today at the parish hall, 1801 Winton Way. Parent orientation welcomes all new families interested in enrolling their 2- to 5-year-old children in a nurturing, caring and Christian learning environment. Parents will be introduced to policies and procedures, paperwork may be submitted, questions will be answered, and everyone will have a chance to tour the preschool. For more information, call (209) 358-3341; preschool resumes Monday at 7:30 a.m.

Stroke support group

A support group for anyone who has survived a stroke meets from 4 to 5:30 p.m. today at Mercy Medical Pavilion, third floor, Classroom A at 315 Mercy Ave. The group meets the second Thursday of each month. There is no cost to participate. For more information, call Lillian Sanchez at (209) 564-4310.

Book signing

Author Susan Nix will sign copies of her book “Believe in New Beginnings” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Hope Christian Book Store, 3144 G St., Suite 105, in Merced. The book is about the author’s journey with Stage IV lung cancer, which she completed 10 years ago. According to the author, the book is a combination of information, reality and humor designed to help others going through cancer, with a better understanding of what to expect. The book is also geared toward providing information about how to talk to a cancer patient, in addition to treatment and reactions. For more information, call (209) 723-2900.

Playhouse Merced gala

Playhouse Merced will hold its annual gala from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday outside the 510 Bistro in Bob Hart Square downtown. The gala will include a raffle with prizes and a “Night at the Sands” casino theme, with actors portraying figures from the Rat Pack, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. Tickets are $75 each; a table of eight is $750 and a table of eight VIPs is $1,000 (includes dinner, drink tokens, season flex passes and advertising in the gala program). Tickets may be purchased at Playhouse Merced, 452 W. Main St., or by calling (209) 725-8587.

Atwater ‘Moto Mania’

The Atwater Kart Club and Atwater Police Activities League are hosting “Moto Mania Weekend” on Saturday and Sunday at the Tom Dash Memorial Speedway, 500 Industry Way. Saturday’s all-day event starts at 8 a.m., and Sunday’s event runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Events include asphalt racing for bikes and karts, short track and SupermotoUSA championship racing. For more information, go to

Elks park breakfast

The Elks park breakfast is scheduled from 8 to 10 a.m. Sunday at Merced Elks RV Park, 3600 Wardrobe Ave. The breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit, orange juice and coffee. Bloody marys and screwdrivers are also available. Donation is $6 for adults and $3 children.

Country music concert

Vista Ranch and Cellars is hosting a grand country concert at 8 p.m. Aug. 23 with performer Jackson Michelson. The artist has performed with Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Collin Raye and other country stars. Admission is $15 general, and $22 for a premier ticket, which includes bar service. For tickets or more information, go to or call (209) 722-8200. Vista Ranch and Cellars is at 7236 E. Highway 140.

Sweet Potato Festival

The city of Livingston and the California Sweet Potato Council will host the third annual Sweet Potato Festival to celebrate the sweet potato harvest Sept. 19-21 at the Max Foster Sports Complex, 2600 Walnut Ave. The event will include a carnival, live entertainment, kids zone, food vendors, business booths and art show. There will be a culinary display with cooking demonstrations of sweet potato dishes. Discount carnival tickets are on sale at City Hall. For more information, contact the Recreation Department at (209) 394-8830.