By May 15, 2014 Read More →

Graffiti Summer is Here!

Graffiti Summer is Here! By Chris Murphy

Whom bom a lu bop a whomp bam boom! Can you believe it has been 52 years since the world famous class of ’62? This is probably the most famous high school graduating class of all time thanks to George Lucas’ film American Graffiti that asked the question, “Where Were You in ’62?”

We have a special history, and thanks to this amazing movie, the world rediscovered nostalgia and a new wave of history was born that included Happy Days, the Fonz, and Laverne & Shirley. All of that was due to the cruising in Modesto and this cinematic gift that George Lucas gave our city.

We have turned on the “On Switch” of our Modesto history. It is not important just to wax nostalgic about it, but more importantly to share it and tell the our next generation our stories, share it with our citizens that don’t know our history and also share it with the world that is looking for the origins of some of our beloved characters and pop culture.

If you live in Modesto USA, you were part of one of the most amazing times in history. It was a simple, fun life and the evenings draggin’ 10th and the high school activities, the cars, the friendships truly were a special era. The memories live on, and Modesto continues to recreate its past glory as the classic car and cruisin’ center of the California Central Valley!

Below is a summary of all events all month long!

May 28 – Reverend Horton Heat – Hero’s Brewhouse This is the ultimate in Rockabilly music today. Modesto is the birthplace of Rockabilly music and Reverend Horton Heat keeps it rockin all over the world. Don’t miss this show. It’s a Psychobilly freakout!

May 31 American Graffiti Ready for root beer floats, a costume contest & dancing in the aisles to one of the best film soundtracks in history? Don your best duds from the ‘50s & ’60s & enter a costume contest for prizes. Showtime 6:30pm. Tickets: $3. State Theatre, 1307 J Street. 209-527-4697.

June 1 – 9th annual Graffiti Classic Car Show Modesto Area Street Rod Association’s classic car show. Free admission. Car entry fee $25-$30 includes lunch for two. The Hot Rods Band, Sponsor awards & more. A portion of all proceeds go to local charities. Venue: McHenry Village, 1700 McHenry Ave. Call 209-521-6607 10am-3pm.

June 2-5 Mid-Valley Chevy Club Car shows are free & at a different location each night from 5-9 pm. Mon. American Chevrolet 4742 McHenry Ave. Tues. Liquid Trends 500 Glass Lane Wed. Downtown Modesto Cars enter at K & 12th Thur. Cool Hand Luke’s 2505 Patterson Rd. Contact Mid Valley Chevy Club at 209-499-2163. June 2 Mid Valley Chevy Car Show – American Chevrolet June 3 Mid Valley Chevy Car Show – Liquid Trends June 4 Mid Valley Chevy Car Show – 10th St Place June 5 Mid-Valley Chevy Club – Cool Hand Lukes

June 4 – Walk of Fame – 10th St Plaza – with Candy Clark and Bo Hopkins Every visitor to Modesto will have a chance to experience the Historic Cruise Route and see our new Walk of Fame that will have a celebration grand opening on June 4 at 6 pm with the Mid Valley Chevy Club and our local legends. Celebration is from 6:30 to 7:30

June 6 Official Kiwanis Classic Car Parade The annual Classic Car Parade route has expanded! The route will remain through cool Downtown Modesto but this year it is expanding to go down McHenry Ave. to Orangeburg & back to downtown. The parade will feature close to a thousand classic cars, hot rods & street rods starting at 7:00pm in Downtown Modesto. You do not want to miss this amazing event! To enter your hotrod visit

June 6 Velvet Creamery Grill Cruise-In Immediately following the parade, all classic cars are welcome to head down to the Velvet Creamery where there will be plenty of parking & outdoor activities. Venue: Velvet Creamery, 2204 McHenry Ave. 209-544-9029.

June 7 The Hit Men Featuring the Former Stars of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons! The 60’s, 70’s and 80’s big name chart-busting groups created beloved hits that have been heard for generations and are woven into America’s consciousness. Now, some of the greatest artists who were instrumental in the success of these fabulous songs have reunited to form THE HIT MEN. Show starts at 8:00pm at the Gallo Center, 1000 I Street. Call 209-338-2100 for tickets or visit

June 7-8 American Graffiti Car Show & Festival This 16th Annual event is presented by the North Modesto Kiwanis. Friday night, June 6 the Classic Car Parade Downtown at 7pm. The car show & festival is Saturday June 7 from 9am to 5pm & Sunday June 8 from 9am to 3pm. Check out the classic cars, stroll through hundreds of specially selected food & vendor booths. Live music throughout the festival each day; at MJC WEST Campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave. 1-888-746-9763 or All proceeds go to local charities.

June 14 Sing-a-long Grease Dress up as your favorite character from the film, compete for prizes, & dance in the aisles with Rydell Highs most famous graduating class. There will be fun giveaways, drink specials and contests from prizes. Showtime 6:30pm. Tickets $5. State Theatre, 1307 J Street. 209-527-4697.

June 14 21st Annual Back to Graffiti at the Fruit Yard The longest running classic car show in Modesto kicks off at 9am with 50/50 raffle, music, vendors and more! The Fruit Yard’s Mesquite BBQ available throughout the day. The Fruit Yard, 7948 Yosemite Blvd., Modesto. 209-523-4479 or 209-577-3093.

June 20 “HOPPING AT THE HANGAR” Sock Hop CAF Central Valley Squadron fundraiser at Hangar 1-S, 700 Tioga Drive. $25 per person, includes BBQ Hamburgers/Hot Dogs and all the fixing’s. Dancing to 50’s/60’s music surrounded by classic WWII planes, makes for an magical night. No host bar and soda fountain. Tickets call 209-605-4313. Tickets sold in advance only. No tickets sold at door. 5:00pm-10:00pm. 21+ to attend.

June 20-21 Graffiti Night with the Modesto Nuts Take me out to the ballgame to enjoy action packed baseball, 50’s and 60’s music, root beer floats and fun contests. Modesto Nuts take on the High Dessert Mavericks. Game time 7:05pm. Fireworks after the game. 572-4487 or

June 29 The 7th annual Rod & Custom Car Show Classic cars & custom hot rods! Music, food & beverages available for purchase. Breakfast 7:00am-10:00am. Proceeds to benefit Modesto Elks . Free admission. Car show starts at 9:00am. Car participants parking is 7:00-8:30am. Car registration $25 in advance & $30 day of the show, includes lunch for two. Awards presented at 3:00pm. Elks Lodge 645 Charity Way. 209-524-4421.

Friday and Saturday Nights (all summer long) A & W Root Beer 1404 G Street. Classic Cars, Elvis, Hula Hoop contest, Karaoke & Root Beer Floats served by Car Hops on Roller Skates.

Wednesday Nights (all summer long) Velvet Creamery 2204 McHenry Ave. Classic Car Show, Activities, Raffles & more!

Graffiti Summer is presented by the Modesto Convention and Visitors Bureau.



Posted in: event calendar, featured

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.