On most evenings, Winters is a quiet place to drink some wine and maybe catch a concert at the Palms. Friday night, it’ll be a raging party.
Here are some details from the Winters Express:
"The festivities begin with free entertainment on downtown Main Street from 5-7:30 p.m., with a pre-dance lineup that includes square dancing with the Vaca Valley Ramblers (5:10 p.m.), ballet folklorico and lariat performances with Los Charros Los Caporales, followed by live mariachi music with Mariachi America de Sacramento from 5:30-6:15 p.m."
The entertainment will continue deep into the night, with food and craft vendors set up along Main Street and tons of locals gathering downtown. The headlining act, the Time Bandits, will take the stage at 8 p.m., which is when the real dancing begins.
For many, the party will continue deep into the night, as crowds spill into the nearby restaurants and bars.
I shared this fact last year, but I'll share it again: The first newspaper article I ever wrote was a story about bar occupancy limits during this same festival, exactly four years ago, while reporting for the Winters Express.
It’s not that the city had drawn up new occupancy limits; they had merely decided to begin enforcing the old ones. The Earthquake Festival is the one day per year that those limits are heavily tested in Winters, so the police went around and let bar owners know.
You might ask, why does Winters celebrate an earthquake?
The celebration actually commemorates the rise of the city after the devastating quake of 1892. So they're celebraiting the rise, not the fall. Or they just want to party. You won't find many references to the earthquake at the festival itself.
The festival will also have bounce houses and games for kids, along with local food vendors on the street.