WALNUT CREEK -- Heritage Day at Borges Ranch is a significant event every year, but in this, Walnut Creek's Centennial year, the event has taken on added heft, including a name country singer as its main attraction.
Centennial Heritage Day at Borges Ranch, the second signature event of Walnut Creek's yearlong Centennial celebration, takes place Saturday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Borges Ranch, 1035 Castle Rock Road, about a half mile south of Northgate High School.
Country singer and Matt Rogers, and "American Idol" finalist in 2004 and host of the television programs "Really Big Things," "There Goes the Neighborhood" and "Beat the Chefs," is the headlining entertainment. Also on tap are the nationally recognized Amigos de Anza Equestrian Drill Team and two local bluegrass bands, Ancestral Water Band and Second Calling. Food trucks from Off the Grid will be there, too.
The popular annual event -- this year with the added Centennial-related attractions -- takes visitors back in time to celebrate Walnut Creek's early ranching days at historic Borges Ranch, the former home and ranch of Frank Borges, who ranched cattle in the early 1900s.
The day will kick off with a show by the Amigos de Anza Equestrian Drill Team, which recently performed at the Tournament of Roses Parade. Based at Walnut Creek's Castle Rock Arabians, the drill team of girls ages 11 and older from Concord, Pleasant Hill, Piedmont, Moraga and Alameda is affiliated with the nonprofit organization Amigos de Anza.
There also will be a Ranch Days Costume Parade, in which children will "parade" their favorite early 1900s ranch attire. Rogers will perform at both 11:30 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m.; the first 150 Heritage Day ticket purchasers will receive VIP event passes for a special midday meet-and-greet event with Rogers, who also has worked as a correspondent on several entertainment and sports shows including "Entertainment Tonight," "Access Hollywood," "Turner Sports College Football," "Best Damn Sports Show" and the TV Guide Network.
Additional music and entertainment will be provided by the East Bay Fiddlers and the Diablo Mountain Cloggers.
The day's activities also feature farm animal demonstrations (including sheep shearing), pony rides, children's games and crafts, short walking tours in the Shell Ridge Open Space, tours of the historic 1901 ranch house and 1903 carriage barn, and Heritage home-arts demonstrations
Tickets are $5 for children (2-17) and $7.50 in advance or $10 day of event for adults and include all entertainment, demonstrations, tours and shuttle transportation. A small fee will be charged for craft supplies. Go to www.walnutcreek100.com to buy tickets; there are no refunds on tickets.
Parking at the ranch is limited, so only those with disabled placards may drive to the ranch on Heritage Day. All other guests must park at Northgate High School, 425 Castle Rock Road and take shuttle buses to the ranch. First shuttle leaves Northgate High at 9:45 a.m.
The first "signature" event hailing Walnut Creek's centennial was the Jan. 24 "Flappers and Flasks: Roaring in the Centennial" event at the Lesher Center for the Arts, which drew about 200 revelers.