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January 28, 2023

Local Scene: Student honors; artists sought for Highway 25

Local students named to Dean’s List

Hollister residents Alissa Avina and Garret Kelly have been named to the winter 2022 Dean’s List at Palmer College of Chiropractic’s west campus, which is located in San Jose. 

Rib Cook-off

The Great San Juan Bautista Rib Cook-off returns April 29-30 and May 1. Organizers will close down the streets of historic San Juan Bautista to make way for the festival of ribs, crafts and music. 

Award-winning teams will prepare and serve tender, slow-cooked barbecue ribs that have been simmered over old fashioned hickory charcoal—hot and fresh off the grill. Rib cooks from throughout California, Oregon and Nevada will participate in the local cook-off. Judging is set for 1pm April 30, and the winners will be announced 1pm May 1. Teams will compete for best ribs and best sauce trophies, along with the People’s Choice award. 

Festival goers can enjoy a wide variety of craft creations and unique gifts, says a press release from Williams LTD, the Rib Cook-off organizer. The festival is child-friendly, with pony rides, face painting and snow cones available. The Patty Kistner Band will perform on the main stage all weekend. 

Admission and parking are free. The festival takes place 11am-6pm April 29, 10am-6pm April 30 and 10am-5pm May 1. 

For more information, visit

Artists sought for Highway 25 project

The San Benito County Arts Council seeks California-based artists or artist teams to submit their qualifications to create and install an outdoor sculpture at the corner of Santa Ana Road and Highway 25 in Hollister. 

The project is part of a State Highway Beautification Project, sponsored by the California Department of Transportation and the Clean California Program.

Launched by Gov. Gavin Newsom as part of his California Comeback Plan, Clean California is investing $1.1 billion for state and local governments to clean up trash and debris statewide, and beautify community gateways and public areas along highways, streets and roads.

The local project is located along Highway 25 near the east entrance to Pinnacles National Park. This bypass route serves as the “main street” through multiple residential neighborhoods, and retail and industrial developments.

The San Benito County Arts Council, together with Caltrans and the City of Hollister, is administering a Call for Artists and/or Artist Teams to submit their qualifications by May 11 to create and install a site-specific outdoor sculpture as part of this project. The sculptural piece will be installed at the “start” of this particular Highway 25 corridor between Santa Ana and Sunnyslope Road, and will include aesthetic elements that reflect and enhance community identity, as well as integrate with the overall goal of this Caltrans project to beautify the route and encourage pedestrian and bicycle usage for local residents and visitors. 

The total public art budget for this project is $130,000 and is funded through Clean California.

All applications must be submitted online by May 11 at

For information, visit or contact Executive Director Jennifer Laine at 831.636.2787 or [email protected]

Mobile food pantry

The San Benito County Mobile Food Pantry will make a stop near the intersection of San Juan Road and Rajkovich Way, in Hollister, from 2-3pm April 25. 

Sacred Heart School auction

The annual Sacred Heart Parish School virtual auction will start 7pm April 25 and close 7pm May 1. All proceeds from the auction support Sacred Heart Parish School. More than 150 items donated by local businesses and families will be available for bid. 

For more information, visit

Stage Company auditions

San Benito Stage Company will hold auditions for its summer family musical May 9-11 at 6pm at the San Benito High School Auditorium. This year’s summer production is “Bye Bye Birdie.” Auditions for the family musical are open to ages 8 and up. 

For more information, visit

PG&E contributes to restaurant fund

Following a successful inaugural program last year, the California Restaurant Foundation (CRF) is again providing grants to independent restaurant owners and their employees through the Restaurants Care Resilience Fund. The PG&E Corporation Foundation is contributing $500,000 to the fund to support investment in and recovery of California’s restaurant community, which is still reeling from economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, says a press release from PG&E.

The Restaurants Care Resilience Fund is accepting applications from April 15-30. Grant recipients can use the money for equipment upgrades to alleviate deferred maintenance and for employee retention to help with industry-wide staffing challenges, says the press release. Small restaurants continue to be impacted by the last two years of debt and losses incurred amid rising costs.

Grants are available to California resident restaurant owners with fewer than three units and less than $3 million in revenue. The PG&E Corporation Foundation funding will prioritize minority- and women-owned businesses in PG&E’s service area in Northern and Central California. Last year, 109 grants were awarded to independent restaurant owners in the company’s service area.

“The PG&E Corporation Foundation’s generous contribution will help independent restaurant owners across Northern and Central California invest in their people, their equipment and ultimately, the long-term health and success of their businesses,” said Alycia Harshfield, Executive Director of CRF.  

For more information on PG&E Small and Medium Business customer support visit For more information on the California Restaurant Foundation, Restaurants Care, or the Restaurant Resilience Fund, visit

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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