13 Top Things To Do In Chowchilla For A Fun-Filled Vacation

things to do in chowchilla

Are you planning a weekend getaway to Chowchilla? Look no further. This charming and vibrant city offers a plethora of exciting activities to keep tourists engaged and entertained. From exploring the majestic outdoors to indulging in savory local cuisines, there is something for everyone in this quaint city. So, let's dive into the top 13 things to do in Chowchilla for a fun-filled unforgettable vacation.

Activity Description
Skate Park Features ramps and rails for skateboarding enthusiasts
City Park Offers basketball courts, playground, and picnic area
Madera County Museum Features artifacts and history of Madera County
Fossil Discovery Center Exhibits fossils and history of the San Joaquin Valley
Pheasant Run Golf Course 18-hole golf course with scenic views
Farnesi's Steakhouse & Cocktail Restaurant serving steaks, seafood, and cocktails
Alfonso's Mexican Restaurant Authentic Mexican cuisine and margaritas
Chowchilla Cinema 3D Movie theater with 3D capabilities
Chowchilla Flea Market & Farmer's Market Local vendors offering produce and goods
Flicks and Eats Drive-In Theater Classic drive-in movie theater experience


Visit Fossil Discovery Center

Source: Fossil Discovery Center
Characteristic Description
NameFossil Discovery Center of Madera County
TypeNatural history museum in Madera County, California
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 334
Address19450 Ave 21 1/2, Chowchilla, CA 93610
Phone(559) 665-7107
HoursMonday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - Closed
Friday - Closed
Saturday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 4 PM
Sunday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 4 PM

If you're planning a trip to Chowchilla, California, be sure to add a visit to the Fossil Discovery Center to your itinerary. This unique attraction offers visitors of all ages the chance to explore the fascinating world of prehistoric life and the ancient creatures that once roamed the area.

Located just off Highway 99, the Fossil Discovery Center features a variety of exhibits and displays that showcase the rich history of the San Joaquin Valley. Visitors can explore the center's many galleries and see real fossils, including the remains of dinosaurs, mammoths, and other prehistoric animals that once lived in the area.

One of the highlights of the center is the "Valley of the Giants" exhibit, which features a life-size replica of a mammoth and other giant creatures that once lived in the area. Visitors can also explore the "Ice Age Wetlands" exhibit, which showcases the many animals that once lived in the region's ancient swamps and waterways.

In addition to the many exhibits and displays, the Fossil Discovery Center also offers a variety of educational programs and activities for visitors of all ages. From guided tours to fossil excavation workshops, there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the science of paleontology and the history of the San Joaquin Valley.

Whether you're a science buff, a history enthusiast, or just looking for a fun and educational way to spend the day, a visit to the Fossil Discovery Center in Chowchilla is a must-do. So why wait? Plan your trip today and discover the secrets of the prehistoric world!

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Explore the Chowchilla Historical Society Museum

Source: Merced County Events
Characteristic Description
NameFossil Discovery Center of Madera County
TypeNatural history museum in Madera County, California
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 334
Address19450 Ave 21 1/2, Chowchilla, CA 93610
Phone(559) 665-7107
HoursMonday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - Closed
Friday - Closed
Saturday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 4 PM
Sunday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 4 PM

The Chowchilla Historical Society Museum is an underrated gem in the heart of California. Nestled between the cities of Fresno and Merced, Chowchilla is a small town with a great history. The museum, located on 16th Street, offers visitors a glimpse into the early days of Chowchilla and the surrounding areas.

The museum is run entirely by volunteers, which adds to its homey and welcoming atmosphere. Visitors will be greeted by friendly and knowledgeable docents who are happy to share Chowchilla's history. The museum is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 3 PM, making it an ideal weekend destination.

Inside, visitors can expect to find a variety of exhibits showcasing the town's rich history. One of the main exhibits is a replica of a one-room schoolhouse, complete with desks, blackboards, and other early 20th-century school supplies. The museum also has displays of photographs, artifacts, and documents that help tell the story of Chowchilla's founding and growth.

One particularly interesting exhibit is the display of old farm equipment, giving visitors insight into the agricultural industry that has been vital to Chowchilla's economy throughout its history. The museum's collection of military artifacts provides another interesting look at the town's contributions to national defense.

In addition to the exhibits inside the museum, visitors can explore the "Pioneer Village" outside. This is a collection of old buildings that have been moved to the museum's grounds, including a blacksmith shop, a jailhouse, and a hotel. Visitors can imagine what life would have been like in Chowchilla during the late 1800s and early 1900s by touring these buildings.

The Chowchilla Historical Society Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in local history or looking for a unique weekend activity. The museum's dedication to preserving Chowchilla's history is admirable, and visitors will come away from their visit with a newfound appreciation for this small town's rich past.


Go fishing at the Eastman Lake

Source: USACE Sacramento District - Army.mil

Chowchilla is a beautiful city located in the Central Valley of California. One of the top attractions of this city is the Eastman Lake, which offers excellent opportunities for fishing.

The Eastman Lake covers an area of 1,780 acres and is surrounded by scenic hills. It is located about 14 miles northeast of Chowchilla and is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. The lake is home to a wide variety of fish species, including bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and trout.

Fishing at the Eastman Lake is a great experience for both beginners and experienced anglers. The lake has several fishing areas, including the John Owens Fishing Cove and the North Cove Fishing Area. These areas are easily accessible by car and provide ample space for fishing.

To fish at the Eastman Lake, visitors are required to have a valid fishing license, which can be obtained at the lake's entrance station. The lake has specific fishing regulations, so be sure to review them before casting your line. Some rules include restricted areas for fishing, catch limits, and size restrictions.

Not only does the Eastman Lake provide great fishing opportunities, but it also has many other activities for visitors. There are picnic areas, hiking trails, and camping sites located around the lake. Visitors can hike the trails and explore the beautiful hillsides or set up camp for a serene weekend.

Overall, the Eastman Lake in Chowchilla is an ideal destination for anyone looking for some peace and quiet while enjoying the great outdoors. The lake's scenic beauty and variety of fish species make it an excellent location for fishing. Make sure to pack your gear and spend a relaxing day at the Eastman Lake.


Enjoy a day at Frazier Park

Source: Wikipedia

Chowchilla, a small town situated in the heart of California, is home to several hidden gems that are worth exploring. One such gem is Frazier Park, a beautiful recreational area known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities.

Located just a short drive away from Chowchilla, Frazier Park is an ideal destination for a day trip with friends and family. Nestled amidst the San Emigdio Mountains, the park offers visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness, making it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts.

The park boasts an array of activities such as hiking, camping, picnicking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The park's hiking trails cross through several different types of terrains, ranging from timbered forests to rocky terrain to open meadows. The trails also offer breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and rolling hills, which are sure to captivate you.

Camping is another popular activity at Frazier Park, making it an ideal spot for an overnight adventure. There are several well-maintained campsites with amenities such as picnic tables, barbeque grills, and fire pits for visitors. The nighttime stars are simply spectacular, and you're sure to be mesmerized by the view.

If hiking and camping are not your cup of tea, Frazier Park also offers excellent picnic spots. You can pack a picnic lunch and relax amidst the scenic beauty of the park. The park has several shaded picnic tables, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a meal with family and friends.

For those who love adventure, the park offers several mountain biking trails that cater to all levels of riders. The park's trails are suitable for both beginners and advanced riders, making it an ideal spot for a thrilling ride on your bike.

In conclusion, whether you're a nature lover or just someone looking for a day of outdoor fun, Frazier Park is a must-visit destination. With its stunning views, vast open spaces, and exciting activities, it's no wonder why it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. A day at Frazier Park is a day well spent.


Take a hike at the Pacheco State Park

Source: Merced County Events

Located in the small town of Chowchilla, California, there is a hidden gem known as the Pacheco State Park. This park offers stunning natural beauty and a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. One of the best ways to experience the park's beauty is by taking a hike through the trails.

The park encompasses over 6,000 acres of rolling hills, grasslands, and oak woodlands that provide an awe-inspiring view of the countryside. The park's trails vary in difficulty, so there is something for everyone, from the casual stroller to the avid hiker. The trails weave through the wilderness, making it a perfect spot for a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The Pacheco State Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, and rabbits that can be spotted along the hiking trails. The park's ecosystem is also home to an array of flora, including western bluebells, California poppies, and yarrow, making it a great place for nature lovers.

The park offers hiking trails that cater to different skill levels, and hikers can choose from short and easy trails like Pacheco Creek Trail or challenging ones like the 5.2-mile hike to the top of Pacheco Peaks. Visitors can also explore the scenic trails of the San Luis Reservoir SRA that runs through the park.

The park's peak season for hiking is during spring and fall when the weather is cool and comfortable. During summer, the temperatures can get high, and the trails can dry out. It's advisable to bring sunscreen, plenty of water, and appropriate hiking gear.

In conclusion, Pacheco State Park provides a great opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Chowchilla while offering a diverse range of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a casual nature lover, this park is the perfect place to get away from the daily grind and enjoy the great outdoors. So, pack your hiking gear, bring a camera, and get ready for an unforgettable experience.


Play a round of golf at the beautiful Pheasant Run Golf Course

Source: GolfPass
Characteristic Description
NamePheasant Run Golf Club
TypeGolf club in Chowchilla, California
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.2 / 136
Address19 Clubhouse Dr, Chowchilla, CA 93610
Phone(559) 665-3411
HoursMonday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 8 PM
Tuesday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 8 PM
Wednesday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 8 PM
Thursday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 8 PM
Friday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 8 PM
Saturday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 8 PM
Sunday - opens at 7 AM and closes at 8 PM

Chowchilla is a charming city located in Madera County, California, known for its abundant beauty and outdoor recreational activities. One of the city's prime attractions is the Pheasant Run Golf Course, which is a renowned golf course offering an exceptional golfing experience.

The Pheasant Run Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course, commanding a beautiful view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The course is nestled amidst rolling hills, picturesque landscapes, and natural water hazards, offering a unique and exciting challenge for golfers of all levels.

The Golf Course is designed by golfing legend, Robert Muir Graves, and is carefully crafted to provide the best possible golfing experience. It features lush fairways, well-manicured greens, and strategically placed bunkers that will test the skill and precision of even the most seasoned of golfers.

The driving range provides an opportunity for golfers to sharpen their skills before heading to the full course. Golf lessons are also available to help golfers of all levels improve their game. The pro shop offers everything a golfer could need, from clubs and accessories to apparel and souvenirs.

The course is open to the public and is perfect for a round of golf with family and friends or for a corporate or social event. Tee times can be reserved online, and golfers can take advantage of the numerous golfing packages on offer.

The Lakeview Bar and Grill is an excellent spot for golfers to unwind and grab a bite to eat after a challenging day on the course. The menu features delicious casual dining options, and golfers can enjoy their meals while gazing at the breathtaking view of the stunning golf course.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a memorable and enjoyable golfing experience in Chowchilla, look no further than the Pheasant Run Golf Course. With its stunning views, excellent facilities, and challenging layout, it is a perfect destination for golfers of all levels. Come and play a round at this beautiful course, and you won't be disappointed!


Attend the Chowchilla Fair

Source: YouTube
Characteristic Description
NameChowchilla-Madera County Fair and Event Center
TypeEvent venue in Chowchilla, California
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.3 / 125
Address1000 S 3rd St, Chowchilla, CA 93610
Phone(559) 665-3728
HoursMonday - opens at 7:30 AM and closes at 5 PM
Tuesday - opens at 7:30 AM and closes at 5 PM
Wednesday - opens at 7:30 AM and closes at 5 PM
Thursday - opens at 7:30 AM and closes at 5 PM
Friday - opens at 7:30 AM and closes at 5 PM
Saturday - Closed
Sunday - Closed

If you're a resident or a visitor in Chowchilla, California, one event you shouldn't miss out on is the Chowchilla Fair. Held every year in May, this fair is an excellent opportunity for families, friends, and individuals alike to come together and have a good time. At the Chowchilla Fair, you can expect to find exciting competitions, delicious food, and rides that will thrill you to your core.

When you attend the fair, you'll have a range of activities to choose from - there's something for everyone. You can participate in the horseshoe competition, watch the bull riding event, or even enter your prized possessions such as your pet or your vintage automobile in one of the many competitions. If you're inclined towards more relaxed activities, you can enjoy the live music performances, take in the various agricultural and horticultural exhibits and displays, or indulge in some yummy fair food.

One of the highlights of the Chowchilla Fair is the carnival rides. You'll find there's something for all ages. From the classic Ferris wheel and carousel, to the more extreme attractions that will make your head spin, the rides at this fair will surely delight anyone with an adventurous spirit.

The Chowchilla Fair is a not-for-profit event, and the proceeds from the fair are used to support local community services and organizations. By attending, you'll have the chance to be a part of something bigger than just a fair. You'll be supporting the community and contributing towards positive change in the area.

In summary, attending the Chowchilla Fair is an unforgettable experience, filled with fun activities, great food, and an exciting community atmosphere. Mark your calendars and be sure to attend this year's event. Your family, friends, and taste buds will thank you.


Shop at the Chowchilla Flea Market

Source: Yelp

If you're looking for a unique shopping experience in Chowchilla, California, then look no further than the Chowchilla Flea Market. This outdoor market is a local favorite, and a great way to spend a weekend morning browsing over 200 vendor stalls offering everything from fresh produce to vintage goods. Here's everything you need to know about shopping at the Chowchilla Flea Market.

Location and Hours

The Chowchilla Flea Market is located just off Highway 99, at 23335 Avenue 22 in Chowchilla, California. The market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 7 am to 3 pm, though it may be closed on major holidays. Admission is free, so bring the whole family and make a day of it.

What You'll Find

The vendors at the Chowchilla Flea Market offer all kinds of items, so be prepared to wander and explore. You'll find fresh produce from local farmers, homemade crafts and jewelry, vintage clothing and furniture, electronics, and much more. Some vendors offer new items while others have gently used items, but all are ready and eager to make a deal.

Tips for Shopping

If you want to make the most of your time at the Chowchilla Flea Market, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear comfortable shoes: The market is quite large, so you'll be doing a lot of walking!
  • Bring cash: While some vendors do accept credit cards, cash is always a safe bet.
  • Negotiate: Many vendors are willing to haggle over prices, so don't be afraid to ask for a better deal.
  • Bring a reusable bag: This is a green choice that makes it easy to carry your purchases.
  • Come early for the best selection: The early bird gets the worm, as they say. Some vendors may sell out of their best items early in the day.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a fun and unique shopping experience in Chowchilla, then make your way to the Chowchilla Flea Market. With hundreds of vendors offering a wide variety of items, you're sure to find something you love. Just be sure to come with a comfortable pair of shoes, cash, and an open mind.

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Watch a movie at the Signature Stadium 14


Located in the heart of Chowchilla, California, the Signature Stadium 14 movie theater is the perfect place to enjoy a night out with family and friends. With its plush seating, state-of-the-art picture and sound, and extensive snack bar options, the Signature Stadium 14 is a top choice for movie-goers in the area.

From highly anticipated blockbusters to indie darlings, the Signature Stadium 14 covers all of your movie needs. Check out the latest Hollywood hits and catch a glimpse of your favorite stars on the big screen. If you're in the mood for something more independent, the theater also showcases smaller films from artists and directors around the world.

What sets the Signature Stadium 14 apart from other theaters in the area is its commendable commitment to customer service and amenities. With special seating options, clean and comfortable facilities, and a friendly staff, it's an experience that's bound to impress.

Snacks are an integral part of the movie-going experience, and the Signature Stadium 14 boasts a variety of offerings to satisfy any craving. From classic buttered popcorn to decadent hot dogs and pretzels, the snack bar has it all. If you're feeling something sweet, reach for the chocolate covered bites and candies. Don't forget to refresh yourself with soda or a frosty beverage.

The Signature Stadium 14 also offers a wide range of ticket options, ensuring that there's a selection that will suit every budget. From matinee shows to VIP tickets, there's a movie and experience catered for everyone. If you're a movie buff, take advantage of the movie club memberships that offer discounts on tickets, snacks, and even special events.

As the only movie theater in Chowchilla, the Signature Stadium 14 is an excellent entertainment option for visitors and locals alike. Bring the family, a group of friends or fly solo for a relaxing afternoon or evening. With its top-notch facilities and top-quality movie selection, the Signature Stadium 14 is an experience worth having.


Go bowling at Chowchilla Lanes

Source: Yelp

Chowchilla, a small city located in Madera County, California is a wonderful place to visit. It offers several recreational activities to its visitors and locals, and one of the most popular ones is going bowling at the Chowchilla Lanes.

Chowchilla Lanes is a bright and spacious bowling spot in the heart of the city. It is a perfect place for families and groups of friends to spend some quality time together. With over 12 bowling lanes, glow-in-the-dark bowling, and a game room, there’s plenty of entertainment to keep everyone busy.

The friendly and welcoming staff at Chowchilla Lanes are always ready to provide visitors with the best service and experience possible. They're happy to offer some tips and guidance for beginners and children to make their experience more enjoyable. Moreover, the facility is also handicap-accessible, ensuring everyone has the chance to participate in bowling.

Chowchilla Lanes offers a wide range of food and refreshments, including pizzas, burgers, fries, and much more. Visitors can enjoy their favorite classic snacks and sip on a cold beer while taking in the lively atmosphere.

If you're interested in organizing a special event or party, look no further than Chowchilla Lanes. Private party packages include food and beverage options alongside the opportunity to use the glow-in-the-dark bowling experience for you and your guests.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a fun-filled day with your friends and family, don't miss the chance to visit Chowchilla Lanes for a unique bowling experience. The facility offers endless entertainment and a warm atmosphere, ensuring your visit will be memorable.


Have a picnic at the Veterans Memorial Park

Source: City of Chowchilla
Characteristic Description
NameVeterans Memorial Park
TypePark in Chowchilla, California
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.3 / 198
Address600 W Robertson Blvd, Chowchilla, CA 93610
Phone(559) 665-8640
HoursMonday - opens at 6 AM and closes at 10 PM
Tuesday - opens at 6 AM and closes at 10 PM
Wednesday - opens at 6 AM and closes at 10 PM
Thursday - opens at 6 AM and closes at 10 PM
Friday - opens at 6 AM and closes at 10 PM
Saturday - opens at 6 AM and closes at 10 PM
Sunday - opens at 6 AM and closes at 10 PM

If you're looking for a peaceful location to enjoy a picnic in Chowchilla, look no further than the Veterans Memorial Park. This beautifully maintained park is an excellent place to relax and enjoy nature while also paying respect to those who have served our country.

Located on 1st Street in Chowchilla, Veterans Memorial Park is a small oasis of greenery in the middle of town. The park is home to several memorials and monuments honoring veterans from all branches of the military, including a large flagpole, a permanent POW/MIA display, and a monument dedicated to Army Air Corps veterans.

However, the park isn't just for military veterans. This is an excellent location for families to enjoy a relaxing picnic together. The park features several picnic tables and benches, as well as a large grassy area that is perfect for spreading out a picnic blanket. There's also plenty of shade, making it a great place to spend hot summer afternoons.

In addition to the picnic areas, Veterans Memorial Park also boasts several excellent amenities. There's a playground for children to play on, several sports fields where you can shoot some hoops or play catch, and even a walking track where you can take a leisurely stroll after your meal.

Overall, Veterans Memorial Park is an excellent destination for anyone in Chowchilla who wants to get outside and enjoy a picnic. Whether you're a local or just passing through, this park is sure to delight visitors of all ages. So pack a basket of your favorite snacks, grab a blanket, and head on over to Veterans Memorial Park for a relaxing and enjoyable day.


Source: Uber Eats

Chowchilla is a small town located in the Central Valley region of California. Despite its size, it is well-known for many things, including its rich history, quaint downtown area, and delicious food.

One of the most popular dining destinations in Chowchilla is the Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant. This charming eatery is located on Robertson Boulevard and is known for its authentic and delicious dishes.

If you're looking for a hearty and satisfying meal, Guadalajara is the place to be. Their menu features a range of traditional Mexican favorites, such as tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. Each dish is made with the freshest ingredients and bursts with flavor.

One of the most popular dishes at Guadalajara is their tacos al pastor. These tacos are made with marinated pork and cooked to perfection, then served in warm tortillas and topped with fresh onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Another must-try dish is their carne asada, a mouth-watering preparation of grilled steak served with rice, beans, and a side of guacamole.

In addition to their delicious food, Guadalajara is also known for its warm and friendly atmosphere. The staff is always welcoming and attentive, making diners feel right at home. Whether you're stopping in for a quick bite or settling in for a leisurely meal with friends and family, Guadalajara is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal in Chowchilla.

Overall, if you find yourself in Chowchilla and are looking for a great meal, be sure to check out Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant. With its delicious food, friendly staff, and warm atmosphere, it's a dining experience you won't soon forget.


Enjoy ice cream at Mom and Pop's Dairy Freeze

If you find yourself passing through Chowchilla, California, don't miss the chance to indulge in a tasty treat at Mom and Pops Dairy Freeze. This classic ice cream shop has been a local favorite for over 60 years, and for good reason!

The charming pink and white striped building and classic neon sign will transport you back to the good old days of drive-ins and sock hops. The interior is decorated with vintage memorabilia, completing the retro ambiance.

But it's not just the ambiance that draws locals and visitors alike - Mom and Pops serves up some seriously delicious ice cream. With a wide range of flavors, including classic vanilla and chocolate, as well as more unique options such as blackberry and pumpkin, there's something for everyone.

The portions are generous, and you can choose to have your ice cream in a cone or cup. Or, if you're feeling more indulgent, try one of their signature sundaes or milkshakes. And for those who prefer a savory snack, they also offer hot dogs, chili dogs, and nachos.

Locals rave about the friendly service at Mom and Pops, with many customers saying they feel like family after just a few visits. And if you're lucky, you might catch them on a day when they have live music or other special events.

So, whether you're a Chowchilla local or just passing through, be sure to add Mom and Pops Dairy Freeze to your list of must-try ice cream shops. With its retro charm and delicious treats, it's the perfect spot for a sweet escape on a warm summer day.

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Frequently asked questions

Chowchilla offers a number of entertaining activities for families such as visiting Fossil Discovery Center, enjoying a picnic in City Park, or visiting the Chowchilla Barn Theater for a live performance.

Visitors to Chowchilla can enjoy outdoor activities like fishing at the Eastside Reservoir, hiking at the Merced River Trail, or playing a round of golf at the Pheasant Run Golf Course.

Visitors can experience the rich history and culture of Chowchilla by visiting the Chowchilla Historical Society Museum, or attending local community events and festivals such as the Chowchilla Western Stampede.

Chowchilla has a variety of dining options including ethnic cuisine like Mexican, Italian, and Chinese, as well as American-style diners, roadside cafes, and fast food chains.

Visitors looking for a unique experience can try their hand at goat yoga at an area farm, or visit the Madera Wine Trail to sample local wines and enjoy scenic views of the surrounding vineyards.

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