Situated along the scenic banks of the Stanislaus River on the eastern edge of the central valley, Oakdale is justly proud of its distinctive ranching and equestrian heritage. Throughout the four seasons, Oakdale serves as a gateway to Yosemite National Park and the central Sierra Nevada Mountains, ensuring premier recreational opportunities and breathtaking natural beauty. Characterized as an emerging urban community, Oakdale is home to a number of important food-processing companies. The strong presence of Hershey's is celebrated each year by the Oakdale Chocolate Festival each May, an extravaganza of live music, entertainment, arts and crafts, and food booths that feature chocolate delights. Oakdale is often dubbed "The Cowboy Capital of the World" and revels in the strong influence of cattle ranchers and professional cowboys within the population mix.