California Events

Columbia  Glorious 4th of July Celebration

July 4, 2022

Columbia State Historic Park
Main Street
Columbia, CA


12 p.m. Parade on Main Street
Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. at Fallon Hotel

Flag Raising 11 a.m. by Columbia Militia near Gazebo
Band Concert 11 a.m. on Main Street
Needle in the Haystack 11 a.m. front of Livery Stable
Parade at 12 p.m. Procession begins in front of Fallon Hall
Watermelon Eating Contest 1 p.m. in front of the Columbia House
Bucket Brigade 1 p.m. on State Street
Nail Pounding 1:15 p.m. at the Blacksmith Shops
Greased Pole Contest 2 p.m. between Mercantile and Firehouse
Egg Relay Race 2:30 p.m. & Egg Toss 3 p.m. on Main Street
Cake Walk 3 p.m. at Fallon House Garden
Papeete Demonstration 3 p.m. on Main Street
Five Way Tug-o-war 3 p.m. behind Bank
Pulled Pork Bar-B-Que 1-3 p.m. at Burns Cottage Garden until sold out

Participate in activities the 49ers enjoyed way back when, including a glorious parade up Main Street at noon, followed by a patriotic concert by the Great Mother Lode Brass and Reed Band.

Dance in the street, and try your skill at the many contests popular in the early days of Columbia, including the greased pole climb, egg relay race, watermelon eating, bucket brigade, cake walk, nail pounding, egg toss, and a five-way tug-of-war.  

Folks in Columbia began the 4th of July parade tradition in 1852. After the parade, listen to the Band concert, dance in the street, and try your skill at the many contests popular in the early days of Columbia. The festivities will begin with a flag raising and firing of the cannon at 11 am. Sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

The Papeete Demonstration

3 p.m. on Main Street

Engine No. 452, a nineteenth century fire pumper engine originally built by Hunneman & Co. (Boston, Mass.) for the Brooklyn fire department acquired the name, Papeete. Its history of how it got Columbia is quite interesting.

In 1855, it was rehabbed with the intent of sale to the Society Islands (Tahiti). Fancifully decorated in honor of it's impending new home, it was renamed Papeete, Tahitian for "water from a basket." Ready for shipment to the islands, the deal was canceled when they acquired a different fire engine.

King Kamahamaha of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) bought it, but en route, the transporting ship was abandoned after the crew made its way around Cape Horn and up to San Francisco for supplies. Members of the crew were said to abandon the ship and instead, try their luck in Gold Country.

In 1856 the city of San Francisco paid King Kamahamaha  $1,800 for Papeete. It eventually made its way to the gold country town of Columbia, California - which had twice burned to the ground, so that by 1859 the mayor had finally had enough. Papeete was put to good use for many years in the mountainous climate of eastern California's Mother Lode country, and it resides there today, on display in the historical firehouse museum. 

4th of July Annual Events

Flag Raising and Black Powder Musket Salute by the Columbia Militia near the gazebo.
The Great Mother Lode Brass & Reed Band Concert 
Needle in the Haystack  in front of the Livery Stable.
Parade at Noon!  Procession Begins  in front of the Fallon Hotel. 
Watermelon Eating Contest on Main Street in front of the Columbia House.
Bucket brigade behind the Livery Stable.
Nail Pounding Contest at the BlackSmith Shop.
Greased Pole Contest  Between the Mercantile & Firehouse.
Egg Relay
Egg Toss  at State & Main Streets.
Cake Walk at the Fallon House Garden.
Five Way Tug-o-War behind the bank, across from Eagle Cottage.

Kids can try to climb the greased pole, hunting for a needle in the haystack, and participating in the bucket brigade and the cake walk. Other contests for kids of all ages include nail pounding, watermelon eating, egg relay race and egg toss, and a five-way tug-of-war. The parade and concert are free, and entering the contests only costs a buck.

Finally, to top off your day, a pulled pork barbecue dinner will be served at 4 pm. $14 approx.

Come early for the best parking and bring lawn chairs.

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