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Columbia State Historic Park Events

Columbia is an historic attraction set among the hills of California Gold Country. There's nearly always something going on in this thriving Gold Rush town near Sonora, CA.

COLUMBIA BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

On this day we celebrate the discovery of gold by the Hildreth party (March 27, 1850). Gather in the middle of town for a speech, cake, punch, and reenactments as well as docents in costume throughout town. Columbia State Historic Park, Call: (209) 588-9128.

April 8, 2012   Sunday late morning to early afternoon

COLUMBIA’S VICTORIAN EASTER CELEBRATION

Dress up in your Victorian Easter finery and march in the Victorian Easter Parade. Registration begins at 11:00 am, and the parade is at 12:30. Children will enjoy Columbia’s popular Easter Egg Hunts. The Small Fry Egg Search at noon is for ages 3 to 5; and after the Easter Parade, the Junior Egg Poachers (ages 6 to 8) will try their luck at 1 p.m. , and finally the Great Egg Scramblers (ages 9 to 12) at 1:30 p.m. Find the golden egg and win a prize! These free events are sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Call: (209) 536-1672,   columbiacalifornia.com

April 15, 2012 

36th Annual COLUMBIA WINE TASTING

The 36th Annual Columbia Wine Tasting will be held on Sunday, April 15, 2012 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Columbia State Historic Park. A benefit for the Columbia College Culinary Arts Program, tickets are  $60 approx. Over 70 wineries and local food purveyors will be represented in the popular event. Sponsored by the Columbia College Foundation. For tickets,  Call: (209) 588-5089,   gocolumbia.edu/foundation.

April 21, 2012 -- Saturday

33rd Annual OLD MILL RUN

10K Run, 2-Mile Run/Walk, Kids Mini Mile, Kids Mile. Events begin at 9 a.m., and benefit the Tuolumne County Community Christmas Eve Dinner. Contact Cathie Peacock for more information at (209) 586-4802

May 5, 2012 -- Saturday

150th Anniversary of CINCO DE MAYO in Columbia

Sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Call: (209) 536-1672,   columbiacalifornia.com

May 5-6, 2012 – Saturday & Sunday

53rd Annual FIREMENS MUSTER

Volunteer fire crews from around the western United States will take part in the competition, presented by Columbia Volunteer Fire Department Engine Co. No. 1. The muster parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday on Main Street in Columbia. Other events include hose cart races, bucket brigade, skills competition, hand pumper contests and a Saturday dance. Admission is free. Call: (209) 532-8718

May 20, 2012

ROSE DAY - New!

May 28, 2012 – Monday

MEMORIAL DAY SALUTE

Memorial Day services start at 11 am on Monday, May 28 in the old Veterans section at the Columbia Cemetery. The ceremony takes about 20 minutes. There will be prayers, information on Memorial Day, the Battle Hymn of the Republic and a salute to those buried in this section. The ceremonies are conducted by the Columbia Foot Dragoons and the Columbia Grenadine Belles. Call: (209) 536-1672.

May 31-June 3, 2012 – Thurs-Sun daytime

DIGGINS 1852

Step back in time to the year 1852 and discover what life was like in a gold diggings encamp.m. ent! Over 150 volunteers help recreate this time in history by living the life of a miner, merchant, actor/actress, and more. School tours are led Thursday and Friday by reservation. Sponsored by the Columbia State Historic Park and Friends of Columbia State Historic Park. Call: (209) 588-9128 for more information.

June 9, 2012 – Saturday

4th Annual SARSAPARILLA ROUNDUP

Features free contests from noon to 4 p.m., including mug slide, horseshoes, bottle cap fling, pin the label on the bottle, spelling bee, and belching contest; and frosty cold sarsaparilla. Sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Call: (209) 536-1672,   columbiacalifornia.com

June 9, July 7, Aug 11, Sept 8, Oct 6, 2012 -- Saturday evenings

GHOST TOURS

Have you heard that there are ghosts in Columbia? Join us on the tour to find out where they lurk and the stories behind those who lived in Columbia during the Gold Rush. Contact Columbia State Historic Park at (209) 588-9128.

June 16 & 17, 2012 – Saturday & Sunday
46th Annual FATHER’S DAY FLY-IN, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Saturday & Sunday. Columbia Airport. Call: (209) 533-5685


June 17, 2012
COLUMBIA CAR SHOW

June 18 through 22, 2012 – Monday through Friday mornings, 9 a.m. - noon
SUMMER ARTS CAMP

Summer Arts Camp is designed to partner children ages 7 to 12 years old with professional artists and performers so students can explore their creative self-expression and appreciation of the arts. Meet each morning in the Solari Garden at the corner of Jackson and Columbia Streets. On Friday, June 22 the merchants of Columbia host a reception for our young artists. Call: (209) 532-2787 for more information. Registration on a first come/first served basis. Hosted by the Central Sierra Arts Council.

June 23, 2012

SUMMER STREET DANCE

July 4, 2012 -- Wednesday

COLUMBIA’S GLORIOUS 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION

Celebrate our nation's birthday the old-fashioned way! Come to Columbia State Historic Park on the 4th of July and participate in the many activities the 49ers enjoyed way back when, including a glorious parade up Main Street at noon. Folks in Columbia began the 4th of July parade tradition in 1852. After the parade, listen to the Great Mother Lode Brass & Reed Band concert, dance in the street, and try your skill at the many contests popular in the early days of Columbia. The kids will enjoy trying 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 and pie 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 tri tip barbecue dinner will be served at 4 p.m. . Barbecue tickets are $8.50 for adults and $5.50 for children under 10 (2011 prices—could change). Come early for the best parking and bring lawn chairs. The festivities will begin with a flag raising and firing of the cannon at 11 am. Sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Call: (209) 536-1672.

July 21, 2012 – Saturday evening

BIG BAND STREET DANCE

Step back into the 1940s and put on your dancing shoes to boogie down to the music of Rod Harris and his orchestra. This free event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park. Call: (209) 532-3184

July 28, Aug 18, Aug 25, Sept 1, 2012 -- Saturdays

HISTORY’S MYSTERIES

We invite families or groups to solve an actual crime that occurred in Columbia in the 1800s. You will witness the event, interview key members to the crime and get a chance to subpoena them in court. Then you will select one person from your group to question people on the stand. At the end, you will determine the outcome of the crime. Contact Columbia State Historic Park at (209) 588-9128.

August 18, 2012

SUMMER STREET DANCE

August, 25, 2012

COLUMBIA BUTTON SHOW

September 8, 2012

CALIFORNIA ADMISSION DAY PARADE

The Native Sons of the Golden West, Columbia Parlor #258, sponsors a California Admissions Day Parade in Historic Columbia. The Native Sons have a tradition of preserving California History--the parade is one of those that started in 1876, and revived in 2008. There are many other events held on Admissions Day in Historic Columbia, the parade is just one of them. For information, call (209) 588-1565.

September 15, 2012 – Saturday evening

BACK TO SCHOOL 1861

Enjoy  beautiful evening at the historic schoolhouse. During this reminiscent event, take a tour of the upstairs, sit in on a lesson taught by a docent dressed as an 1860s school teacher, play games of long ago, listen to music, and help make hand-cranked ice cream. Contact Columbia State Historic Park at (209) 588-9128.

September 16, 2012 – Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

40th Annual COLUMBIA ART SHOW

This fine art show features almost 50 local painters, sculptors and photographers who will display their art on the shady streets of the Columbia State Historic Park. This event is FREE to the public. Call: (209) 536-9047,   columbiacalifornia.com

September 28-30, 2012

TUOLUMNE WRITER'S RETREAT

Further announcements and details to follow. Call: (209) 588-0711

September 29, 2012 – Saturday afternoon

30th Annual POISON OAK SHOW at the St. Charles Saloon in Columbia State Historic Park. Aren’t you just itchin’ to participate? This event is like a traditional flower show, except all entries must include poison oak! Some of the categories are: best arrangement of poison oak, most original poison oak dish (with recipe), best photograph of poison oak, best photograph of poison oak rash (or in person). Sponsored by the St. Charles Saloon. Call: (209) 533-4656.

October 6, 2012 – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

30th Annual FIDDLE & BANGO CONTEST & CHILI COOK-OFF

The Fiddle & Bango Contest (yes, “bango”) is held at the gazebo in Columbia State Historic Park. More than 40 musicians compete for prizes in the following categories: fiddle, banjo, vocal, guitar, mandolin and miscellaneous. The grand prize is a gold nugget, and there are cash and gift certificate prizes in each category. The entry fee to compete in each category is $12 and contestants sign up between 9 and 10:30 am. The Fiddle & Bango Contest is free to the viewing public. Bring lawn chairs, hats and sunscreen. T-shirts will be available for sale ($20). All ages and music genres are represented in this contest, which is sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Competition begins promptly at 10:30 a.m., and continues all day, except for a lunch break, which features a CHILI COOK-OFF. For $5 get your miner’s tin cup, spoon, and ballot and enjoy chili cooked and served by Columbia Chamber teams at various locations in town. Call: (209) 536-1672,   columbiacalifornia.com  (2011 prices—could change)

October 13 & 14, 2012 – Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

28th Annual HARVEST FESTIFALL

Enjoy a cornucopia of country crafts, comestibles, demonstrations of skills, and music and dancing on the shady streets of Columbia State Historic Park, decorated for the harvest season. Wear your Gold Rush duds and enjoy a visit to the past. Fun for everyone, and it’s free!!! Almost fifty vendors, dressed in 1850s attire, will display their handmade arts and crafts for sale, including pottery, jewelry, apparel, home decor, wood furniture, baked goods and many others; and some will demonstrate their skills. Attractions include demonstrations of spinning and weaving by the Mother Lode Weavers & Spinners, face painting, miniature horses, and entertainment by various local groups of musicians and dancers. Sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Call: (209) 536-1672,   columbiacalifornia.com

October 20, 2012 -- Saturday evening

STORIES IN STONE

Visitors are led through Columbia’s historic cemetery by costumed volunteers carrying lanterns where they will visit 13 grave sites. The dead come to life as interpreters tell about their lives, how they died, and how they came to lie in Columbia’s cemetery. Contact Columbia State Historic Park at (209) 588-9128.

October 27, 2012 – Saturday 5:30 p.m.

5th Annual ILLUMINATION OF THE JACK-O’-LANTERNS

Carve your pumpkins, turning them into classic peg-toothed grinners, artfully chiseled ghouls, leering witches, or any family-friendly design of your choosing. Bring your carved gourds to the Columbia Museum on Main Street for judging, and enjoy the live musical entertainment. Prizes will be awarded for the most original, most gruesome, most entertaining, etc. At dusk the jack-o’-lanterns will be illuminated. This free event is sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and fun for all ages. Call: (209) 536-1672,   columbiacalifornia.com

November 11, 2012 -- Sunday, 11 a.m.

VETERANS DAY REMEMBRANCE

In Columbia’s historic cemetery at 11 am, the Columbia Foot Dragoons explain the significance of Veterans Day and how it came into being, and fire a single volley. Call: (

(209) 536-1672.

November 23 through December 16, 2012 -- weekend days

COLUMBIA CANDY KITCHEN CANE MAKING

Participate in making traditional candy canes during the holidays. Must send a request to the store by postcard before Labor Day to enter lottery for reservations. Hosted by Nelson’s Columbia Candy Kitchen. For information, call (209) 532-7886.

November 30 & December 1, 2012 -- Friday & Saturday evenings

LAMPLIGHT TOURS

Enjoy  walking play that wanders the streets of Columbia at night and ends with music, dance, and refreshments. Make this an annual holiday event for you and your family and learn more about the Christmastime of years past. Contact Columbia State Historic Park at (209) 588-9128.

December 8 & 9 and December 15 & 16, 2012 -- Sat & Sun daytime

A MINER’S CHRISTMAS

Sit around a campfire drinking hot cider or coffee and join in conversations with miners as they roast chestnuts. Children can make some favorite crafts of the 1850s and keep an eye out for Father Christmas as he wanders the streets looking for good boys and girls! Contact Columbia State Historic Park at (209) 588-9128.

December 9, 2012 -- Sunday 11 a.m.

CHRISTMAS EQUESTRIAN PARADE

Sponsored by the Mid-Valley Unit of the Back Country Horsemen. Call: (209) 823-3538 for more information.

December 9, 2012 – Sunday 5:30 p.m.

30th Annual LAS POSADAS NATIVITY PROCESSION

Las Posadas is a Spanish tradition that re-enacts the biblical story of Mary and Joseph's search for shelter in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Since 1983 the people of Columbia have put on their own version of Las Posadas each December--with a distinctive 1850s flavor. Characters in this re-enactment include Mary and Joseph and their donkey, the three Wise Men, tax collector and innkeeper, and miners and musicians and other costumed townspeople. Columbia's Main Street is decorated for the Christmas season, and luminaria light the way for the procession, while on-lookers hold candles and join in singing Christmas carols. Call: (209) 536-1672.

December 14, 2012 – Friday evening, 5 - 8 p.m.

6th Annual MERRY MERCHANTS

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the MERRY MERCHANTS invite you and yours to enjoy an evening of old fashioned Christmas charm in Columbia! Shop in the tradition of times gone by without the hustle and hassle of malls or traffic jams. As you stroll through the Columbia State Historic Park on this enchanted evening, listen to the sounds of the season—Christmas carols and songs performed by local children, and stories told by storytellers. Delight in traditional tastes—roasted chestnuts, hot gingerbread, and more; and warm yourself from the inside out with cups of delicious hot holiday specialties. Enjoy a free carriage ride on decorated Main Street. Fun for all ages. Call: (209) 536-1672,   columbiacalifornia.com

 


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