If you log onto National “Did You Feel It” Earthquake reporting center, you’ll see that earthquakes are happening all the time and not just in California. But you’ve gotta’ love a town where they take ownership of a devastating quake and even celebrate!
Winters, California each year commemorates the Big One, the Vacaville-Winters earthquake that happened in 1892. Here is a newspaper account of that event: “Vacaville’s night watchman, S. N. Bettis, was walking down Main Street at 2:50 a.m., lantern in hand, when his attention was attracted by a rumbling sound coming from the hills west of town. The noise resembled distant thunder or the roaring of water which had suddenly been let loose by the bursting of huge dam gates. Bettis stood still and listened a few seconds, while the noise increased to a roar and the ground beneath his feet seemed to heave up . . . ‘I felt as if I was on the deck of a vessel during a heavy storm, and I put my hands to the ground to prevent myself from falling on my face. After that brick walls and chimneys began to fall all around and the noise for a minute or so was deafening.’ ”
120 years later the streets of Winters are filled with dancing, dining and celebrating at the Winters Earthquake Festival (visitwinters.com) held on August 24, 2012. The motto of the fest is: “It’s our fault and we’re proud of it.” Winters is located in the greater Sacramento area in Yolo County. For other things to see and do in Winters, consider taking one of the summer Farm Tours (yolocvb.net/farm-tours.html).