In the tradition of keeping the community informed on local events and happenings, from Triathalons to visits from Santa Claus, here is a list of the Motherlode area’s annual events.
- Omega Nu rummage sale At Mother Lode Fairgrounds, Admission is free. Proceeds benefit scholarships and women in need in Tuolumne County. For more information call 209 536-0524
- Orient Express Run Chinese Camp is sponsored by the Sunrise Rotary Club of Chinese Camp. Proceeds benefit Tuolumne County Special Olympics.
- Annual Nordic Holiday Race- Yosemite Badger Bass Enjoy great skiing and crazy costumes at this fun two day annual event. 18km classic race, a downhill telemark race, and a 38km freestyle race to scenic Glacier Point and back.
- Gold Rush Days 2nd Saturday of each month in Columbia State Historic Park. Many special exhibits open and hands-on activities throughout the day. Park docents in period attire lead programs throughout the park. Call 209 588-9128
- Vocal Jazz Festival at Held at Columbia College. Several renown professional artists, evening concerts, hands-on clinics and workshops. Award winning jazz singers with an emphasis on jazz education and inspiration. For information call 209 588-5211
- The Celtic Faire Held at the Mother Lode Fair Grounds. A fantastic line up of musicians, crafts and costumes. Website
- Jamestown Run The annual Jamestown Run at Jamestown School. A two-mile run will begin at 8:30 am followed by the 10K race at 9 am.
- Home Garden and Recreation Show Held in Mother Lode Fairgrounds. More than 100 businesses are participate, admission is free, shuttle from The Junction.
- Murphys Irish Days Murphys events include a pancake breakfast, silent auction, children´s activities marching bands and live entertainment. Parade at 11am. Call 728 8471 for information.
- Gem and Jewelry Show at Calaveras County Fairgrounds Exhibit cases, demonstrations, silent auction, crafts for kids. Venders sell beads, tools and supplies for making jewelry, plus minerals, meteorites, fossils, gems, rocks and beautiful Jewelry. More about Rockhounding.
- Railtown 1897 State Park Opening Opening Weekend is the first weekend in April for Railtown’s regular Steam Train Operating Season. Train rides departing hourly 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. events through out the year include music, roundhouse tours, and an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social. More about Railtown
- Victorian Easter Parade, Old-fashioned parade and egg hunt at Columbia State Historic Park. Contact the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, 536-1672.
- More Easter events: Railtown, Ironstone Vineyards, and Bear Valley Ski Resort host Easter events. Easter Egg hunts at churches through out the area.
- Old Mill Run (Columbia) Adult & kids races. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Sonora. Proceeds will benefit the Tuolumne County Community Christmas Dinner.
- Relay for Life Walk Tuolumne County Relay for Life will be at the main athletic field at Summerville High School. Relays are an overnight event with a ceremony of light at sundown. Calaveras Relay for life walk is held at Bret Harte High School.
- Annual Columbia Fireman’s Muster volunteer fire crews from around the western United States travel to Columbia State Historic Park to participate in events designed to test skills in modern and historic fire fighting. Hose cart races, bucket brigade competition and hand pumper contests and more.
- Motherlode Round-up. Is a “hometown reunion that celebrates and pays tribute to our regional agricultural heritage and the Possemen in our past…” says Al O’Brien of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse. “Break out your boots and Stetsons and celebrate Mother’s Day with us Round-up style.” held on the main street of Sonora and at the Mother Lode Fair Grounds.
- The Calaveras County Fair & Jumping Frog Jubilee Third weekend in May starts with a children’s parade in downtown Angels Camp and ends with a Destruction Derby on Sunday evening. Four days with livestock shows, horse events, music, fun and of course, the Frog Jumps.
- Annual Spring Garden Tour UCCE Tuolumne County Master Gardeners present gardening tips, advice, fun kid projects and much more, third Sunday in May by Cassina High School
- Angels Camp Triathlon 1000 yard swim, 16 mile bike, and 4 mile run starting at New Melones Reservoir that concludes with a great barbecue at Utica Park. The winning times are just under an hour and half. (canceled in 2014 due to drought)
Farmers Markets/ Flea Markets
- Sonora Farmers Market Mid May to Mid October from 7:30am – 11:30am every Saturday in the parking lot at Stewart and Theall streets in downtown Sonora. Seasonal fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, pies, coffee, cheeses and lots more. Call 532-7725 for more information
- Angels Camp Farmers Market All summer long every Friday from 5 to 8pm at Utica Park. Featuring locally grown fruits and vegetables, coffee drinks, baked goods and snacks. Call (209) 736-1333 for more information.
- Groveland Flea Market Memorial Day till the end of Sept or longer depending on weather from Friday Evening 3pm to 6:00pm Saturday Mornings 8:00am to 1:00pm at Mountain Sage Nursery, 18653 Main Street. For more information call 209-878-3040
- Tuolumne Open Air/ Farmers Market Wednesdays, June – September 5:00pm till dusk. Fresh produce, fruit, eggs, breads, pastries, jewelry, herbal products, teas, spices, flowers, plants, food vendors, and live music. Tuolumne City Memorial Park.
- Fathers Day Fly-In at the Columbia Airport Displays of antique, classic and experimental air craft. Not only do the father’s enjoy the event, the fly-in has several activities for young future pilots, a race between a race car and an airplane, the popular flour bombing (pilots drop a paper bag of four at a target from 100 feet) pancake breakfast and tri-tip dinner.
- Royal Flush Outhouse Race in Twain Harte. A parade of decorated outhouse contraptions begins at 10 am and the Outhouse Races begin at 11 am. Also a Toilet Seat Toss and Tot Pot. The event is a fundraiser for Twain Harte Rotary.
- Movies in the Pines- Twain Harte Presented by Twain Harte Chamber of Commerce every Friday night, during the summer months. Located on the Rotary Stage at Eproson Park, movies start at dusk. Bring chairs and blankets, mosquito repellent and a jacket. Movie is free, candy and popcorn can be purchased. Website
- Strawberry Music Festival was at Camp Mather until the Rim Fire, now the Fall Festival is held at Westside Pavilion in the town of Tuolumne. (In Spring it is held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.)
- Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee In the town of Tuolumne, celebrate the logging industry with contests, games, carnival, crafts, fair, parade, arm wrestling, loggers’ tug-of-war and queen coronation. Website
- Passport Weekend Calaveras Wine Association sponsors, food, music, winery tours and wine tastings. This is a three day event but you are welcome to attend all or just one or two days as you wish. Proceeds benefit scholarships for students of Calaveras and Bret Harte High Schools. Website
- The Mother Lode Fair at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds. Lots of exhibits, carnival rides, handiwork, and a different grandstand show each day. Website
- Bear Valley Music Festival End of July early August, each day of the week for two weeks, the Bear Valley Music Festival will be presenting an array of artists. From Classical to Jazz , from Big Band to the Supremes, there is something for everyone.
- Fourth of July Celebrations At Ironstone, they claim to be “The most impressive fireworks display around!” but Lake Don Pedro, puts on an equally magnificent display. (but Don Pedro was canceled in 2014 due to drought)
- Sierra Nevada Logging Jamboree the Friends of the Logging Museum host this event at White Pines Lake near Arnold. Activities for everyone ranging from axe throwing and log sawing for the adults to a variety of things for the kids. Website
- Bear Valley Triathlon Sunday, the day before Labor Day, Bear Valley Triathlon is a 600 yard swim, 10.5 mile bike, 3.4 mile run. The course is hilly but incredibly scenic. Wet suits allowed but are not necessary.
- Magic of the Night free evening event downtown with live music, dancing, antique cars, street entertainment, games and more.
- Yosemite Facelift The annual 5 day event is organized by the Yosemite Climbing Association to help clean the park after the long and busy summer season. Volunteers are needed to pick up littler along roadways, the river corridor, on trails, near climbing routes, and in parking, camping and lodging areas.
- Concours D’ Elegance in Murphys Car lovers will love the Concours D’ Elegance in Murphys. The annual event at Ironstone Vineyards helps raise money for local and statewide 4-H and State Fair scholarship programs.
- Wing Ding Car Show The Annual Wing Ding Car Show is at a new location at the Junction Shopping Center. Listen to music all day, enjoy a kid’s area, and stomp some grapes. Car Show Trophy $100, with numerous categories available.
- Annual Acorn Festival The Tuolumne Band of Mi Wuk Indians host, activities include a celebration of the black oak acorn harvest, traditional dancers, Indian tacos, deep pit barbecue and Native American arts and crafts. All are welcome and the event is Free. For information call 209 928-3475
- Wine Stomp Stomping competitions, costume contests, silent auction and wine tasting will be featured. Every year on the first Saturday in October you will find a crowd gathered to watch and take part in the Annual October Wine Stomp. The event celebrates harvest and the rich wine industry of Calaveras County.Website
- Pine Mountain Lake 49er Festival with a parade on Main Street and celebration at Wayside Park, home of the community library museum.
- There are many Trick or Treat streets, and haunted houses through out the area. Check the calendar during this time of year.
- Salmon Duathlon and 5K Run The run takes place at 9am in Knights Ferry. The Salmon Duathlon and 5K Run are two separate competitions that will benefit the preservation of the natural spawning habitat in Stanislaus River. Give Salmon a chance! For more info call 795 7832
- Teddy Bear Tea Held at the Mark Twain Hall at Frogtown in Angels Camp by the Soroptimist International of Calaveras County. This is a great tradition for the family, with crafts, entertainment, and formal high tea. This Annual event often sells out. View the event calendar for the 3rd or 4th Sunday of November.
- Sonora Christmas Parade held the Friday after Thanksgiving, it goes from the Red Church to toward HWY 108, the opposite direction as the Mother Lode parade.
- Lots of gift fairs, festive tree lighting and parades throughout the area.
- Tuolumne Christmas Parade occurs two Fridays after the Sonora Christmas Parade in early December.
- Santa Fly-In Santa takes a moment out of his busy schedule to touch down in Standard park for pictures. Food and Coat donations are collected for local charity as well.
- Twain Harte Winter Wonderland Parade Downtown Twain Harte, Christmas carols, followed by the lighting of the town tree, parade with Santa’s arrival concluding the parade. Parking at the Twain Harte School.
- Columbia State Historic Park Holiday Events Candy Cane Making, Lamplight Tour, All Equestrian Christmas Parade, A Miner’s Christmas with costumed interpreters recreate the mining camp of the 1850s as homesick miners roast chestnuts and hot cider. Christmas songs performed by local children and adults, stories told by local storytellers and Las Posados, a nativity procession with a Mexican and gold rush era flavor. Participants stroll down Main Street to the “manger” located between State and Jackson Streets.