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Rope, Ride, And Ribbit

The stars have truly aligned for Tuolumne & Calaveras County from Saturday, May 12 through Sunday May 20 with 3 major events: The Mother Lode Parade and Roundup (Rope), the Amgen Tour of California (Ride) and the Jumping Frog Jubilee (Ribbit)!

It will be a week like none in our history based on past experience. Historically the Mother Lode Parade and Round Up and the Jumping Frog Jubilee have always been major tourist attractions for the foothills, however the addition the Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) is likely to easily double or triple the number of visitors we’ve seen in the past for these events.

Sonora was selected as a “start” city for Stage 4 of this event where riders will depart Sonora on Wednesday morning, May 16 for the grueling ride to Clovis: the longest single ride of the entire event. If you’re not familiar with the event, this will put it in perspective: It is the 3rd largest bicycle race in the world and the largest in North America. It’s covered on cable TV in over 150 countries and provides incredible exposure for our area. Start cities in this event often attract 25,000 to 50,000 spectators!

The City of Sonora has taken the lead with a variety of community organizations including the Visitor’s Bureau to make this a success as it requires enormous coordination and hundreds of volunteers.

As a member of the marketing committee for this event here in Sonora, here are some of the things we’re doing to make this a success.

1. There will be a kickoff reception on Feb 9, the day the final route announcement will be made at the Sonora Opera Hall from 5 to 7 PM. This reception is open to the public so stop by and find out more about this exciting event.

2. We’re working with the local cycling community which is presently working on some special events for local cyclists…to be announced soon.

3. Poster’s and flyers are being prepared with more information on the event and should be ready in early February.

4. A number of other special activities and events are being planned between now and May 16 to promote the event and will be announced shortly.

5. Anyone interested in volunteering to help on May 16 or to assist with prior events such as the one at the Opera Hall on February 9 should contact the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce at 532-4316.

The financial impact of being a start city brings in an enormous amount of revenue for our area on race day, also, as we’ve learned talking to other start cities, an increase in tourism that lasts for years.
Having all 3 events in 8 days makes us the hottest ticket in Northern California!