Date(s) - 07/16/2016
8:00 am - 9:00 pm
Murphys Community Park
For many years, Murphys Homecoming was a much anticipated and well-attended annual event. It was a time for residents, their friends from neighboring communities, and the people who had moved away to gather for a Norman Rockwell like day of fun, games, music, picnics, and camaraderie. It was a big deal.
In recent years, with all the competing activities, and a dwindling number of volunteers, Homecoming has not been as successful. The Murphys Community Club’s board of directors is determined to reverse that trend and, along with a volunteer planning committee, breathe new life into this cherished tradition.
The new and improved 68th Murphys Homecoming will be Saturday, July 16. From 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. there will be activities for all the members of the Murphys family, old timers and newcomers alike, young and old.
“We want this to be a fun-filled family oriented event that is tailored for the wonderful people who live in the Murphys area and their friends,” states Community Club President Sue Friedman. “We are encouraging people, who are so inclined, to come in vintage attire suitable for this historic gold rush town.”
The day will kick off at 8 a.m. with a run/walk organized by Brian Klassen, who has staged many successful similar runs. Named the Firecracker Five, it will be five miles in length and is patterned after a foot race that was held in the area in the 70’s and 80’s. Participants will gather at the park and traverse a course that goes down Six Mile Road, past Ironstone Vineyards, returning to the park. Admission “cost” is a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Murphys Pantry. Those wishing to register should call Klassen at 607-5073.
The morning activities will include a craft table for kids, fishing games, face painting, vintage photo opportunities, and the chance to help a local celebrity get out of jail. The willing “Jail or Bail” participants will be arrested and incarcerated in the historic Murphys Pokey. The inmate’s responsibility is to raise enough money to buy his or her freedom.
Another morning highlight will be the Murphys Cakewalk. A game, very popular in the 19th century, a cakewalk is much like musical chairs with delectable baked goods as prizes.
From 11:30 to 1 p.m. rousing music will fill the air provided by Mic Harper and the Calaveras Community Band. Tracing its heritage to the gold rush days, the band plays a wide range of music from Sousa marches to classical music. Its repertoire contains pieces for everyone’s musical taste.
Throughout the morning, and well into the afternoon, Helen’s Hut will be the place to go to purchase barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs, ice cream, and a wide variety of beverages including beer and wine. As is the case with most of the day’s activities, proceeds will go to Murphys Community Club that has the responsibility to maintain the much used community park.
A long-standing Homecoming tradition, the Old Timers Luncheon, sponsored by the Native Daughters of the Golden West, will be provided for any Murphys resident who has lived in the area for at least ten years and has reached the age of 70. Reservations are necessary and may be made by calling Sue Friedman at 728-8183.
At 1 p.m. the first of three much anticipated duck races will be held for the benefit of the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Foundation. Information on how to participate is available at CalaverasMentoringFoundation.org.
During the afternoon there will be a variety of games for all ages including sack, three-legged and wheelbarrow races, water balloon toss, and a very serious tug of war.
The day’s activities will conclude with the First Annual Homecoming Bocce Ball Tournament starting at 6 pm. Organized by Jan Schulz and his Bocce Buddies, the tournament will feature 20 two-person teams that will descend on the recently created bocce courts to vie for fame and prizes. “Commissioner” Schulz is taking reservations, and supplying information at 728-3753.
There is no admission charge for Murphys Homecoming and ample free parking is available nearby. Donations to help maintain the park are always gratefully received.
Murphys Community Park is located on Algiers St. in historic downtown Murphys. Membership in the Murphys Community Club is open to everyone and contributions are tax deductible. For further information, call 728-8183, or click on the Community Club link at visitmurphys.com