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Sacramento Historic Bike Ride: Southside Park

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This summer, a group of Sacramento State graduate students and local history enthusiasts began gathering once a month to take a bike ride through Sacramento’s historic neighborhoods and share their knowledge about local history, historic architecture and cultural heritage. Two rides have occurred so far. The next will take place on Sunday, August 30, at 9:00 AM, in the Southside Park neighborhood. Riders will meet at the site of the Robert E. Callahan Bandstand in Southside Park, near the corner of 7th and T Street, at 9:00 AM.

Built on a former slough, Southside was inhabited by generations of immigrants and working-class families. The neighborhood’s many ethnic communities, including Portuguese, Italian, Mexican and Japanese, came together in Southside Park, the neighborhood’s namesake. Whether for fireworks displays on the Fourth of July, for a trip back to Gold Rush days at Roaring Camp, or simply to paddle the lake in a rented boat, Southside Park provided a place of respite and recreation in this bustling city. The neighborhood surrounding the park faced many challenges as Sacramento grew, but its residents faced these challenges with a tradition of political activism, community participation, and a strong sense of civic pride that is still evident today.

The Sacramento Historic Bike Ride is a free-form event: riders will decide where the tour should go. There are several sites I hope to visit in order to tell the story of the Southside neighborhood’s diverse history, culture and development, but there is plenty of room for everyone’s participation. If you have a story about the neighborhood, a historic site, a significant person, or a good story, please feel free to share it! The tour will run until about 11:00 AM. There is no cost to participate in the tour.

For those that may be interested, I will bring copies of my books, Sacramento’s Southside Park and Sacramento’s Streetcars, for sale at $20 each, and will happily sign them for you.

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