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Gold Rush Days Return to Sacramento

Want to get the real dirt on what’s happening in Sacramento? This weekend, you won’t find street sweepers in Old Town. But rather, on Thursday evening, you’ll find eight double-trailer trucks rolling in to dump nearly 200 tons of dirt to cover the blacktopped streets. By the time the transformation is done, the dirt-covered streets, gunnysack-swaddled parking meters and some creative camouflaging will bring Old Sacramento back to its 1850’s heydays.

A good horse and a solid wagon was needed by pioneer coming to 1850’s Sacramento

This is the 14th year of the “Gold Rush Days”, a Labor Day tradition that promotes local history amidst a rip-roaring wild west atmosphere. The 27 acres of Sacramento’s waterfront district will treat all five senses to the full 1850’s experience.

A hand water-pump draws young curiosity

The Sacramento Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, in partnership with the City of Sacramento, Historic Old Sacramento Foundation, Old Sacramento Business Association and California State Parks return this family-friendly free event that takes visitors through a virtual time traveling adventure.

Costumed characters will greet visitors at every turn
Automobiles are replaced by horse and buggies

From 9:00 a.m. Friday to 5:00 p.m. Monday, expect the streets of Old Sacramento to come alive with everything you’d expect to find if you’d just stepped off a stagecoach or riverboat during the Gold Rush.

An authentic Wells Fargo Stagecoach on display

Musicians will entertain on various stages, as well as along the streets each day. Several bands will entertain at the Save Mart BBQ Patio.

There’s nothing like an old fiddle to get the toes tapping
Banks, dancers, and other entertainers enliven the weekend

The Patio will also be the place for the hungry, as many local eateries will offer such wares as barbeque. Other vendors throughout Old Sacramento will offer roasted corn on the cob, fresh-made kettle korn, homemade sarsaparilla, root beer, draft ale, local wines and other delights.

Homemade sarsaparilla’s always a hit on a hot day

Expect costumed characters at every turn, as well as spontaneous and scheduled Old West theatrics.

When the Sheriff’s in town, everybody’s on their best behavior
Well, almost everybody…

Throughout the 3-day weekend, visitors will witness such historical re-enactments as Squatter’s Riots and Pony Express Relay.

Being a Pony Express riders was a high-risk, low-paying job
Pony Express riders rode the streets of Old Town

Among the activities to enliven the weekend will be the Virginia Reel, Cannon Firing, Red Circle Dancers, Women Suffrage Parade & Rally, Sutter vs. Brannon Trial and a watermelon eating contest. U.S. Cavalry troops will open their campgrounds to the curious, and stage exhibitions of skill and daring on horseback.

The U.S. Calvary made camp in Old Sacramento
A U.S. Calvary trooper tests his riding and sword skills during a training exercise

Carriage and wagon rides as well as children’s arts & crafts activities will entertain the young and the young-at-heart.  Tent City returns to entertain and educate visitors. Crafts galore may be viewed and purchased at Artesian Alley.

Merchants, doctors, craftspeople and scoundrels await in the Tent City
Tent City’s always been a popular part of Gold Rush Days
A blacksmith teaches his trade to a young apprentice

Gold panning may bring more fun than nuggets, but expect a mini-Gold Rush as eager prospectors try their hands at striking it rich.

Young prospectors hope to supplement their allowance with gold nuggets

But not everyone struck it rich during the Gold Rush
As part of the entertainment, the brave firefighters of the Hook & Ladder Fire Brigade will bravely rescue a “damsel in distress” during the “Burning of the Brothel”, a popular skit every year.

Damsels in distress await their heroes
The Hook & Ladder Brigade arrives just in the nick of time

Some damsels were a bit more difficult to rescue than others
Throughout Old Sacramento, one will find historic wagons and other artifacts, turning the streets into a virtual museum.

A rustic ladder wagon is an example of the equipment used by pioneer firefighters
An old cannon is fired to celebrate California’s statehood

Players in period costume playing old time baseball will honor the history of baseball in Sacramento with skits and games. Expect member of the crowd to be called in to join the action.

The event will end with a screening of John Wayne’s “In Old California” on the open lawn area.

Expect to step back in time this Labor Day Weekend in Old Sacramento.

A lucky Pony Express horse gets some very special attention
Gold Rush Days 2013

Old Sacramento
Friday, August 30, through Monday, September 2
Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.;
Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


For More Information:
916-808-7777 or www.sacramentogoldrushdays.com

Gold Rush Days Brochure:


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