Special Events

Columbia SHP Annual Events

paradeColumbia State Historic Park provides year-round interpretive and community events for visitors to enjoy. Many events take place within the historic district of the Columbia, one of the best preserved Gold Rush era towns in California.

Several special events are sponsored by California State Parks. However, multiple events are also coordinated by other organizations. Make sure to check for additional information to learn more about each event. 

Columbia's Victorian Easter Celebration

When: Sunday, March 31, 2024

Time: 11:00-3:00pm    

Cost: FREE

Location: Main St. Columbia

Event Description: Dress up in your Victoria Easter finery and march in the Victorian Easter Parade. Registration begins at 11am, and the parade is at 12:30pm. Children will enjoy Columbia’s popular Easter Egg Hunts. The small Fry Egg Search at noon is for ages 3 to 5, and after the Easter Parade, the Junior Egg Poachers (ages 6 to 8) will try their luck at 1pm, and finally, the Great Egg Scramblers (ages 9 to 12) at 1:30pm. Find the golden egg and win a prize!

For More Information: This event is coordinated by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Contact the Chamber at 888-488-1850 or www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com.

 

Old Mill Run

When: Saturday, April 20, 2024

Time: Race starts at 9am

Cost: Entry fees are $25 for adult racers, $15 for children 12 and under

Location: In front of Eagle Cottage

Event Description: 10K Run, 2-Mile Run/Walk, Kids Mini-Mile, Kids Mile. On-site registration begins 7am. Pre-registration includes tee shirt.

Event schedule

8:30 am Kids Mini Mill (Ages 6 and under)
8:40 am Kids Mill (Ages 7-12)
9:00 am 2-Mile Fun Walk (1 Mile Walk if preferred)
9:00 am 2-Mile Run (Timed by computer chip)
9:00 am 10K Run (Timed by computer chip)

For More Information: Contact David Urquhart at 209-768-3251 or Old Mill Run 2M/10K.

 

Paranormal Research Tour

When: June 8, September 7, October 26, 2024

Time: 8pm - midnight  

Cost: $50 per person

Location: Meet at theEagle Cottage

Event Description: Have you ever wondered if Columbia is truly a Ghost Town? Have you ever “felt something” while stepping into one of our old buildings? Now is your chance to be a part of history and interact with paranormal researchers from Full Spectrum Paranormal out of Sacramento as they use their equipment to detect paranormal activity in four historic places in Columbia. After a brief introduction at Eagle Cotage you will be led to four different buildings where you will spend an hour at each paranormal site with the researchers as they explain the fascinating experience and conduct their research. The tour will begin at Eagle Cotage with a brief introduction. This event is hosted by Friends of Columbia SHP and Full Spectrum Paranormal out of Sacramento California

For More Information: This event is coordinated by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park and Full Spectrum Paranormal out of Sacramento, CA. You can find out more details on the Friends of Columbia events page at www.friendsofcolumbiashp.com.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo flyerWhen: Saturday May 4th - 10:30 am to 10:00 pm & Sunday May 5th - 10:30 am to 5:00 pm

Cost: FREE

Location: Downtown Columbia

Event Description:  Cinco de Mayo, An American Tradition is a celebration of community!

Columbia CA, was at some point in time, a culturally and linguistically diverse area, including the Latin-American/Hispanic community, which has been present in the region for generations. In 1862, when civil wars were ravaging Mexico and US, the victory of the Battle of Puebla over Napoleon III brought a spontaneous celebration in Columbia, giving birth to “Cinco de Mayo, an American Tradition”.

On May 4th & 5th Columbia State Park will be decorated in festive Cinco de Mayo style. We will celebrate with dances on the street, music, and art displays, in honor of the victory that preserved democracy and freedom in both countries.

Visit Columbia Museum for a magnificent exhibit telling the history of Cinco de Mayo!

This is a family event featuring Los Arribeños a California Fandango project, Raices del Mundo Folklorico ballet, Mariachi Luz de Luna, Salsa Dance, Mario Flores Latin Jazz Band and Rod Harris, as well as vendors and activities for children and adults!

For More Information:  This event is organized by ConAmor Building Bridges, a non-profit organization, funded by the Heartland and Arts in the Park grants-, and supported by Chicken Ranch Rancheria Me-Wuk Indians, Visit Tuolumne, TC Historical Society, TC Arts, and Friends of Columbia. 

https://b-conamor.org/

Columbia Diggins 1852

diggsWhen: May 16-19, 2024

Time: 10-4pm

Cost: $10 Adults, $2 children ages 5 to 17

Location: Diggins Tent Town (located near main parking lot

Event Description: Step back in time to the year 1852 and discover what life was like in a gold diggings encampment during the early Gold Rush period. Over 150 volunteers help to recreate this time in history by living the life of a miner, merchant, actor/actress, and more. Explore the tent town and discover a way of life not seen in California for over 150 years. 

Park visitors are welcome all four days of the event. 

School programs are provided Thursday May 18 and Friday May 19 by reservation only. To make a reservation click here

This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park. 

For More Information: Visit the Columbia Diggins 1852 Website

Columbia's Glorious 4th of July Celebration

4thWhen: July 4, 2024

Time: 11am – 4pm  

Cost: FREE

Location: Main Street Columbia

Event Description: Celebrate our nation’s birthday the old-fashioned way! Come to Columbia State Historic Park on the 4th of July and participate in the many activities the 49ers enjoyed way back when, especially a glorious parade up Main Street at noon. Enjoy a patriotic concert by the Great Mother Lode Brass and Reed Band, dance in the street, and try your skill at the many contests popular in the early days of Columbia, including the greased pole climb, egg relay race, watermelon eating, bucket brigade, cake walk, nail pounding, egg toss, and a five-way tug-of-war. Come early for the best parking and bring lawn chairs. The festivities begin with a ceremonial flag raising and black powder musket salute at 11am.

For More Information: This event is coordinated by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Contact them at 888-488-1850 or www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com.

Big Band Street Dance

big bandWhen: Saturday, July 13, 2024

Time: 6-10pm

Cost: FREE

Location: Main St. Columbia

Description: Join us as California State Parks celebrates 77 years of preserving Columbia State Historic Park which contains some of California’s best Gold Rush era buildings. In the evening step back into the 1940s when the park was founded and put on your dancing shoes to boogie down to the music of Rod Harris and his Orchestra. 

For More Information: This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park. You can find our more details about the Big Band Street Dance on their events page at www.friendsofcolumbiashp.com or email Columbia State Historic park at columbiashp@parks.ca.gov.

California Statehood Day Parade

When: Sat, September 7, 2024

Time: 11:00am

Cost: FREE

Location: Main Street

Event Description: The Statehood Day Parade in Columbia is sponsored by the Native Sons of the Golden West, Columbia Parlor #258 to celebrate California becoming a state on September 9, 1850. 

For More Information: Contact David Kelley at 916-834-3332.

Back to School 1861

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When: Saturday, September 21, 2024

Time: 4-7pm

Cost: FREE

Location: Historic Schoolhouse

Event Description: Join us at the historic Columbia Schoolhouse and discover one of the parks most fascinating Gold Rush era buildings. During this reminiscent event sit in on a lesson taught by a docent dressed as an 1860s schoolteacher, play games of long ago, listen to patriotic music, and help make hand-cranked ice cream.

For More Information:  Email Columbia State Historic park at columbiashp@parks.ca.gov.

Columbia Art Show

When: Saturday, September 22, 2024

Cost: FREE

Location: Main Street

Event Description: This fine art show features approximately 40 local painters, potters, sculptors and photographers who will display their art on the shady streets of the Park. 

For More Information:  This event is coordinated by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Contact them at 209-536-1672 or www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com

Stories In Stone

storiesWhen: Sept 27 & 28, Oct 4 & 5, 2024

Time: 7pm & 7:30pm

Cost: $25.00

Location: Columbia Cemetery

Event Description: Visitors are led through Columbia’s historic cemetery by living history docents carrying lanterns where they will visit 10 gravesites. The dead come to life as interpreters tell about their lives, how they died, and how they came to lie in Columbia’s cemetery.

For More Information: This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park. You can find out more details on their events page at www.friendsofcolumbiashp.com or email Columbia State Historic park at columbiashp@parks.ca.gov.

Fiddle and Bango Contest

When: Saturday, September 28, 2024

Time: 10:30am - 4:00pm

Cost: Entry fee of $15 for contestants, FREE to watch

Location: Columbia Town Gazebo

Event Description: Rock in Road presents the 39th annual Columbia Fiddle & Bango Contest at 10:30am on Saturday, September 23rd at the Gazebo in Columbia Historic State Park. Attendance and parking are free. All are welcome for this family-friendly, pet-friendly day of musical fun on the tree lined streets of Columbia. Up to 50 contestants will perform in 7 different categories (fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, vocal, miscellaneous, and original song). Registration to compete begins at 9:00am and all levels of talent are encouraged to participate.  Entry fee is $15 for adults, or FREE for youth musicians 18 and under. We hope to see you there!

For More Information:  This event is coordinated by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Contact them at 209-536-1672 or www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com

Poison Oak Show

When: Saturday, September 28, 2024

Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm

Cost:  FREE

Location: St. Charles Saloon

Event Description: The Poison Oak show is at the St. Charles Saloon in Columbia State Historic Park. Aren’t you just itchin’ to participate? This event is like a traditional flower show, except all entries must include poison oak! Some of the categories are: best arrangement of poison oak, most original poison oak dish (with recipe), and best photograph of poison oak, best photograph of poison oak rash (or in person). 10am for entries, judging at 1pm.

For More Information:  Contact 209-288-2258

Harvest Festifall

When: October 12 & 13, 2024

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

Cost:  FREE

Location: Main Street

Event Description: Join us for a cornucopia of crafts, comestibles, demonstrations of skills, and music and dancing on the shady streets of Columbia State Historic Park, decorated for the harvest season. Wear your Gold Rush duds and enjoy a visit to the past. Fun for everyone and it is Free! Almost fifty vendors, dressed in 1850s attire, will display their handmade arts and crafts for sale, including pottery, jewelry, apparel, home décor, wood furniture, baked goods and many others; and some will demonstrate their skills. Attractions include demonstrations of spinning and weaving by the Mother Lode Weaver & Spinners, face painting, and entertainment by various local groups of musicians and dancers. 

For More Information: This event is coordinated by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Contact them at 1-888-488-1850 or www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com

Boo Boulevard

booWhen: Saturday, October 26, 2024

Time: 2-6pm

Cost: FREE

Location: Main Street Columbia

Event Description: Boo Boulevard returns to Columbia State Historic Park on October 29, 2022. Trick or Treating, Face Painting, Creepy Crafts, Fish N’ Game, and the Gargoyle Quest are from 2 – 4pm. The Photo Booth runs from 2 – 6pm.  The Zombie Dance Performance will be at 4:15pm. The Jack-o-Lantern Contest returns.  Everyone is invited to march in the Halloween Parade, 4:30pm, and compete in the Costume Contest from 5-6pm. Bring your family, and hang out with the ghosties and ghouls! This is a free event! 

 This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park and the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

For More Information:  Email Columbia State Historic Park at columbiashp@parks.ca.gov.

Lamplight Tours 

lamplight

When: December 6 & 7, 2024

Time: 5-10pm    

Cost: $25 per person

Location: Throughout Town. Meet at Columbia Museum

Event Description: Lamplight Tours are a walking play that wanders the streets of Columbia at night and ends with music, dance, and refreshments. Participants will be led by kerosene lantern down the streets of Columbia to various vignettes visiting with local town folk as they recall the stories of days gone by. Join us for an evening in humorous reminiscence of times past, whether reawl, exaggerated, or imagined!

For More Information:  Email Columbia State Historic park at columbiashp@parks.ca.gov.

 Las Posadas Nativity Procession

Lights along street for Las Posadas

When: Sunday, Dec 8, 2024

Time: 5:30pm

Cost:  FREE

Location: Main Street

Event Description: Las Posadas is a Spanish tradition that re-enacts the biblical story of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Since 1983, the people of Columbia have put on their own version of Las Posadas each December- with a distinctive 1850s flavor. Characters in this re-enactment include Mary and Joseph and their donkey, the three Wise Men, tax collector and innkeeper, and miners and musicians and other costumed townspeople. Columbia’s Main Street is decorated for the Christmas season and luminaries light the way for the procession, while on-lookers hold candles and join in singing Christmas carols.

For More Information: This event is coordinated by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Contact them at 1-888-488-1850 or www.visitcolumbiacalifornia.com

Columbia All Equestrian Parade

When: Sunday, December 8, 2024

Time: 11:00am

Cost:  FREE to watch. $25.00 Entry Fee for Participants

Location: Main Street

Event Description: This judged parade is open to all ages of equestrian riders/drivers and mounted groups. Participants in the equestrian parade can accumulate award points towards the California State Horsemen's Association Parade High Point Program. Everyone is encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for the toy drive benefittingATTCAA’s Housing Families Program.

For More InformationContact Barbara J Savery at bjsavery@att.net or Deb Lewis at dcllewis1@gmail.com

Columbia City Hotel Restaurant's Victorian Christmas Feast

When: December 6, 8, 12, 13, 18, 2024

Time

Cost: 

Location: City Hotel

Event Description: For over thirty-five years, the historic Gold Country’s City Hotel in California’s Columbia State Historic Park has celebrated the Holidays by recreating a 140-year-old banquet melodrama with a cast of colorful characters, minstrels, great food and wonderful wines. This year is once again very special because of the reopening of the City Hotel Restaurant and return of several original actors and singers who made this a popular gathering for over three decades. Actors play George and Margaret Morgan, the 1870s proprietors of the City Hotel. They invite you to join them at their table as they deal with “local issues” and “colorful characters”. Mixing the melodrama with good cheer and holiday toasts, period musicians, fine dining, and the beautiful surroundings of the restored Hotel, it’s a perfect holiday primer. Guests return year after year to renew friendships, start their Christmas season, see what the Morgans are up to, and spend the night in one of the State Park's historic hotels. 

For More Information:  For more information visit www.columbiacityhotelrestaurant.com 

Miners Christmas

miners christmas

When: December 21, 22, 2024

Time: 12-3pm    

Cost: FREE

Location: Main Street Columbia

Event Description: Join the holiday celebrations at Columbia State Historic Park with a family friendly event demonstrating what Christmas in a Gold Rush town may have looked like in the 1850’s.

Stop in and listen to Christmas stories from some of the ole’ timer miners, taste chestnuts roasted over the open fire, and make a variety of old-fashioned crafts. Explore the historic buildings of Columbia adorned with old fashion decorations while you sip hot cider and coffee. You might even catch sight of Father Christmas as he visits the town of Columbia.

Some activities may be cancelled in the event of wet weather.

This event is supported by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park.

For More Information: Email Columbia State Historic park at columbiashp@parks.ca.gov.