Grass Valley embraces its roots with Gold Rush Days |

Grass Valley embraces its roots with Gold Rush Days

Submitted to Prospector

Downtown Grass Valley will harken back to the the 1850s Saturday and Sunday for some good ol' family fun at Gold Rush Days.

Downtown Grass Valley will play host to its second annual Gold Rush Days Saturday. This year's event will feature scavenger Hunts, barbecues, games, and western celebrities.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, there will be a western scavenger hunt which will include many downtown businesses for finding clues. Ending at 5 p.m. there will be prizes available to the winning team or individual as well as the opportunity to win a gift basket worth $500 of downtown prizes and bucks, according to the Grass Valley Downtown Association, the organization helping to present Gold Rush Days.

The Bookseller will have a booth including Gold Rush writers, Chris Enss (Outlaw Tales of California), Sherry Monahan (California Vines, Wines, & Pioneers), and Bill Markley (Deadwood Dead Men). The authors will be available Saturday and Sunday throughout the day to discuss the California Gold Rush era as well as their individual books on hand.

At 3:30 p.m. Saturday, 151 Union Square will host the Waiter's Race on West Main Street. There will be numerous local racer celebrities that will take part in the race including, Tom Fitzsimmons, Station Manager at KNCO; Brian Hamilton, Editor, The Union; Jan Arbuckle, City Council member and former Mayor of Grass Valley and Executive Director, Julia Jordan. The staff of multiple restaurants in the area will also take part in a duel to find out who will walk away with honor. The restaurants include Kane's, The Holbrooke, and The Owl Grill.

Other stores will be participating Saturday with multiple activities for visitors. Tess' Kitchen Store will offer cooking demos using tips and trade secrets used by minors of the 1850s. Games and goodies sponsored by Tess' will be happening at the General Store where people can experience the feel of the old Mercantile. Bands including the Humbugs, and The Banner Mountain Boys will perform, and re-enactments will be happening throughout the day as well.

Kids have the opportunity to go gold panning with the help of the South Yuba Trust and the Empire Mine State Park. Following panning for gold, kids can bring in their gold to the assay's office and receive a prize from the Nevada County Historical Society. In addition, "Dr. Solar's magical medicine show" will perform.

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A chuckwagon-style barbecue will be available from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. The barbecue will be provided by Jim E.'s Catering, and there will be swing dancers teaching square dancing moves. Advanced tickets for the barbecue are available.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, a local pastor will lead a ceremony for "cowboy church." Immediately following will be a pancake breakfast offered at the Owl Grill and Saloon for $5. All the proceeds will go to the Hospice of the Foothills.

For more information about Gold Rush Days, visit

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