Autumn Shindig returns Sunday |

Autumn Shindig returns Sunday

Fall is in the air, which means the Autumn Shindig Harvest Festival is right around the corner. For the last eight years, the Autumn Shindig on the San Juan Ridge has become an increasingly popular annual event to benefit the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center. This fun, family-focused festival features live music, local crafts, games for kids and adults alike, and various contests.

The festival is a daytime affair beginning at 11:30 a.m. and going until dusk. Gourmet stew, comfort food and drinks, and cotton candy at the “sugar shack” are on sale throughout the day.

“The Shindig is a wonderful community celebration,” said Ramsey Demeter, president of the cultural center board of directors. “Smiles always abound. It is a chance to slow down, enjoy conversation with friends and play on the lawn at this historic site.”

Admission for the festival is free. Attendees can purchase wooden tokens to spend on the food and game booths. Local crafts people and farmers will also have booths with goods on sale throughout the day.

The dunk tank sponsored by Covert’s Pump Service is always a popular scene with local dignitaries — such as Twin Ridges School District Superintendant James Berardi, North San Juan Fire Department volunteer Christoffer Montelius, and schoolhouse Executive Director Jeff Adams among others — getting soaked, all for the benefit of the North Columbia Schoolhouse.

Local Renaissance man Menlo Macfarlane will emcee the main stage this year. Local musicians generously sponsor the event by playing pro bono. Shindig favorite The Ruckrich Family Band will be joined by Sean Kerrigan and Cedar Hennings performing a rockabilly set, Moss Quaglia on banjo, Bodie Wagner, and a closing act by Wonderfunk.

Anyone entering the pie making and salsa competitions must enter a delectable offering early at 11:30 a.m. for judging. The winners will receive a gift basket with donations from local businesses. Pumpkin carving (bring your own), mustache (real and fake) and sack race competitions are also being offered.

Sweetland Garden Supply, Mother Truckers, The Yo’Garage and BriarPatch Co-op are all providing assistance as Gold Sponsors for the Autumn Shindig this year. Many other local businesses provide additional sponsorship to help this vital part of the San Juan Ridge continue to thrive.

“It’s always a pleasure to play at the Schoolhouse,” said Sean Kerrigan. “I went to first grade there and feel like it is part of my journey to come back from time and time to support the place.”

The North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center is on the San Juan Ridge, 17894 Tyler Foote Road, in Nevada City.

For more information, visit http://northcolumbia, call 530-265-2826, or email

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