Rush Creek to perform gold-rush hits at Miners Picnic |

Rush Creek to perform gold-rush hits at Miners Picnic

Courtney Ferguson
Special to Prospector
Miners Ball and Carefree Miner are just two of the old-time songs Rush Creek will perform. It’s possible that some of the songs they’ll play were enjoyed at the very first Miners Picnic in 1895.
Submitted by Courtney Ferguson |

Know & Go

Who: Rush Creek & Johnny Humbug

What: 119th Miners Picnic

When: 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23rd

Where: Empire Mine State Historic Park

10791 E. Empire St., Grass Valley

Tickets: Available at Visitors Center

$7 (ages 17 & over), $3 (ages 6-16) Under 6 FREE

Info: 530-273-8522,

While gold made history in Nevada County, gold-rush music kept folks entertained. Tunes such as Miners Ball, Carefree Miner and Here to See the Diggins were popular more than 100 years ago.

“That’s the kind of music we’ll be playing on the Miners Picnic stage on Aug. 23rd,” said fiddle playing singer Margo Meredith.

Besides Margo, the band is comprised of other talented local musicians: Ann Meigs, mandolin, accordion and vocals, Michael Bremer on banjo, and Philip Wright on upright bass.

“Miners Picnic is such a special event that my husband, Jonathan Meredith (a.k.a. Jonny Humbug), is going to join us on vocals and guitar – complete with his stove-pipe hat and often quirky sense of humor.”

“We love keeping these infectious, old-time tunes alive, and what better venue than the Miners Picnic? Many of the songs we’ll perform were played at dances and special events during those legendary times. In fact, they are as much a part of our history as the Pelton wheel, the ore carts, and Empire’s famous whistle,” Margo explained.

Miners Picnic Chairman Jack Laird suggests, “Visitors head for the old Mine Yard first to see the exciting mine-rescue reenactment at high noon; and then head for the Clubhouse, where Cousin Jack Pasties, Sweeney’s Weenies, Lazy Dog Ice Cream, Brew Bakers Coffee and Baked Goods, Old Tyme Kernel Kettle Korn, An Honest Pie, and Jamba Juice will have tasty snacks and drinks for sale. Alternatively, visitors may bring their own food – as well as blankets and chairs – and enjoy the chance to picnic on the magnificent grounds, surrounded by stately fountains and vintage gardens.”

Rush Creek will perform for one hour, starting at 1:15 p.m. It’s a rare opportunity to enjoy a medley of lively, old-time music that dates back to the very first Miners Picnic held in 1895.

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