Celebrating ‘Land of the Free’ | TheUnion.com

Celebrating ‘Land of the Free’

As part of this weekend's Constitution Day celebration, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday a free outdoor concert by the Nevada County Concert Band and their special guests – the Watsonville Community Band — takes stage on North Pine Street in downtown Nevada City.
Submitted photo |

The 48th Annual Constitution Day Parade tops a weekend of festivities Sept. 13-14 in Nevada City.

The Constitution Day parade has been a local tradition since 1967 and is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution Day observance in western America.

The 2 p.m. Sunday parade through the downtown historic district includes marching bands, floats, antique autos and perennial crowd favorites such as the zany Ophir Prison Marching Band, along with the famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City, a humorous but reverent group that portrays each of the U.S. Presidents.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Land of the Free” and all entries are invited to portray their perspective of all the freedoms we are granted in the USA.

Grand Marshal of the parade is John Cooper, California Grand Master of Masons.

The Nevada City Masonic Lodge is the founder and co-sponsor of the Constitution Day Parade.

After the parade, the Ophir Prison Band will perform a concert on Broad Street in front of the National Hotel.

Sunday’s pre-parade activities on Broad Street include a reenactment of the signing of the U.S. Constitution at 1:30 p.m. and music by the Nevada Union High School Choir under the direction of Rod Baggett.

The 49er Rotary Club’s annual Gold Country Duck Race will be held on the rapids of Deer Creek at the foot of Broad Street on Sunday. The carnival will begin at 1 p.m., and racing at 2:30 p.m. – final at 5:30 p.m.

The race features a $5,000 grand prize, $1,000 second prize, $500 third prize and many other prizes.

On Saturday from 4 to 6:30 p.m., there will be a free outdoor concert by the Nevada County Concert Band and their special guests — the Watsonville Community Band — on North Pine Street in downtown Nevada City.

Weekend action also includes Revolutionary War Days at Nevada City’s Pioneer Park from Friday-Sunday.

The Delaware Regiment of the Brigade of the American Revolution will be offering living history demonstrations of Revolutionary War soldiers drilling and firing, drilling of kids with mock muskets, music by the California Consolidated Drum Band, and colonial life living history.

Flag raising to music and reading of the Declaration of Independence will be at 10 a.m. each day, and activities conclude at 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.

To ease traffic, a free shuttle service from the Nevada County Government Center on Highway 49 will carry visitors to the Sunday parade from noon to 6 p.m.

The Constitution Day celebration is sponsored by Nevada Lodge No. 13, F & A.M., the 49er Rotary Club of Nevada City and the Nevada City Constitution Day Committee.

For a complete weekend schedule of events, contact the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, 132 Main St., Nevada City. Call (530) 265-2692 or online at nevada citychamber.com.

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