Mount St. Mary’s 150th birthday bash coming up in May |

Mount St. Mary’s 150th birthday bash coming up in May

California hadn’t yet celebrated a decade of statehood when Mount St. Mary’s Academy first opened its doors in December 1859.

The Catholic school opened the same year Big Ben started ticking in London and Americans were rushing to gold strikes across the West.

When the school celebrates its 150 years of operation on Saturday, May 1, it will do so with the distinction of being the oldest continuously running Catholic school west of the Mississippi.

Events are planned all day for the 150th celebration, starting with a 5K race at 8:30 a.m. May 1.

To register for the race, visit and click on the “events” link along the top.

Following the race, the public is invited to attend the day-long anniversary party’s opening ceremonies, which kick off at the school’s playground at 11 a.m. May 1.

Activities are set to take place at the school’s campus on 400 S. Church St. in Grass Valley. Food vendors are expected to be at the school as an open house starts at 11:30 a.m. and goes until 5 p.m.

The band Road Test will play throughout the day, and the entire community is welcome to experience a living museum inside the school.

Car enthusiasts are encouraged to visit the school’s parking lot for an antique car show, also running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

That night, community members are invited to attend a dance, with tickets going for $15; the band Aunt B and the Hula Dogs are playing. Tickets are available by calling the school (530) 273-4694 or by visiting the school’s Web site.

To close out the festivities, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church will host a special Mass in the school’s honor at 9 a.m. Sunday before a traditional Crowning of Mary ceremony and a free pancake breakfast at 10 a.m. May 2.

Oldest alumni sought

The school hopes to honor its oldest living alumni in the May 1 ceremonies. Think you may have an idea who that is? Call Mount St. Mary’s at (530) 273-4694 to submit an alum for consideration.

Contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin at or (530) 477-4239.

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