Get ready to turn back time to the 1850s when Gold Rush Days (& Nights!) return to Old Sacramento this Labor Day Weekend.
The annual heritage celebration begins with an Education Day on Friday (primarily for school groups), then kicks into high gear with a variety of free family-friendly activities for the general public to experience what life was like in the 1850s. In addition to the ever-popular and official daytime activities, each night offers something special including a Friday night Gold Rush Beer Crawl, a Saturday night Country Western Dance — with headliner Buck Ford — and a Sunday evening outdoor movie showing of True Grit (2010 version).
While some special activities and offerings are ticketed (prices vary), an impressive line-up of free, live entertainment will be available on the streets and various stages throughout Old Sacramento, including:
Official Daytime Activities
- The ever-popular and elaborate Tent City depicting daily life during the Gold Rush;
- Live music, magic, dancing and children’s shows inside the historic Eagle Theatre;
- Attention-grabbing historic cannon firings sure to delight the crowd;
- Hands-on children’s activities such as gold panning and storytelling;
- Exciting street theater and entertaining mining camp theatrics;
- A champion juggler along with street singers, magic, and roving musicians;
- Engaging melodramas performed by talented re-enactors in period apparel – examples include one focused on a riveting Ladies Duel, another that spotlights a scandalous old-time Murder Trial and one that features the visually spectacular Gold Rush Fire Brigade, just to name a few;
- Horse-drawn carriages, wagon rides and pony rides plus an expanded schedule of excursion train rides, underground tours and Gold Rush Experience tours (all ticketed activities);
- Tasty treats and beverages are available for purchase in the dozens of local eateries and bars along with homemade sarsaparilla, draft ale, local wines, and more available throughout Old Sacramento.
Extended Evening Activities
- A Friday night Gold Rush Beer Crawl at a number of participating bars in Old Sacramento (a ticketed activity for adults ages 21 and over);
- A fun and free Saturday night vibrant Country Western Dance – complete with an old-time saloon — at Courtyard D’ORO at 1107 Front Street;
- A free outdoor movie showing of True Grit (2010 version starring Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross, Jeff Bridges as Deputy U.S. Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, along with Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper) on the big grassy area in front of the Railroad Museum known as the 1849 Scene.
Admission to Gold Rush Days 2016 is free and official event hours are as follows: Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Education Day for school groups); Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the official daytime event hours, times vary for the evening activities, some of which are ticketed and sell out quickly.
For a complete listing of activities or more information about the 2016 Gold Rush Days (& Nights!), visit sacramentogoldrushdays.com.