GOLD PANNING, as in the act of dipping a bowl-like metal implement into a slushy bit of dirt-filled water, can return a number of results. You might just see soil at the bottom of your pan, or some rocks or gravel, or you might see a glint of something glittery that sets your heart to racing. What's going to come up from the river bed? It really is a mystery, before you see it. But there's no mystery about what to expect at Julian Gold Rush Days, which clip-clop back into the historic town on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8. You can see exactly what will be there, on the web site, and the activities are family-sweet and plentiful enough to fill out a few hours of busyness. There is gold panning, yes, of course, because what sort of event with "Gold Rush" in its name wouldn't offer the classic Gold Rush pursuit? You might even see a few characters from way back in the day, circa the 1870s or thereabouts, when Julian was bustling with miners in search of precious metal.
FREE ADMISSION... is one of the headlines of the weekend, and the spot? It's at Julian Farm, which means that you can count on A) a petting zoo and B) taking a hayride, if that's your pleasure. Wynola is the place to find the farm, and, once you're there, you can expect to find "... an old-fashioned mining camp, an arts & crafts market, food and drink, panning, gem mining, children's pioneer games, free parking and plenty of family fun." Julian, of course, is known far, wide, and even further than that for its pie, but it does honor its Gold Rush past each year during this weekend-long to-do (and, indeed, in various ways throughout the calendar). Ready to 1870-it-up on an early spring day? Here are your rootin', tootin' must-knows.