FAR SOUTH OF COLOMA: California's Gold Rush was truly one of those fairly localized events that changed the course of the planet's history, and definitely the path of the young United States. But the stories told of mining camps and the influx of dreamers hoping to get permanently rich very often center around Sutter's Mill and Coloma and the foothills of the Sierra (okay, Sacramento and San Francisco, you get your mentions, too). But the southern part of the Golden State also played a role in the rushes, perhaps most notably Julian, which still retains much of its 1800s-era character today. And yep, we did say "rushes" there, since California has seen a few. Julian's lode-laden days arrived a couple of decades after the mania of 1849. The good news, though, for students of the state's Gold Rush-y past and Old West town spirit is Julian throws a weekend-long festival honoring its pickax past during Julian Gold Rush Days.
GOLD PANNING AND BEYOND: The miners'll be out, and several people in miner-type costume, on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 at the Julian Mining Company in Wynola. Gold mine tours and gold panning are two of the weekend highlights, but arts and crafts vendors, vittles for sale (yeah, you gotta say "vittles" during an old-timey party, right?) and other fam-nice to-dos will abound. A scavenger hunt for a gold nugget and tunes are on the calendar, too. And bet you'll come away knowing more about Julian's lively 1870s, when its own particular Gold Rush was in full heated force.
Admission is free. Can we get a yeehaw?