History Hoedown: Julian Gold Rush Days

Prepare to shake your pan in the marvelous mountain town.

FOOL'S GOLD... is the stuff of movies, storybooks, and, of course, legend, and with understandable reason: When we're forever on the lookout for something shiny and sparkly, our eyes can often fall upon various rocks that possess glitter but, alas, no actual gold. But there's something golden in the hills beginning on April 1, which, yes, does happen to be April Fool's Day, but this is happening has little to do with the concept of fool's gold, or anything foolish. What it is all about is community, and history, and good times, and rib-sticking eats, and a weekend spent up in the higher-elevation beauty of Julian. Ah yes, the name of that particular town might instantly summon the days of a long-ago gold rush to your mind, but the gold rush era of the walkable village still lives on, decades later, in the names of places like the Julian Gold Rush Hotel, the stories of the many miners who moved to town around 1869 or thereabouts, and the...

GOLD RUSH DAYS, which occur each spring at the Julian Mining Company. While there is no true time machine, the annual festival, which will take place in 2017 on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2, will whisk history lovers and weekend-fun adventurers back to the ye olde 1870s. That means gold panning opportunities, a re-created mining camp, and candle dipping, plus more modern to-dos like a petting zoo. Shall there be vittles for purchase, and drinks, too? There will be. Might you say "yee haw" or "Julian or bust" a few times, just to get in the vintage swing of the weekend? If you're into it, and are wearing chaps, a vest, and a ten-gallon hat, well, why not? It's a once-a-year festival for the picturesque town, a place that's also known for a certain fruit-filled dessert that starts with the letter "p" and ends in "-ie." Will that be for sale, too, during Gold Rush Days? You can bet your favorite gold pan on it.

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