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Programs and Events

Regularly Scheduled Programs

Free Town Tours:
June 15th - Labor Day: Daily @ 11:00 AM Monday-Friday based on staff and docent availability. Please check with museum upon arrival.
Year-round: Saturday & Sunday @ 11:00 AM
Led by staff and docents. Meet at the museum.
Approximately 1 hour.

For groups over ten people, special tours must be arranged in advance by calling 209-588-9128.

Costumed volunteer at Gold Rush DaysDigging Deeper Into Columbia
June 15th-Labor Day: Daily @ 1:00 PM. Learn more about Columbia by listening to a short presentation by park staff or volunteers. Hands-on demonstrations and interpretation. Please check with museum upon arrival to see location and topic of the day.

Our Museum is currently open from 10:00am-4:30pm through Labor Day. Fall/Winter hours 10-4pm. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Gold Rush Days  
Occur the second Saturday of each month from 1 to 4pm. Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon. Call 209-588-9128 for details.

Photography Tours
1st and 3rd Saturdays beginning in April
Novice and Intermediate classes in travel photography with a focus on Columbia.
Check back soon for more information including time and cost.

Special Events & Programs

JANUARY 2015

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, Janaury10th, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon at Columbia.

FEBRUARY 2015

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, February 14th, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon at Columbia.

MARCH 2015

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, March 14th, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon at Columbia.

Columbia’s Birthday Celebration-Friday, March 27th 11:30 -4:00
Join us for a commemoration of the founders of Columbia, Gem of the Southern Mines.  At 12:00on Main and State Street near the Columbia Museum.  The celebration will include costumed volunteers, making speeches about the founding of town, free birthday cake and extra venues around town will be open until 4:00 with costumed volunteers.

APRIL 2015

Easter Sunday April 5th
Egg hunt, parade, festivities at Columbia State Historic Park

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, April 11th, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon at Columbia.

MAY 2015

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, May 9, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon at Columbia.

Columbia Diggins, Tent Town 1852 – May 28 – 31st, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Step back in time to the early days of Columbia.  Experience Mining demonstrations, theater performances, bakery and laundry “businesses,” boarding house and lots more.  Over 100 costumed volunteers and re-enactors recreate life in 1852 Columbia.  Entrance is $5 for adults, $1 for children.

JUNE 2015

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, June 13, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon at Columbia.

Ghost Tours – Saturdays, June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, and October 24, 3pm
Walk through town with a costumed guide and hear stories of people from the past.  Stop in at the hotels and other buildings throughout the park while listening for some residents who may still remain!  Sign up at the museum, 209-532-3184.  $10/person.

JULY 2015

Glorious 4th of July – Saturday, July 4, 11:00 am
Celebrate our nation’s birthday the old-fashioned way!  Come to Columbia State Historic Park on the 4th of July and participate in the parade up Main Street at noon. During the day dance to the Great Mother Lode Brass & Reed Band concert, climb the greased pole, hunt for a needle in the haystack, participate in the bucket brigade and the cake walk. This event is sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.  For more information, call 536-1672.

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, July 11, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon in Columbia.
Big Band Street Dance – Saturday, July 18, 7:00pm
Come enjoy the sounds of the Columbia Kicks Big Band right in downtown Columbia!  Bring you dancing shoes and a chair while we celebrate the year Columbia became a State Historic Park.  FREE.

History’s Mysteries – Saturday, July 25 and August 1, 15, & 29)
Solve an actual crime that occurred in Columbia in the 1800s.  You will witness the event, interview key members to the crime and get a chance to subpoena them in court.  Then you will select one person from your group to question people on the stand.  At the end, you will determine the outcome of the crime.  $5/adults, $1/children.  Meets at 10 a.m. at the museum.

AUGUST 2015

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, August 8 , 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon in Columbia.

SEPTEMBER 2015

California Admission Day Parade – Saturday, September 5
The Native Sons of the Golden West, Columbia Parlor #258, sponsors a California Admissions Day Parade in Historic Columbia.  The Native Sons have a tradition of preserving California History.  The parade was started in 1876 and was revived in 2008.  There are many other events held on Admissions Day in Historic Columbia.  For more information call 588-1565.

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, September 12, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon in Columbia.

Back to School 1861 – Saturday, September 19, 4:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Join us for a beautiful evening at the historic schoolhouse.  During this reminiscent event, take a tour of the upstairs, sit in on a lesson taught by a docent dressed as an 1860s school teacher, play games of long ago, listen to music, and help make hand-cranked ice cream.  FREE.

Stories in Stone – Friday, September 25 & 26 & October 2 & 3, 6:30pm
Costumed docents guide guests through Columbia’s historic cemetery by lamplight.  At each gravestone a costumed volunteer will tell about the person’s life in Columbia and how they came to rest in Columbia Cemetery.  Be prepared to walk on uneven ground after dark for about an hour in the cemetery.  $25.00 per person.  Call 532-3184 for reservation. 

OCTOBER 2015

Gold Rush Days – Saturday, October 10, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon in Columbia.

Harvest Festival – Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 9 am to 5 pm
Country crafts, comestibles, demonstrations of skills, and music and dancing on the streets, decorated for the harvest season.  Sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.  Call 536-1772 or visit columbiacalifornia.com.

Illumination of the Jack-o’-Lanterns – Saturday, October 24, 5:30 p.m.
Carve your pumpkins, then take your carved gourds to the Columbia Museum on Main Street at State Street for judging, and enjoy the live musical entertainment.  Prizes will be awarded for the most original, most gruesome, most entertaining, etc.  At dusk the jack-o’-lanterns will be illuminated.  FREE.  Sponsored by Columbia Chamber of Commerce.  Call 536-1672 or visit columbiacalifornia.com

DECEMBER 2015

Lamplight Tours – Friday & Saturday, December 4 & 5
A nighttime walking play through the streets of Columbia and ends with music, dance, and refreshments.  Make this an annual holiday event for you and your family and learn more about the Christmastime of years past.

A Miner’s Christmas – Saturdays & Sundays, December 12 & 13 and 20 & 21
Sit around a campfire drinking hot cider or coffee and join conversations with miners as they roast chestnuts. Children crafts and stories inside the museum.