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Have A California Gold Rush Christmas

COLUMBIA – A trip back in time to Christmases of long ago is drawing revelers to Columbia State Historic Park. The Park is decorated for the Christmas season and will host a variety of events throughout the month of December.

The Columbia City Hotel Restaurant will host the 30th Annual Victorian Feast from Dec. 14 through 16, beginning at 6 p.m. each evening. The event will include a melodrama featuring Mark Twain, Christmas carols, and a five course meal with fine wines.Everyone is encouraged to come in historic costume or formal attire. Make your reservations now, and be sure to check out their New Year’s Eve event.

For more information about the festivities or to make reservations call 209-532-1479.

The weekend of Dec. 15 & 16, the Columbia docents will be out in costume for A Miner’s Christmas. Sit around a campfire drinking hot cider or coffee and join in conversations with miners as they roast chestnuts.

Children can make some favorite crafts of the 1850s and keep an eye out for Father Christmas as he wanders the streets looking for good boys and girls.

Also in the mix, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce will present its sixth annual Merry Merchants celebration. Shops will be open until 8 p.m. Friday, Dec.14, for stress-free shopping and the serving of traditional food and drink such as roasted chestnuts, gingerbread and hot chocolate.

Father Christmas will greet visitors at the Tibbits House with freshly-made gingerbread. Local children and others will be singing Christmas carols, and visitors can take a free carriage ride on Main Street, then stroll over to Columbia House Restaurant to see the gingerbread houses on display.

Anyone who would like to enter the free gingerbread house contest should deliver it to the Columbia House by 5 p.m. Dec. 14. Judging is at 6 p.m. Call Carolyn Prindle at 209-588-9704 for more information.

Nelson’s Candy Kitchen will demonstrate candy cane making during the weekends through Dec. 18.

Businesses are generally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and admission to the park is free. Come enjoy the old fashioned holiday spirit and shop the many businesses and restaurants.

For more information on any of the activities at the park, please visit the Chamber of Commerce website, the Columbia City Hotel website, and the California State Parks website or call the park office at (209) 588-9128.

For directions go to

Columbia State Historic Park

Columbia State Historic Park, located in Tuolumne County, is designated as a National Historic Landmark District, and has been preserved to tell the story of the towns which arose during the California Gold Rush to serve the needs of miners. California State Parks has restored and continues to preserve over 30 of the original brick buildings along the town’s Main Street.
Columbia State Historic Park annually hosts over 400,000 visitors, presents school programs for over 10,000 4th graders, and is a major tourist destination in Tuolumne County. Its many historic-style stores and restaurants are run by over 20 Concessionaires whose businesses, along with park staff and volunteers, help recreate the experience of the California Gold Rush for visitors from around the world.

One comment

  1. We took a couple of friends from historic Massachusetts over to Columbia and stayed overnight at the City Hotel with them. We wanted to show them what the old Gold Country life was like. It was terrific! The restaurant served up a wonderful made to order dinner, we enjoyed the authentic saloon, and had coffee and pastries in the parlor the next morning. Very,very nice…and not a bit contrived. Our guests loved their authentic old west experience, as did we.

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