OAKHURST – Six exciting regions of Yosemite will be represented through a series of fun interactive displays including vendors, food and beverages, at a family-friendly event coming soon to the Oakhurst Community Park. Mark your calender for the inaugural Yosemite Festival, set for Saturday, June 28.
Be on the lookout for special appearances by such luminaries as Abraham Lincoln and John Muir, along with music and dancing throughout an all-around great day for kids of all ages.
The communities of Madera County: California’s Gateway to Yosemite have joined together to create the Yosemite Festival in honor of the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln signing the Yosemite Grant Act on June 30, 1864. The Yosemite Grant protected Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, creating the foundation for the National Park System.
The Yosemite Festival starts at 10 a.m. at Oakhurst Community Park and runs until 7 p.m. Admission is $1 per person. Presale packages are $10 and include one admission ticket, one lunch ticket, a poster and a commemorative button. Presale packages are available at Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau and Macaulay Insurance.
The Yosemite Festival will feature six exciting regions – Half Dome Art Pavilion, Yosemite Falls History Center, El Capitan Adventure Land, Yosemite Valley Center Stage, Mariposa Grove Food & Beverage Garden, and Merced River Vendor Trail.
Half Dome Art Pavilion celebrates the beauty and history of the art of Yosemite, as local artists feature their Yosemite-inspired work in all forms. In addition, the winners of the Valley View “Yosemite Trails, Currents & Visions” artist exhibit will be displayed, along with the Oakhurst Woodcarvers’ Yosemite-themed projects and wood quilt.
Yosemite Falls History Center will take visitors back in time with the evolution of Yosemite and Vintage Clothing Exhibit. Watch for demonstrations and exhibits staffed by representatives from the National Park Service, Sierra Mono Museum, Cal Fire, Yosemite Pack Station and more. The Yosemite Conservancy will show the Ken Burns documentary “Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit,” which will be available for purchase with the accompanying Dayton Duncan book, and other 150th Anniversary memorabilia.
El Capitan Adventure Land celebrates the wildlife, nature and experiences of Yosemite. With kids’ pony rides, the Fresno Chaffee ZooMobile, Smokey Bear live and in person, Mountain Bear Fan Club teddy bear dressing activities, face painting, Yosemite National Park’s Junior Ranger program, storytelling, coloring books and more, children will appreciate this stop on the festival tour.
Yosemite Valley Center Stage is sponsored by Sierra Tel, and is the go-to location for entertainment and educational programs throughout the day.
At noon, Abraham Lincoln and friends will be escorted into the Festival to provide a historical presentation about the Yosemite Grant 150th Anniversary. Additionally, some of the exciting Center Stage activities planned include a visit by John Muir, performance by Native American dancers, Pack Station demonstrations, a talk about Giant Sequoia, the Junior Ranger program, and a mini-Melodrama by the Golden Chain Theatre.
Mariposa Grove Food and Beverage Garden will be serving delicious barbecued burgers, hot dogs, Tri Tip and chicken sandwiches, all provided by the Oakhurst Sierra and Sunrise Rotary Clubs. Assorted sodas, water, and beer, including South Gate Brewing Company’s 1864 Ale, will be available, as will San Joaquin Wine Company’s special label 150th Anniversary wine.
Along the Merced River Vendor Trail attendees can shop for tasty local treats from shops including Yosemite Sierra Specialties sauces, handmade jewelry including Yellow Ginko Art Collective, commemorative anniversary posters and t-shirts, art and more.
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite has donated a stay/spa package that includes a one night stay for two, breakfast for two, and a 90 minute spa service. The package will be given away as a door prize that everyone who attends the Yosemite Festival has a chance to win.
Among other sponsors of the event are Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, Rotary International, Michelob Ultra and True Value. For vendor and sponsorship information or additional details, contact the organizers at one of the links below.