OAKHURST – Hundreds of happy people took to Oakhurst Community Park on Saturday, June 28 for the first-ever Yosemite Festival in Oakhurst. One sign things went well for the inaugural event?
Plans are already underway for next year.
The community was greeted by members of the Festival committee, who guided them to different fun areas spread throughout the park. Area Rotarians handled the barbeque.
Highlights of the day include special appearances by Abraham Lincoln (Gary Talley) and John Muir (Frank Heller), along with music, drama, dancing, and loads of living history.
The communities of Madera County: California’s Gateway to Yosemite 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 protecting Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, while creating the foundation for the National Park System.
The park was divided into six regions for the event, including 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.
On the Sierra Tel Center Stage guests witnessed a 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.
Oakhurst Sierra and Sunrise Rotary Clubs provided food and soft drinks, while South Gate Brewing Company’s 1864 Ale and San Joaquin Wine Company’s special label 150th Anniversary wine were featured nearby.
Among sponsors of the event were Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, Michelob Ultra and True Value. For information about next year’s event, contact organizers at one of the links below.
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