It was a good decision to take a day off and attend the Angels Camp Gold Rush Fair. It was the first time for me. Town was full and people were having a good time.
In the Chamber Of Commerce/Visitors Center parking area was a food court, a band and a few set-ups of what living in the gold rush era was like, with barrels and sacks and a reference to Henry Angel for whom the camp was, and now the town is named.
You didn’t have to go camping, because life was lived in a “camp”. During Angels Camp’s 75th anniversary of the incorporation of the town, Mayor Betsy Alford managed to find descendents of Henry Angel and invited them to participate, and several of them came to celebrate.
Operating in the lot, a modern gold washer demonstrating how gold rich gravels are sucked up onto riffles that allow heavy gold to sink to the bottom of the washer and the rest of the rock and dirt flows back into the stream. This one has a powerful motor. The old-timers didn’t have that advantage. Their “sluice boxes” were propped in the river and bottom gravel was hand shoveled onto the riffles. It was cold, wet, hard work.
I didn’t ask, but I think these folks were selling covered wagon rides. A beautiful team, in any event.
The townspeople are encouraged to dress in rustic clothing and many did.
These buck skinned dudes and their ladies are part of a staged gunfight they have on the street, which we missed and left before their next one.
I admired this dude’s fox skin cap. What a beautiful cap but I did feel sorry the fox had to give its life for it.
Maria Behn is an excellent Patsy Cline impersonator and we enjoyed listening to her sing. Her husband is a vet and they live in the county near San Andreas.
A young juggler kept the crowd mesmerized with his various feats. Looking at everyone’s faces while he tossed those knives around was as much fun as his patter. He quipped: “Look at me, I graduated from Bret Harte High School and I’m doing fine.”
He could cut apples. Not only cut them, but bite them while juggling three knives. He finished the apple/knife bit with a flourish, stabbing one. He was fun.
Jim quipped to this girl, “Aah, a real genuine red-head,” knowing that she wasn’t, to which she answered, “and I was a real genuine blonde yesterday.”
We had a great bowl of chili for lunch. The fair is an annual event they’ve put on for about 4 or 5 years. I like meeting old friends I haven’t seen in a long time, and I did see some locals I knew, but Gary and Denise Lindsay, who are old friends from the Sheriff’s Department days, surprised me. They’ve retired to Sonora area, in Tuolumne County, and love the Mother Lode and came over to enjoy the festivities.