After a year hiatus, Angels Camp’s signature entertainment festival is back and promises to be a rollicking good time. With the level of excitement building for what was known as Gold Rush Days, the event’s producers have rechristened it as the Mark Twain Wild West Fest, and they’ve spared no expense to bring a full day of fun and world class entertainment to historic downtown Angels Camp.
“The Mark Twain Wild West Fest started out years ago as ‘Gold Rush Day’ honoring special milestones in Angels Camp history,” says Anne Forrest, chairman of the Angels Camp Commemorative Committee. “In 2015, we planned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mark Twain’s time in Angels Camp and the Mother Lode, but had to cancel the event because of the Butte Wildfire that devastated a good portion of the county.”
Continuing, Anne explains, “As we began to plan for 2016, we realized that not only did Mark Twain have a lasting influence on Angels Camp, but Angels Camp had a significant impact on Samuel Clemens, aka, Mark Twain. His tale, ‘The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,’ which he heard at the bar of the Angels Hotel, was his first work to gain worldwide fame. Angels Camp is truly the place where Mark Twain found his voice.”
Many voices will be on stage this year, as the Fest prides itself on bringing high energy, up tempo music and entertainment to the streets of downtown Angels Camp. With three stages and acts ranging from Americana and country music to spoken word, cowboy poetry and comedy, it’s going be an exciting day. Show producer Christopher Buttner, who has a long tenure in concert production, emphasized the high caliber performers and how they tie into the theme of the Wild West Fest, “The musical acts are all really fitting to the show itself, in the spirit of Old West flair with engaging storytellers and seasoned musicians.”
This year the Mark Twain Wild West Fest welcomes:
- The Sierra Mountain Band, who have performed everywhere from Branson to Angels Camp, will deliver a mix of country and western favorites, high-energy bluegrass, soulful mountain ballads, cowboy classics and toe-tapping fiddle and banjo tunes. http://www.sierramountainband.com
- The Old West Trio, celebrating over 20 years of performing Western-themed music from classic Sons of the Pioneers and Gene Autry tunes to contemporary Americana masterpieces, are the recipients of the 2011 Western Duo/Group of the Year and a nominee for 2014 Western Duo/Group of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists. http://oldwesttrio.com/
- Sourdough Slim, the Last of the Vaudeville Cowboys, is a stage veteran from The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering to The Lincoln Center’s Roots of American Music Festival and the Carnegie Hall Folk Festival. Cowboy Magazine calls Sourdough Slim, “An accordion playing, yodeling, tongue-in-cheek, cowboy-dressed entertainer deluxe.” http://www.sourdoughslim.com
- Ernie Sites, all the way from Idaho, is a guitar strumming, singer/songwriter and performing western cowboy poet; a trick roper, bull rider, rodeo clown, bareback rider, and roper extraordinaire. Western author, Corinne J. Brown, dubbed Ernie “the urban cowboy troubadour.” http://www.erniesites.com
- The Black Irish Band, who just released their 25th CD, “Give us All Yer Whiskey (Songs of Hard-rock miners & Hard-luck sailors),” hail from the historic Gold Rush Country of America. For over 25-years, they have combined influences of Celtic, Spanish, and Italian delivering an incomparably exciting, original, progressive, and upbeat acoustic folk music sound that is, not only, as timeless as the rugged landscape of the west, but captures the spirit of the immigrants of this land; the men and women who tamed the Wild West. http://www.blackirish.com/
Other featured performers include magicians, comedians, jugglers; gun-slinging cowboys and outlaws and shoot-out reenactments, as well as villains and damsels in distress; gold miners, their encampment and gold panning demonstrations; a flapjack breakfast; over 80 street vendors of all descriptions including arts and crafts, and a custom car show.
Win a $6000 Gold Nugget!
The icing on the cake might be this year’s raffle prize – a nearly 5 ounce gold nugget valued at $6000! Tickets are just $10 each! Click on the image below to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win the Mark Twain Nugget.
After Party at Utica Park featuring Jank Tones.
With over 5000 attendees expected throughout the day to the Wild West Fest, the event team wanted some extra evening entertainment to provide to visitors once the sun goes down. That’s when the party will move to Utica Park for an after party with one of the Gold Country’s most talented and captivating jam bands, Jank Tones. Six food trucks, beer and wine from the local Lion’s Club, and intermittent acts including fire jugglers and comedy are going to make for a lively party! Party goers are encouraged to get to Utica Park as early as 4:00pm to set up chairs or blankets, then head to the Wild West Fest before returning for the evening after party.
Parking and Transportation
Did we mention Admission and Parking are free all day? Complimentary shuttle service will be provided from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm from the parking lots at the Bret Harte High School and the Calaveras County Fairgrounds.
What: The Mark Twain Wild West Fest presented by the Angels Camp Commemorative Committee – http://www.marktwainwildwestfest.com
When: Saturday, October 15, 2016
Time: 10 am to 9 pm – Street Festival from 10 am to 5 pm
Utica Park Evening Music Festival: 5 pm to 9 pm
Where: Highway 49, “Main Street” Angels Camp, California. Google Map
Deputy Discount Badges may be ordered in advance here
Age: All Ages and 21+ to drink alcoholic beverages.
Attire: Period costumes strongly encouraged. Wild West, Western, Gold Rush, Edwardian, Victorian, Gothic and even Steampunk.