March and The Arts

Every March, we welcome spring with a series of events celebrating arts, culture and the beauty of the season.   From artists’ receptions to hands on workshops to street fairs, the month of March has plenty of reasons to come spend a weekend  – or longer  – in Calaveras.

Ironstone Spring Obsession. Courtesy Ironstone Vineyards.

Ironstone Spring Obsession. Courtesy Ironstone Vineyards.

First on the calendar is the Spring Obsession Art Show, Food and Wine Pairing at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys.  Now in its 18th year, what began as an event to launch the winery’s white Obsession wine, now attracts artist entrants and visitors from around the country.  Expect to see art from two categories, one of which is open themed – meaning any subject matter the artists choose – in any medium from watercolors, oils, illustration and even metal relief sculpture.  The second category sticks to the spring theme of the Obsession wine with floral subject matter.  All art is for sale, and most of the artist participants attend the show, as well as the afternoon food and wine pairing, so the day is a great opportunity to get to know the people behind the work.   At 4:00pm, Ironstone’s chef will be rolling out small plates of interesting fare to pair with the winery’s many varietals.

WHERE: Ironstone Vineyards, Murphys
WHEN: Saturday & Sunday March 7,  Art show: All Day (10:00am -5:00pm) Wine and food pairing 4:00pm-6:30pm
COST: Art Show– FREE. Wine & food pairing: $25/person (reservations required) RESERVATIONS: (for Wine & Food): 209-728-1251


Workshop at Petroglyphe. Courtesy Petroglyphe Gallery.

Workshop at Petroglyphe. Courtesy Petroglyphe Gallery.

Explore new frontiers in your own creative process with one of the Art Workshops at Petroglyphe Gallery in Mokelumne Hill.    The weekend of March 14 – 15 come learn about encaustic painting with Suzanne Bell – it involves using heated beeswax to which color is added, then applied to a surface.  Saturday the 14th will be for beginners and Sunday the 15th will be for those with some experience.  Either way, dress to get messy!   Then on March 28, learn the techniques for painting clouds with watercolorist Dale Laitinen, open to all levels.

WHERE:  Petroglyphe Gallery, Mokelumne Hill
WHEN:  March 14-15, March 28,  Workshops run 10:00am-3:00pm
COST:  $95 for each
MORE INFO:  or call 209-754-1774


Murphys Irish Day Parade. Photos: Jim Last.

Murphys Irish Day Parade. Photo: Jim Last.

Head to Murphys for Irish Day on March 21 – the town’s signature annual celebration of its Irish roots.  Main Street is closed to traffic and becomes a giant street fair with art and craft vendors, hearty food and wine  – and of course, there will be green beer to help those corned beef sandwiches go down.    Start the day with a pancake breakfast, then at 11am, make way for the parade of bagpipes and marching bands, classic cars, horses and community organizations. Throughout the day there is continuous entertainment featuring singers, dancers, musicians, and jugglers.  There’s even a raffle for a trip for two to Ireland!

WHERE:  Downtown Murphys
WHEN:  March 21, 10:00am – 5:00pm


Mother Lode Daffodil Show. Courtesy: Bob Spotts

Mother Lode Daffodil Show. Courtesy: Bob Spotts

Up the road at Ironstone Vineyards, the celebration of spring will be in full bloom at the annual Mother Lode Daffodil Show.    The show runs both days, Saturday afternoon also features a tasty barbecue on the patio.

The Daffodil Show will be open on Saturday from 11:00am -5:00pm, and on Sunday from 10:00am  – 3:00pm. Entry of daffodils and photos in the show is open to all. On Saturday, there will be a shuttle bus operating between Ironstone and downtown Murphys, so visitors may park at Ironstone and enjoy both the Daffodil Show at the winery and the Irish Day festivities.

The Show weekend will offer you far more than just enjoying flowers. From 2pm to 4pm on Saturday and from noon to 2pm on Sunday, Show Chairman Bob Spotts and other talented exhibitors will give guided tours of the show. You’ll understand the “mystery” of the show classes and learn the criteria that judges used to decide their awards. Bob, a successful daffodil hybridizer, is well known for his unique creations – spider daffodils and green daffodils – many of which will be in the Show. 

On Saturday afternoon, Executive Chef Robert Root will supervise Ironstone’s delectable outdoor barbecue. For those preferring, lunch will also be available at Ironstone’s notable indoor deli. In the evening, daffodil enthusiasts are invited to enjoy dinner while making new friends at CAMPS Restaurant at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp. Social time in the bar will start at 6:15pm. Dinner seating will be at 7pm. Reservations can be made by calling (925) 625-5526.

WHERE: Ironstone Vineyards
WHEN: March 21, 11:00am – 5:00pm and March 22, 12:00pm – 2:00 pm
COST: Daffodil Show, FREE, Lunch, varies. RESERVATIONS for dinner at CAMPS: 925-625-5526
MORE INFO: or call 925-625-5526

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