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sutter creek days of 49 wagon train

Days of 49 Wagon Train
April 26-29, 2018

From its encampment at the Amador County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, the wagon train's journey goes through Drytown, Amador City and Sutter Creek. The final destination is Main Street in Jackson, for a celebration of California's pioneer heritage. This event highlights the historic Hwy 49 Main Streets in Amador County, Amador County and Whitney Museums, the Kennedy Gold Mine and Kennedy Tailing Wheels, and Amador County's Pioneer Cemeteries.

All public events are free. These include nightly barbecue dinners for a fee and casual entertainment. Expect to learn some songs of the pioneers while singing around a crackling campfire. There may even be some dancing.

SCHEDULE

Day one — After traveling 11 miles, the wagon train arrives at the Amador County Fairgrounds in Plymouth at about 2 p.m. Visitors are welcome to the wagon train camp from 4-8 p.m. A barbecue dinner is available. Expect tired, but cheerful pioneers ready to share their hopes and dreams about life in California.

Day two — The wagon train travels another 11 miles from Plymouth to the Italian Picnic Grounds on Highway 49 in Sutter Hill. If you happen to be in Amador City that morning, you can visit the wagon train there when it stops to rest and water the horses. The wagon train stops on Main Street in Sutter Creek for a late lunch stop, too.
Visitors are welcome to the wagon train camp at Sutter Hill starting at 3 p.m. Again, a barbecue dinner is available around 5 p.m. or so, with campfire entertainment, music and dancing until 9 p.m.

Day three — The wagon train leaves the Italian Picnic Grounds at 10 a.m. in Sutter Hill and travels 6 miles to the Kennedy Mine in Jackson. Enter via the Jackson Gate at 1127 North Main St. in Jackson.

Camp visiting hours are from 3-7 p.m. Remember, these pioneer folk need their rest, so they will turn in early. But before that, expect another available barbecue dinner and an "Old West Variety Show" at the Kennedy Mine Amphitheater.

Day four — California's pioneers were a devout bunch, despite all the carousing and anarchy of the gold fields. The Kit Carson Mountain Men and women will host cowboy church services at the Kennedy Mine Chapel at 8:30 a.m. The wagon train departs the Kennedy Mine at 11 a.m. to travel 3 more miles to Jackson, where there will be a parade on Main Street.

All departure and arrival times are approximate, the Kit Carson Mountain Men say, "due to the inability of horses to keep on schedule or tell time."

Reenactors spend an entire year preparing for events like these. Time is spent studying the era and reading first-person accounts, sourcing period-appropriate attire and equipment and planning every aspect of the journey.

For information about participating in the Wagon Train, parade or camp activities, contact John Queirolo, 916-965-1136.

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