Arts & Culture

5 Do-Not-Miss Experiences at Gold Rush Days

Camille Cobbs, Old Sacramento

It’s hard to imagine what life was like in 1850 Sacramento. Early settlers discovered its location without GPS, lived day-to-day life with little to no electricity, wore petticoats and long sleeves despite the 100 degree weather, and waited weeks for news via mail with no help from Twitter or Google.

Gold Rush Days (September 2-4, 2017) is an opportunity for modern folk to step back in time and catch a glimpse of how people lived in Sactown’s early days. Located in the Historic Old Sacramento District, this event takes place during Labor Day weekend and is free for all who would like to attend. While Gold Rush Days is full of fascinating historical facts, adventures, entertainment, and more, we have selected our top five experiences that bring history to life with a trendy touch.

Take notes and prepare for a good time – these are our 5 do-not-miss experiences:

1. Enjoy craft beer in Wild West Saloons

Nothing mixes better than history, beers, and bars. Check out some cool spots with serious roots in Sacramento like River City Saloon and Fanny Ann’s during the Gold Rush Beer Crawl. This fun event takes you on a boozy journey through the historic district and you’ll get to try nine craft beers for $12! Get tickets here

2. Explore 1850s life in Tent City

Early settlers were all about that #tentlife due to low budgets, constant travel, and other elements that limited access to housing and building materials. Sactamentans can head to the 1849 Scene by the Sacramento History Museum to visit and hang out with miners, native people, and more. Don’t forget to pan for gold and churn some butter!

3. Put on your dancing shoes for the Beer Garden and Country Dance

Get ready to swing your partner dosey doe! Well, not quite, but we definitely invite you to get your dance on at the first ever Gold Rush Beer Garden. Hosted by Sactown Sports Bar, beer and street food will be served, and cornhole, horseshoe, jenga and other games will be set up for the competitive and playful peeps. Then, at 7pm, Nashville recording artist Buck Ford takes the stage and line dancing lessons are provided for newbies at 8 and 9pm. It’s gonna be a good time. RSVP here

And don’t forget to ride the mechanical bull! Saturday only… you’ll be ready to ride like a champ after a beer or two…

4. Watch a Western film on the 1849 Scene

Nothing quite kicks off the end of summer like outdoor movie nights! Starting at around 8pm on Saturday and Sunday, visitors can watch classics on the historic 1849 Scene while enjoying beverages and snacks from Old Sacramento food merchants. Join us for McClintock! On Saturday and Back to the Future III on Sunday.

5. Learn a little something…

Historic re-enactors and theater troupes will be performing significant events from Sacramento’s past all weekend long throughout the district. March for Women’s Suffrage, witness a rescue during the Great Fire of 1852, watch as brides are auctioned off for marriage, and more unique, funny, and wild stories from centuries past. On Monday, a promenade will march through Old Sacramento in celebration of California’s statehood – when our Golden State officially joined the USA. Feel free to come in your historic costumes and join in on the celebrations!

For more details about Gold Rush Days during Labor Day weekend, visit the website.

Don’t forget to snag Beer Crawl tickets before they sell out!