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Mother Lode offers bonanza of 4th fun

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POSTED June 30, 2012 12:50 a.m.

Looking to a quick getaway for the Fourth of July?

Try parts of the Mother Lode, where plenty of traditional Independence Day events are in the works.

Check out the dazzling “Fireworks on the Water” at the Don Pedro Lake in Tuolumne County on Tuesday. This half-hour pyrotechnic display will take place by the Don Pedro Dam beginning at about 9:30 p.m.

Make a day of fun in the sun by cooling off or relaxing by the lake. Cost per vehicle in the Recreation Area is $15 and includes a good view of the fireworks show.

For more information, call the Don Pedro Recreation Agency at 209-852-2396 or log on to

On Wednesday, the Mother Lode celebrations include:

• Mokelumne Hill – Home to one of the oldest continuous Fourth of July parades in the area. Fittingly, this year’s theme is “Honoring the Past,” consisting of horse riders, antique cars and trucks, floats, cowboys and marchers along Main Street beginning at 11 a.m. Plenty of good food will be available, from the 7 a.m. Veterans pancake breakfast to the various food booths throughout the day. Call 209-286-1241

• Columbia State Historic Park – This year is a revival of the old favorite parade, “Goddess of Liberty.” All are invited to march along the short and shady parade route beginning at noon. Registration is required and begins at 10:30 in front of the Fallon Theatre in Columbia. Following the parade is a performance by the Great Mother Lode Brass and Red Band along with plenty of old-fashion fun, from tug-of-war and a pie-eating contest to the egg relay races, to name a few. For more information, call 209-536-1672 or log on to

• Twain Harte – The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Twain Harte Arch. From 9 to 2 p.m., various activities such as riding the 18-foot waterslide, a patriotic sing-along, and face-painting will take place in Meadow Plaza.  Fire truck rides at Cedar Street are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. For more information, call 209-352-6267 or log on to

• Sonora – The 20th annual Family Fourth of July Celebration will take place at the Sierra Heights Church campus at 13711 Joshua Way, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The festivities will consist of the county’s coolest waterside along with a live auction, deep-pit barbecue, classic car show, and rides and games for the children. The local band, “Chains Required,” is scheduled to perform in the free Celebrate America Concert. For more information, call 209-532-7305. 

• San Andreas – Music by the Calaveras Community Band under the direction of Mic Harper will highlight the birth of our nation celebration at Turner Park, from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 209-728-9057.

• Angels Camp – The world famous U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West is scheduled to perform in the family event at Utica Park (across from the historic downtown area). Games and plenty of friendly competition will also take place from 1 to 6 p.m.  Admission along with a limited number of flags to be distributed are free.


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