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Celebrate holiday at Railtown 1897

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POSTED June 30, 2012 12:53 a.m.

JAMESTOWN — The 4th of July extended holiday is a perfect time to visit and support Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP)! Special rides behind Sierra No. 3 -- widely known as the “Movie Star Locomotive” -- and aboard the prized Caboose No. 7 are available on the weekend leading up to the holiday (June 30 & July 1) and on Wednesday, July 4, as well. Plus, entertaining and festive live old-time music performed by the local band “Sequoia” will be provided on Wednesday, July 4.

Excursion train ride passengers will be treated to a six-mile, 40-minute round trip ride along the rails of the famous “Movie Railroad,” passing through California’s scenic Gold Country where scenes from many Hollywood movies were filmed. The historic locomotive departs on-the-hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. Tickets for all holiday steam train excursion rides include Park admission and cost $13 for adults, $6 for youths ages 6-17 and kids five and under are free. Advance train ride tickets are available online at www.railtown1897.org or at at the ticket window beginning at 10 a.m. the day of the train ride on a first-come, first-served basis depending on availability.

Guests are encouraged to spend the day at Railtown 1897 SHP by touring the Park and learning more about its authentic railroad facilities and fascinating role in the Hollywood and television industry. Also, guests are invited to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the sprawling Roundhouse lawn while enjoying the holiday.

Originally one of the 70 state parks on the closure list, the 4th of July extended holiday falls during an important time period for Railtown 1897 SHP. In an effort to keep the Park open and operating, the Sonora Area Foundation and the Irving J. Symons Foundation for Tuolumne County (a supporting organization of the Sonora Area Foundation), recented awarded a challenge grant of up to $75,000 that is accompanied by a July 31, 2012, deadline to raise matching funds in support of Railtown 1897 SHP. For those interested, community donations continue to be accepted online or at the Park.

More information about excursion train rides or donating to Railtown 1897 SHP is available by calling 209-984-3953 or visiting www.railtown1897.org.

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