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Angels Camp stages centennial bash as incorporated city Saturday

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POSTED September 25, 2012 8:03 p.m.

ANGELS CAMP  – The main event in the historic Gold Rush town of Angels Camp’s year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary as an incorporated city is set for Saturday, Sept.  29, when a Street Fair from 11 a.m.to 4 p.m. will close Main Street (Highway 49) for the first time in over 50 years.

The Street Fair may well be the largest event held on Main Street since the frog jumps were held there in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Street Fair will include Western gun fights, a frog jump, an old-fashioned soap box derby, pony rides, vendors of all descriptions, street performers, lots of food and drink concessions, and a variety of music stretched from the historic downtown to Utica Park.

A variety of local musical talent will also entertain on Saturday on four stages located throughout the historic downtown. On the main stage across from the Calaveras Visitors Center Big Earl and the Cryin’ Shame will play every musical style from jazz to rockabilly and rap. Big Earl will be followed by local band Dyemusica and their unique blend of reggae rock. On the south stage in front of the Utica Hotel will be San Francisco DJ’s and Teddy Randazzo Jr. On the north stage in Utica Park, The Famous Off Brothers will be performing live classic rock throughout the day.

Just off Main Street in the area dubbed ‘The Wine~n~Cigar Lounge’ — the parking lot behind Sue’s Café, Crusco’s Italian Ristorante and Sidewinder’s fresh Mex restaurant – local band Plan B will perform, while local wineries pour a selection of their finest wines, the restaurants serve out their back doors, and professional cigar rollers demonstrate the cigar-rolling process. The activities in this area will continue until 4 p.m.

The Street Fair will stretch from Utica Park south to Angels Creek. Special shuttles will run along Main Street between the event and parking lots at Bret Harte High School and the Fair Grounds.

The Calaveras Visitors Center parking lot will be the site for the centennial frog jump arena as well as the old-style Western shoot-outs staged by Sierra Nevada Guns for Hire out of the Jackson area. Next door, a beer garden will fill the side street of Hardscrabble Lane.

At the north end of Utica Park will be an old-fashioned soap box derby, run by the Northern California chapter of All American Soapbox Derby.

Utica Park will also provide a myriad of family activities including pony rides, face-painting, artists and craft vendors, and beer, wine and food vendors.

The historic Gold Rush town of Angels Camp was founded in 1848 by Henry Angels who set up a trading post to serve as a base camp for the crowds of gold miners who swarmed the area during the Gold Rush. In 1912, town residents, including women voting for the first time, voted to incorporate as a city in order to improve the roads, water supply, sanitation and other services.

Located at the intersection of California highways 4 and 49, its 3-mile long Main Street is a busy section of the north-south Highway 49.

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