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A real old-fashion 4th at Columbia State Park
A scene from last years parade. - photo by Photo Contributed

COLUMBIA — Columbia State Historic Park is the setting for Columbia’s Glorious Fourth of July Celebration on Monday, July 4.

Columbia’s parade tradition began in 1852. Columbia is just north of Sonora on Highway 49.

If you’ve ever wanted to march in a parade, this is the best.  It’s short, and shady, and fun.  Decorate yourself and your kids, your group, your pets (under 120 pounds), your bicycle, or your vehicle (vintage 1961 or older), and join the parade.  You might win a prize.  Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Fallon Theatre in Columbia, and the parade is at noon.

Come early for the best parking, and bring lawn chairs.  The Independence Day festivities, sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, begin with a flag raising and firing of the cannon by the Columbia Foot Dragoons at 11 a.m., and the little kids can  “find a needle in the haystack” while waiting for the parade.

Following the parade, enjoy the Great Mother Lode Brass & Reed Band concert, dance in the street, and try your skill at the many contests popular in the early days of Columbia. Kids relish the greased pole climb and bucket brigade, and other old-fashioned contests for all ages include nail pounding, watermelon and pie eating, egg relay race and egg toss, and a five-way tug-of-war. For an added treat, the Columbia Volunteer Fire Department’s Engine Company No. 1 will give a demonstration of the historic hand-pumper “Papeete.”

The parade and concert are free, and entering the contests only costs a buck.  To top off your day, stay for a tri tip BBQ dinner served at 4 p.m.  Tickets are $9.50 for adults and $6 for children under 10.  Proceeds of the day benefit the Columbia Chamber of Commerce in their work to put on many free events in Columbia State Historic Park throughout the year.

For more information call 209-536-1672 or visit