When news of California's admission to the Union reached the gold fields in 1850, celebrations erupted throughout the Mother Lode.
On Sept. 10, to mark the state's 155th birthday, staff and volunteers of Columbia State Historic Park will stage a re-enactment with a brass band, a gun salute, patriotic speeches and the raising of a hand-sewn replica of the 31-star flag.
Festivities start with an anvil firing at 10 a.m. followed by a free concert at 12:30 p.m. From 1 to 4 p.m., visitors can enjoy activities such as visiting the old schoolhouse, exchanging gold with the express agent or playing with old-fashioned toys in the street.
The Wilson-McConnell House will be open to the public for the first time in its 130-year history. Stagecoach rides, gold panning and other activities will be available for a fee.
Columbia is about four miles north of Sonora on Parrott's Ferry Road. For more information: www.parks.ca.gov.