Mountain Heritage Days to Mark Start of Yosemite Anniversaries

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As Yosemite National Park prepares to mark several milestones,communities outside the park will be honoring the anniversaries with numerous events, the first being Mountain Heritage Days in Oakhurst, according to the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau.

Members of Yosemite's Mounted Patrol will be a part of the annual Mountain Heritage Days Parade

Members of Yosemite's Mounted Patrol will be a part of the annual Mountain Heritage Days Parade

The Yosemite Anniversaries are a big deal for our area and all the gateway communities. They will really put a spotlight on Yosemite and the surrounding towns. We’re excited to be able to host the first anniversary event.

A number of milestones are coming up in Yosemite, the first of which is the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant on June 30, 1864 by President Abraham Lincoln. The Grant set aside Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove for preservation and enjoyment. These milestones will be celebrated in and around Yosemite, with Oakhurst hosting the first commemorative event.

Located about 15 minutes below the southern entrance to Yosemite, Oakhurst’s annual Mountain Heritage Days celebration will be themed around the Yosemite Anniversaries. The event takes place September 20 and 21, with most of the activities happening at Fresno Flats Historic Park.

“The Yosemite Anniversaries are a big deal for our area and all the gateway communities. They will really put a spotlight on Yosemite and the surrounding towns. We’re excited to be able to host the first anniversary event,” said Rhonda Salisbury with the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau. Salisbury has been working on the anniversaries PR/Marketing Committee for over a year helping to honor of the creation of Yosemite.

Mountain Heritage Days kicks off with a BBQ and Melodrama performed by the cast of the Golden Chain Theatre, “Run to the Roundhouse Nellie: He Can’t Corner You There.”

“Not to put history on hold, but we want to ensure the audience really takes part with the booing the villain, cheering hero, sighing for the heroine, everything that makes a melodrama fun,” said Marylou Finley, vice-president of the theatre.

The show will also include a recitation of Lincoln Signing the Yosemite Land Grant. Also planned for the evening, the three girls who will represent Oakhurst throughout the anniversaries as the Mountain Belles will also be introduced during the show.

On Saturday, the celebration continues with the Mountain Heritage Days Parade. The procession starts at Fresno Flats at 10 a.m. and makes its way down Road 426 to Golden Oak Loop. Entries include live bands from throughout the region, classic cars and trucks, numerous floats and entries from service organizations and public service corps.

One special parade entrant will be the Yosemite Mounted Patrol. “We’re very excited to have them come down to be part of the parade. It’s great to see the National Park Service take part as it highlights the connection with Yosemite,” said Salisbury.

The celebration returns to Fresno Flats after the parade as there will be tours of the historic buildings on site, several of which are of the same period as the Yosemite Grant. There will also be crafts for children, demonstrations of blacksmithing, woodcarving, quilting and spinning.

There is a wine party scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Fresno Flats Garden, followed by a community BBQ dinner featuring ribs and salmon at 5:30.

“Yosemite and Oakhurst are tied together in history as the park’s proximity played a huge role in the development of the community. Mountain Heritage Days reflects that and makes it a great way to kick of more than a year of marking Yosemite’s anniversaries,” said Salisbury.

For tickets for the dinner or more information, call 559-658-2019. For a full schedule of events, visit the event’s calendar page at the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau at http://www.yosemitethisyear.com/events/index.php?eID=2808.

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Jarrod Lyman

Jarrod Lyman
Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau
since: 08/2009
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