Holidays at Empire Mine offers a history of good cheer

Santa and Mrs. Claus, in their turn-of-the-century attire, will be asking, “What would you like for Christmas?”  More important, they’ll be listening carefully to the answers that may range from the latest technical products to ponies and puppies.  Surrounded by lavish, traditional decorations, the Clubhouse will be glowing with good cheer.

Outside, local vendors will have a selection of light food and drinks for sale, including Brew Bakers’ exclusive “24-Karrat Cakes.”  There will also be entertainment to delight the parents and children in line.  On Friday, world-renowned story-telling juggler, Izzi Tooinsky will perform his “Toymaker’s Journey through the Gold Rush” show, and on Saturday, crowds will enjoy Celtic Joy.  Dressed in traditional costumes, they will fill the air with festive music and good cheer.

Empire Cottage will be all decked out as well – with Living History docents portraying the characters who shaped our gold-mine history.  Singer/guitarist Heather MacAdam will play seasonal music on Friday, and harpist Kurtis Bershaw will perform on Saturday.

In the Mineyard, one-man band Gary Hinze will add more festive flair – with chestnuts being roasted nearby.  Visits to the Blacksmith Shop and the Gift Shop are also highly recommended.

Held on Friday, November 24th and Saturday, November 25th, this event is ideal for local residents and out-of-town Thanksgiving guests.  Hosted by Empire Mine Park Association (EMPA), last year around 2,000 children and families of all ages attended. Special activities are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days.  With free admission for children under six and free parking, it’s a magical event – and everyone’s invited.  Call the Visitor Center for further details, (530) 273-8522 or visit

Content submitted by Courtney Ferguson