124th Annual Miners Picnic

The Empire Mine Park Association presents the 124th annual Miners Picnic, taking place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, August 31, 2019, at Empire Mine State Historic Park.

Miners Picnic is one of Nevada County’s oldest, best-loved traditions.  “It began in 1895,” explained event chair Steve Sanchez.  “Early picnics raised funds to help miners’ widows and orphans – as well as injured and out-of-work miners.  Times have changed, and today it’s simply a day to celebrate our gold-mine history at Empire Mine.”

Hosted by Empire Mine Park Association (EMPA), Miners Picnic is one of the few times during the year that visitors are welcome to bring blankets, chairs and lunches to picnic on the shady, stately grounds.  There’s a nail-biting mine rescue reenactment in the mine yard at high noon.  It’s always fun to cheer the rescue team on as they race to save the miners.  The Blacksmith Shop will be open, as will the Mine Shaft and other original buildings.

Miners Picnic

The Stamp Mill Stompers will open the day with that lively, “new-fangled” Dixieland jazz on the Clubhouse stage. Photo by Richard Bannister

Three bands will perform on the event stage near the Clubhouse.  The Stamp Mill Stompers will open the day with that lively “new-fangled” Dixieland jazz.  Making their Miners Picnic debut, Beyond the Rails will play their blend of light rock favorites, including Eagles and Jimmy Buffett songs.  Popular bluegrass band Past Due and Playable will close the day with emotive, old-time tunes.  Food, drinks and ice cream will be for sale by Back Porch Market, Sweeney’s Weenies, and Lazy Dog Ice Cream.  A special beer garden will serve offerings from Jernigan’s Tap House & Grill.  Visitors can also enjoy the fun of an old-fashioned Cake Walk and a Silent Auction. With demonstrations by Harrington & Baldwin Mining Equipment & Supply, plus vintage cars on display – non-stop activities are planned all day long.  Popular mountain man George Steger is scheduled to be on hand with tales from a rugged, resourceful lifestyle of yesteryear.

Miners Picnic

Last year musical volunteers Nancy Cunningham and Bill Heck were joined by our always-popular mountain man George Steger. Photo by Richard Bannister

“Living History docents in their period attire will portray some of the colorful characters who shaped our history,” Sanchez explained, “and they’ll be on hand to recreate our golden past.”  The Park staff and volunteers make an all-out effort to retain this event’s historic roots, while keeping its spirit fresh and fun each year.

Come celebrate the past at the 124th annual Miners Picnic with history, food, and fun.  The costs are the same as usual:  $7 for those 17 and over and $3 for those aged 6 to 16.  Children under 6 are admitted free of charge – and parking’s free.  For further information, phone the Park’s Visitor Center on (530) 273-8522 or visit www.empiremine.org   Everyone’s invited – including well-behaved dogs on leashes.

Content provided by Courtney Ferguson, Outreach Coordinator, Empire Mine Park Association