Annual historical and cultural events happen year-round here. Music, reenactments, festivals, fairs: there’s a lot to choose from! Here are some highlights.
Gold Discovery Day
Activities include a Gold Discovery reenactment on the banks of the American River, mill carpenter demonstrations, a Miwok Village, free wagon rides to Marshall’s Cabin, gold panning, and Gold Rush period music and entertainment. More information here.
On the weekend before Valentine’s Day, local wineries and breweries pour their wares, while restaurants, caterers, bakeries, chocolatiers and others sample out luscious food items and treats. It’s fun and indulgent, and for a worthy cause. Where: El Dorado Fair Grounds. More information here.
El Dorado Wineries: Passport Weekends
The most anticipated annual event in El Dorado wine country. This is a self-guided winery tour. Each winery offers wine, foods, exhibits and activities based on that year’s Passport Weekend theme. Two weekends in April. More information here.
Amgen Tour of California
The 13th edition of America’s premier cycling stage race will return to South Lake Tahoe. Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race Empowered with SRAM and the Men’s Stage 6 finish from Folsom to South Lake Tahoe will take place at Heavenly Mountain Resort. More information here.
Hangtown Car Show
This classic car show is always a crowd pleaser. Sponsored by the Placerville Lions Club, Downtown Placerville hosts the fan favorite each year. In between all the fabulous cars, you will find many wonderful shops and restaurants to explore, making this the perfect event for everyone to enjoy. Admission and parking are free for spectators.
Wakamatsu Colony Festival
Taiko drummers, sword demonstrations, Japanese folk music and dancing, traditional Japanese arts and crafts, history, and hay wagon tours. More information here.
Motherlode Century Ride
Bicycling event through the Gold Country with three ride options: the Gold Dust (31 miles), the Gold Nugget ( 67 miles) and the Motherlode (100 miles). More information here.
American River Trailfest
Live performances, great food, local wines & beers, silent and live auctions, and activities for kids to help generate funds for the South Fork American River Trail. Dance under the stars. More information here.
El Dorado County Fair
The best of El Dorado County on exhibit, plus rides, concerts, events, and everything else you’d expect in a classic county fair. More information here.
Bell Tower Brewfest
They shut down Main Street for this event. Dozens of local craft breweries pour samples to the sound of live bands. Shops and restaurants stay open late. This year’s Bell Tower Brew fest will feature 35+ breweries, cideries, meaderies, and wineries, with local gourmet restaurants, a cigar lounge, and music and entertainment. Come and take in the sights of Historic Main Street Placerville and join us for a night to remember at this community focused and inspired event. Must be 21+ years of age to purchase tickets. General Admission is $35 for unlimited tastings. VIP tickets are $45 and include early entry at 5:00 PM, a larger tasting glass with unlimited tastings, and a reusable farmers’ market-style swag bag. More information here.
El Dorado County Fair
Theme for 2018 is: “There is Magic in the Air at the El Dorado County Fair.” It promises to enchant with magic acts, music all day, an exciting new train and conductor, and yay! Fair food. Your favorites: funnel cakes, ice cream, the ever-popular tacos and corn dogs, lemonade and more. Be there at the El Dorado County Fair, 100 Placerville Drive, Placerville, CA. Pre-sale tickets: $9 Regular, $7 Junior & Senior. During the Fair, tickets are: $12 Regular, $8 Junior & Senior. Those with active-duty military ID get in FREE. Parking is $7 per car, or take the free shuttle. Check the website for details and more info: eldoradocountyfair.org, or email email@example.com, or call at 530-621-5860. More information here.
Jeep Jamboree and Jeepers Jamboree
Jeepers and Jeep Jamboree are fully supported off road trips through the famous Rubicon Trail in Northern California. Jeepers Jamboree offers a 4-day or 3-day trip option. Jeepers Jamboree offers an adult atmosphere, more vehicles and attendance, and live entertainment. Must be 16 years of age or older to attend.
Jeep Jamboree is only a 3-day trip and is geared for families. Jeep Jamboree has a Camp Rubicon educational program for kids 6 – 16 years of age. Jeep Jamboree has fewer vehicles and provides live entertainment.
Art Show * Mother Lode Art Exhibition
* FREE event! The Placerville Arts Association is sponsoring its 52nd exhibition, a juried and judged show with entries from the foothills and across the country. It’ll be at the Placerville Shakespeare Club, 2940 Bedford Ave. in Placerville (5 minutes from Placerville’s Main Street and Hwy 50). Featuring diverse 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works from realism to experimental in watercolor, oil, pastel, charcoal, acrylic, pencil, photography, collage, digital art and mixed media. Subjects include seascape, landscape, portrait, still life, animals, miniature and experimental. On the first day, the show is open from 12;00 PM noon to 4:00 PM. On the following days, the shows open 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. A reception will be held on the first day of the show at 1:00 PM. The reception includes a presentation by Frank Ordaz, juror/judge of the show. Closing day is an awards reception at 3:00 PM. More info.
Antique Street Faire
30th annual Antique Street Faire has moved to its new date this year. Peddlers and Pickers alike will fill Main Street with treasures from a bygone era. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase at this free event. Parking is free as well. Hosted in Historic Downtown Placerville.
Hangtown Thursday Night Car Show
Sponsored by the Placerville Lions Club and hosted by the Placerville Downtown Association, this car show is a great way to spend a hot August night. Parking is free after 4:00 PM and admission is free to spectators. Plan to have a nice dinner downtown and stroll among some beautiful and rare automobiles. Hosted in Historic Downtown Placerville.
Dry Diggins Festival
Jam to reggae and alternative music at this 3-day musical takeover of the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Go for a day or all three days, check the lineup for your favorite headliners.
Apple Hill Autumn Harvest
The Apple Hill harvest season is celebrated September into December. But the peak celebration happens all month long in October. More than 50 orchards in the Sierra foothills, starting 4 miles east of Placerville, celebrate with hay rides, pumpkin patches, scarecrows, hay mazes, craft booths, and of course apples, apples, apples, and the opportunity to buy fresh produce direct off the farms. Apple Hill is just 15 minutes from ARR. More about Apple Hill and Apple Hill website.
Oktoberfest in September
The 8th annual Oktoberfest will feature Craft Breweries and a Wine Garden featuring the wines of El Dorado County, live Bavarian Music, Beer contests with prizes, Weiner Dog races, Bavarian Dance demonstrations, a family area with games and activities for children, German Food, vendors and more.
Art In The Orchard
Enjoy live music, storytelling, a petting zoo for the kids, wine and beer tasting for the adults and fine art at the farms at the orchards and vineyards of the Apple Hill area, just 20 minutes away. More information here.
Coloma Gold Rush Live
For a few days in October, the Gold Rush lives! Costumed volunteers fill the town, recreating the sights, sounds and goings-on of an 1850s mining camp. Experience live music, live history tent encampments, historic trade demonstrations, a merchants market, gold panning for kids and adults, sawmill demonstrations and historic reenactments. More information here.
Art and Wine Festival
This year’s Art and Wine Festival is taking it up a notch! Even more on street art offerings and live music. Hosting wineries within the shops to allow for and encourage exploration of their wonderfully unique small businesses and art galleries. Merchants will be offering food pairings designed to highlight the wines they serve and our local restaurants will be available for dinners as well.
El Dorado Gem and Mineral Society 34th Annual ROCK & GEM SHOW
Featuring “HOT ROCKS!” The unique Rocks, Gems, Minerals & Geology of Volcanos! http://www.eldoradomineralandgem.org/
Trick or Treat on Main Street
Historic Placerville Main Street closes to traffic and the merchants greet young and old alike at the doors of their stores with candy in this time-honored tradition. The smiles are big and plenty on this afternoon and the cuteness factor is off the charts. There will be music and a costume contest at the Bell Tower.
Pumpkins on the Bridge in Coloma/Lotus
Christmas in Coloma
Coloma transforms into an 1850s Gold Rush town at Christmas time. Costumed volunteers demonstrate traditional Christmas crafts, including candle-making, wreath-making, rope-making, corn husk doll-making and ironware blacksmithing. There are holiday plays, music, games and food and craft vendors. More information here.
Foothills Christmas Trees
Each year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, thousands of families come up to the beautiful forested foothills of El Dorado County to choose and cut their Christmas trees. A stay at American River Resort adds convenience and fun to your family tradition. List of kid-friendly tree farms within short driving distance from ARR.