Miners Picnic

122nd Miners Picnic

A picnic, a tradition – and tons of fun since 1895!

Saturday, August 26th, 2017
Special activities from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

FREE admission for children under 6 & FREE parking.

Pack your picnic basket. Bring a blanket and chairs – and seize the chance to picnic on our glorious grounds. The annual Miners Picnic is a summer celebration of our colorful, gold mining history – and everyone’s invited, including well-behaved dogs on leashes!

The first Miners Picnic was held in 1895 to raise money for miners’ widows and orphans, as well as injured and out-of-work miners. Today, it’s an action-packed day of fun, food, gold history, and lasting memories.

A nail-biting mine rescue reenactment at high noon is a must. Will help arrive in time to save the injured miners? Witness the event in the Mineyard, and cheer the rescue team on.

You’re also welcome to visit the old Blacksmith Shop. Our popular “smiths” always have old-west tales to tell. There is Living History at Empire Cottage and in the Clubhouse – with docents portraying many of the characters who shaped our history, such as the Bourn Family, the Starrs – and chatty housekeeper, Katie Moriarty. They’ll be glad to tell you what life was like during Empire Mine’s heydays.

On the stage by the Clubhouse from 1:15 to 2:00 p.m., entertainer/master toymaker/story teller, Izzi Tooinsky, will perform “A Toymaker’s Journey through the Gold Rush.” This fast paced, kid friendly show uses humor, games, toys, and lots of audience participation to explore California’s Gold Rush.  From 2:15 to 3:15 p.m., Past Due and Playable will play their lively variety of music that spans many decades.  Highly entertaining!

You’ll also enjoy:

  • The choice of bringing your own lunch OR purchasing food, drinks and ice cream from local vendors, including the traditional miners’ favorite, Cornish pasties), PLUS, exclusive “24-Karrat Cakes”, only available at Empire Mine special events (for sale at the Brewbakers’ stall)
  • Vintage cars
  • Lavish, period costumes
  • Challenging games and entertainment for children
  • Learning how to pan for gold
  • An old-fashioned cake walk
  • Equipment exhibits
  • Lots of live music, including the Stamp Mill Stompers (Dixieland), the Forte Miners barbershop quartet, old-time music by Fire in the Kitchen, one-man band, Gary Hinze, the lilting sounds of Celtic Joy, BluRoc (classic rock from the 1950s & 1960s), plus strolling musicians & entertainers 
  • A raffle & silent auction – with exceptional prizes
  • Surprises too! (You never know who may be visiting.)

Plan on spending the day – because you don’t want to miss a thing!

Everyone’s invited!

The prices are: $7 for 17 & over, $3 children 6-16, FREE for children under 6.


Photos by Richard Bannister and Courtney Ferguson