Unable to put on a rodeo this year, the nonprofit Coarsegold Rodeo Association plan to start a new tradition, Gold Rush Days, which will be at Coarsegold Historical Village on the first weekend of May.
“We are the same 501c3 non-profit organization that has hosted the Coarsegold Rodeo for many years at the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds,” said Anita Johnson, of the association. “Since announcing that we could no longer put on our nonprofit rodeo, we have been vigorously making plans for another event to take its place in order to keep consistent with our mission of supporting the youths of eastern Madera County.”
Gold Rush Days will begin with Kids Education Day for both school aged children and chaperones 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. May 5 with free admission.
Gold Rush Days will later open for all, free, 4-9 p.m. as well as 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sunday. It will feature "extreme inflatables, games, an 11-piece obstacle course (and) rock climbing wall," according to Karl Ito Hussey.
On Kids Education Day, attendees will be able to safely explore the world bees with the Central Valley Beekeepers Association. Master falconer Cat Krosschel will teach about birds of prey. Biologist Ben Lewis, of California Department of Fish and Wildlife, will explain about “Keeping Wildlife Wild – What do Do When You Encounter Wildlife.” Madera County Sheriff’s Department K-9 will demonstrate how they do their job.
Fresno Weavers and Spinners Guild will spin wool, Oakhurst Feed will bale straw, Coarsegold 4-H will display animals, Oakhurst Rocks will lead rock painting, Fish and Game will show pelts and skulls, an old-fashioned lace making technique will be demonstrated (needlepoint tatting), and more. Other partners include Back Country Horsemen, the Smokey the Bear mascot, and more. Lunch will be served by Bass Lake Lions Club and Coarsegold 4-H will sell $1 Kids Day Special snow cones.
Classes that pre-register will be able to create quilt squares as a class project. Within two weeks after Gold Rush Days, the squares will be sewn together into a quilt by a volunteer and delivered to the class as a memento.
“All schools are welcome,” said Johnson. “Please RSVP so we may ensure that we have enough food for all.”
All students will receive a goodie bag with samples from Gold Rush Days partners as well as a coupon for a two-for-one rides wristband.
For information or to sign up, visit www.coarsegoldgoldrushdays.com