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Glorious 4th of July Celebration — Columbia

  • 5

(1 reviews)
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Glorious 4th of July Celebration — Columbia
Main Street & State Street
ColumbiaCA 95310
(209) 536-1672

Ages: 0 and up

Cost: Free - Parade is FREE, $1 for contests | BBQ dinner extra

Parking: Yes - surrounding streets, expect congestion


A storybook 4th of July is possible: Pack up the family and head to Columbia's Glorious 4th of July Celebration!

The festivities kick off at 11am with a flag raising and firing of the cannon by the Columbia Foot Dragoons, but get there early for the best parking and don't forget lawn chairs.  While waiting for the parade to begin at noon, little ones can "find a needle in the haystack" — an event designed to keep them busy and happy!

If you want to be part of the parade and not just a bystander, this is the parade for you!  Decorate your family, group, pets (under 120 pounds), bike, vehicle (vintage 1961 or older), or whatever, then register in front of the Fallon Theatre beginning at 10:30am, and get ready to march!

After the parade, the Great Mother Lode Brass & Reed Band plays while folks dance in the street.  Old timey contests open up for play: greased pole climb, bucket brigade, nail pounding, watermelon and pie eating contests, egg relay and egg toss, and a five-way tug of war! 

To top off your day, stay for a tri-tip BBQ dinner served at 4 p.m.  Tickets are $9.50 for adults and $6 for children under 10.

1 Reviews

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  • 5

Reviewed on 07/05/2011

If an old time Independence Day celebration is what your family is after, you MUST go to Columbia's Glorious 4th of July Celebration. Columbia State Historic Park is a step back in time any day of the year, but 4th of July history comes alive when you are celebrating with the likes of gold miners, Mark Twain and Davy Crockett.

We got to Columbia early to park, set up our lawn chairs and walk around the shops and museums prior to the parade. The parade began at "12 o'clock, Columbia time!" and once the parade finished around (1:30), there was just a short time until more fun was scheduled to start. Peppered throughout the afternoon hours were special event activities — watermelon & pie eating contest, greased pole climb, egg toss, bucket brigade, tug of war, egg relay race and more. These events are free to participate in and are fun whether you're in it to win it or just standing by watching the games happen.

All of the stores, activities, museums and restaurants are open for this special event, and the park is ready for a huge crowd. Plenty of ice cold waters are available ($1), carts hit the street selling ice cream floats and chilled root beers ($3 each), and huge watermelon wedges ($2). Bathrooms are located behind the Columbia Museum and are clean and also offer changing tables.

The kids loved the Stagecoach ride through the park. It was about 15 minutes in duration and we were nearly robbed of our handmade candies! Thank goodness the robber decided that he would ransack the next coach. The bumpy, dusty ride also made the kids realize how great it is to travel in a family sedan!

We spent a huge chunk of time in the afternoon at the gold panning station. For $8 a pan, the kids got a lesson on the process and found gold and small gemstones. My older children could have easily spent two hours panning; my younger was done in about 30 minutes. If we had wanted, we actually could've returned later to pan for more — if mini miners want to return, they only have to show the shopkeepers their vials of gems already collected to receive a pan for more fun.

OUR LESSONS LEARNED: We arrived at Columbia at 9:45 am and found parking without trouble in a lot at Parrot's Ferry Road and State Street; arriving any later than 10am would have resulted in parking much, much further away. The parade judging booth is set up in front of the blacksmith's shop on Main, so we set up chairs just south of that; however, next year we will sit on the opposite side of the street, where it seemed shadier at noon, when the parade began. Lunch was a huge ordeal: we ate at Bart's Black Skillet but the place was crowded, customers were audibly complaining about the service, and the orders did take a long time to arrive; next year, we will pack a lunch ourselves and just take money to enjoy other treats.

Glorious 4th of July Celebration — Columbia