June festival

April 1, 2014 

The June 28 Yosemite Festival is being organized in honor of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant Act by President Abraham Lincoln on June 30, 1864. The Grant protected Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, creating the foundation for the National Park System.

The festival will be held at the Oakhurst Community Park and will feature Yosemite themed areas to visit — Half Dome Art Pavilion, Yosemite Falls History Center, El Capitan Adventure Land, Yosemite Valley Center Stage, Mariposa Grove Food & Beverage Garden, and the Merced River Vendor Trail.

Half Dome Art Pavilion: Celebrates the beauty and history of the art of Yosemite. Area artists will feature their Yosemite inspired work in all forms. Award winning art from Valley View "Yosemite Trails, Currents & Visions" artist exhibit will be on display as well as the Oakhurst Woodcarvers Rendezvous' Yosemite themed projects and wood quilt.

Yosemite Falls History Center: Takes you back in time with the evolution of Yosemite and vintage clothing exhibit. There will be demonstrations and exhibits with representatives from the National Park Service, Sierra Mono Museum, Cal Fire, and Yosemite Pack Station.

The Yosemite Conservancy will show the Ken Burns' documentary "Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit" which will be for sale with the accompanying Dayton Duncan book, along with other 150th Anniversary memorabilia.

El Capitan Adventure Land: Celebrates the wildlife, nature and experiences of Yosemite. There will be kids pony rides, the Chaffee Zoo Mobile, Smokey Bear, Mountain Bear Fan Club teddy bear dressing activities, face painting, Yosemite National Park's Junior Ranger program, storytelling, coloring books and more.

Yosemite Valley Center Stage: Sponsored by Sierra Tel, will feature educational programs and entertainment throughout the day. At noon, Abraham Lincoln and friends will be escorted into the festival to provide a historical presentation about the park's anniversary. John Muir, Native American dancers, Pack Station demonstrations, a talk about Giant Sequoia, Junior Ranger program, and a mini melodrama by the Golden Chain Theatre are some of the exciting center stage activities planned.

Mariposa Grove Food and Beverage Garden: The Oakhurst Sierra Rotary and Sunrise Rotary will be serving delicious barbecued burgers, hot dogs, Tri Tip and chicken sandwiches. Assorted sodas, water, and beer, including South Gate Brewing Company's 1864 Ale, will be available as well.

Along the Merced River Vendor Trail: Attendees can shop for tasty treats, homemade jewelry, commemorative anniversary posters and t-shirts, art and more.

The festival hours are 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and admission is only $1. The first 500 people will receive a commemorative button. Advanced discounted packages are available which include admission for one, barbecue meal, commemorative button and poster for $10.

For advanced tickets, vendor inquiries, or more information, contact Rhonda Salisbury at the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, (559) 683-4636, rhonda@yosemitethisyear.com, or Bob Macaulay (559) 683-4494, macaulayinsurance@gmail.com. Event calendar information can also be found at yosemitefestival.com.

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