Inaugural Yosemite Festival kicks off in June

Join the communities of Madera County for the inaugural Yosemite Festival. The festival will honor the 150th Anniversary 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.

Yosemite Festival, which will be held on June 28, 2014 at the Oakhurst Community Park near Yosemite’s south entrance, will feature six exciting regions.

*Half Dome Art Pavilion celebrates the beauty and history of the Art of Yosemite. Local 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 will take you back in time with the evolution of Yosemite & Vintage Clothing Exhibit. There will be demonstrations and exhibits with representatives from the National Park Service, Sierra Mono Museum, Cal Fire, Yosemite Pack Station, & more. The Yosemite Conservancy will be showing 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 & experiences of Yosemite. There will be kids pony rides, the Chaffee Zoo Mobile, Smokey Bear (himself), Mountain Bear Fan Club teddy bear dressing activities, face painting, Yosemite National Park’s Junior Ranger program, storytelling, coloring books & more.

*Yosemite Valley Center Stage, sponsored by Sierra Tel, will feature educational programs & entertainment throughout the day. At noon, Abraham Lincoln and friends will be escorted into the Festival to provide a historical presentation about the Yosemite Grant 150th 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 & Beverage Garden - The Oakhurst Sierra Rotary & Sunrise Rotary will be serving delicious barbecued burgers, hot dogs, Tri Tip & 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 local treats, homemade jewelry, commemorative anniversary posters & t-shirts, art and more.

“This is a big commemoration to honor the Yosemite Grant 150th birthday. We will have a little bit of everything for all ages, so much to see and do. There will be a center stage with performances all day long. It’s going to be a blast.” Said Rhonda Salisbury of the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau.

The Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is only $1 and the first 500 people will receive a commemorative button. Advanced discounted packages are available which include admission for one barbecue meal (burger/dog, soda/water & side), commemorative button & poster for $10.

The Oakhurst Community Park is located at 49074 Civic Circle Drive in Oakhurst.

For advanced tickets, vendor inquiries, or more information, please call: Rhonda Salisbury at 559-683-4636 – or Bob Macaulay at 559-683-4494 –

Updated event calendar information can also be found at

-Yosemite Sierra Visitor's Bureau