By Chris Hendrickson, Monitor
Shindig is in the rear-view mirror, but the valley has more fun on the horizon. Now it’s time to get ready for Gold Bar’s Gold Dust Days.
“The theme of this year’s Gold Dust Days is ‘bigger and better than before,’” said Gold Bar Mayor Joe Beavers.
Gold Dust Days kicks off on Friday, July 26, at 3 p.m. at Gold Bar Elementary School with arts and crafts vendors, food booths, live
music, kids play area, bicycle decorating and bicycle parade around the school and Gateway Park. The festival will run until 8 p.m. on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
“Kids’ Central,” will be located at Lewis Street near the elementary school, and will feature a bouncy house, face painting and sack races with a fireman on both Saturday and Sunday. This year there will also be a new art wall contest for kids, and on Saturday, there will be guided pony rides for $5.
At the U.S. Highway 2 park, Friday evening activities include set-up for the civil war reenactment and this year’s expanded gold panning display.
Friday night from 5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. will be the Miss Gold Dust pageant, held in the school gym. There will be six age groups from three years to 18 years old competing for multiple awards in different categories. The girls will submit written work as part of the competition, will be interviewed by judges and will perform their own talent performances.
Also on Friday will be belly dancing from Arabia and Troupe Abracadabra, along with live music from Dawson, a 16-year-old performer from Sultan. The dancing troupe will begin at 5:30 p.m., and Dawson, who recently performed at Shindig, will take the stage immediately after at 6:30 p.m. All musical and dance performances will be held at the main stage at 3rd and Lewis in Gold Bar.
Saturday the celebration starts early with a donation-based breakfast held at 7 a.m. at the Gold Bar VFW hall located next to the school. At 10 a.m., the parade will start, which begins at the Gold Bar Grocery Store and finishes at the elementary school. The parade will include fire trucks, hot rods and much more.
The official Show-n-Shine Gold Dust Days car show, hosted by the Rat Bastards Car Club, will go from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and displayed vehicles can win dash plaques and awards. Car show activities will also include a 1950s pin-up girl contest, where contestants are invited to show off their “best Bettie Page.” The pin-up contest starts at 2 p.m.
Be sure to stop in at the U.S. 2 park to try your skills at gold panning. The gold panning display has been greatly enhanced this year and anyone is welcome to try panning for themselves. For a $5 fee, you can obtain a small amount of sand which is guaranteed to have some gold in it, and pan with the assistance of experts.
On both Saturday and Sunday there will be free hay rides from the school to the park every two hours.
Saturday’s musical performances include rockabilly band Blacktop Deceiver, who will perform both at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m., folk singer Sunday Speedtrap at 2 p.m., recent Shindig performer Dakota Neuman at 4:30 p.m. and blues rock band the Bluweevils, who will perform from 6 to 7:45 p.m.
There will also be a Gold Dust theatre production by the Gold Bar Red Hat Ladies called Pony Espresso which is a mystery tale set in the old west, rumored to harbor a mischievous penchant for puns. The show starts at noon on Saturday at the main stage on Lewis Street.
Festivities will go until 8 p.m. on Saturday night.
Sunday will begin at 10 a.m. with a community church service at the elementary school, after which people can stroll for a few more hours through the arts and crafts booths. Live bluegrass music played by the Lowdown Ramblers will be ongoing throughout the afternoon, as will the civil war reenactment located at the U.S. 2 park.
For more information about Gold Dust Days, please visit: http://www.golddustdays.org/.