CROFT: Summer’s in full swing in the foothills

06/21/2014 12:00 AM

06/20/2014 2:44 PM

School’s out, and this season brings a multitude of activities to Sierra foothill communities. From outdoor concerts to Yosemite’s anniversary events, summertime won’t be complete without at least one trip to the mountains.

Come to Mariposa for an old-fashioned picnic at the fairgrounds. The Mariposa Chamber of Commerce invites the public to bring a dinner basket or come hungry for tri-tip, $10 each, from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday.

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act, this family event will feature many of the same activities our ancestors enjoyed at picnics in the late 1800s. Square dancing, hopscotch, watermelon seed-spitting contests, a cake walk, live entertainment and more are on the program. Cake, entrance and parking are free. RSVP by calling (209) 966-2456.

Sierra Repertory Theatre is celebrating its 35th anniversary with an open house June 28 from 10 a.m. to noon. At the East Sonora Theatre, visitors will get an authentic, behind-the-scenes look, and SRT staff and crew members will be available to answer questions.

A special admission package is available for the June 28 matinee and 8 p.m. showings of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” Regular performances are held Wednesdays through Sundays. For more information, call the box office at (209)532-3120 or visit

SRT’s junior youth program and summer camp will be held in July and August. Children ages 4 and above will learn how to tap into their imagination to bring characters to life.

Education Director Ralph Krumins will conduct the workshops. The cost varies depending on the child’s age. Enrollment forms may be downloaded from the education page of SRT’s website. Contact Krumins at or by calling (209) 532-0502, ext. 123, for details.

Helping Hands Pregnancy and Parenting Center is opening in Mariposa. A Walk for Life event will take place in town June 28. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at 5072 Bullion St. Suite B. An open house and dedication ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Anyone interested in walking may contact Kenya Deto for a sponsor pledge form at (559) 641-6800 or by email at

The Yosemite Festival in Oakhurst will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act. Sponsored by the Rotary Club the festival will be held June 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Oakhurst Community Park. Admission is $1.

Abraham Lincoln, John Muir and Smokey the Bear will appear. Meet regional artists, enjoy kids’ activities, watch demonstrations and reenactments and learn the history of America’s best-loved national park. Also, American Indian dancers and actors from the Golden Chain Theatre will delight attendees. Food, beverage and craft vendors will be on site. Visit for more information.

The Groveland Hotel presents its Yosemite Courtyard Cabaret series this summer for entertainment under the stars. Included in the line-up are:

• The 1930s Vintage Day returns July 5, beginning with the Sierra Professional Artists Art Show. Complimentary dance lessons will be given in the afternoon. The Tuolumne County band Swing Gitane wraps up the day with acoustic swing melodies from the early- to mid-20th century.
• The Legends of Rock Review will feature the music of Elvis, Dion and the Belmonts, Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison and the Big Bopper. July 26 is the date to remember for this step back in time.
• The Eagles tribute band Life in the Fast Lane will perform Aug. 16. Covers from the group and from Don Henley’s later solo hits are typically played to sell-out crowds.
• And California’s own Rob Ely brings Elvis to the Groveland stage for the season finale Sept. 13. As an award-winning artist, Ely has made numerous television appearances during his career. Audiences will not be disappointed by his high-energy performance.

All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets include dinner with seating at 5:30 p.m. Call (800) 962-400 or visit for details and to make reservations.

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