Mariposa Life

Autumn festivals and events

In Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada mountain communities, summer’s crowds have disappeared. Fall visitors will find numerous opportunities for adventure, relaxation and fun with regional flavor as the temperatures cool and nature displays her warmest, richest colors.

The Sonora Bach Festival is a series of five events commemorating 40 years of music in Tuolumne County. On each weekend of October, festival performances feature local professionals, talented amateurs and guest artists.

The Youth Concert will be held on Oct. 9; the Mother Lode Friends of Music chamber orchestra will play classical works on Oct. 15; the Locals Concert is on Oct. 23; Bach’s Brunch will take place on Oct. 30.

Tickets and a complete schedule are available at the festival website and on Facebook, or by calling 209-536-6330.

Some say the historic town is where Mark Twain found his voice as a writer. Angels Camp is the location of the new Mark Twain Wild West Fest, formerly known as Gold Rush Days.

A full day of Western fun will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15, starting at 10 a.m. in the charming downtown area to honor the town’s historical milestones.

Live entertainment will range from Americana and country music to comedy, cowboy poetry, magicians, jugglers, shoot-out reenactments, gold panning demonstrations, a custom car show, street vendors and a flapjack breakfast.

More details are listed at the festival’s Facebook page.

Sierra Repertory Theatre’s “Church Basement Ladies: A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement” opens on Oct. 14. This production is another in the popular series of plays inspired by the writings of Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson.

The musical/comedy highlights the ups and downs of faith and friendship while four ladies cook church dinners for the parishioners, while solving the congregation members’ problems as well.

The show runs through Nov. 27. Information and ticket prices can be found at the website,

The Calaveras County Arts Council (CCAC) will host a Garden Art Party at Rising Sun Nursery to celebrate the artistry in Calaveras County on Oct. 9 from 3 to 5 p.m.

This event is open to the public. Light snacks and beverages will be offered, and entertainment will be provided by Nate Nathan.

Tickets are $20 per person, and are available online and at the CCAC Gallery.

Proceeds benefit arts education programs. For details, email or call 209-754-1774.

During the month of October the Jerseydale Pumpkin Patch is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors can select from this year’s harvest of pumpkins, nuts, Indian corn and fresh produce to make their purchases for autumn recipes and decor. Food vendors will also be on site this year for those who work up an appetite keeping up with the kiddos or sorting through all those pumpkins to find just the right one.

The Harvest Festifall returns to the Columbia State Historic Park. Bring the whole family on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9, for this old-fashioned celebration of the season.

Dressed in period costumes, over 40 vendors will sell handmade crafts. Demonstrations will be given by the Mother Lode Weavers and Spinners. Local musicians will perform. And children will enjoy traditional activities and a petting zoo.

Admission and parking are free. For more information call 209-536-1672 or see

The Yosemite Songwriting Retreat offers an opportunity for songwriters to improve their skills and for potential songwriters to discover the how-to’s. This weekend, local musicians will gather at Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort for a time of creative instruction and expression.

Join Adam Burns from Bootstrap Circus, Gail Dreifus from Colorado Road Band, Laurie Lewis, David Jacobs-Strain, Keith Greeninger and others to learn or refine your craft.

For more information visit

And Mariposa will host the Yosemite Hot Rod & Custom Car Show again this year. This event runs through the weekend of Oct. 14-16 at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. See for details.

For all the current and upcoming Mariposa County events visit For Tuolumne County events see

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. Follow her on Twitter @ghostowngal or email her at