Mariposa Life

Debbie Croft: Happenings and holidays in the foothills

For the upcoming holidays our mountain communities are dressing in their most festive attire, ready to welcome you.

But also on foothills calendars are events in recognition of recent and past accomplishments, plus opportunities for helping others achieve. We hope you’ll join us for one of the following:

Merced County, Cramer Fish Sciences, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the residents of Snelling will celebrate another restoration project at the Merced River. The public is invited at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, for a field trip and barbecue at Henderson Park near Snelling, rain or shine.

Since 2009, the goal of the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program has been to double salmonid populations in the Merced River. The Henderson Park construction project was completed last month, improving more than 7 acres of spawning habitat.

RSVP as soon as possible if interested in attending: 209-334-2968.

Tom Phillips will give a Power Point presentation at this month’s Mariposa Lodge of Odd Fellows meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16. Phillips is a member of the Odd Fellows and a noted local historian.

Accompanied by his collection of old photos and newspaper articles, he will share the history and progression of downtown Mariposa. This presentation will be the first of three and is open to the public free of charge. The lodge is located on the corner of Sixth and Main streets.

A fashion show adventure will be presented by the American Association of University Women of Mariposa on Saturday, Nov. 21, 3 to 6 p.m. at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.

“On Safari with AAUW” will feature outfits from local retailers. Guests are invited to dress in safari style for the costume competition. A silent and live auction will be held, and refreshments will be served.

Cindy Harp with the Mariposa branch says: “Funds raised will support educational initiatives for girls and women, and especially for guiding young women into STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math).”

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or online at

The Sonora AAUW group will hold its 49th annual Home Tour & Tea on Saturday, Dec. 5. This benefit features a tour of four outstanding homes in Sonora and Columbia, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Also a tea, boutique and basket drawing will take place in Faith Hall at Columbia’s Church of the 49ers, 1-5 p.m.

Tickets are $25 and available at Mountain Bookshop and Joan’s Boutique in Sonora, or by calling 209-735-0950. Proceeds are turned into college scholarships for local women and used to send eighth-grade girls to a math and science camp. For more information about the AAUW Sonora Branch, call 209-533-1345 or visit

Columbia State Historic Park and Friends of Columbia will present this year’s Lamplight Tour, “The Thing That Saved Columbia.” Tours will run on Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5, and will leave every 15 minutes beginning at 5:30 p.m.

After the tour, participants can enjoy music, dancing and refreshments in Angelo’s Hall.

“Each vignette was created by the docent archives and library committee with input from other volunteers and park staff,” says Danielle Gerhart of California Department of Parks and Recreation. “The script takes hours of time and thoughtfulness to create a work that all ages and backgrounds can enjoy during the holiday season.”

Carriage rides will be available during the Lamplight Tours. And weekend packages with the City Hotel or Fallon Hotel and the City Hotel Restaurant are also available.

For complete information and ticket prices, visit Or see or call 209-588-9128.

All proceeds benefit the Friends of Columbia in the funding of interpretive and educational events/programs at Columbia State Historic Park.

Surrounded by family, friends and Yosemite’s autumn splendor, create a new Thanksgiving tradition at one of the park’s famous venues.

Yosemite restaurants operated by Delaware North partner with California food purveyors. Many organic and sustainable ingredients are used, in addition to being the freshest available.

Visit for details and to view holiday menus. Call 801-559-4935 for reservations.

For Tenaya Lodge’s 25th anniversary, holiday festivities are abundant.

After Thanksgiving dinner in one of three dining rooms, families can relax with a hot beverage in the hotel lobby.

And throughout the weekend there’s much to choose from: gingerbread house workshops, ornament/stocking decorating workshops, dinner with Santa for kids only, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating and the annual tree-lighting ceremony.

Reservations are a must. Visit or call 877-247-9241.

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