Mariposa Life

Some things old – and a few things new

Summer is winding down and school is back in session, but there’s still much to see and do in our foothills communities.

The National Park Service celebrated its centennial this week by hosting special events across the country. Through Sunday, Aug. 28, the public is invited to visit their favorite park without paying admission.

If you’ll be traveling in the near future, check the website for upcoming centennial events in California and other states:

“Sonora Sings Classical” is a new event set for Saturday, Aug. 27, at 3 p.m. The audience will become the choir and sing classical choral favorites from Johannes Brahms’ “Requiem,” Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus,” and others.

Non-singers also are welcome to attend and listen. Local conductors will lead the music, accompanied by Tuolumne County’s own professional accompanists. The location for the sing-along concert will be a private home near Old Wards Ferry Road. Signs will be posted. Contact Barbara Broad at 209-962-7730 or for more information.

Broad is the conductor of the choir at the Church of the 49ers in Columbia.

She says, “Sonora Sings Classical has been organized to provide more singing opportunities for members of our community. Choral singing is such a wonderful art form. We hope it leaves people wanting more.”

There’s no cost to attend, but donations will be accepted to cover minimal production expenses. Participants are asked to bring their own seating.

The Mariposa County Fair is more than 75 years old! This year’s annual tradition will be held on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-5. The theme is “Gold Pans and Cattle Brands.”

Fair activities and events include:

▪  Interesting demonstrations

▪  A display of artwork and handcrafts, competing for award ribbons

▪  Home-grown produce and home-baked goods will also be judged

▪  Performances by local musicians, scheduled through the weekend

▪  4-H kids with their animals, competing while learning responsibility and showmanship

▪  The crowning of this year’s rodeo queen and the rodeo

▪  Other special events such as the dachshund and stick horse races, the junior livestock auction, calf-branding contest, line dancing, a karaoke contest and carnival rides at the midway

See for directions, ticket info, a schedule of events and more.

Make plans now to attend the first ever Eastern Sierra Kite Festival. The inaugural event takes flight on Sept. 17 and 18 in Walker. The community of Walker lies south of the California/Nevada state line, in northern Mono County.

The festival will feature the Berkeley Kite Wranglers, a professional kite-flying team known for their unbelievable kites.

Entry is $3 for individuals and $5 for families. Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and will be held at the Antelope Valley Firehall on Larson Lane, a few miles north of Walker off Highway 395. Tickets can be bought at the door.

“It’s a great opportunity for everybody to see some pretty amazing kites and enjoy a day with the family in the great outdoors,” says Debbie Bush, event organizer.

While watching the wind blow outside her window, Bush came up with the idea as she thought of Mono County’s natural resources. After attending the Morro Bay Kite Festival, which draws 5,000 people a year, she started planning their own event.

Local artists and artisans will display their work, food vendors will be on site, as well as a bounce house, music and the chance to make your own kites.

For more information, call 530-828-0826. Visit for info on lodging, dining, camping and more.

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