Saturday- Hill Valley Festival!
On Saturday evening, September 8th, Columbia State Historic Park plays host to the Hill Valley Festival!
Columbia has many activities during the day for the general public, but bring cash to participate in some of the evening Festival’s special attractions. (Proceeds go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.)
This park was once known as the "Gem of the Southern Mines." Between the 1850s and 1870s over one billion dollars in gold (at today's value) was mined in the area. For a time, Columbia was the second largest city in California!
Saturday is also Gold Rush Day in town! You’ll get to see inside special exhibits, stores and residences not regularly open to the public. Docents in period attire will provide lots of information on the structure of their featured building, nature of its business and equipment, contents of store merchandise, or interior décor of family homes, along with history of the times for visitors. If you’re lucky, the gambling table will be set up on the boardwalk for everyone to try their hand at betting against a mining camp gambler. Bowl for free in an antique bowling alley (next to the museum!)
Did you know California became a state on September 9, 1850 – 168 years ago! So why not have a parade? The Native Sons of the Golden West, Columbia Parlor #258, sponsors a California Admissions Day Parade in Historic Columbia. The Native Sons have a tradition of preserving California History. The parade is one of those that started in 1876! Tentatively to begin at 11am.
“What’ll it be, stranger?” You’re bound to hear a piano player at one of the saloons, so listen for the sounds and step in for a locally made Sarsaparilla, or whatever tickles your fancy.
Columbia State Park Activities:
Pan for real gold! Ride the 100+ year old Stage Coach, the ‘Quartz Mountain Stage Line.’ Take a docent tour around town, and check out some of the special exhibits on display from ‘Back to the Future Part III.’ You may recognize a certain grave stone over at the Cabinet and Undertakers shop! (photo op!) Original and replica props from the film will be assembled together for your enjoyment. Manure? We got it! Sniff out a familiar cart operated by Mr. Jones and dive face first into a pile of (photo op!)
Did your horse throw a shoe? Well, head on over to Doc’s Blacksmith shop to see his assistant working. There are some cool souvenirs, and he’ll even pound steel letters into a horseshoe to personalize it for you! (Our condolences to Buford’s now deceased horse.)
We are told there will be a black powder gun demonstration during the festival, so keep your ears out for a historical interpreter to show you how it was done in the old west.
From 6-9pm is the Hill Valley Festival. We’ll begin with the clock dedication ceremony and citizens can pose for an old timey portrait with the famous clock.
Music! We are super excited to announce that the live music for the festival will be performed by the original ‘Hill Valley Drifters’ from the movie! Cactus Bob and Prarie Flower have assembled their fellow musicians for a foot-stomping good time for fans! As Producer Neil Canton said, "In between shots, ZZ Top would play with the local musicians and it was a nice atmosphere to have music on the set."
You’ve watched them on the silver screen and tonight they play just for you, live! Yes, the clock tower will be in the background, still under construction and covered in scaffolding.
“What idiot dressed you like that?” There will be a costume contest sponsored by BTTFCosplay.com , the Facebook group dedicated to the art of Back to the Future Cosplay.
The contest will consist of 7 categories:
Bufford “Mag Dog” Tannen
Ancillary Characters (Maggie, Seamus, Marshall Strickland, Etc.)
-BONUS! Attendees of the cosplay contest will get to choose their fan favorite!
Trophies will be awarded!
One lucky Citizen will win an authentic Marty McFly
Shah Safari Shirt in their choice of size, courtesy of BTTFCosplay.com
Is Billie Jean your lover? If not, take part in an improvised dance-off, as we search for the citizen with the best Michael Jackson moves in Hill Valley.
Try your hand at Colonel Samuel Colt’s Patent Firearms Nerf-Shoot! (“Even a baby can do it.”)
Are you hungry? Stuff yer pie hole by entering the GENUINE Frisbee Pie Eating Contest! Yum!
Perhaps you’re aiming for a different kind of challenge. Skittle-spittin’ (hit the spittoon!) for prizes!
We predict a favorite carnival game will be a modified version of the corn hole toss. Someone has placed Buford Tannen’s ‘Wanted’ poster over the hole, and players will take aim with green colored ‘manure’ bags!
The DeLorean Time Machine will be parked for photo ops. Feed the Mr. Fusion Reactor a donation, and it will talk to you!
More door prize drawings with lots of great chances to win treasure.
Remember, many people in this community helped make ‘Back to the Future Part III,’ so the Hill Valley Festival will serve as a reunion while celebrating these local movie stars and behind-the-scenes heroes. Their stories and excitement about the filming of Part III are a real treasure and we hope they share with their fans.
Who knows? You may have the chance to do-si-do with some of them!