Gold Nugget Days
4th Weekend in April
To celebrate local history, in 1959, the Gold Nugget Days celebration was started and is an annual spring event. It is one of the largest annual Ridge events, celebrated for four festive days.
One of the first mining claims at Dogtown, known today as Magalia, was the Willard Claim, a hydraulic mine, in 1851 owned by 3 miners, Willard, Wetherbee, and Smith. The claim was northeast of Dogtown in the canyon by the West Branch of the Feather River.
It was here on April 12, 1859, A.K. Stearns a workman at the mine, found the the largest gold nugget weighing 54-lbs. The nugget was worth $10,690.
Today the Gold Nugget Days celebration relives the days of this discovery.
The Gold Nugget Days feature special activities at the Gold Nugget Museum, and Breakfasts & BBQs, the Donkey Derby, Craft Faire, a Parade, Contests, Carnival, Music, Magalia Bean Feed, and more! These activities are primarily at the Gold Nugget Museum and in Old Magalia at the Magalia Community Church grounds.
Be sure to obtain and are wearing your Petticoat or Paleface gold badge (available at all Gold Nugget events) or you may end up in the Calaboose on parade day.
The parade is on Saturday and begins at the Holiday Shopping Plaza on Skyway (at Center Street) and goes down Skyway to Birch, where it turns left and ends at Almond Street. It begins at Noon.
Scheduled Events (subject to change):
There is a minimal charge for some special activities. Discounts for some if you have a badge.
Gold Nugget Days 1997 was the first event in Butte County taking part in Cal-150, the official state commemoration of 150 years of California statehood. The 1998 event continued this celebration which included the Gold Nugget Museum's Days of Living History, Paradise's Johnny Appleseed Days, and the Quota Club's Paradise Country Gathering. The 1999 Gold Nugget Days was again a part of Cal-150 for its third year.
"California's Gold," the only statewide television series in California about California, hosted by Huell Howser, visited the 1997 Gold Nugget Days to film an episode about the discovery of the Dogtown Gold Nugget and the annual celebration of this historic event. It was aired on all PBS affiliates in California. A video copy of this episode is available at the Gold Nugget Museum gift shop.
Mark your calendar folks to attend this year's celebration. It's a Ridge event you will not want to miss.