Events Sponsored by:  Friends of Columbia SHP

Friends of Columbia sponsors many events for the public and schools. See Schools on this website. Events listed here on this page are sponsored by Friends of Columbia SHP.  For a complete list of events in Columbia State Historic Park, click Park

Gold Rush Days
2nd Saturday every month  1 – 4 pm

Reserve the second Saturday of every month for Gold Rush Days at Columbia State Historic Park. You’ll get to see inside special exhibits, stores and residences not regularly open to the public. Columbia’s Gold Rush Days is a chance to explore the historic town of Columbia and see it come alive with living history. Throughout town you will discover park docents interpreting what it looked, felt, and sounded like during the California Gold Rush.
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.

Ghost Stories Tour

When:   Feb 19, Mar 19, Apr 16, July 16, Oct 15, 2023.
Time: 2:00-3:00pm.
Cost: $10 per.
Location: Meet at the Columbia Museum

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Event Description: Have you heard that there are ghosts in Columbia? Join a ghost tour to find out where they lurk and the stories behind those who lived in Columbia during the Gold Rush. This event is coordinated by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park.

Paranormal Research Tour

When: October 21, 2023, September 9, VIP Tour
Time: 8pm to midnight
Cost: $50 per person, $100 for VIP Tour
Location: Meet at the Eagle Cotage

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Event Description:
Have you ever wondered if Columbia is truly a Ghost Town? Have you ever “felt something” while stepping into one of our old buildings? Now is your chance to be a part of history and interact with paranormal researchers from Full Spectrum Paranormal out of Sacramento as they use their equipment to detect paranormal activity in four historic places in Columbia. After a brief introduction at Eagle Cotage you will be led to four different buildings where you will spend an hour at each paranormal site with the researchers as they explain the fascinating experience and conduct their research. The tour will begin at Eagle Cotage with a brief introduction. This event is hosted by Friends of Columbia SHP and Full Spectrum Paranormal out of Sacramento California.

Special VIP Paranormal Tour September 9 book now

Only ten tickets will be sold as to guarantee an intimate in-depth ghost hunting experience for this Special VIP Tour.  No children allowed on this Tour. The price per person is $100.  Accommodations may be made to stay at the Historic City and Fallon Hotels for an additional fee. As with the Paranormal Research tours, 100% of the fees goes to support Columbia State Park.


Diggins Tent Town 1852

When: May 18, 19, 20, 21 2023
Time: 10am – 4pm
Cost: $10 adults $2 children 12 and under
Location: Diggins Tent Town

Event Description: Step back in time to the year 1852 and discover what life was like in a gold diggings encampment during the early Gold Rush period. Over 150 volunteers help to recreate this time in history by living the life of a miner, merchant, actor/actress, and more. School tours are led Thursday and Friday by reservation.  Park visitors are welcome all four days of the event. This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park.

Park Anniversary and Big Band Street Dance

When:  July 15, 2023
Time:   6-10pm
Where: Main St. Columbia
Cost:  FREE or
Reserve $100 VIP Tables for four.

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Event Description:  Join us as California State Parks celebrates 77 years of preserving Columbia State Historic Park which contains some of California’s best Gold Rush era buildings. In the evening step back into the 1940s when the park was founded. Put on your dancing shoes to boogie down to the music of Rod Harris and his Orchestra as we celebrate the anniversary of our State Park.  The Event is free, bring your own chairs.  This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park.

Back to School 1861
When: September 16, 2023
Time: 4-7pm
Cost: FREE
Location: Historic Schoolhouse

Event Description: 
Join us at the historic Columbia Schoolhouse and discover one of the parks most fascinating Gold Rush era buildings. During this reminiscent event, sit in on a lesson taught by a docent dressed as an 1860s schoolteacher, play games of long ago, listen to patriotic music, and help make hand-cranked ice cream.

Stories in Stone

When: September 29, 30 October 6, 7, 2023
Cost: $25.00
Location: Columbia Cemetery

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Event Description:  Visitors are led through Columbia’s historic cemetery by living history docents carrying lanterns where they will visit 10 gravesites. The dead come to life as interpreters tell about their lives, how they died, and how they came to lie in Columbia’s cemetery. This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park.

Boo Boulevard

When: Saturday October 28, 2023
Time: 2 – 6pm
Cost: FREE
Location: Main Street Columbia

Event Description: Boulevard will return to Columbia State Historic October 2023.  Trick or Treating, Face Painting, Creepy Crafts, Fish N’ Game, and the Gargoyle Quest are from 2 – 4pm. The Photo Booth runs from 2 – 6pm.  The Zombie Dance Performance will be at 4:15pm. The Jack-o-Lantern Contest returns.  Everyone is invited to march in the Halloween Parade, 4:30pm, and compete in the Costume Contest from 5-6pm. Bring your family, and hang out with the ghosties and ghouls! This is a free event! This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park and the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

Lamplight Tours

When: December 1, 2, 2023
Time: Friday:  6 tours starting at 6:30
Saturday 9 Tours starting at 5:30
Tours every 15 minutes both nights
Cost: $25 per person. Children under 8 are free.
Location: Throughout Town. Meet at Columbia Museum

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Event Description: Lamplight Tours are a walking play that wanders the streets of Columbia at night and ends with music, dance, and refreshments. This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park. Thank you to everyone who attended the event in the frightful weather 2022.

Miners’ Christmas

When:  December  16, 17 2023
Time:  12-3pm
Cost:  FREE
Where:  Main Street Columbia

Event Description:  Join the holiday celebrations at Columbia State Historic Park with a family friendly event demonstrating what Christmas in a Gold Rush town may have looked like in the 1850’s.  Stop in and listen to Christmas stories from some of the ole’ timer miners, taste chestnuts roasted over the open fire, and make a variety of old-fashioned crafts. Explore the historic buildings of Columbia adorned with old fashion decorations while you sip hot cider and coffee. You might even catch sight of Father Christmas as he visits the town of Columbia arriving by stage at 12:30pm. This event is sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park.