The Columbia Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Chicken Ranch Tribal Council is excited to present the Gold Rush Ice Skating Park, a fun and healthy activity coming soon! The project features an outdoor 73ft x 40ft synthetic ice rink which is a cost effective and eco-friendly alternative to real ice and has the additional benefit of allowing us to operate the rink year-round. The rink will be located at the Marble Quarry RV Park, 11551 Yankee Hill Road and will offer one-hour skating sessions by reservation. Schedule of operation and pricing details are still being worked out and will be announced when available.
We are grateful for the generous contributions from our sponsors including Chicken Ranch Tribal Council, Blue Mountain Minerals, Sonora Area Foundation, Black Oak Casino, and Sonora Adventist Health who are making this project come to life with total contributions of $92,000! This provides the funding for the ice rink, barrier system, 100 pairs of skates with racks, two skate sharpening machines, two skating assistance “buddies”, and rubber flooring. We are seeking to raise an additional $33,000 to fund the concrete foundation, rink cover, lighting, fencing, benches, rubber flooring, and outbuilding for the skate rentals.
Winterfest – Days of Music and Gold!
Winterfest will be an historically accurate, highly entertaining program of musical and theatrical performances, historical recreations, and audience participation celebrating the California Gold Rush and the early years of Columbia. The event’s primary objectives are to increase off-season visitor numbers to the Historic District, and to introduce Columbia to new audiences and long-term supporters from the local community and beyond.
There will be individual shows indoors and outdoors (period correct canvas tents will provide shade and shelter as needed.) For indoor shows, visitors must purchase a wristband to gain entrance. Outdoor programming will be free to the general public and will include many wandering entertainments, theatrical and musical performances, camps, and living history displays.
The event will celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Columbia and Tuolumne County in the late 19th century period with programs celebrating Black, Hispanic, Chinese, and Miwok life and cultural arts. Key historical figures portrayed will include Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Lotta Crabtree, poet Joaquin Miller, Businessman Yuan Sheng, plus French Can Can dancers, barbershop quartets, Vaudeville performers, and the list goes on!
Initially, the event will run for three weekends starting on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend in January. As the event matures, additional weekends and venues will be added.
We are seeking to raise $125k in sponsorship donations to offset the initial capital expenditures and to supplement ticket sales which are expected to be low for the first year due to this being a new event. Ticket sales are expected to increase gradually over the next five years which will reduce the need to raise funds from sponsors. California State Parks has approved the Winterfest event permit and we are excited to begin the next phase of planning!
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for the Gold Rush Ice Skating Park and Winterfest – Day of Music and Gold, please download our sponsorship package (pdf file): ColumbiaChamber_Sponsor_Package.pdf