Going for the gold

The next holiday on the calendar, Labor Day, is upon us. That's enough reason to celebrate, right? Even if you're not ready to party like there's no work on Monday, the rest of Sacramento certainly is, and it'll host a handful of festivals to make sure we all have a good time. One of the biggest parties this weekend is Gold Rush Days, a family-friendly gold-rush-era romp in Old Sacramento (see below). Then, there's also a 50th-anniversary edition of the Sacramento Greek Festival, Sac Anime, Rainbow Festival and Chalk It Up! (look to the right-hand side of the page for details on all of these). Because nothing honors hard work like partying hard.

Gold Rush Days has smartly dropped its fake gunfights this year. But it's still going to feature 200 tons of dirt lining Old Sacramento's 27-acre area. The four-day celebration (Friday, August 30, to Monday, September 2) turns back the clock to the 1850s with time-specific entertainment, including Old West-style theater shows, cowboys, horse-drawn carriages, wagon rides, art and educational tents. Various bands will offer live music on stages throughout the historic district, and there'll be food vendors throughout as well.

One of the more popular Gold Rush Days-related happenings is sure to be the third annual Gold Rush Beer Crawl. Happening Friday, August 30, at 6 p.m., participating bars—including River City Saloon, Fanny Ann's Saloon and The Other Office—will be offering craft beers from the likes of New Helvetia Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company and Track 7 Brewing Co., respectively. A $10 ticket includes samples of brews from all nine participating locations. For more information on the crawl, visit www.facebook.com/oldsacbars.

Another cool Gold Rush Days-related event is a free outdoor screening of In Old California happening Sunday, September 1, at 8 p.m. The movie will be screened on the lawn where the actual film—starring John Wayne as a pharmacist who moves to Sacramento—takes place. The classic Western film also features bar fights, a complicated love story and horses galore. For more information on Gold Rush Days, visit http://sacramentogoldrushdays.com.