` 49er Festival Groveland

Visit Tuolumne County

800-942-6222 • 1-(800)-446-1333

Welcome to Tuolumne County! The Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau operates two year-round Visitors Centers, and one seasonal, with friendly, knowledgeable staff who can help you plan your visit: Sonora, CA: 193 S. Washington St.: Open Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm; Saturday and Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm Chinese Camp, CA: 13785 Highway 49/120: Open 10:00am-5:00pm daily except Wednesdays. Groveland, CA: 18990 CA-120: Open daily Memorial Day weekend (end of May) through Columbus Day (mid-October). Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10am-4:30pm. Friday - Saturday: -4:30pm Or, call us at (800) 446-1333 for help planning your trip and to get your FREE vacation planner.


209-984-3000 • 16929 Chicken Ranch Road, Jamestown, CA 95327

The Friendly Little Casino That’s Big on Winning! Central California got a whole lot luckier in 1985. That was the year Chicken Ranch Casino opened its doors and started wowing players with the loosest slots, hottest jackpots and friendliest service they’ve ever seen. Don’t leave all this winning waiting. We’re located in historic Jamestown, California just minutes from Sonora, and we are open 7 days a week! 24 hours a day!


209-962-0342 located in Groveland CA

Energy, creativity, efficiency and most of all, results. Sabre Design is where these all come together. Our expertise includes not only custom artwork and photography, but art direction, graphic and web design, account management, print production, media planning and placement, public relations and marketing as well as event management. Founders of the ITSA Film Festival!


209-962-6830 • 18730 Main Street Groveland, CA 95321

"People helping people" has been the mission of Helping Hands since it was first formed in 1982.- We are here to offer that extra ‘helping hand’ to the Community. We are run and staffed by local volunteers, which allow our proceeds to go back into the community. Helping Hands Thrift Store and Furniture Barn is the primary source for revenue that makes all the community service and financial assistance possible


20450 Old Highway 120 Groveland, California 95321

Reservations: (209) 962-7690

Yosemite Pines RV Park and Campground offers plenty of comforts to make your Yosemite vacation enjoyable and also convenient. Our combination of a great location and resort amenities makes us a popular stop for Yosemite travelers year after year.


(209) 962-0429

California's most direct and scenic all weather route to Yosemite National Park is itself a wonderful destination with many attractions that are open all year. Highway 120 winds through rolling hills dappled with heritage oaks, past picturesque small towns where Gold Rush history was made, and on into the dramatic high country with commanding views of the majestic Sierra Nevada. Open into Yosemite Valley all year, Highway 120 is the widest and most direct route into the Park from most of California.

Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, Services of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

415-554-3289; Moccasin CA

Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System, services of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, plays a key role in water delivery throughout the state of California. We work cooperatively with the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and our Tuolumne County neighbors to protect this precious resource. We are a proud member and supporter of the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce.


877-747-8777 • 19400 Tuolumne Road North in Tuolumne CA

Black Oak Casino, owned and operated by the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, is located in Tuolumne, CA in the beautiful Sierra Foothills eight miles east of Sonora. The Casino encompasses 164,000+ square feet of gaming and entertainment options for everyone.

A big shout out to everybody that sponsored, volunteered and attended this year's festival. We had a great time and a fantastic turnout. See you all (and MORE) next year!!


Saturday September 19th 2020!!!

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The Poker Play & Shop game was a HUGE hit this year!! Thank you Janis & Weldon for doing such a fantastic job getting it together!

Here are our winners:

Who was the BEST DEALER?
Well, I have to say all the votes were close! We ended up having a tie for first place with:
Melissa from Hungry Bear CafĂ© & Jason from Hotel Charlotte/Charlotte’s Tavern

Winning Poker Players:
1st Place TV Winner was Jonelle: Flush Straight
2nd Place $50 Winner was Audrey & Jacob: Four Q’s
3rd Place $25 Winner was Amber: Four J’s

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Groveland’s 49’er Festival, Chili and Salsa Cook-Off

Written by Tom Clawson

This year was the 30th anniversary of the 49’er Festival here in Groveland and accordingly we used the theme “30 YEARS OF FUN AND MUSIC”.   Attendees enjoyed fun and entertainment at this years ‘49er Festival in Mary Laveroni Park.  Locals, people from the Bay Area, Central Valley and around the world enjoyed a fun filled day starting with a pancake breakfast and parade.

This year’s Grand Marshall’s were Paul and Kim Purifoy who are active in animal rescue and strong supporters of Tuolumne Trails.  Paul, has been the go-to guy for local gun-fight reenactments and the announcer for events like the 49’er Parade and Rotary auctions.

Throughout the day attendees enjoyed music and entertainment provided by “Stomp Box”, a beard contest, a chain saw carve-off, and an old-west “shoot-out” and bar room skit by Sierra Guns for Hire.  They bid on fantastic items during the silent and live auctions, won great prizes during the raffle drawing and purchased unique items from over 50 vendors.  Attendees also had the chance to taste and select the winners of the Chili and Salsa Cook-Off.

Breakfast in the morning was provided by Southside Community Connections.  Food and refreshments were available throughout the day at the Kiwanis, Rotary and Chamber of Commerce booths.

The Board of Directors wants to thank the people and businesses that donate their services to make the festival a success: the Miller Brothers for help with traffic control and staffing the beer booth, Yosemite Bank for use of their parking to stage the parade participants, the Charlotte Hotel for the use of the balcony to announce the parade, Moore Brothers for waste bin and totes, David Danburger and Ron Hessler for chalking out the booth spaces.

Thank you to all our sponsors who have faithfully supported the festival each year.  A particular thanks goes to our Platinum sponsors, Black Oak Casino, Chicken Ranch Casino, Helping Hands, Hope’s Tree service, Kiefer Insurance, Sabre Design, San Francisco Power and Water, Visit Tuolumne, and Yosemite Pines RV Resort.

In addition, the Board wants to thank all the members of the Festival Committee for organizing this great event, with specific recognition for Earl Wright (Chairman), Tom Hernandez (Vendors), Cathy Leetham (Permits), Dawn Miller (Parade), Bob Turney (Chili & Salsa), Jeanne Wilson (Auction & Raffle), Tom Clawson (Sponsors), and Janis and Weldon Killion (Poker Run).

We hope to see you at next year’s event!!

Parade Winners
Best Equestrian:  Sierra Cowgirls
Best Walking:  Summerville Orange Crush Marching Band
Best Motor Vehicle:  Model T, Gabriel Coehlo
Best Theme:  Hill Top Musical Kids
Best Float:  ROOFBB’s
Best of Parade:  Groveland Fire Department


Best Chili Winners
1st Place:  Karen Cleveland & Nina Handy Stacy Willard - Chili Chili Bang Bang
2nd Place:  Karen Seals and Tioga HS Culinary Class
3rd Place:  Ali King & Matt Thomas - Hillbilly Chili

Best Veggie Chili Winner
1st Place:  Brad Crawford and Tuolumne County Sheriff.

Best Booth Winners
1st Place:  Ali King & Matt Thomas - Hillbilly Chili
2nd Place:  Karen Cleveland & Nina Handy Stacy Willard - Chili Chili Bang Bang
3rd Place:  Karen Seals & Tioga High School Culinary Class

Best Chili Winners
1st Place:  Karen Seals and Tioga HS Culinary Class
2nd Place:  Karen Cleveland & Nina Handy Stacy Willard - Chili Chili Bang Bang
3rd Place:  David Livingston and The Brotherhood of Big Oak Flat
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Join us this year for our first (or first in many years!) poker run through downtown Groveland. Stop by the Poker Run Booth - grab your card - visit some great merchants and stores downtown. Get the best poker hand and WIN A 55inch 4K Smart TV with built in Roku for Netflix, Pandora, Hulu and more! We will also be giving away festival t-shirts, and CASH $$ prizes!!

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Hi all - the festival is just around the corner - and we wanted to invite everybody to dress in Wild Wild West clothing if you have it! Think of those great westerns you've scene, or if you are a true cowboy or cowgirl you've most likely already got the duds! Sport them!

There will be a contest for all ages! There will be fun!!

See everybody there!

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Archery comes BACK to the 49er Festival

Ever wanted to try and shoot a bow and arrow but just didn’t know how to get started? Now you can try it under the guidance of certified NFAA instructors from the Lodi Bowmen Archery School in conjunction with the California Deer Association (CDA). There will be plenty of targets to shoot at. Participants will need to sign registration and release forms. Parent or guardian must sign registration and release for minors and be present during activity. Along with being certified archery instructors, John and Tonie Kiefer have been longtime supporters and sponsors of the 49’er Festival, past winner of the most unique float and are proud owner and operators of the Kiefer Insurance Agency here in Groveland for the past 15 years. Archery is a sport the entire family can enjoy together.

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Take a step back in time and ride the Tuolumne County “Historic Trolley Bus” Hassle free parking for the day of the Festival September 15th. The Trolley will be shuttling festival goers from the Tenaya Elementary School, Yosemite Bank and Mountain Leisure Center parking lots to the Mary Laveroni Park. Starting at 7 AM until 5 PM. AND IT’S FREE. 

Ride the Shuttle for the nostalgia and ease of finding parking during the entire day of the Festival. Just remember - it's a little like the old west at our 49er Festivals each year - don't be surprised if you are visited by gunfighters!
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Welcome to the Yosemite Chamber of Commerce's 49er Festival, Chili & Salsa Cook-off event page. We hope you enjoy the festival each year and invite your family and friends to join us as we celebrate in Downtown Groveland every 3rd Saturday in September