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Old Sacramento Reevaluates Summer Programming to Prepare for Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Transcontinental Railroad Completion in 2019

Reimagined Approach Includes a Hiatus for Gold Rush Days in 2018, Transitioning to Memorial Day Weekend in 2019

Today, the City of Sacramento announced that in an effort to align Gold Rush Days with the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the heritage celebration will go on hiatus in 2018 before moving to Memorial Day weekend in 2019.

"The City strongly supports aligning two iconic events," said Assistant City Manager Fran Halbakken. "Sacramento is redefining itself, and we have an opportunity to reimagine an event that will celebrate its roots and at the same time showcase our evolving region through our thriving arts and culture scene, farm to fork cuisine, and developing riverfront."

Drawing crowds of more than 100,000 people over the three-day holiday weekend, Gold Rush Days typically offers a wide variety of family-friendly activities that take place throughout Old Sacramento to help visitors experience what life was like in the 1850s. Free activities include live music and entertainment, engaging melodramas, impromptu street theater, historic reenactments, cannon firings, children's shows, horse drawn carriage, wagon and pony rides, an outdoor movie screening, the always-popular Tent City activities, and much more.

"We absolutely support the decision to move Gold Rush Days to Memorial Day weekend when temperatures are likely to be much milder, allowing us to offer our full suite of interpretive programming for guests to experience and enjoy," said Kristina Swanson, Chief Operating Officer for the Sacramento History Museum & Sacramento History Alliance. "It also makes complete sense to pause the event while we collectively work to make the event better than ever."

"This is an especially exciting time for the city's historic entertainment district," said Brooksie Hughes, Old Sacramento District Director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. "This is the right time to pause, plan and strategically redefine Gold Rush Days to reflect the efforts underway to activate our waterfront and celebrate this area's historic significance to the region."

Gold Rush Days is produced with support from the City of Sacramento, Old Sacramento District Office of Downtown Sacramento Partnership, Visit Sacramento, California State Parks, California State Railroad Museum Foundation and Sacramento History Alliance along with participating Old Sacramento vendors and businesses. For more information about supporting and/or becoming a sponsor of the 2019 Gold Rush Days celebration, please call 916-970-5226 or visit


Contact: Marycon Young, (916) 808-4751,