Angels to hold Gold Rush Day Saturday

By Mike Morris / The Union Democrat

Angels Camp's belated birthday party is set for Saturday.

Originally planned for late August, Gold Rush Day was delayed because of smoke from the Rim Fire. It's now combined with the Autumn Harvest Street Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Angels Camp.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the event, which celebrates the founding of Angels Camp 165 years ago. There will be about 60 vendors, five stages of live entertainment and a "miner's encampment" at Utica Park.

The city's historic Main Street - from Highway 49 at Vallecito Road to Utica Park - will be closed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to allow for setup and cleanup. Free transportation will be provided to the event from both the Calaveras County Fairgrounds and Bret Harte High School.

The event will feature impersonators of Henry Angel, the town's namesake, and Mark Twain, who wrote "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

"They'll attend the opening ceremony and then they'll be walking around town, talking with people and posing for pictures," said Anne Forrest, chairwoman of the Angels Camp Commemorative Committee.

The opening ceremony will start about 11 a.m. with 2013 Calaveras Idol Nicole Sass singing the national anthem.

The cutting of the birthday cake - technically, an enormous Rice Krispies Treat - will follow.

"I think that's going to be the big crowd draw," Forrest said.

Sherri Smith, owner of Camps restaurant at Greenhorn Creek Resort, said she will be working all week on the memorable birthday cake.

Smith ordered 200 pounds of marshmallow and 128 pounds of the toasted rice cereal - combined with butter, vanilla and salt -to create a giant mining cart. Fondant will be used to create the cart's straps and handles before being brushed with Belgian dark chocolate.

The cart will be filled with crumbled freeze-dried chocolate chip ice cream decorated with metallic spray and 23-carat edible gold.

The cake will be rolled out from a building along Main Street for the singing of "Happy Birthday."

Smith said an advantage of holding the celebration in October is that cooler weather makes for better baking.

"It was so warm back in August. I mean chocolate melts at 88 degrees," she said Monday. "The weather this week will be much better to construct the cake and have it be stable."

The Union Democrat
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