After an 18-year break the World Gold Panning Championships will be coming back to El Dorado County.
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Planned for Sept. 11-16, 2016, the world will come to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. When the World Gold Panning Championships were here in 1998 they were in Coloma, the original gold discovery site in California 150 years before that year.
This time they will be in Placerville where there will be more activities for the participants and their supporters. Planning is under way by Rich “Uncle Fuzzy” Mason, whose wife Joyce has been participating in World Gold Panning Championships. The duo will be in northern Italy next month for the 2013 Championships. The 2014 championships will be in Sweden and the 2015 in Spain.
When the World Gold Panning Championships come to Placerville in 2016 it will kick off with a parade of nations downtown, featuring the 300-500 participants from 25-30 different countries.
In conjunction with the World Gold Panning Championships the local Gem and Mineral Society has invited the California Society of Minerals and Gems to put on a three-day show at the Forni Building (Main Exhibit Hall).
Other entertainment for the panning participants being planned would include demonstrations in the horse arena, steam engines and the Coloma Crescent Players. Because the championships are a week-long event there will be lots of opportunities to showcase El Dorado County by visits to Apple Hill, the wineries, downtown restaurants, Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills restaurants, the casino and movie theaters. And don’t forget the excursion railroad out of El Dorado and a classic car show downtown.
All this will be preceded by the state Gold Panning Championships in Foresthill during the Labor Day weekend.
By staging the event at the fairgrounds the museum will have an opportunity to showcase itself with a special exhibit.
It will be a golden event and a golden opportunity to spread the word about El Dorado County to an international group that will talk to their friends back home about their experience in the heart of California Gold Country.