The 63rd annual Highway 50 Association Wagon Train will roll out from Zephyr Cove, Nev. on Sunday, June 3 and roll into Placerville on Saturday, June 9. Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities to ride along with the train or to celebrate its arrival, but the areas of Pollock Pines and Camino are planning a day long welcome.
On Friday, June 8 the Community Economic Development Association of Camino and Pollock Pines is sponsoring the annual Wagons in the Pines event at the historical Sportsman’s Hall at 5620 Pony Express Trail.
Beginning with a flapjack breakfast served at Sportsman’s at 9 a.m., the event continues with a Mercantile Row, children’s games and activities, including a bounce house and pony rides, gold mining demonstrations, live music by the Bison Bluegrass Band, and a barbecue lunch after 11 a.m.
Mercantile Row will have vendors and organizations with products like kettle corn, yard art and pet products available for purchase.
Community leaders such as El Dorado County Supervisor Ray Nutting have been invited to lead the children’s games.
Veteran square dance caller Scott Pearce will lead line and square dancing demonstrations and The Bison Bluegrass Band from South Lake Tahoe, will play its blend of Indie and American bluegrass music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Bison is fabulous and when we discovered they could be at this event, we were very excited,” said Jeanne Harper, president of CEDAPP.
Around noon or 1 p.m., the Wagon Train will pull into the Sportsman’s Hall parking lot. “This is the first year we have had the event here at Sportsman’s Hall,” said Harper. “When the Wagon Train arrives, everyone rushes over to the side of the street to welcome them. Everyone wants to touch the horses and it always makes me cry.”
“Camino loves Wagon Train” is Camino’s motto according to Apple Blossom Coffee House owner Robyn Delfino. You can meet up with the Wagon Train as it leaves Sportsman’s Hall and proceeds through beautiful downtown Camino on its way to High Hill on Friday, June 8.
Camino is planning an old-fashioned parade review to celebrate Wagon Train.
“We’ve got activities on both sides of the street starting around 1 or 2 p.m.” said Delfino. “We’re having a shoot out in the street about a half an hour before Wagon Train arrives, there will be wool spinning demonstration, children playing violins and period costume contests for both adults and children.”
When the Wagon Train parades down Carson Road around 2:30 p.m., the participants will be greeted with dozens of fresh-baked cookies and lemonade from the local 4-H group’s lemonade stand.
The El Dorado Roses will be on hand at the Camino Hotel to greet the riders, while a parade review stand will be set up across the street.
“We want to show our Camino pride, ” said Delfino.” Edio Delfino and George Visman, both original members of the Apple Hill Grower’s Association and in their 80s, will be riding in one of the wagons, and we plan to have the Boy Scouts carry the American flag at the front of the parade. ”
To keep up that Camino pride, there will even be a contingent of 4-H members at the rear of the parade, to clean up after the horses.
“We’re trying to get all Living History participants, current and former, from Camino School to show up in period costumes, too,” said Delfino.”There will also be an after-parade event at Bumgarner’s Winery, 3550 Carson Road, and anyone in period costume will receive a discount.
“Bring your lawn chairs and come help us celebrate the Wagon Train,” said Delfino.
The Wagon Train will stop for about a half an hour before proceeding to High Hill Ranch at 2901 High Hill Road in Camino, to end their day with a steak barbecue and cowboy poetry.
The public is invited to the evening festivities which begin at 5:30 p.m. with the swearing-in ceremony for the riders participating in the Thursday, June 28 Pony Express Re-Ride.
Next, the steak barbecue and cowboy poetry event get underway. For $25, the public can enjoy a New York steak barbecue with beer and wine available for purchase. At 6:30 p.m., it’s an open mic for aspiring cowboy poets. Anyone with a poem to present can take a turn at the microphone.
At 7:30 p.m. Cowboy Poet and host, Jim King, will present the evening’s entertainment with his own brand of renowned cowboy poetry.
King, who has a cattle ranch in Chico, performs all over the country. More than 20 years ago, King received a book of vintage cowboy poetry from the 1920s and he was hooked. He has performed with notables such as Red Steagall and Sons of the San Joaquin.
In addition to the poetry of Jim King, the Stardust Cowboys will keep your toes tapping with its own blend of cowboy and Western swing music.
The Foresthill group has spent the past 20 years performing at nightclubs, fairs, rodeos, concerts and cowboy events in Northern California. Fiddle players Ronnie Elkan and Olen Dillingham and lead singers Gary and Vicki Campbell are Sacramento Western Swing Hall of Fame inductees and the band has a newly released CD, “Honky Tonk Cowboy and the Desert Flower.”
Whether you help celebrate the Wagon Train’s arrival with the flapjack breakfast, cheering its passing from your lawn chair or by sharing some barbecue and cowboy poetry, you can be sure to have a great time in Pollock Pines and Camino with the 63rd annual Wagon Train on Friday, June 8.
For more information call 530-613-1332.