- The events take place in the downtown area and Mary Laveroni Community Park
- Celebrates the town's history during the gold rush
- Prize winning chili and more
Overview: For visitors who are seeking adventure, gold rush-style, or just hunting down a good fest for that serves prize winning chili, the '49er Festival is a good way to start. Hosted by Groveland (California), a town that is not far from Yosemite National Park, the fest has a taste of not just food, but arts and crafts and other delights that should not be missed.
When: September 16th, 2017
Where: Downtown Groveland
Fees: Costs may vary
Details: The festival is especially famous in the Groveland area for the many reenactments in the way of people wearing period costumes and varied booths offering arts, crafts, memorabilia and varied forms of entertainment, such as dances, hay rides, horse rides and cooking contests. The most exciting of the cookery contests is the chili cook-off, where locals and others from miles around gather with their best chili recipes to win a variety of prizes. In fact, it is not unusual to find the prize winning recipe being posted in the local newspaper or being given an honorable position in a café or restaurant for all to enjoy.
The events take place in the downtown area and Mary Laveroni Community Park, just off Highway 120. The day begins with a massive pancake breakfast, grits, home fries, hash browns, eggs, sausages, bacon and/or steak. By nine am the entire crowd has been well fed and energized for the upcoming parade and settle down along Main Street to view the many floats, school bands and other artists. As the parade concludes, everyone rushes to the park to witness the cook-off and sample some chili, hot dogs or hamburgers in traditional American style.
The rest of the day allows visitors to wander through the many booths to buy or gaze at home crafted arts and crafts, from knitted items to statues. Food and drinks are available all day long and activities and games for kids are in abundance. As the day draws to a close, those who purchased raffle tickets stand silently to see what they may have won – prizes range from televisions to meager cash tokens. However, the final event is much more charitable. A silent auction offers everything from expensive antiques to collectors' items, all of which never cease to please the tiring crowd.