Donkey Derby, Gold Nugget Days parade highlight – Paradise Post
The annual celebration of Gold Nugget Days is in full swing with this morning’s events, the annual Donkey Derby at Magalia Community Church and the parade through downtown Paradise.
On Thursday night, the four-day celebration kicked off with the annual Gold Nugget Queen Contest, which was won by Rachael Brennan.
Brennan will take a seat on the Gold Nugget Days float at Saturday’s parade, which will also include her yard of competitors. Katie Elder, Alison Weber, Emily Livingston and Baylee Hovey.
The Donkey Derby begins at approximately 8:30am with a pancake breakfast at Magalia Community Church. Later in the morning, the Donkey Derby obstacle course takes place after the donkeys have completed their trek from the spot where the original 54 pound gold nugget was found in 1859.
The parade starts at 12pm and ends at 1pm
The Grand Marshal of the 2022 parade is Phil Kelly. Kelly has lived in Paradise since 1969, when he came to Ridge to become the general manager of the Paradise Irrigation District. Kelly ran the district until 1985, but he has since stayed in Paradise to attend Rotary and Johnny Appleseed Days.
It will be the second parade in Paradise since the 2018 bonfire, the 2019 parade was canceled due to the reconstruction work being done in the city at the time, and COVID-19 canceled the 2020 celebrations.
Those wishing to attend the parade should be aware that Skyway will close to traffic at 11:00 am
The parade will take the traditional route on the Skyway from Holiday Market, with the new route ending at the junction of the Skyway and Birch Road.
The organizers also ask that participants do not park in the Holiday Market car park.
Also on Saturday is the Paradise Gem and Mineral Show, which will be held at the new Gold Nugget Museum site at 475 Pearson Road. There will be a children’s zone, stone carvings, a silent auction and free entry. The show starts at 9am and ends at 5pm
Also on Saturday, there will be a community tree planting at Bille Park, starting at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 4:00 p.m
Saturday night is the Gold Nugget Days Annual Hoe Down, taking place in the newly converted Elks Lodge at 1100 Elk Lane. There will be a no host bar with hamburgers, hot dogs and chips for sale and a 50/50 raffle. The evening begins at 6 p.m
Also on Saturday, a play entitled “Doublewide, Texas” will be performed at the Theater on the Ridge. This is supposed to start at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $14 and reserved seating is $18.
The Camp Fire Pets Memorial at Bille Park, led by Gina Schaeffer, will be unveiled for the first time on Sunday starting at 2 p.m. Camp Fire on November 8, 2018.
Also on Sunday is the annual Gold Nugget Days horse festival at the Paradise Horsemen’s Horse Arena at 6705 Moore Road in Paradise.
Horses and their riders will overcome several obstacles on paths; They will also compete for poles or barrels. Organizers say there will be different breeds of horses and farm animals at a petting zoo. The Butte County Fire Safe Council is expected along with Cal Fire mascot Ready Raccoon.
Also on Saturday is the Gem and Mineral Show, Craft Market and Doublewide, Texas Play. The play is expected to begin at 2 p.m. Tickets at the box office are $12. Both the handicraft fair and the mineral show are expected to close at 4 p.m