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Camp Fire didn't stop Gold Nugget Days in Paradise

A scaled down version of Gold Nugget Days is taking place, despite the devastation that the Camp Fire brought to the Town of Paradise

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 7:21 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2019 6:38 PM

Update 5:35 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 27, 2019 - If you found a 54-pound gold nugget you might be celebrating for generations to come, just like the residents of the Town of Paradise and the community of Magalia.

Saturday community members celebrated in 1800's fashion, despite the devastation the town suffered during the November Camp Fire. The show must go on, as they say, and so it did -- starting with the early morning Donkey Derby, a long-time Gold Nugget Days tradition.

The four-legged competitors were released from Whiskey Flat onto the Sawmill Ballfield in Magalia early Saturday morning to compete on an epic obstacle course.

After the Donkey Derby and the huge pancake breakfast the parade was held.

This year the parade was held in Magalia and the route was the Old Skyway.

Go-karts, Clampers, pack animals and the Gold Nugget court made up the procession.

The theme for this year's Gold Nugget Days celebration is "Golden Discovery -- A New Generation."

The Gold Nugget Museum burned to the ground during the Camp Fire but the depot museum still stands.  That was the location for a huge community celebration on Saturday, with lots of exhibits designed to celebrate and share the mining town's storied past -- plus food, music and a lot of fun.

The Gold Nugget Days Hoedown is going on at the temporary Paradise Elks Lodge until 9 p.m. Saturday night. It is located on Ewald Court.


PARADISE, Calif. - Despite the recent Camp Fire and displacement of so many people who lived in Paradise, the Gold Nugget Days Committee and the Gold Nugget Museum are bringing back the annual celebration.

There will not be a full-sized parade, but there will be a small procession in Magalia Saturday morning, April 27th, after the Donkey Derby.  The 2018 Gold Nugget Queen, Elizabeth Long, will once again reign over the celebration. Next year both Junior and Senior High girls will be able to run for Queen.

Many of the regular parade participants will make their presence known in the Chico Pioneer Days Parade on Saturday, May 4th and at the Durham Picnic and Parade on Saturday, May 11.

Gold Nugget Days Badges are on sale right now. There are two available this year, the 2019 Miner's Badge "Golden Discovery - A New Generation", and a special "Moving Forward" Badge designed in support of Camp Fire recovery efforts. You can find them at the Depot Museum, Save Mart, Starbucks and the Attic Treasures Mall in Paradise.

Friday evening April 26th from 4 - 8 p.m. features a Wine, Cheese and Beer Tasting Benefit. "The Watering Hole" will be located at the Paradise Lutheran Church at 780 Luther Drive, next to the Terry Ashe Park on the Skyway. There will be music by D.J. Justin Mora, raffle prizes and complimentary hors d'oeuvres for $25, along with a wine pull for $20. Proceeds go to the Friday Lunch Program for the community and other outreach programs.

The Donkey Derby happens from 8 - 10 a.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Sawmill Ballfield, on the lower portion of the Magalia Community Church property.  Parking is off-site with assistance to the ball field provided by the Clampers. Donkeys will be released at Whiskey Flat at about 8:30 a.m. and should arrive at the ball field for the obstacle course from 9 - 9:30 a.m. A Pancake Breakfast will be served starting at 8.

Gold Nugget Days at Paradise Community Park is Saturday, April 27th from Noon to 4 p.m. There will be entertainment, speakers, beer & wine, the Devil's Mountain Brigade, Butte County Scottish Society bagpipes, Gold Nugget Queens and a Queen's Pageant Reunion. Live Music will be provided by the Paradise Community Concert Band and the Jeff Pershing Band. You will also find Depot Museum exhibits, a Rib BBQ for EMS personnel and First Responders and Gold Nugget Museum Members, Food Trucks and more.

The Gold Nugget Days Craft Fair is Saturday, April 27th at the Terry Ashe Recreation Center on the Skyway. 90 Artisans from Northern California, Oregon and Nevada will take part. There will be music, demonstrations and food. For more information and vendor details visit

And finally, the gold Nugget Days hoedown is Saturday evening from 6 - 9 p.m. with music from Northern Traditionz. It's $15 for adults, ten and under get in FREE. There will be food and beverages available. It all takes place at the Paradise Elk's Lodge temporary home at 1080 Ewald Court, located down Clark Road behind the Paradise Post Building. Proceeds will go back to the local community. For more information call Jerre Bates at 530-826-6560. 

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The threat of thunderstorms is driving high fire danger across northern California today and most of our region will be under a Red Flag Warning this afternoon and evening. Very hot and dry weather is on the way in your extended forecast, with dangerous heat projected to return this weekend.
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