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4th July

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Ireland
Destination Expert
for Kilkenny
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3,604 posts
60 reviews
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4th July

Since my last post our dates have now changed slightly and we will now be making our visit in July. It just struck me that we will be there for Independance Day. Being fellow former oppressed colonials, we would love to experience a typical 4th July parade and firework display. We are leaving San Francisco on 2nd July and heading north via Mendocino and the Redwood Forests. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to enjoy 4th July in this area?

I have read in the guide book that Mount Shasta is good for this, but I don't think we will get that far in time as we want to spend time in the Redwood parks.

Eureka, CA
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307 posts
26 reviews
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1. Re: 4th July

Best bet for an old-fashioned Fourth of July (and we DO mean oid-fashioned--how does 1840s sound?) is just north of Crescent City on Rowdy Creek Road at the annual Jed Smith Mountain Men's Tall Trees Rendezvous. In the past this event has taken place from the Saturday before to the Saturday following the Fourth of July.

Participants dress, act, and speak in the manner of the mountain man era--i.e. 1840s to 1850s. Events include competitive blackpowder rifle and pistol shoots, tomahawk- and knife-throwing contests, dutch oven cooking demonstrations, frying pan toss, flint and steel fire-starting contests, liar's contest, and many other interesting happenings.

The public is welcome to browse the vendor area where "suttlers" sell period products--knives, swords, ironwork, leatherwork, hides, implements, tools and all manner of necessities of life. Visitors may also tour the primitive camp where everything is as it was in the 1840s (not even zippers are allowed).

The mountain men are a very gregarious and friendly bunch. Anyone who evinces the least bit of interest in their sport will be offered a chance to shoot an authentic blackpowder rifle, pistol, or shotgun. You might even be offered some homemade "apple pie," though if you partake, be sure to designate a driver.

Events at the Rendezvous take place throughout the week; however, on the Fourth of July itself, the mountain men and women join the parade in Crescent City. In full buckskin regalia they fire their period weapons (blanks, of course), enveloping all in a satisfying cloud of smoke and smell of blackpowder. It is a spectacle not to be missed.

In the evening Crescent City puts on a fireworks display, but be warned: fog may very well obscure all but the noise of the fireworks. (This is true anywhere on the coast at this time of year.)

Accommodations can be had at the Ship Ashore Motel north of Crescent City and just north of the Rowdy Creek turnoff. All rooms have balconies with ocean views, although they are cozy in size. Prices are reasonable and there is a decent, though by no means gourmet, restaurant located on the premises.

Santa Ana, CA
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2. Re: 4th July

The different cities and counties will have web-sites. There is usually a place for calendar of events. You'll have to take the time to try each one.

Ireland
Destination Expert
for Kilkenny
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3,604 posts
60 reviews
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3. Re: 4th July

Thank you Danny S for the useful information. It's great to be able to to look up the calender of events for each town. And it works! I have so far discovered that Willits has a rodeo on 4th July!

Inabedofroses thank you for the information about the Jedediah Smith celebrations. Again, something you don't learn from guide books. It looks brilliant. I can't find any website on it, but I will keep looking. From what I can find out, it the festival continues from Saturday to Saturday, so even if we don't make it that far for 4th July, we will definitely be able to catch some of it.

I will be back with more questions later so thanks for your help so far.

P.S. I am reciprocating by giving your fellow Californians help with St. Patrick's Day in Dublin.

Eureka, CA
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307 posts
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4. Re: 4th July

irishrover, you won't find a website for the Jed Smith Mountain Men. Blackpowder enthusiasts usually don't hire a webmaster. This is the real downhome, grassroots thing; it's local knowledge I'm sharing with you here. Thorn and I have attended this event (indeed, have been members of the sponsoring organization) and know it to be as we have represented it here, plus a lot more we didn't mention.

When you get closer to firming up your travel plans, we could help by putting you in touch with the coordinator for this year's Rendezvous, if you're seriously considering taking it in.

Ireland
Destination Expert
for Kilkenny
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3,604 posts
60 reviews
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5. Re: 4th July

Thank you again

Yes, we will definitely be taking it in, even if we don't get there for the 4th, hopefull we will be able to see something on one of the other days. My husband is a shooting instructor so, if he gets to shoot one of those blunderbusses, it will add greatly to his CV.

Eureka, CA
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307 posts
26 reviews
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6. Re: 4th July

Irishrover, when your plans are firmed up, we will make arrangements for you to meet with a member or members of the Jed Smith Mountain Men, who will gladly instruct your husband in the fine art of muzzle stuffing and powder burning. [There are blackpowder firearms for sale at the event (which are still legal, even in California). ]

Ireland
Destination Expert
for Kilkenny
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3,604 posts
60 reviews
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7. Re: 4th July

He is thrilled by your offer! Will definitely take it up. I will be back and thanks again.

8. Re: 4th July

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