Tuolumne County has become the cultural center of the Mother Lode and continues to encourage quality and diversity of cultural events in the region.
Live Theatre, The Arts & Events
Sierra Repertory Theater is located in both East Sonora and at the Fallon House Theatre in Columbia. Recently restored, the Fallon House Theater has enhanced its functional use without disturbing its 1857 design. S.R.T. has received rave reviews for many of its shows which range from musicals to drama and comedy. Talented guest performers and creative directing add to the excitement of S.R.T.’s performances.
Stage 3 Theater, an up and coming third repertory company, has established permanent residence in downtown Sonora in an intimate 88-seat theater. They present the works of new playwrights.
The Tuolumne County Arts Alliance sponsors many annual events including Friday evening Concerts in the Park during the months of July and August. They are responsible for the highly successful Annual Bach Festival in October, the In Focus Photography Show each June, and our annual sculpture show. Other events include poetry readings, productions by touring groups and the annual Halloween Haunt dance in October. The Mother Lode Art Association displays work throughout the county and at special shows.
Columbia College offers cultural programs including the Jazz Concert Series featuring nationally acclaimed jazz artists. Sonora’s picturesque Red Church is the home of the St. James Concert Series, where a wide range of artists perform classical works and holiday recitals. Other musical events run the gamut from the Symphony of the Sierra to banjo, and Dixieland Jamboree and the annual Celtic Festival.
The local Native American Mi-Wuk people host the Mi-Wuk Acorn Festival; each September at the Tuolumne Rancheria. Visitors can enjoy colorful native dances, see authentic woven baskets and crafts, sample Native American food and visit a roundhouse where tribal councils are still held.
Other major attractions are the Mother Lode Round-Up & Parade in May featuring an enormous parade and rodeo; and the Railroad Movie Days in September; a celebration of hundreds of western movies filmed in Tuolumne County using one of three steam train engines and features well-known celebrity guests.
Museums, art galleries and antique stores abound in the historic towns of Tuolumne County. The main library is located on Greenly Road and is modern, spacious, and extensive. There are so many things to do and see. For additional information on visiting or moving to Tuolumne County, please contact our Chamber office at 209-532-4212 or 877-532-4212 or contact the Tuolumne County Visitors’ Bureau at 209-533-4420 or 800-446-1333.
Other Area Attractions
Columbia State Park: The town’s old Gold Rush-era business district has been preserved with shops, restaurants and two hotels. Visitors have the chance to time-travel to the 1850s, imagining life when gold miners rubbed shoulders with businessmen and the other residents in Columbia.Yosemite National Park: Planning a Visit to Yosemite or looking for information on what Yosemite has to offer? DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., the Park’s primary concessioner, maintains a variety of lodging and dining options, stores and supply outlets, transportation and tour/recreational services.
Railtown 1897 State Historic Park: Located in Jamestown, in the heart of California’s Gold Country about 100 miles southeast of Sacramento, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is home to the Historic Jamestown Shops and Roundhouse—an intact and still-functioning steam locomotive repair and maintenance facility, portions of which date back to 1897.
Stanislaus National Forest: You can fish in over 800 miles of rivers and streams, stay in a campground, or hike into the backcountry seeking pristine solitude.
Dodge Ridge Ski Resort: Less than one hundred miles from either Modesto or Stockton, and only one hundred fifty miles from San Francisco, Dodge Ridge is the closest one-day resort in the mountains.
Black Oak Casino: Located eleven miles east of Sonora in the town of Tuolumne. Enjoy over 1000 slots machines, 24 Table Games, Live Poker, Seven Bars and Restaurants, a 24 Lane Brunswick Bowling Center, and an Arcade. Daily food and beverage specials offer something for the whole family.
Vineyards & Wine Tasting: Our neighboring Calaveras County is known for their extraordinary wineries and vineyards, and many equally amazing wineries are now establishing themselves in Tuolumne County as well! Visit Mt. Brow Winery in Sonora and Gianelli Vineyards in Jamestown as examples of the great wine offerings here in Tuolumne County.