Bryce Thiessen at Fresno Flats' Heritage Day 2018 -- photo by Paul Adelizi courtesy of Fresno Flats

Step Back in Time: Mountain Heritage Day and Parade at Fresno Flats

posted in: Event

By Kellie Flanagan 

OAKHURST, CALIFORNIA  – It’s true: everybody loves a parade, especially one celebrating Mountain Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 21, and nonprofit Sierra Historic Sites Association’s 50th anniversary at Fresno Flats Historic Park. As an added bonus, the Grand Marshal title for the Heritage Day Parade 2019 goes to the Oakhurst Boys & Girls Club – the indispensable organization, represented by its members and board of directors, will proudly lead the procession. Volunteers of the Year for Fresno Flats are a fantastic family foursome in the form of Laurie Thiessen and her three children, Rebekah, Bryce and Ginny.


Parade with vintage cars and rangers on horseback
Photo by Steve Montalto/High Mountain Images

Immediately following the parade, the entire community is invited to step back in time at Fresno Flats for a full day of quality family fun including authentic 19th-century hands-on activities such as wood carving, weaving and gold-panning, along with hand-crafted old-fashioned carnival games like dart toss, show town knock down, ring toss and Pappy the Predicting Prospector.

Also on site: great food with Sal’s Taco Truck, Kettle Corn and Ice Cream Floats, and live entertainment, authentic demonstrations featuring rope and candle making, free docent-led tours, best beard contest and a refreshing beer and wine garden. No charge for entry, some activities require a modest ticket purchase. All proceeds support Fresno Flats.

This traditionally outstanding day culminates with a Chuck Wagon dinner with all the fixins along with an Anniversary Dance featuring well-known caller Evo Bluestein. Here’s what you need to know:


Family and friends watching the Heritage Day Parade
Photo by Steve Montalto/High Mountain Images

The annual Mountain Heritage Day Parade steps off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, with Grand Marshals from the Boys & Girls Club, and highlights local schools, service clubs, nonprofit organizations, politicians, sports teams, pets, classic car owners, equestrians, law enforcement, fire services and area businesses in a spectacular representation of what small town America is all about: celebrating community.

There’s still time to fill out an application for the parade – all are welcome! Click this link for parade registration. 


Starting at 6 p.m. you’re going to need a little protein, so join friends and neighbors for a Chuck Wagon dinner with all the fixins including a deep pit barbecue and Santa Maria beans, potato salad, coleslaw, roll and delicious homemade fruit cobbler.

Girl in straw hat inside old-fashioned jail
Photo by Paul Adelizi courtesy Fresno Flats

Finally, prepare for some fancy footwork as caller Evo Bluestein leads a country-style barn dance throwdown complete with easy traditional folk dancing: beginners are welcomed and encouraged and the evening is suitable for all ages. Anyone who attended Fresno Flats’ last barn dance will tell you: this is the best kind of fun.

Dinner and Dance tickets are $20 adults and $5 for kids under 10 – tickets are available at Oakhurst Giftworks located at 49027 Road 426 in Oakhurst or at Fresno Flats Historic Park located at 49777 Road 427.

All proceeds from the day’s event support your local historic park.


The annual Heritage Day Parade steps off at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 from Fresno Flats in Oakhurst and is immediately followed by a day of fun at Fresno Flats featuring an old-fashioned family carnival with yummy food and live entertainment.

Old tractor and wagon with costumed parade participants
Photo by Steve Montalto/HighMountain Images

Authentic demonstrations will take place all day in wood carving, weaving and gold panning, along with docent-led tours, vendor booths, the Fresno Flats museum open all day, live entertainment from the Kamanawannaplaya Ukulele Club, a best beard contest and a beer and wine garden open from noon to 6 p.m.

The good times extend into the evening with a Chuck Wagon dinner and Anniversary Dance with Caller Evo Bluestein from 6 to 10 p.m. See you there!

For more information contact Fresno Flats at (559) 683-6570