SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – This year’s Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento has become a casualty of the drought which has gripped California for a third year.
Each year, 200 tons of dirt is spread on some of the streets in Old Sacramento to transform it into a scene out of the 1850s for the event, which takes place over the Labor Day weekend. It also acts as a “safe foundation” for horses, wagons and human performers, according to a statement from event organizers. However, maintaining the dirt, including keeping dust to a minimum, requires 300 gallons of water per day. In addition, 100,000 gallons of water is used to clean the streets after the event is over – something organizers said they could not justify during the drought.
“The volume of water necessary to return Old Sacramento to its pre-event condition is beyond significant,” said Steve Hammond, President & CEO of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Dirt-covered streets is clearly not an option during the continuing drought which impacts the event on multiple levels including the safety and well-being of the horses, riders and performers. In addition, the dry conditions pose a heightened potential fire danger during Gold Rush era cannon and weaponry demonstrations. After exploring and exhausting a variety of alternatives, the decision was made to cancel the traditional Gold Rush Days activities for this year.”
The decision to ultimately cancel the event was made by Hammond, the city of Sacramento and other stakeholders in the event.
Learn more about Gold Rush Days by visiting its website, SacramentoGoldRushDays.com.