April 27th

     9am til 4PM


11th Annual



The BEST SMALL TOWN GOLD RUSH FESTIVAL IN CALIFORNIA is returning to the unique Yuba County gold-rush town of Smartsville on Saturday April 27 from 9am to 4pm.  Pioneer Day honors the early pioneers who came to California for gold and stayed to raise their families.  It is a local tradition in the style of hometown, family-oriented celebrations.

Organized by the Smartsville Church Restoration Fund, Inc., the non-profit organization working to restore the historic, former Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, Pioneer Day offers fascinating historic guided tours, music on stage, historic personage interpretations at our intimate Timbuctoo Theater venue, great food, exhibits and displays, arts and crafts vendors, children’s activities, games, and lots of plain old good fun.

Guided tours of the town site of Sucker Flat and the hydraulic mining areas will be conducted almost continuously during the day.  The former Catholic Church, constructed in 1871, will be open for inspection so that recent restoration work can be observed, and numerous other local Smartsville historical sites will be identified on a map for self-guided tours. 

Visit our very popular Timbuctoo Theater, an expanded story-telling area where experts and pioneer family members present unique insights into life in the early days of Smartsville and Timbuctoo.  We still have openings for historic character impersonators, so let us know if you would like to participate.

Vendors will be selling handmade arts and crafts, food, and historical items.  Local history books as well as a variety of souvenirs will be on sale.    

Pioneer day is a family-friendly festival with activities and entertainment oriented to children.  Everyone is encouraged to come in gold rush era costume.  Many local as well as out-of-state descendants of the early families have used Pioneer Day as the central activity for family reunions. 

Music on stage will feature a variety of talented entertainers including the Stamp Mill Stompers from the Nevada County Concert Band, the Buffalo Gals from Grass Valley / Nevada City, and the OCD Band from the Marysville / Yuba City area.  Plinky and Plunky welcome kids to play along with rhythm instruments – a good photo op.

In addition, a raffle of items from local merchants will be conducted, a number of demonstrations of old-fashioned craftsmanship will be available, and there will be activities for all ages.  Admission and parking are free.  All proceeds will go toward restoration of the historic former Catholic Church.

Engineered plans for structural improvements to our church’s bell tower are essentially complete and we are commencing the fund-raising stage for completing the restoration of the exterior of the south wall of the building.  Included in this project will be a new front door, new siding and weather protection, and a new (or rebuilt) cupola and spire.

Traditionally held on the last Saturday in April, this year’s event occurs on April 27 from 9 am to 4 pm, in downtown Smartsville, located just off State Route 20 about half way between Marysville and Grass Valley.

For detailed information on Pioneer Day 2019 please visit  The church restoration website is    Call Kit Burton at (530) 701-2639 or Kathy Smith at (916) 838-2757 for information and answers to specific questions.  Volunteers are always appreciated.