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Railroad Museum & Foundation Presents FREE Sesquicentennial Community Day


The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation is inviting the community to be part of history-in-the-making during a FREE Sesquicentennial Community Day on Wednesday, May 8, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

While the rest of the nation will likely recognize the achievement on May 10, Sacramento will begin the commemoration on May 8 to replicate history as closely as possible. As background, the planned completion date of May 8, 1869 was delayed by two days due in part to a labor dispute and a major storm. With plans in place and dignitaries already poised to participate on May 8, Sacramento commemorated the completion in grand style two days before the rest of the nation.

This family-friendly Community Day is one of a series of special events, activities and exhibits happening to recognize how the completion of the 1,912-mile continuous railroad helped connect the country, shape the nation, and put the United States on a path to economic prosperity, while highlighting Sacramento’s pivotal role in the remarkable feat.

FREE Sesquicentennial Community Day Event Schedule – May 8, 2019

9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Procession

  • A historic re-creation of the procession that took place on May 8, 1869, complete with historic flags, Living History characters in period attire (including the Big Four), the coveted Gold Country fire brigade (as seen in the 2019 Rose Parade), horse-drawn carriages transporting local and state dignitaries, players from the Sacramento Vintage Base Ball Club, and more.
  • The procession starts at 2nd & I Streets, proceeds right on 2nd Street, turns right on L Street, goes right on Front Street and ends at Front & K Streets. The public is invited to line the streets to watch the procession.

10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. – Bronze Plaque Unveiling

  • With key local and state dignitaries in attendance, the community is invited to an official public unveiling of a new granite monument and bronze plaque at “mile marker zero” at the western terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad located at Front & K Streets.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Free Excursion Train Rides

  • Enjoy complimentary historic and authentic excursion train rides aboard the Sacramento Southern Railroad throughout the special day (train rides depart on-the-hour).

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Free Entertainment & Community Picnic

  • Bring a sack lunch and blanket to sit back and enjoy the festivities taking place on the 1849 Scene (the big grassy area in front of the Railroad Museum). Guests will be treated to live music, free sarsaparilla (while supplies last), docents in period attire, the Gold Country Fire Brigade, and Sacramento Vintage Base Ball Club players playing catch and interacting with kids. For those interested, Steamers is offering boxed “to go” lunches for purchase to take out and enjoy on the 1849 Scene.

1 p.m. – Free Melodrama Performance

  • A free, entertaining and interpretive Transcontinental Railroad melodrama performance titled “The Quest for the Gold Spike” will take place in the historic Eagle Theatre (space is limited, interested guests should arrive early).  

3 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Happy Hour Specials

  • For those ages 21+, many restaurants and bars along the Old Sacramento Waterfront will offer Happy Hour drink specials including the “Localmotive” being offered by The Firehouse (made with vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, local basil leaves and a lemon wheel garnish), the “Golden Spike” being offered by Hoppy’s Railyard Kitchen & Hopgarden (made with Highwest American Prairie bourbon, egg white, lemon juice and California Wildflower Honey simple syrup), the Transcontinental 150 being offed by Rio City Café (made with 7 Vodka, rum, Peach Schnapps, Blue Pucker Lemonade and a splash of pineapple), and the “Golden Spike” being offered by Fat City Bar & Cafe (made with bourbon, pineapple, lime juice, lemon-lime and fresh mint).

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Free Auburn Road Concert

  • Pop-Country trio, Auburn Road – that made their Stagecoach Festival debut last year and opened for Morgan Wallen, Love & Theft and country music legend Toby Keith – will perform high-energy music with an infectious style, sass and spirit. The free outdoor concert will take place along the Embarcadero on the Waterfront near Front Street between J and I Streets.

Along with a day and evening filled with exciting activities, admission to the California State Railroad Museum will be FREE from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, the Sacramento History Museum will offer a discounted admission of $1.50 per person from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., courtesy of the Sacramento History Alliance.

For more details and updated information about these events and activities presented by the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation, visit Railroad150.org. For more information about the Museum or Foundation visit CaliforniaRailroad.museum. For more information about Waterfront Days (Memorial Day Weekend), visit OldSacramento.com.

Railroad Museum & Foundation Presents FREE Sesquicentennial Community Day via @sacramentopress

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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