Nine Awesome Features of Feather Fiesta Days in Oroville, California
Feather Fiesta Days is a sort of Founder’s Day that is held in Oroville, California, each spring. The event spans ten days of activities that highlight the people and natural resources of my hometown. It is a special time that I cherished throughout my life in O-Town. It included a variety of fun things to do, not only in downtown Oroville, but also in the surrounding areas. There was quite literally something for everyone young and old. Here are the top nine features of Feather Fiesta Days.
Lake Oroville tours are a very popular aspect of Feather Fiesta Days. A pick-up spot is always designated near downtown festivities where sightseers can catch a bus to ride up and view the dam and spillway. Residents and visitors alike take the guided coach tour every year as a part of tradition. The ride takes passengers along a scenic route past the spillway and up over the one-mile long dam. I remember when I was younger tours inside of the dam, which serves as a power plant, were offered. Those tours are no longer available, but the tour is still an enjoyable experience.
1. Beautiful Recreational Areas:
Whether you enjoy the water, the mountains, or just a day in the park, there is no doubt you will find an outing suitable to your liking. Bidwell Bar Day has always been held at around the same time as Feather Fiesta Days and there is never a shortage of attendees. It is a day of fun, food, and music. Residents from surrounding towns have always enjoyed joining in on the annual celebration. Organizers dress up in historic costumes and hold events such as gold panning, crafting, and other popular activities of yesteryear.
2. Miss Butte County Competition:
Every year, a campaign for the new Miss Butte County is held to find a new queen of the region. Young women from all over the county can vie for the crown. The contestants can start participating in the pageants when they reach the eleventh grade and engage in Miss Butte County events until they are 20 years old. They strive to set a good example in the community and work hard to become productive members of society.
There are similar opportunities for young ladies of the district as well. Three other levels of the program allow for even the youngest of Butte County girls to get in on the action. Miss Teen Butte County is open for those who are in the seventh to tenth grade levels. Missette Butte County includes altruistic participants from grades third through sixth. Even the tots can have a little fun with the program. Little ones from kindergarteners to second graders can engage in worthwhile events that prepare them for future advancement and refinement.
When I was growing up, the youth portion of the event was called Little Miss Oroville. I participated in the competition when I was eight years old. I remember standing at the local grocery store selling tickets to people going in and out. I won third runner-up that year. I got to be on the float in the grand parade. There was even an awards ceremony. I was pretty excited about it until I found out I had to walk through the procession with a little boy—and hold his hand—YUCK! 😂
3. Museum Tours:
There are several museums in O-Town, and they all hold special tours during Feather Fiesta Days. These tours were such a highlight that eventually a tour package was created so people could get a deal on enjoying the historical buildings. Each one presents a unique trip into the past and reveals its impact on modern life.
The Feather River Nature Center and Native Plant Park provides an awesome view of the Feather River and the local fish hatchery. The grounds were originally a Maidu fishing village back in the day before the Gold Rush. A beautiful stone building was erected in the 1930s to provide showers and restrooms for those taking advantage of the gorgeous surroundings. It has been referred to the Bath House for as long as I can remember.
This was another favorite spot of mine as a child. I remember playing in the shambles of the building with my brother many times. It has since been remodeled and the area has been opened up more so that the amazing plants and animals can be admired. Many benches and trails have been incorporated into the area in order to make the environment more accessible and enjoyable.
The Ehmann House encompasses a rich historical story. Visitors can learn about the family who put olives on the map in O-Town. The founder of what would become probably the most well-known olive producer in the area developed unique canning processes that produced superb products. Many flock to the historic home every year to try dozens of specially designed treats made out of olives.
The Chinese Temple down by the levee houses hundreds of Chinese artifacts that belonged to Chinese locals of the past. It serves to inform those who visit of the way of life of past Chinese residents and the oppression they faced. The beautiful courtyards contain fruit trees native to China. If you go at the right time of year, you might even get to try some of this fruit. This museum actually still serves as an active temple today.
The Pioneer Museum tells about all things Oroville—and some of the surrounding areas. Although this museum looks rather small and ordinary from the outside, it is huge inside and houses thousands of local treasures. The two-story building was another of my favorite hang-outs when I was growing up. And the fact that I lived just a few doors from it for a while made it even better. There is all sorts of information about California settlers—there are even artifacts that belonged to individuals in the Donner Party!
The Bolt Museum is the newest of the O-Town museums. It was founded in 2006 and is the home of over 12,000 tools that have been used throughout time. The owner started the collection in his garage and eventually moved the assortment of handy devices into a building in downtown Oroville so that more individuals could enjoy them. He holds regular seminars at the museum in order to teach others about the huge compilation of tools.
My favorite O-Town museum—and probably the most notable— is the Lott Home in Sank Park. This is no ordinary museum. It is the former home of the most famous couple in Butte County history. It holds a story of love, devotion, and heartbreak unlike any other I have heard. In my opinion, it is the best and most important museum to tour in the whole town. Plus, there is a special secret in the fireplace. The facilities are used for a variety of events throughout the year.
4. The Annual Car Show:
Thousands of people flood the town for the Feather Fiesta Days Car Show every year—both locals and visitors alike. In fact, people show up from all across the country just to see what car and truck owners have conjured up and listen to the motors roar. Participants aren’t just locals either. Anyone who wishes can enter a vehicle in the hopes of taking home a prize trophy and other awards. It is probably one of the most attended events during Feather Fiesta Days goings on.
One of the most popular foodie occasions of all time in relation to Feather Fiesta Days is the Chili Cook-off. Many of the chefs are firefighters who try to create concoctions so hot that they will burn off their competitors’ faces. I think secretly they want to be able to take the fire hose to someone’s face after they take a bite of the chili. It is all in fun—but you know every contestant wants to win.
Another food-related event is the salsa competition. At times, it may seem there is an unending supply of various kinds of salsa at this competition. They are not all hot and there is most likely something that you would like. Bake-offs and bake sales are frequently a part of Feather Fiesta Days as well. They typically help to fund local schools and clubs.
Two other food-related events have been included in the festivities for as long as I can remember. A spaghetti dinner is held one evening during the celebration. A person can enjoy as much spaghetti and French bread as is possible in one sitting. What’s better than homemade spaghetti with a few hundred of your fellow revelers. A pancake breakfast is another longtime feature of Feather Fiesta Days. I got to go a time or two and totally loved it—I love pancakes.
It seems that there is never a shortage of music during Feather Fiesta Days. Whether it is the local school bands, concerts, or organized parties in the parks—there is always some enjoyable tunage going on. A variety of music genres can be discovered throughout the town all week long. Events tend to be scheduled at varying times of the day so that everyone can enjoy at least some of the musical occasions.
The Kiddie Parade is held on Friday during Feather Fiesta Days. It is made up of all kinds of participants who could be doing just about anything except driving a motorized vehicle. Kids of all ages can join in the procession and are eligible for a variety of prizes. I even participated a few times during my childhood.
One time, the theme revolved around the fact that you could find anything you wanted in O-Town. I loaded up a shopping cart with all kinds of stuph from my house—including my mom’s vacuum. I remember as I walked past the judging platform, one of the judges said it looked like I had raided his wife’s stuph. It was a pretty fun event to get in on.
The Grand Parade is one of the major highlights of the entire festival. Winners of the Kiddie Parade join a plethora of other participants that include equestrians, floats build by local clubs and other organizations, and other miscellaneous entrants. Of course, school bands and clubs always participate in this two-hour event.
One of my favorite participants of the Grand Parade was the Kiwanis Club. You never knew what those Kooky Kiwanis were gonna come up with. A lot of times they were driving tiny cars acting silly. They were the best. The last year I was able to attend was 2014. Those parades make up some of the best memories I have.
8. Flea Market:
The Flea Market and Craft Fair, along with the Grand Parade, were the culmination of the Feather Fiesta Days events. They were held simultaneously on Saturday in the same locality. Attendees could easily move between the Flea Market and the Grand Parade so that they could enjoy the best of both. While the parade lasted two hours, the Flea Market engulfed the majority of the day. Vendors sold a variety of trinkets, baked goods, and homemade items.
There are a number of wineries that can be toured in Oroville. A couple of them are even near where Feather Fiesta Days events are held. Many people visit them each year as a part of the traditional festivities.
There are a variety of other activities that take place during Feather Fiesta Days, so be sure to check out the schedule. Share your favorite Feather Fiesta Days feature below.