Malakoff’s French Heritage Day [fr]

Come celebrate California’s French heritage and step back in time at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park.

Register for free!

Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins, California State Parks, French Consulate in San Francisco, and EFSAC (French education in the Sacramento area) invite you to come to a special day of French-themed family fun to commemorate the French heritage of the park. French and French Canadian gold miners and entrepreneurs settled the beautiful forests in the heart of the Sierra Nevada gold country and developed the largest hydraulic gold mine of its day. This outdoor festival pays tribute to those pioneers through fun-filled activities, live music, gold panning, raffles, French-themed food, wine and beer, games, educational hikes and performances, and a silent auction!

The festival will be held at North Bloomfield, a wonderfully-preserved Gold Rush town museum located near the charming towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley. Stay the weekend and also enjoy the region’s natural beauty, unique shops, delicious restaurants, and other parks and cultural events. Nevada City will be celebrating the signing of the U.S. constitution during the same weekend with a parade, Revolutionary War living history, and a free outdoor big band concert in the downtown historic district. Grass Valley will be holding their beer festival on Saturday. No visit is complete without a visit to the wild and scenic Yuba River.


The event will be a festive, lively gathering open to the public with French-themed music performed by Nevada County’s beloved Beaucoup Chapeaux. They will present selections from their French repertoire, spanning 400 years of songs and tunes! Guest speakers will describe the historic French connections to the park’s Gold Rush past, and the remnants still with us today. Guided hikes will tour the historic town, buildings, cemetery, and picturesque gold mine diggins. Historic buildings will be open and blacksmith demonstrations will be offered throughout the day. Play a game of pétanque and pan for gold as you wander the village, and witness the force of a hydraulic water cannon. Enjoy the French-themed food that will be offered, and wash it down with wine or cold beer being served in the historic saloon.

EFSAC(French Education in the Sacramento Area) will transform a corner of town into Le Village, an outdoor French language historic experience with short lessons (French for pioneers), entertainment, games, and a special treasure hunt or chasse au tresor. French will echo through the streets of town once again as it did 150 years ago!

A silent auction and basket raffle will be offered, with French-themed gifts, as well as travel, art and food gift certificates. Offerings include accommodations in France!

Please register on Eventbrite to let us know you’re coming and receive your first raffle ticket for free at the welcome tent! (Must be 18 years or older for raffle ticket.)

Register for free!



Cost: $5/vehicle state park day use fee. Voluntary donations will be collected on-site. All donations will further support interpretation and educational programs at the park.

Transportation Notice: From Nevada City, the park is about a 45 minute drive. Accessing the park from Highway 49 and Tyler Foote Road is absolutely recommended; this route is completely paved, and takes the same time as the shorter route via North Bloomfield Road, which is very rough, and unpaved from Edwards Crossing.

Places to Stay: There are many options for staying the entire weekend. Some hotel and inn ideas are the Outside Inn, Northern Queen, Courtyard Suites, Gold Miners’ Inn, Deer Creek Inn, the Madison House, Broad Street Inn; there is camping or rustic cabins at Malakoff Diggins, and nearby at the South Yuba Campground, or upscale glamping at Nevada City; as well as an assortment of rentals through VRBO or Airbnb.


Last modified on 22/10/2019

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