South County

Dunsmuir Railroad Days

The City of Dunsmuir has a long history of celebrations, festivals, parades, baseball games, and dances. According to Dunsmuir historian, Ron McCloud,  events started happening in Dunsmuir back in 1904 with a July 4th celebration of Independence Day. 

The railroad town started celebrating its claim to fame in 1941 when railroad conductor and businessman, Norman Green, came up with the idea to honor old-timers and to encourage young people to pursue careers with the railroad which Dunsmuir is known for.  The first event was called the “Southern Pacific Railroad Celebration” and was held on June 15 and 16 of that year. 

Now the Railroad Days Festival stretches out from the evening of Friday, June 16th to Sunday, June 18th with craft and food vendors, entertainment, a cornhole and a softball tournament, a parade, children’s activities, and the popular Little Engineer Contest. Many businesses join in the fun like Siskiyou Arts Museum holding an art show of local artists called Celebrating Railroad Days Past.

Siskiyou Arts Council

The Kids Zone was held at the Children’s Park. It consists of many different activities for all ages, including rock painting (a 4-hour event each day), a magician and a balloon lady for entertainment, an obstetrical course, a bounce house, a dunk tank, and a petting zoo.

 Alan Clother, a volunteer through Helping Hands said, “We gave out 250 snow cones, painted about 50 rocks, and had about double the amount of people than we did last year at the Kid Zone. 

People lined the streets at noon on Saturday to watch the parade. Led by the American Legion Honor Guard, the parade had about 26 entries this year. Led by Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue in the DARE car, LaRue is a Dunsmuir native graduating from Dunsmuir High School in 2003. The grand marshall this year was Fire Chief Dan Padilla. Dunsmuir Mayor Jalianna Lucchesi followed in a 2016 convertible Chevy Camero RS owned by Dunsmuir Elementary School Principal Mandy Leahy. The Dunsmuir Railroad Days Scholarship winner recipient Tony Birimisa followed by Dunsmuir/Castella Fire Department, Cal Fire, Mt. Shasta Ambulance, Smokey the Bear, Fraternal Order of Eagles Acne, Dunsmuir High School, Salvation Army, Cobra Lily Bar & Bottle, Railroad Park Resort, Dunsmuir Pool Artist Daniel DeLeon, Clemens Waste Removal, B.T..R. Bains Towing and Recovery, and many antique and unique cars driven by their owners. 

Many enjoyed the entertainment throughout the festival.

Musicians like Jimmy Limo and Rick Garrett played among the vendors and there was also a stage where 14 different bands played throughout the evening.  There were also belly dancing performances during the day by  Ayesha’s Oasis Dance Company, Rawiyah out of the Bay Area, and Julie from Montague. 

One of the favorites is the Little Engineer contest. The winners were:

In the 1 & 2-year-old category, Iris Isadora took 1st in the Little Miss Engineer. 

3 & 4-year-old category, Logan Olson took 1st place as Little Cr. Engineer, and Roscoe Mars Austin place 2nd.

In the 7 to 9-year-old category, Zaara Gouda was Little Miss Engineer and Jason Nicholas was crowned Little Mr. Engineer.   

On the other side of Dunsmuir at the infamous ballpark where  Babe Ruth once played in an exhibition game, was an exciting softball Tournament where out of 14 teams,  Slammin Salmon won the tournament after going undefeated throughout the weekend. 

Jeannie Rogers says of Dunsmuir’s own softball team Gary’s Pizza Factory; “We wanted to have a local time in the tournament. These are like our own kids from around this area. Some of these young men are alumni.”

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5 Comments

  1. Ron McCloud

    What a wonderful small town tradition, kept alive all these years by volunteers like this year’s group who deserve a big THANK YOU and a pat on the back.

  2. The Native American

    Don’t forget the many lives that were sacrificed of the Chinese immigrants who built your railroads.

    Stay classy, Dunsmuir!

  3. I don’t even know how I ended up here, however I thought this put upused to be good. I do not understand who you are but definitelyyou are going to a well-known blogger in the event you aren’t already.Cheers!

  4. I lived in Dunsmuir from 1946 to 1954 and I loved Railroad Days. I graduated from 8th grade in 1954. I don’t know if anyone I knew is still there. My maiden name was Mary Anne Carlson.

  5. This I Mary Anne Coleman again. I messed up my email address. It’s [email protected]

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