Friday, April 30, 2021


One of the things that we have noticed about Amador County since we moved here a couple of years ago is that during the Spring and Summer months, there always seems to be a festival, concert or some other fun event that takes place on the weekends. One of those fun events is the Homecoming festival in Ione.

The Homecoming festival takes place in May throughout the whole town of Ione. As we were fairly new to the area we didn't really know what the festival was going to be like but we were very excited and looking forward to it.

The festival took place over a three day period during Mother's Day weekend in May. One of the biggest reasons why the Homecoming festival is a significant event in town is because anyone who has ever lived in Ione at any point is invited to come back home, so to speak, and take part in the annual celebration.  The fun begins on a Friday with a carnival and a nighttime fireworks show at Charles Howard Park. While we didn't go to the park to watch the fireworks show, we still had a pretty good view of it from the front porch of our house.

The second day of the festival began with a parade that went down Main Street, very near to our house. That meant we didn't have to go too far to see the parade.

After the parade was over the next activity on the schedule was the annual soap box derby races for kids. As was the case with the parade we didn't have to go too far to see the racers do their thing since the races went right by our house as well. While it was fun to watch the derby participants go by we were somewhat surprised to find out that there was a total of three racers during this particular running of the soap box derby. Hopefully there will be more racers for this year's Homecoming festival in May.

Now that the parade and soap box derby were finished it was time for us to get ready to head to the carnival at Charles Howard Park and see what fun activities it had to offer. Of all the different festivities that were scheduled for the Homecoming festival, the carnival at the park was probably where we had the most fun. While walking around we saw that there was a good amount of food items and games and rides available for people to have a good time with.

Of course no big event that takes place in Ione or the rest of Amador County would be complete without the presence of the Ione Tacos food truck where we got some delicious tacos to eat! There was even a section in the park that has its own dedicated beer garden where a collection of good local bands played live music throughout the afternoon.

Later on, a plane also started flying by at multiple times throughout the afternoon to drop an assortment of candies for kids to pick up off the ground in a fun free for all exercise! The combination of the tacos, live entertainment in the beer garden area and the candy delivery plane were probably our favorite things about our first Homecoming experience.

Another noteworthy item that happened during our first time at the Homecoming festival was that I got to take a picture with the members of the 2019 Homecoming royal court! Overall I would say that our  first time at the Ione Homecoming festival was a very enjoyable one. To top it all off, it was also very nice that we could walk to all of the places where the weekend festivities were happening. We can't wait to do it again later this year!

(NOTE: The Ione Homecoming dates to 1862, when the Methodist Church that stands just south of downtown was finished,  and has been a fixture just about every year since then. The 2020 Homecoming was canceled due to Covid-19. This year's slightly scaled-down 145th version will occur on the 2nd weekend of May)

Tim Musick
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