The premier event for antique and vintage cars to show that they’re just as much dash as flash, the Great Race pits owners against each other in a time-speed-endurance rally up the West Coast, with a cool $150,000 in prize cash up for grabs. Starting in Riverside in Southern California and ending in Tacoma, Washington, the race makes two Butte County detours on Monday, June 24:
- Oroville gets the first visit, as drivers come in from the south. They’ll stop downtown, parking along Myers Street from Miner’s Alley to Robinson Street around 2:30pm in front of the State Theater. For two hours, cars will be arriving and leaving, with dozens of cars expected on hand, and the Oro Dam Cruisers Car Club will have a park-in next to the theater for visitors to check out the vehicles.
- The next stop is Downtown Chico, where judging for the event log occurs. After two separate car shows, including one featuring those in the Great Race, the travelers receive a welcome to town, accompanied by a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and presentation of the Color Guard. The Chico event lasts from 5pm to 7:30pm.
The city’s historic dam has always made for outstanding water recreation opportunities, especially in the summer. Lake Oroville’s west branch (call ahead to check water levels) is quieter and typically better for bass anglers, but also can provide a mellow spot to find a cove and hide out for the day, while the north branch is wide open and ideal for skiers, wakeboarders, boaters and jet skiers alike.
The Forebay Aquatic Center, meanwhile, is easily accessible and great for quick family excursions. A picnic and a swim or a moderate kayak session are always on the table here. Similarly, the Thermalito Afterbay is a more serene aquatic option meant for paddling, swimming and fishing. As with all Butte County recreational areas, it’s worth checking in with the sites to ensure access.
Downtown Chico’s City Plaza has live music on Friday nights, stretching from May all the way through August, and June has four great shows to take in, whether you’re seeking to get some family entertainment after a downtown dinner and an ice cream cone, or just beginning your evening with some festivities. June’s concerts include:
- The Chuck Epperson Jr. Band (June 7)
- GravyBrain (June 14)
- Triple Tree (June 21)
- Rigmarole (June 28)
Both Chico and Oroville have vibrant public art scenes, rife with opportunities to build an impressive camera roll folder. While public art in both cities extends beyond wall paintings (sculptures and other various landmarks beautify both areas), making a list of murals you haven’t seen in person yet, then snagging a photo with each, is a rewarding way to take in the sights.
History buffs have a long-standing appreciation for the Bidwell Mansion, the former home of Chico’s founders that now sits on the campus of Chico State. The mansion throws things back on Annie Bidwell’s birthday, June 22, with a traditional formal Victorian tea–fancy hats, delicacies and all. Proceeds support the mansion’s upkeep.
Now in its 17th year, the Patrick Ranch Old-Fashioned Country Faire and Threshing Bee is a nod to the area’s agricultural roots, set on the Midway right between Chico and Durham. Farmers, ranch hands, and those who simply appreciate the work and lifestyle that provides food and fiber can get a tour of the farmhouse, listen to live music, and take in the whole experience from food vendors, stock dog demonstrations, tractor and tram horse parades, a car show, and blacksmithing demos on June 8.
Step back in time at Patrick Ranch Museum's annual old-fashioned Country Faire &Threshing Bee on June 8. Enjoy a variety of activities, including an old fashioned wheat harvest & blacksmithing demos.Read more