This year, Saint Patrick’s day (Sunday, March 17) coincides with the Calaveras County Arts Council’s 8th Annual Ride & Walk4Art. The Arts Council won’t have to decorate with shamrocks, because the rolling foothills of West Calaveras County will already be dressed in bright green grass and YELLOW POPPIES that will put you in mind of Old Ireland. And together with the Valley Springs Tri-Dam Lion’s Club, the Arts Council will be serving up traditional Chicken-in-a-Barrel for lunch. Weather permitting, you’ll get to enjoy a lunchtime concert of traditional Irish music from local fiddlers and whistle players.
Rob Williams, unabashedly a champion of bicycling, the arts, and West Calaveras County, explained the location of the this popular event. “We want to showcase the three lakes—Pardee, Camanche, and New Hogan—in the West County,” he said. “The roads are the most popular and smooth road service cycling routes in Calaveras and Amador Counties, and the New Hogan Trail is a very popular trail for residents and for people from out of town
There are three ride routes for cyclist; start at the Jenny Lind Memorial District Center and meander through the open countryside and wide-open grasslands of the foothills. The short ride—30 miles—takes you through Campo Seco and past Camanche Lake, and the long ride 45 miles—takes you past the newly reopened Buena Vista Cultural Center outside of Ione, then skirts Pardee. The ride will be supervised by the Calaveras Amateur Radio Club and local Motherlode Bicycle Coalition Club members.
Returning this year, is the popular Bike and Walk Art Show featuring local artist paintings, photographs and gifts.
But don’t think that this RideandWalk4Art is a race. You can take a leisurely pedal if you like, which might be the best way to experience this ride, so that you can immerse yourself in the gorgeous landscape. And if you’re not a bicyclist, you can always enjoy the easy 4-mile out-and-back walk along New Hogan Reservoir. According to Williams, “Local and regional hikers recognize this as being one of the best hiking trails in Northern California. It’s not a run, it’s not a triathlon. It’s a leisurely walk.”
This annual event is a fundraiser for Arts in Education, a project of the Calaveras County Arts Council. The proceeds from the entry fee will go towards supporting the arts in Calaveras County Schools. According to Executive Director Kathy Mazzaferro, “Ride & Walk4Art celebrates the beauty of living in the foothills while supporting the importance of the arts for our local schools. Every dime earned is designated for school art programs be it art in the classroom, drama, and music.” The Council helps school administrators and teachers provide students with quality art performances in classrooms and assemblies, paint murals on school walls, teach art classes, and hire theater groups like B Street Theatre from Sacramento.
Thanks to the success of last year’s fundraising at Ride & Walk4Art, money exists for students to experience community art experiences. Mazzaferro said, “Students will be able to put their skills to work by creating murals at both Toyon Middle School and, with the financial support of Conifer Communications, on a community wall in San Andreas.”
The Arts Council is very glad to thank Cal-Waste Recovery Systems, the MotherLode Bike Coalition and Grocery Outlet for their support for this event.
Registration Is At