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Auburn, are you ready for a wild weekend?

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Auburn’s got more going on this weekend than you can shake a cowbell at. For whatever reason, the folks behind a few huge events all happened to hone in on the weekend of May 15-16 when setting their calendars. In other words, Auburnites can expect the next couple days to be a whirlwind of activity in the form of the Amgen Tour of California, Auburn Home Show, Auburn Cruise Nite and Splash Dogs’ Jump in Memory of Cash dock jumping competition. “There’s a lot of positive energy in the community,” said Bruce Cosgrove, Auburn Chamber of Commerce CEO. “There’s an expectation that something special will happen this weekend.” Auburn Police Captain John Ruffcorn expects 10,000 spectators to come out just to watch the Tour of California pedal through town. “We think we’re prepared for about 30,000,” Ruffcorn said. Auburn can handle some pretty big crowds — Ruffcorn said the Parade of Lights draws around 10,000 people — but this weekend is definitely something special. “We do have some big events here,” Ruffcorn said, “but usually they’re isolated to one part of the city, not all of the city.” Cosgrove said Auburnites have a lots of reasons to be excited about the weekend. “Having all these people in our community for the next three days, it helps you build community pride,” he said. Of course, all this foot traffic should boost business, too. Cosgrove said the chamber, city, and downtown and old town business associations have asked merchants to keep their doors wide open this weekend. “It just makes good business sense to extend hours and be there,” he said. Here’s your crash course on weekend highlights. Amgen Tour of California Always wanted to catch a glimpse of Lance Armstrong? Watch Lance, Levi Leipheimer, Tom Boonen and other cycling greats zoom through town Sunday. Stage 1 of the country’s largest cycling event starts in Nevada City, trekking through Nevada, Placer, El Dorado and Sacramento counties all in one day. The Amgen Tour of California Stage 1 log indicates cyclists will make their way into Auburn from Meadow Vista, turning left onto Palm Avenue from Auburn Ravine Road around 12:55 p.m. The route, which travels through Old Town and Downtown, utilizes roadways including Elm Avenue, Garfield and Shirley streets, Lincoln Way, High Street, Sacramento Street and Lincoln Way. The first cyclists should turn right onto Foresthill Road from Lincoln Way around 1:04 p.m. before crossing the Foresthill Bridge and taking Old Foresthill Road down to Highway 49 and into El Dorado County where Cool fans wait. Auburn Home Show Everybody’s got something they’d like to change about their home. Take advantage of this weekend’s Auburn Home Show to connect with vendors who can help with everything from landscaping to roofing to solar installation and everything in between. The show boasts about 1,000 displays, seminars scheduled throughout the weekend and savings to be found around every corner. The show begins today and continues through Sunday at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St. Get in free today as Gold Country Media presents Free Friday. Show up Saturday and Sunday and you’ll pay $6 for adults and $1 for children ages 5-12. vehicle parking is $4, and bicycle parking is free. The show takes place 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Cycling enthusiasts watching the Amgen Tour of California will be offered half-off admission at the home show after watching the bikes speed through town Sunday, says Lani Johnston Horan, Auburn Home Show producer. Motorists keeping Amgen in mind should plan to access the home show Sunday by taking the Newcastle/Indian Hill Road exit off Interstate 80, and following Indian Hill Road to Auburn Folsom Road, which leads right to the fairgrounds, Horan said. Call (530) 887-3616 or see www.auburnhomeshows.com. Auburn Cruise Nite Classic car season shifts into high gear as local motor heads celebrate the 26th season of Auburn Cruise Nite. The first Auburn Cruise Nite of the season takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight on Lincoln Way in Downtown Auburn. Auburn Cruise Nite runs on the second Friday of the month from May to September, with future dates set for June 11, July 9, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10. The show is open to pre-1972 vehicles and is free to spectators. Call (530) 885-4364 or (530) 887-1604 for more information. Splash Dogs Humans aren’t the only ones who are going to have fun this weekend. Bring your four-legged friends out to Overlook Park for Splash Dogs’ annual Jump in Memory of Cash dock jumping competition. Dogs big and small compete by taking running jumps off of a 40-foot dock into a pool, with top accolades going out for the longest leaps. Registration opens at 9 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with multiple competition waves scheduled throughout each day. Cost is $20 for competition and $20 to practice, and the practice fee is applied to the wave entry fee if your dog ends up competing. Overlook Park is located at 855 Pacific Ave. in Auburn. Visit www.splashdogs.com or call (530) 887-9993 for more information.