Big events bringing thousands to Auburn this weekend

By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
-A +A
A rare combination of events will bring thousands of people into Auburn during the May 16-17 weekend. And the city and business community are hoping to make the most of it. “It’s a unique opportunity for us to have three major events on the same weekend,” Bruce Cosgrove, Auburn Chamber of Commerce executive director, said this week. It adds up to about 30,000 visitors for the three-day Spring Home Show, approximately 5,000 for Sunday’s Spring Antiques Street Fair in Old Town and hundreds more for Saturday’s Endurance Capital of the World Expo. In addition, there’s the Auburn Community Concerts Association performance Sunday and a Splash Dogs competition Friday through Sunday. The city, chamber and Old Town and Downtown business associations want to ensure a hassle-free visit for everyone and entice them to maybe stick around a little longer. So they’re offering a free shuttle both days. The shuttle will stop at the home show, antiques fair and expo, as well as Downtown and Old Town. The idea for the shuttle originated with City Councilman Bill Kirby. “He has been championing this program,” Cosgrove said. “He has been working with Mayor Mike Holmes. The two took (the proposal) to the City Council and worked out all the details. They then came to the chamber, and then Kirby went to the business associations to bring them on board.” Shuttle stops will have signage for easy visibility. In addition, chamber volunteers will be at the shuttle stops at the home show, expo and antiques fair. “The buses will have promotional material that encourages people to visit Downtown, Old Town, (and the events),” Cosgrove said. The shuttle service allows them to test the waters. “In the future, for large events, (it will allow us to see) if the service will cause people to extend their stay and spend more time in the community, have dinner, shop. We’re trying to see how it works.” Lani Horan, producer of the twice-yearly home show held at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, said spring normally draws the larger crowd. “Considering the economy, we’re about 10 percent down (this year),” she said. “Vendors are getting smaller spaces, but it is still a very strong show.” There’s ample parking at the fairgrounds to handle the crowds, even with the (other events), she said. Saturday’s Endurance Expo will be at the School Park Preserve on High Street, just a couple of blocks from the fairgrounds. “I think it will work out beneficially,” Expo committee member Harvey Roper said. “A lot of people come to the home show and plan to spend the day. This provides a broader benefit for them. People will come to the expo who wouldn’t go to the home show, but since they’re here, they’ll go to both.” The expo will feature vendors representing rafting, sky diving, canoeing, cycling, running and other outdoor activities. A mini-film festival will be part of the program, put together by rafting company owner Guy Cables, to be held in nextdoor’s City Hall council chambers. Sunday’s antiques fair in Old Town, now in its 42nd year, has a loyal following, coordinator Linda Robinson said. She doesn’t see parking as an issue this year. “The street fair people will be using the library parking on Nevada Street (with a free shuttle taking them into Old Town),” she said. “As long as I can accommodate my visitors who come especially for the street fair, I’m happy about that. For a small town we have a whole bunch of good stuff to do. Anytime we can bring folks into Auburn, it is going to work for us.” Two smaller events also have dedicated participants. Sunday’s Auburn Community Concert Association’s performance of “Songs from the Heart,” by the Sacramento Master Singers at the Placer High School Auditorium attracts about 300, association secretary Sue Dings said. “They were here a few years ago and everybody loved them,” Dings said. “We’re always concerned about parking, but people manage to get in.” For dog lovers, the “Jump for Cash” dock diving competition will be May 15-17 at Over look Park, 855 Pacific Ave. This year’s dog-diving competition will raise funds for the Auburn Area Animal Rescue Foundation. The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at ---------- Weekend of May 16-17 events in Auburn Auburn Home Show, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. Admission is $6, $1 for children 5-12, free for kids under 5. Parking is $4. Auburn Outdoor Expo and Film Festival, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Auburn School Park Preserve. Free admission Old Town Antiques Street Fair, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free admission Auburn Community Concerts Association, “Songs from the Heart,” 3 p.m. Sunday, at the Placer High School auditorium Splash Dogs, “Jump for Cash,” May 15-17, Overlook Park, 855 Pacific Ave.