Gold Nugget Museum

Phone: 530.872-8722
Fax: 530.872.1050
502 Pearson Road, Paradise, CA

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Gold Nugget Days

Gold Nugget Days celebrate finding a 54-pound gold nugget in 1859. The celebration began in 1959 and has continued every year since. The celebration of the discovery of the Dogtown nugget runs from April 23th through April 26th.

Find on this page:

Gold Nugget Days Badge,

2014 Button


Gold Nugget Days badges sell for $2.00 each and can win you a pure gold nugget! Badges are on sale at the Gold Nugget Museum and from merchants all over the Ridge. Register your badge at the Museum to be eligible for the beautiful gold nugget. There is no charge to register.

The Gold Nugget Days High Sheriff and his deputies will jail anyone breaking the law, including those not wearing a Gold Nugget Days badge.

Because the gold strike clearly is a good one, some permanent buildings have been erected. Be sure to visit the blacksmith’s shop, the schoolhouse, and the Wells Fargo Assay Office with its replica of the Dogtown Nugget.

Merchant Decorating Contest

Paradise Ridge businesses paint windows, put up decorations and displays and encourage their employees to dress according to the theme. Merchants support the festivites and compete to win awards such as cash prizes, gift baskets, gift certificates, a homemade quilt, advertising, and more. The event is sponsored by the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce.

Miss Gold Nugget Pageant

Gold Nugget Queen

Ridge high school juniors compete for the title of Gold Nugget Queen. Each girl must find a sponsor and escort, submit a portfolio and create a dress of the 1850-1899 period. The candidates are judged on the historical accuracy of their costumes, the quality of the portfolios, their poise and demeanor and their appearance. The dress is the most important factor. The Gold Nugget Days Queen will be crowned at the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday April 23th at 7:00pm at the Paradise Performing Arts Center.

Gold Nugget Whiskerino Contest returns to opening exercises!  Come to the museum to get your application.  Judging will be during the Queen Contest at the PPAC.

Donkey Derby

Donkey Derby

The annual Donkey Derby staged by E Clampus Vitus 7-11 commemorates the race up the hill to Dogtown to show off their good fortune when miners found the 54-pound gold nugget at Whiskey Flat in April 1859. During today's race, donkey and drover teams compete to get up the hill to Magalia community center and through an obstacle course-while carrying 54-pound weights. First, second and third place cash prizes are awarded the winners. Come root for your favorite donkey on Saturday, April 25th, from 9:00-10:00am at the Old Magalia Community Church.



The Gold Nugget Days parade sweepstakes award of $200 and a trophy go to the entry judged best in the parade. To be eligible for the award, the entry must reflect the Gold Nugget Days theme "Tales of Gold". The parade begins at noon on Saturday April 25th.

View and Print the Parade Entry Form. Entry Deadline April 17, 2014.

Cowboy Chow Deep Pit BBQ


1pm-4pm on the museum grounds, $10 for presale tickets or $12 at the BBQ.  Also on the Museum grounds after the parade Gold Panning and a small country faire.  Come join the fun!

The Children’s Costume Contest

Childrens Costume Contest

The Children’s Costume Contest is a popular event and is sure to please young and old alike. The contest is open to children preschool age and younger, second through fourth grades, and fifth through eighth grades. The contest will be held at the Museum on Saturday, April 25th at 2:00pm

The Melodrama


This year's melodrama production combines the history of Paradise with the fun of the burlesque style of the mid 1800's. Each year the melodrama includes local actors with oleo's performed by local artists between acts. The April 25th melodrama performance at Paradise Performing Arts Center, starts at 7pm with a matinee at 2:00 pm April 26th. Get your tickets for this fun local parody on life in Paradise in the 1800's at the Gold Nugget Museum..

Sunday at the Museum

The Museum offers food, music and a time to relax after all the big events of Gold Nugget, Sunday, April 27, from Noon to 4 p.m. there will be hoagie lunches for sale, lots of music, gold panning, blacksmithing and friendly faces. Live music performances will keep you entertained. Admission is free for this event. Activities include: Barbecue Hoagie Lunch, Museum grounds,  12:00 pm -- Children’s Art Contest, Paradise Depot, 12:00pm – 4:00 p -- Carnival and Petting Zoo, Museum Grounds, 12:00 pm – 4 pm

Doggone Doggy Contest will be returning to Gold Nugget Days!

Back by popular demand the Doggone Doggy Contest will be held on Sunday, April 26 at 2pm at the Gold Nugget Museum.  The judging categories are Best Dressed to theme, Tales of Gold; Best Trick; Best in Show; and Unique.  Each category will be judged in both large and small dog divisions.

Register at the museum for $5, there is no additional charge for signing up for more than one category. The contest is co-sponsored by the Gold Nugget Museum and Paradise Animal Shelter Helpers, and the two organizations will be sharing the proceeds.  Call the museum 872-8722 with questions.

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