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Banderitas Days Celebrate Early History Of Coulterville

A fun new event, celebrating the early days of Coulterville, is taking place the week of July 1 through July 5; events in the upcoming Banderitas Days festival are free.

There will be activities taking place from 9:30 a.m. to about 9 p.m. daily, many in the Coulterville Park and some around town, particularly a number of movies that will be shown at “The Mercantile” at 5016 Main St., in historic downtown Coulterville.

The organizer of this event, Greeley Hill resident Jesse Salcedo, got the idea for this celebration after attending a Southern Sierra Mi Wuk Pow Wow at the Mariposa Fairgrounds this past May. He has invited them to participate as a group, since Coulterville sits on what was once their land but this is yet to be confirmed.

The name of the event hails back to the earliest days of the gold rush. The best-known story is that George Coulter’s original tent-based store had a small flag flying atop of it, prompting the local miners to call the place Banderita, Spanish for “small flag”.

While still busy confirming additional participants, as well as dates and times for some of those confirmed, to date the participants include: the Fresno Apache Veterans’ Color Guard; the traditional Aztec Danza group with members drawn from Los Banos, Fresno and San Jose; Julia Parker, Lucy Parker and Ursela Parker – three generations traditional basket weaving; Ruben, an acoustic solo guitarist flying in from Florida to take part in the event; Tony, a local Coulterville resident, playing classic rock on guitar; MMIW, Missing Murdered Indigenous Women - Red Ti Pi; Turtle Women Rising, a Native American Iraq Veterans Women’s Drumming Circle led by Retired E-7 Sergeant Eli Painted Crow from Merced. Also participating will be Jan’s Authentic Native American Items from Monterey, Big Foot Fry Bread; and Native American Ti Pi Display. Raffle tickets will be available for winning a 7’ Ti Pi, with the winning ticket to be drawn and the winner announced shortly before the end of the five-day event.

A number of films will be shown at the Mercantile, with times posted online (“Coulterville, CA” Facebook page) and around town shortly before the event gets going. So far, the line-up of films includes: a film on the Southern Sierra Mi Wuk Federal Recognition efforts that will be coupled with a discussion led by Bill Leonard from Mariposa; a short film on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women that will include a discussion led by Norm, flying in from Oklahoma; and a short film “Vietnam War, Dogs From Illusion” by Charlie Trujillo from San Jose.

More vendors, and historical activities are in the works. If interested in participating as a vendor, or any other aspect of the event, contact; 650-740-2986.