High Sierra Music Festival hits Quincy

A colorful dragon wends its way through an equally colorful crowd at the High Sierra Music Festival’s kickoff parade July 4. Thousands of revelers in costumes, bathing suits and patriotic garb watched the parade of dancers, drummers and sky-high stilt walkers dance through the fairgrounds to a driving drumbeat. Photo by Laura Beaton
Laura Beaton

  The East Quincy neighborhood throbbed with music and celebratory energy as the 23rd annual High Sierra Music Festival began July 4.

  Vehicles lined both sides of East Main Street from near the top of Cemetery Hill all the way to the Golden King Restaurant and beyond.

  The celebration, held at Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds, began early Thursday morning as festivalgoers lined up on North Mill Creek Road to register at the box office at the end of the road.

  Many familiar Quincy faces were seen amongst dozens of volunteers who directed traffic, guided parking, greeted attendees and answered questions.

Legendary music

  There may not have been fireworks exploding in the Quincy sky July 4, but the blasting music and pulsing stage lights lit up the area with festive aplomb.

  The music festival featured legendary singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robert Plant, formerly of Led Zeppelin, kicking off the Grandstand nightly concert series with his band The Sensational Space Shifters.

  Plant opened with “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and played other favorites such as “Black Dog,” “Spoonful” and “Going to California.”

  While baby boomers sang along with their favorite Led Zeppelin tunes, the younger crowd grooved to the Space Shifters’ more mellow sound.

Parades and kid stuff

  The first of three nightly parades delighted crowds and parade-goers alike.

  As a colorful dragon snaked through the festival grounds amongst brilliantly dressed drummers and sky-high stilt walkers dancing and swerving their way through the crowd, the contagious beat of drums had the crowd bopping and tapping along.

  An estimated 10,000 revelers walked, biked, danced and otherwise moved from one enticing attraction to another.

  Kids of all ages delighted in special attractions planned just for them. From the luxury of wagons, strollers and parents’ shoulders, kids’ eyes were wide with interest.

  Hula hoopers, baton twirlers, dancing puppets and scantily clad men, women and children braved the heat and roamed all over the fairgrounds in pursuit of food, drink, entertainment and shopping opportunities galore.

  Vendors offered everything from tie-died T-shirts to jewelry, books, musical instruments, household decorations and more.

  Food vendors served up a huge variety of ethnic and traditional American fare while campers gorged on their own camp-cooked food from the relative shelter of canopies and lawn chairs.

Live broadcast

  If you didn’t go to the festival, it was possible to hear live music from the three main stages broadcast daily: 89.9 — Grandstand, 91.5 — Big Meadow and 105.1 — Vaudeville Tent.

  High Sierra’s Grizzly Radio broadcasted 24 hours a day during the four-day event that boosted the local economy by leaps and bounds.

  Go to for more information.

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