There will be something entertaining for each and every member of the family when Murphys Homecoming celebrates its 70th birthday on Saturday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in and around the cool environs of the Community Park.

During the day there will be a wide variety of things to do for young people including a water slide, bounce house, and a juggling clinic.  All ages will enjoy the dunk tank and the jailing of local celebrities in the ancient pokey and their efforts to seek bail.

From 11:30 to 1 p.m. rousing music provided by Mic Harper and the Calaveras Community Band will fill the air.  Tracing its heritage to the gold rush days, the band plays a wide range of music from Sousa marches to popular show tunes.  Its repertoire contains pieces for everyone’s musical taste.

Following the band concert, the ever-popular Jim Bailey and Plan B will take center stage and provide the music and public announcements until 4 p.m.

Throughout the morning, and well into the afternoon, Helen’s Hut will be the place to go to purchase barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs, ice cream, and a wide variety of beverages including beer and wine.

A long-standing Homecoming tradition, the Old Timers Luncheon, sponsored by the Native Daughters of the Golden West, will be provided for any Murphys resident who has lived in the area for at least ten years and has reached the age of 70.  Reservations are necessary and may be made by calling Mary Piumarta at 209-728-8392. The cut-off date for reservations is July 20.

 At 1 p.m. the first of three much anticipated duck races will be held for the benefit of the Calaveras Youth Mentoring Foundation.  Information on how to participate is available at

The day’s activities will conclude with the Second Annual Murphys Homecoming Bocce Ball Tournament starting at 6 pm.  Organized by Jan Schulz and his Boccie Buddies, the tournament will feature 20 two-person teams that will descend on the recently improved bocce courts to vie for fame and prizes.  “Commissioner” Schulz is taking reservations, and supplying information at 209-728-3753.  Entry fee is $50 per team.  The money raised will go to maintaining and improving the courts.

There is no admission charge for Murphys Homecoming and ample free parking is available nearby. Donations to help maintain the park are always gratefully received.

Murphys Community Park is located on Algiers St. in historic downtown Murphys.  Membership in the Murphys Community Club is open to everyone and contributions are tax deductible.  For further information, call 728-8093, or click on the Community Club link at


More information on Murphys Duck Races: It’s time to get your ducks… in a row!

This year’s Murphys Duck Races takes place Saturday, July 21, from about noon to 3 pm in Murphys Community Park. The event is part of Murphys Homecoming. Tickets are available at select times in front of Sierra Hills Market or online at

The Duckling Race kicks off at 1 pm, with $3 tickets to vie for a chance to win JoMa’s ice cream, Angels Theater movie tickets, or a gift certificate to Murphys Toy Store. The Quacker Race starts at 1:30 pm, and tickets are $5; winners in this event take home prizes like ice cream, movie tickets, or Starbucks coffee. The finale is the Golden Goose Race at 2 pm, in which $10 tickets put contestants in the running for a flat-screen TV,  golf at Greenhorn Creek, fine dining at the Murphys Hotel, or a gift from Quyle Kilns.

After each “race,” all the kids help corral and collect the hundreds of rubber duckies that have been floating merrily downstream.

To make the races fair for everyone, winners are randomly selected from among all “duck purchasers” during the race.

Click here to buy your ducks!