Constitution Day Weekend

September 14 & 15, 2024

Join us for Nevada City’s Constitution Day Weekend! This event has been a tradition since 1967 and is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution observance in the western United States. A few highlights of the weekend include a parade, Revolutionary War Living History, the Gold Country Duck Race on Deer Creek, and a concert in the historic district.

Above all, you won’t want to miss the annual Constitution Day Parade, which be held in the heart of historic Nevada City. The parade which makes its way through downtown includes marching bands, floats, antique autos, equestrians, politicians and the perennial favorite–the Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City, a humorous but reverent depiction of each U.S. president.


Weekend Events

The Delaware Regiment of the Brigade of the American Revolution will offer living history demonstrations of Revolutionary War soldiers drilling and firing, drilling of kids with mock muskets, music by the California Consolidated Drum Band, and colonial life living history. 

  • Saturday, 9/14 from 10am-5pm
  • Sunday. 9/15 from 10am-12pm

The reenactments take place at Pioneer Park in Nevada City

Saturday, September 14th from 4:30-6:30pm – Open-Air Free Outdoor Concert by the Nevada County Concert Band on Pine Street, Downtown Nevada City

Bring Your Own Chair – a limited number of chairs are provided, but it’s highly encouraged to bring your own, so you don’t miss out.

Reenactment of the Signing of the U.S. Constitution, Broad and Pine streets, 1:30pm

56th Annual Constitution Day Parade – Broad Street, Historic Downtown Nevada City, 2pm

33rd Annual 49er Rotary Club Gold Country Duck Race, On Deer Creek, 101 Boulder Street.

Watch the ducks race down Deer Creek! Food, drinks, and kids games.  


Why Do We Celebrate the Constitution?

Britanica describes the  Constitution of the United States of America as, “the fundamental law of the U.S. Federal system of government and a landmark document of the Western world. The oldest written national constitution in use, the Constitution defines the principal organs of government and their jurisdictions and the basic rights of citizens.”

Read to entire document here.

The following explanation was adapted from the Pacific Legal Foundation.

We celebrate Constitution Day because it, along with its later-affixed Bill of Rights, is the legal means by which outlines our rights.

Sure, a lot has changed since 1787. The Constitution, as originally written, left a lot of people out. The long fight for equality continues to this day. The Constitution was written for us—the generations of Americans who came after the founding, who pursued happiness and flexed our freedoms. The Constitution was enacted by the people for the benefit of the people.

Since our founding, civil rights advocates have relied on the Constitution in their campaign for equality. The Constitution protects minorities of all kinds, from religious to political to racial minorities. The very reason our government was structured as a representative republic rather than a direct democracy was to ensure that minority rights would not be subverted to the will of the majority.

“The Revolution gave us freedom; the Constitution gave us the means to keep it.”

               -Bicentennial Communities

“The Constitution was not meant to hold the government back to the time of horse and wagons.”

               -Woodrow Wilson, 1908

“The Constitution…is what living men and women think it is.”

               -Charles A. Beard, 1936

“Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them […] too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. I know that age well; I belonged to it and labored with it. It deserved well of its country. It was like the present, but without the experience of the present. […] I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions…But I know also that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind…We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him as a boy, as civilized society to remain under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

               -Thomas Jefferson, 1816


For Students & Teachers

Are you a Nevada County student, teacher or parent? Learn about our new extra credit program!

  1. Make sure your class is participating! There is no sign-up process, but teachers have to make the decision to participate. Students & parents – ask your teachers about participating!
  2. Teachers will hand out our extra credit form to students to bring to the event.
  3. Extra credit can be achieved by attending either or both the Revolutionary War Reenactments of the Constitution Day Parade
  4. Verify you attended – by have your form stamped at either of the events. To get a stamp at the Revolutionary War Reenactment bring your form to the “History Hunt” area. To get a stamp at the parade, visit the booth marked “Extra Credit” on North Pine Street.

WIN $250 for your classroom plus a pizza party!

TEACHERS: To enter the contest you simply email lynn@nevadacitychamber.com after the event to let us know how many of your students attended. Based on the honor system – please send us accurate numbers.

The contest is per class. If you send multiple classes please only send numbers for your class with highest attendance.


Shuttle

SUNDAY Shuttle, 12pm to 5pm

Take the free shuttle from the Nevada County Government Center located just off of Highway 49 at 950 Maidu Avenue.


Getting Here

Celebrants should plan to arrive about an hour before parade time to get a good vantage point along the parade route. Out-of-town visitors should book local accommodations early.

Nevada City is located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. From Sacramento, take eastbound Interstate 80 to Auburn and Highway 49 north to Nevada City. From Reno, take westbound I-80 and westbound State Route 20.

For more information, call the Chamber at (530) 265-2692


Parade Entry