Los Alamos Old Days

Each year since 1946 Los Alamos, California has held “Old Days” the fourth weekend in September. The celebration started as a reunion for the founders of the Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club. Today its a classic car show, motorcycle show, and peddlers mart and features food, entertainment, a parade, a dinner dance, historic displays, and more.

Los Alamos sits about 15 miles south of Santa Maria along Highway 101.

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The town was named for the cottonwoods which line stream banks and was founded in 1876. Pictures here, taken during the Old Days celebration, are from several visits between 1998 and 2004 using different digital cameras.

Tractors at Los Alamos Old DaysHere you see that Old Days consumes the entire main street of town (Highway 135) for several blocks. In addition to the businesses in town the sides of the streets are lined with vendors and various displays add some history. Displays of farm equipment like “The General” tractor here, are featured at one end and in the park.

Motorcycles at Los Alamos Old DaysAmong others, motorcyclists join the crowds for a display of their “hogs” and just an old-fashioned good time. The Ghostriders is a common hangout.

The town itself is a montage of history.

Mansion Los AlamosOne old landmark is a restored Victorian Mansion from 1864. The mansion was moved from Nipomo in 1979 and remodeled into theme rooms.

The most famous landmark is the Union Hotel (1880). Here we see the hotel front, stairs at the side of the hotel and the the arbor leading to an outdoor area often used for weddings/receptions. (The dining room produces excellent meals.)

Union Hotel Los Alamos Union Hotel Stairs Los Alamos Union Hotel Arbor - Los Alamos

Even the old Union Hotel limo is on display at the old gas station. Union Hotel Limo Los AlamosSome of the features of Old Days are carriage rides…
Carriage Ride at Los Alamos Old Days…dancers showing their skills in costume…
Dancers Performing at Los Alamos Old Days…and vendors selling their wares like the carved bear and eagle shown below.
Eagle and Bear Wood Carvings at Los Alamos Old Days

In the park are displays of old machines such as the mill and chopper making slaw you see below.

Example Mill at Los Alamos Old Days Making Slaw at Los Alamos Old Days

At the other end of the street is usually a display of artillery which, at scheduled times, is fired (blanks of course).

Cannon at Los Alamos Old Days Cannon Firing at Los Alamos Old Days

And, in the middle of town at the historic Union Hotel, one year they had a staged gunfight.

Los Alamos Old Days Gunfight 1A display of the guns starts the show. Los Alamos Old Days Gunfight 2Both a pistol and shotgun were used.
Los Alamos Old Days Gunfight 3An argument on the hotel balcony. Los Alamos Old Days Gunfight 4Fists are used at first.
Los Alamos Old Days Gunfight 5The man in white is getting the worst of it. Los Alamos Old Days Gunfight 6A pair of shorts signals “I give up.”
Los Alamos Old Days Gunfight 7Doesn’t seem to matter. Shot are fired. Los Alamos Old Days Gunfight 8The local sheriff kills the killer.

A good time is had by all at the Los Alamos Old Days.

Stop by Los Alamos any time — but plan for the fourth weekend in September for a special time. See their website for details.

[This page was moved from my TomsDomain.com site to TomsFotos 21 Jan 2015.]