Performing Arts and Special Events


Concours d’Elegance car and club show every autumn at Ironstone Vineyards

Willie Nelson performs at the Ironstone Amphitheatre

What do ZZ Top, Faith Hill, Willie Nelson, Sugarland, Sheryl Crow, and REO Speedwagon have in common? They are just a few of the incredible acts that grace the stage at the Ironstone Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre is part of the Ironstone Vineyards, California’s largest winery entertainment complex. The winery is nestled against the Sierra Foothills, in the heart of California’s scenic Gold Rush Country. The Kautz family, who own and operate the Ironstone Winery, created a “homesite,” a winery and visitor’s center that exemplifies their family commitment to excellence, and provides an environment that reaches beyond the world of winemaking to support all of the cultural arts. In addition to the summer concert series, the winery offers a fall Concours d’Elegance car and club show, a culinary center, wine tours, a museum and jewelry shop, and even silent movies accompanied by the Alhambra Theatre pipe organ.

Di Wu, Van Cliburn finalist performs at the Bear Valley Music Festival

And that is just the beginning of the lively performing arts venues in Calaveras County. The very active Calaveras Arts Council offers a summer “Music in the Park” series in Calaveras County parks—featuring a variety of fine musical artists. In the winter, the Arts Council offers the “Ovation Series” with top-notch performers from throughout the West to perform at the 350-seat Bret Harte Theatre in Angels Camp. This can include symphony, ballet, as well as individual performing artists.

A few of the other local special events include “A Taste of Calaveras” which offers tastings of vintages from local wineries, gourmet food showcasing the County’s bounty, live entertainment, plein aire artist demonstrations; and the “Bear Valley Music Festival” which presents a full symphony orchestra, international soloists, legendary entertainers, and renowned opera stars in a unique mountain setting; and more than 20 local wineries offer vintner’s wine tastings.

The County and the region also support many theatres. Calaveras County hosts four repertory theatres. Additionally, its neighboring counties of Tuolumne and Amador offer excellent quality performing arts theatres and open air concerts.

Even larger theatre venues are a short drive away. The newly opened Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto and the Mondavi Center in Davis are but two examples.