Labor Day Traditions New And Old


Labor Day weekend has countless traditions. For many people, the three-day weekend provides the last camping or backpacking trip of the year. Others schedule their first hunting trip of the season this coming weekend. Some mark the beginning of college football season (although Shasta College fans have to wait until September 11 this year). Plenty of us look forward to big auto racing events on television or in person.

In Red Bluff, there’s a newer tradition: the Northern California Miniature Donkey Show at the Tehama County Fairgrounds. Now in its eighth year, the show also serves as the 2010 National Miniature Donkey Association’s championship event.

A miniature donkey is just that – a donkey that is only 32- to 36-inches tall and weighing 200 to 350 pounds. Like all donkeys, the miniature variety has a reputation for physical strength, intelligence and a social disposition. Scores of the animals will participate this Friday through Sunday in a whole variety of events at the fairgrounds. There will be clinics for owners, and anyone considering acquiring one of these animals should bring their questions.

You may learn more about the event and find entry forms at


• Speaking of auto racing, it was gratifying to see my recent story about local stock car racing generate some positive responses. Unfortunately, as you die-hards already know, last Saturday’s races at Shasta Raceway Park were canceled because of the persist threat of rain. The event will not be rescheduled. But racing resumes at the Anderson track this Saturday, September 4, with a six-division program.

• The National Park Service is reminding everyone that South Fork Mountain Lookout Road at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is open during hunting season. Mountain bikers, runners and hikers often have the road to themselves, although the Park Service will open the gate at the road’s entrance, just across Highway 299 from the visitor center, upon request. That gate will remain open during archery deer season, which runs through September 12, and general deer season, set for September 18 through October 24. Good time for a bright orange bike helmet.

• There is less than one week remaining to enjoy the GPS Adventure at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Visitors may check out a maze exhibit and learn about Global Positioning Systems through Geocaching. Then, with their own GPS unit or rented one, they may head out across the Turtle Bay campus to find hidden booty. Labor Day, September 6, is the final day for the GPS Adventure.

• Motorists driving westbound on Highway 44 from I-5 to downtown Redding should be wary of a grooved and uneven surface for the next several days. Caltrans is scheduled to begin grinding the surface tonight, September 1, in preparation for resurfacing next week. Yep, this highway project really is going to reach a conclusion.

• The Great Sierra River Cleanup is scheduled for September 25. Shasta Land Trust is already looking for volunteers to help remove trash on that day from Boulder Creek in North Redding. Volunteers get a free lunch at Waterworks Park, but you’ll need to sign up in advance. Details on the Land Trust website,

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and doesn’t want summer to end. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.