The Central Coast Railroad Festival has announced its final programs for the 2011 Festival set for October 6th to 10th. Lectures, a family train party and ride and additional musicians have been added to the full schedule of concerts, family events, excursions and model layouts. The Festival's 2011 Major Sponsors are Amtrak California, Rabobank and the San Luis Obispo Model Railroad Association. The Cities of San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach are major promotional sponsors for the 2011 Festival. KCOY 12 and FOX 11 are the Festival's television media partners. Univision-Entravision TV is assisting with the Saturday Family Train Party and Ride.
A Train Party and Family Excursion on the Pacific Surfliner will take place on Saturday from Grover Beach to the SLO Rail Celebration and back. The Train Party starts at 11:00am at the Grover Beach Amtrak Platform (corner of Grand Ave. and Hwy 1). Entertainment will be provided by a live DJ and Ballooney the Clown. Also Amtrak gifts and snacks will be provided. The Surfliner departs Grover Beach at 12:26pm and fans will be able to spend an hour at the SLO Amtrak Station and CCRRF Rail Celebration at the Freight House prior to boarding the 2:00pm southbound Surfliner to return to Grover Beach. Attendees must purchase train tickets directly from Amtrak in advance or at the Grover Beach platform that morning. CCRRF representatives will be on hand that morning to facilitate Amtrak Kiosk purchases. Amtrak offers various discounts including half price fares for kids up to 15 years old (half price round trip kid tickets are $8.50 and round trip adult tickets are $17 less discounts). This event is co-sponsored by Univision.
There will be numerous other family programs during the Festival. The SLO City-County Library will sponsor several events on Saturday: a model boxcar kit building class for youngsters at 11:00am; a 2:00pm kiddie and family train party with musician Andrew Beacock, running model trains and gifts from Amtrak; and a free 6:00pm viewing of the railroad film "Narrow Margin." On Sunday the Friends of the Price House in Pismo Beach present their 14th Annual Ice Cream Social with kiddie train rides, railroad history presentations and more.
A full schedule of lectures and video presentations will be presented at the Festival Headquarters, the SLO Quality Suites. These programs will take place every morning from Friday through Monday as well as on Friday afternoon. Topics will include the Pacific Coast Railway, historic Southern Pacific and Western Pacific depots and stations, railroading on the California Central Coast, the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, railroad operations & the Southern California citrus industry, Oakland's 3rd Street Depot and the Southern Pacific's Lompoc and White Hills Branches. Local musician, actor and TV host Dave Baumgarten will present his "Wanderers and Railroad Bums" program on Sunday morning which features railroad songs and storytelling. As an added treat attendees will be able to view Dennis Pearson's operating On30 Pacific Coast Railway layout and a diorama of Harford Pier which was created by SLO modelers Andrew Merriam and John Marchetti. Programs originally scheduled at Harford Pier on Friday have been moved to the Quality Suites.
Don Lampson, the Central Coast Railroad Festival's favorite balladeer, will perform with special guests at two of his four concerts during the Festival. He will take his crowds on a musical journey, filled with hoboes, rounders, and songs from the American railroad experience. Don's solo performances during the Festival will be on Friday at 6:00pm at Paso Robles' La Quinta Inn & Suites and on Saturday at 6:00pm at the SLO Quality Suites. These free hotel shows will be followed by informal circles of attendees swapping railroad and hobo stories. Don will play with special guests Peter Morin and Charlie Kleemann at his two Saturday afternoon SLO Freight House sets at noon and 2:00pm. Don's Pismo Beach show at 4:00pm on Sunday at the Sea Venture Resort in Pismo Beach will feature Bob Liepman, Julie Beaver and Charlie Kleemann.
Model Railroads of Southern California has again scheduled a great CCRRF layout tour which features operating layouts in Lompoc, Santa Maria, Oceano, Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles. Individual layouts, garden railroads and large club layouts will be included. Complete details can be found on the CCRRF website.
At the Third Annual Festival attendees will be able to celebrate rail's history and future while experiencing many special programs. Most Festival events will be free and all will be fun and very family friendly. Special hotel packages will be available for visitors who wish to spend several days on the Central Coast attending the Railroad Festival and exploring the area's beaches, wineries and other special attractions. Further information on the Central Coast Railroad Festival, including the complete schedule of events, a list of participating organizations and an email notification sign up, can be found at www.ccrrf.com or by calling the Festival office at 805-773-4173.