Pioneer Folk Fest Celebrates Ranching Heritage of Sunol


2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Sunol-Ohlone Regional Wilderness, an East Bay Regional Park. Before it became a public park, the Geary family ranched on the land for nearly 100 years. Celebrate Sunol Regional Wilderness’ pioneer and ranching heritage at the Pioneer Folk Fest, a free public festival at the park on Saturday, November 3 from 1 to 6:30 pm.

Patrick and Mary Ann Geary were married in the Mission area of Fremont, in the shadow of Mission Peak. In 1865, the couple moved to the Sunol valley– traveling by foot, with their belongings in a cart. The Gearys farmed - and raised their 11 children - at their homestead on Indian Joe Creek.

Geary descendants continued to ranch at Sunol for decades, even after Willis Brinker bought their land and other homesteads to form the JB Ranch.  Brinker died while fighting a fire on the ranch and the land was sold to the Park District, which opened it to the public in 1962.

Join in the festivities on November 3, featuring live music, square dancing, crafts and games. “Barns, brands and bovines” is the theme for the day. Learn about local pioneer and ranching history. Barbeque meals by Dino’s Grill will be available for purchase.

Visitors who wish to explore the park may join a free, guided history hike with Park District naturalists in the morning, or register in advance for a horseback ride through the valley ($25/$29). End the evening with an old-fashioned square dance, campfire, and birthday cake.

Pioneer Folk Fest: Barns, Brands and Bovines!

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Road

Sunol, CA 94586

Saturday, November 3, 2012

1 to 6:30 pm

Free event
Parking $5

Additional Activities
Hike 10 am – 1 pm  
3 miles, moderately strenuous. Bring water and lunch.  No registration required.

Horseback riding – 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm

Advance registration required, fee ($25/$29).

Public Information
1 (888) 327-2757


For information on the day of the event, call the Green Barn Visitor Center at (510) 544-3245.

Event is on rain or shine!

Isa Polt-Jones
(510) 544-3245