YOSEMITE HERITAGE HOLIDAYS

 

AT THE AHWAHNEE

 

A TRIBUTE
Due primarily to the economy, Yosemite Heritage Holidays was cancelled on August 4, 2009. Low forecasts for the first

quarter of 2010 and the prospect of even lower numbers for 2011 due to a proposed partial (if not full) closure of the hotel

    for remodeling conspired for its demise. The event had been approved up to the time these elements came into the equation.

WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED

Yosemite Heritage Holidays sold out in 2008 and 2009. We proved that a well conceived event can fulfill

the National Park Service's requirements for Interpretive Programs and still be entertaining and turn a profit.

In this sense it was the most successful, site-appropriate event produced at The Ahwahnee in recent times. 

It could not have been done without the dedication, talent, and hard work of many hands (some of whom are

listed below), the staff of The Ahwahnee, and especially Cherie Oliver of the Art Deco Society Of California.

WHAT IT WAS

National Park Service Historians ensure preservation of The Ahwahnee from the furniture to the slate roof.

Born of the Art Deco era, the hotel graciously asserts its culture into the Yosemite Experience– but something

is missing. Can The Ahwahnee’s interior be restored to full flower, if only temporarily, reviving the Art Deco

fashion, sound, and movement that designers and architects imagined for the hotel? That’s what Yosemite

Heritage Holidays attempts. The air sings with loving re-creations of period music, the dance floor feels the 

reminiscent pulse of a waltz, elegant fashions absent for decades return to complement the décor, and vintage 

jazz echoes down the hall. Then, after this brief immersion in a culture that gave us The Ahwahnee, it may be

possible to imagine more clearly what our own ephemeral culture will leave behind in Yosemite – in other words,

we may be the subject of Yosemite Heritage Holidays in 2090!

THANKS

On behalf of the Yosemite community past and present, and our hundreds of guests you helped to joyfully

dip into the stream of Yosemite history, to all of you who made Yosemite Heritage Holidays a reality,

thanks, and happy trails to you!             -- Tom Bopp

 

VIDEOS, PHOTOGRAPHS, PRESS

Official Site  2011 FACEBOOK   2010 Promo video from Finley Holiday Films
2009-Tea Dance Video (color)  2009-Tea Dance Video (black & white)

2007 Video     2009 Musical slideshow

Bopp's Albums 2006 & 2009     2006 Photos    2006 - 2009 Photos    2009 Photos

2009 DNC Press Release    Fresno Bee, March 9, 2008

 

PARTICIPANTS

The Royal Society Jazz Orchestra - Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys 

Frederick Hodges with singer Ann Gibson - Sara Klotz De Aguilar

 The Deco Belles - Tom Bopp - Art Deco Society of San Francisco

 

A History of Yosemite Heritage Holidays

It started In August, 1998, when I wrote a proposal for the celebration of Camp Curry's 100th Anniversary. Seven

months later I met Cherie Oliver, whose expertise and band of experienced presenters helped make the event

a reality. Cherie then suggested a similar event for The Ahwahnee's 75th Anniversary in 2002. The rest is history,

recounted in this 71 page pdf with original documents from the genesis of Yosemite Heritage Holidays.

 

Yosemite Heritage Holidays Mission Statement - Tom Bopp

The mission of Yosemite Heritage Holidays is simple: engage with all our senses the many dimensions

that The Ahwahnee has to offer, indulge in great entertainment with real substance, share the

Yosemite Experience of our ancestors and during moments of repose, contemplate our own place

and value in the stream of Yosemite’s history. Past cultures still influence today’s Yosemite, and the

cultural nature of our interaction with the environment will affect Yosemite’s future.