Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site will host its annual Mud Mania event on Sunday, Aug. 19 from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Admission will be $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 4 to 12.
During Mud Mania: A Celebration of Adobe, guests will make real adobe bricks, plaster a wall with mud, construct a mini-adobe home, compete in mud relay races, and more as they learn about local adobe soil and its many uses throughout history.
Adobe is one of the oldest and most common building materials known to man. Traditionally sun-dried, adobe blocks are made of sand, clay, water and straw and were used to construct the home at Rancho Los Cerritos, which was built 168 years ago. At Mud Mania, guests young and old can squish and stomp mud in the adobe pit, where they will learn all about building homes with adobe bricks. Digging through the adobe soil in the archaeology lab, they can uncover lost treasures from bygone years: fragments of kitchen pottery, metal cutlery and even bone from the cattle and sheep that once grazed on the 27,000-acre Rancho. Participants will also have an opportunity to see and touch different insects that live in the soil, make a clay pot, and play mud-related games.
For those who prefer to stay neat and tidy, Mud Mania offers plenty of “clean” activities, including cuneiform writing on clay tablets, Mud Mania trivia, and paper crafts. Also, The Witcher Brothers will be performing lively bluegrass music throughout the event, and light refreshments will be available for purchase.
For Mud Mania, attendees should park in the overflow lot across from the Rancho entrance or on the street; carpooling is recommended. The Rancho requests that there be no more than six children per adult. Shoes are required, except in the mud pit, and guests are encouraged to wear old clothes and bring a towel plus a change of attire for the ride home. “De-mudding” stations will also be available for limited clean-up, but there are no showers.
The Rancho is located at 4600 Virginia Rd., northwest of the intersection of Long Beach Boulevard and San Antonio Drive. Today Rancho Los Cerritos is one of the few remaining two-story adobes in Southern California and is normally open Wednesday-Sunday between 1pm to 5pm for free tours; however, the house will be closed on August 19 because of the muddiness of the event. Mud Mania is supported by Friends of Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, Long Beach Parks, Recreation & Marine. For more information call (562) 570-1755 or visit rancholoscerritos.org .