Gold Rush Days festivities in Old Sacramento have been canceled because of the state's continued drought, officials said Monday.
The event, which traditionally takes place over Labor Day weekend, requires too much water, said Steve Hammond, president and chief executive of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Each year, nearly 200 tons of dirt is used to help turn the city into a scene out of the 1850s. The dirt performs a functional — as well as visual — role, providing a safe foundation for horses, wagons and performances in the streets.
But it takes up to 3,000 gallons a day to keep the dirt damp, and up to 100,000 gallons of water to clean up after the event, according to the bureau.
Dry conditions could also heighten the danger of cannon and weaponry demonstrations during the event, officials said.
A Twitter user suggested putting on Gold Rush Days without the dirt, but the bureau said dirt is necessary for safety reasons, and that the event is unfeasible without it.