More great articles about Grass Valley by travel writers

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Grass Valley received another nice article titled “Plenty of pleasant surprises for visitors to Grass Valley” by travel writer Susan Alcorn after a recent visit to Nevada County that was published on Examiner.com.

“Although the city of Grass Valley still offers plenty of interesting historic sites and homes to view, it now also offers visitors gourmet dining, cooking classes, brew pubs, and a vibrant art center. Grass Valley, with its 13,000 residents, is the largest city in Nevada County and it’s an attractive destination for Bay Area visitors wanting a quick getaway. If you pick your time carefully, you’ll find it’s only a two-and-a-half hour drive from the Bay Area to reach this quiet, pretty little town in the foothills of the Sierra.

“Once you arrive in Grass Valley, there’s plenty to do. If you love to cook or eat great food, head downtown to Tess’ Kitchen Store. This store will amaze—three levels high and solidly stocked with the best and latest utensils, pots and pans, linens, and coffee makers. While you are there, pick up a jar of premium jam or mustard and taste test the olive oils and vinegars.”

To read the full article, click here. And, from that same visit to Nevada County, here and here are other articles.

(Source: Examiner.com, WeekendAdventuresUpdate.com)

Bridgeport receives new historic designation

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This past weekend at the Fall Festival, Bridgeport received a new historic designation and plaque. The original designation landmark dedication of the Bridge (California landmark #390) at Bridgeport was in 1947. The current update dedication now includes the associated Virginia turnpike, 1862 barn, 1927 gas station and the Kneebone cemetery. Amy Crain of the California State Office of Historic Preservation confirmed that the Bridge is the longest single span wooden covered bridge in the world.

Attendees at the dedication also included County Supervisor Hank Weston, Supervising State Park Peace Office (Ranger) Dan Youngren, President of the South Yuba River Park Association David Anderson, David Allen with the Native Sons of the Golden West, and Matt Green. The dedication was made possible by the support of the California State Parks Foundation and the Native Sons of the Golden West.

(Photo: South Yuba River Park Association)

Bridgeport Fall Festival this weekend!

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This Sunday is the Bridgeport Fall Festival, a full day of fun and activities for all ages. Learn more about our historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge here.

Examiner.com writes about the Empire Mine

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After receiving a familiarization tour invitation by Nevada County Tourism, travel writer Susan Alcorn wrote about her recent visit in an article titled “Exploring the Gold Country: Grass Valley’s Empire Mine,” which ran on October 20, 2014 in Examiner.com.

“There’s still gold in “them ‘thar hills,” and “there’s millions in it” may have originally referred to a ridge in Dahlonega, GA, back in the 1840s, but it was—and still is—also an apt description of the Gold Country’s Empire Mine near Grass Valley, Calif. Between 1850 and 1956, the Empire Mine produced 5.8 million ounces of gold making it the richest mine in California. When you visit this State Historic Park, you won’t be able to travel the 367 miles of underground shafts, but you can look down at one of the shafts and can also view the fascinating model of the vast network in the visitor center.

“Gold was discovered by James Marshall in 1848, but his employer, John Sutter, fearing that his quiet way of life would be lost forever, tried to keep the find quiet. Word was leaked, however, and soon the cry of “Eureka” was heard around the world. California’s Gold Rush began. It’s estimated that California’s non-Indian population was 14,000 in 1848; 100,000 by the end of 1849, and 250,000 by 1852. Most of the men who came to the foothills in the hope of finding easy riches did not find it. By the mid-1870s, mining had become more of a business and the men who went to work for the mine operators or corporations instead found dangerous, hard work and low pay.

“The Empire Mine employed thousands of men—70% of whom were Cornish—to work the hard rock mine. When the mine was in full operation, a dozen or more men at a time would pile into open cars and be lowered with cables along a pair of metal tracks thousands of feet beneath the ground. These same railroad-type tracks were also used to bring the metal ore cars to the surface. The typical miner’s 10-hour day, for which he may have earned $3.50, was hardly the grand adventure he had hoped for.

“When visiting the Empire Mine yard, you’ll find several of the original buildings and much of the original mining equipment—including the headframe (also known as the “gallows frame”) and the stamp mill (which was used to crush the ore). One building worth spending a few moments in is the blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmith had a very important role: it was he who fashioned repairs to the heavy metal equipment and supplied the miners with some practical equipment—such as ‘sticks to place in the wall of the mine to hold their candles.”

To read the full article, visit Examiner.com.

(photos: Susan Alcorn, Empire Mine State Historic Park)

Amgen Tour of California promotes Nevada City

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Nevada City, a host city for the 2015 Tour of California bike race, is being promoted by Amgen, the race’s sponsor:

Route Information: May 11, 2015 – Stage 2 Start

Nevada City, California’s best preserved Gold Rush town, has a lot to offer far beyond this well-deserved distinction. Nestled in a basin on the Western Slope of the Sierra Nevada, it is framed and protected by ridgetops and promontories. At 2,500 feet above sea level, Nevada City is surrounded by forest. Deer Creek flows through and graces the center of town. Whenever you begin your descent into Nevada City, you can sense that you are approaching something good.

For thousands of years Nevada City and its environs were inhabited by the indigenous Nisenan. It was first settled by outside influences from the Gold Rush in 1849. At times it was referred to as “Nevada” and at others as “Nevada City.” Eventually the word “City” was permanently added to avoid confusion with her neighbor, the state of Nevada.

Steeped in history, this full-service city of 3,000 people has seen its ups and downs. With the diminution of gold mining and timber harvesting, plus the slice that the Golden State Freeway took out of the core of the city in the 1960s, city leaders looked to historic preservation as the path into the future. Creating its own historical district in 1968 has led to a slow but steady increase in visitors and vitality as well as designation on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today Nevada City once again has significant economic, cultural and social substance. It is the county seat, headquarters of the Tahoe National Forest, and site of businesses such as Robinson Enterprises, Inc., Telestream, Grass Valley Group, and 2Wire’s design facility. Fine restaurants, bars, overnight accommodations, two wineries, a Railroad Museum, Firehouse Museum, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the Nevada Theatre are noteworthy, alive and well.

The Nevada City Film Festival and the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL’s) Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival call it home, along with a bevy of environmental and nonprofit groups that are headquartered here. KVMR community radio is in its 31st year and has increased its budget, reach and popularity dramatically over time. NCTV, a fledgling television station covering local government and community items of relevance, is spreading its wings as well.

The Nevada City School District serves 1,300 students, grades K-8 at 3 locations. Student test scores are among the highest in the state. The teachers are dedicated, qualified and solidly backed by parents committed to their children’s education. Down the road is Nevada Union High School, an award-winning and noted for its academic and vocational excellence. Adjacent to Nevada Union is the Nevada County branch of Sierra College, part the California community college system.

Nevada County operates the Madelyn Helling County Library, the Doris Foley Library for Historical Research and the Nevada County Historical Society hosts the Searls Historical Library.

Long-time residents and newcomers together represent a wide spectrum of interests and perspectives. Their city’s small-town qualities, character and sense of community are clear. As someone once said, beyond all the wonderful things in and all around Nevada City, the best part is that “there is still a ‘there’ here.”

To view the article, click here.

(Source: Amgen Tour of California)

Big News: Nevada City to host 2015 Amgen Tour

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This is big news! Nevada City is a host city for the men’s race, and South Lake Tahoe is a host city for the women’s race. The race begins in Sacramento.

The Amgen Tour of California, presented by AEG, announced it will make its grand return to Sacramento, the capital of California, to kick off the 10th anniversary of America’s largest cycling race. The eight day stage race will travel a north-to-south route and span nearly 700 miles through many of California’s most breathtaking roads and sceneries. The Amgen Tour of California is also proud to announce a first of its kind, three-day professional women’s cycling race on May 8-10, 2015, as well as an invitational Time Trial on May 15, 2015.

Regarded as the largest and most prestigious cycling event in America, 52 California cities have hosted the race throughout the past nine editions. For the 10th anniversary, the start of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California will take place in Sacramento, the state’s capital, and travel through 12 additional host cities during the eight day event including Nevada City, Lodi (first-time host city), San Jose (ten-time host city), Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Big Bear Lake, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) and Pasadena.

“Since we launched the Amgen Tour of California nine years ago, we have strived to host the world’s top cyclists in a race that will not only challenge them as professionals, but will also provide a stunning backdrop,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “As we look ahead to our 10th edition of the race, we’re certain the worldwide audience will be on the edge of their seats watching as the sport’s best men and women cyclists compete against each other in what is likely to be our most challenging and picturesque course ever.”

Stage 1 of the race commences on May 10, 2015 in the state’s capital of Sacramento, which marks the seventh time the city has hosted the race and the third time as the overall start. After eight days of racing, cyclists will conclude the race in the city referred to fondly as the “City of Roses,” Pasadena.

Nevada City is stage 2

Stage 2 of the race will find the peloton traveling through historic Nevada City to first-time host city Lodi, known as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” Stage 3 will see the cyclists start and finish in the only city to have participated in all 10 editions of the race, San Jose.

As the peloton continues its journey south, Stage 4 will take the race from one ocean side community to another when the peloton traverses from Pismo Beach to Avila Beach. This year marks the second time each city has served as a host city.

Stage 5 of the race will commence in the “American Riviera” known as Santa Barbara, where cyclists will have the chance to take in picturesque views of the California coast and Pacific Ocean. From Santa Barbara, cyclists will land in Santa Clarita, with both cities sharing the distinction of serving as host cities six times since the race began.

Third-time host city Big Bear Lake will host this year’s Individual Time Trial (Stage 6), where cyclists will compete against the clock while taking in stunning mountain and lake views. During Stage 7, Ontario, referred to as the “Gateway to Southern California,” will host cyclists for the second time as they make their way to a mountain top finish at Mt. Baldy, a third-time host city.

As the race draws to a conclusion, the peloton will travel from L.A. LIVE in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This marks the third time Los Angeles has served as a host city after hosting the overall finish of the race in 2012, also at L.A. LIVE. Pasadena has hosted the race four times, including the overall finish in 2008.

For ten consecutive years, biotechnology company Amgen has served as the title sponsor of the race and will continue to activate Breakaway from Cancer® leading up to and during the race. Founded in 2005 by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer aims to increase awareness of important resource available to people affected by cancer, from prevention to survivorship.
The Amgen Tour of California draws global recognition as one of the most anticipated cycling events of the year attracting Olympic medalists, World Champions and top Tour de France competitors.

2015 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA TO HOST UNPRECEDENTED FOUR DAYS OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CYCLING

To highlight the extraordinary achievements in women’s cycling, the 2015 Amgen Tour of California will continue to expand its support of women’s cycling and host a first of its kind three-day women’s cycling stage race. The women’s race will travel through South Lake Tahoe on May 8-9, 2015 and conclude in Sacramento on May 10, 2015, the same day of the overall start of the men’s race.

As with previous years, the world’s top-ranked time trialists will be invited to race against the clock during an invitational Time Trial preceding the men’s Individual Time Trial at Stage 6 in Big Bear Lake. Powered by SRAM, one of the founding sponsors of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial, the women’s cycling event serves as a chance for female cyclists to display the powerful and exciting racing they are known for around the world.

“We are beyond thrilled to see the Amgen Tour of California continue to expand its entire women’s racing platform. This will continue to expose the world to the passion and force women have on the bike,” said, SRAM President Stan Day.

“AEG has always been proud to support women’s cycling and is pleased to once again expand its women’s competition to four days,” said Bachochin. “Hosting four days of women’s cycling, fans will have the opportunity to watch the immense talents and achievements of the best women cyclists from around the world.”

The Host City partners for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California include:

Women’s Race:

Stage 1: Friday, May 8 – South Lake Tahoe
Stage 2: Saturday, May 9 – South Lake Tahoe
Stage 3: Sunday, May 10 – Sacramento

Invitational Time Trial: Friday, May 15 – Big Bear Lake

Men’s Race:

Stage 1: Sunday, May 10 – Sacramento
Stage 2: Monday, May 11 – Nevada City to Lodi
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 12 – San Jose
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 13 – Pismo Beach to Avila Beach
Stage 5: Thursday, May 14 – Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
Stage 6: Friday, May 15 – Big Bear Lake (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 7: Saturday, May 16 – Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Stage 8: Sunday, May 17 – L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) to Pasadena

For further information on the 2015 Amgen Tour of California, visit AmgenTourofCalifornia.com.

(Source: Amgen Tour of California and SierraCulture.com)

What’s up in Nevada County November through December, 2014

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COUNTY

North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center Upcoming Events
17894 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA

Linsey Aitken & Ken Campbell Concert
Friday, November 7, 2014
Doors 7:00 p.m.
 Show 8:00 p.m.

$15 advance/member, $20 door
To purchase tickets, visit NorthColumbaiSchoolhouse.org.

Linsey Aitken and Ken Campbell hail from Loch Lomond, Scotland, and will be performing one of the best Songbooks in contemporary Scots acoustic music incorporating vocals, cello, guitar, Northumbrian pipes, piano, and laud. Linsey Aitken is a highly regarded cellist and vocalist crossing genres from classical to folk, trained on cello and piano at the RSAMD. She has performed professionally all over the UK from the Royal Albert Hall to the sands of Calgary Bay in Mull. Ken Campbell – Scottish singer-songwriter with a well-established pedigree over 30 years and with five albums to date, festivals, concerts, TV and radio throughout Europe, USA and beyond.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival Encore
Friday, November 14, 2014
Doors Open at 6:00 p.m.; Films will show from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Tickets: $15 Schoolhouse and SYRCL Members or Advance; 
$18 Door

$8 Kids 5 to 12 (Kids under 5 are free)
To purchase tickets, visit NorthColubmiaSchoolhouse.org.

For the second consecutive year, Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour will be making an appearance on the San Juan Ridge at the historic North Columbia Schoolhouse. SYRCL and the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center have partnered to bring an encore presentation of films from the 2014 Wild & Scenic Festival. A series of shorter films will be arranged around one longer feature.

Holiday Craft Faire
Saturday, December 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 7, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The San Juan Ridge is known for its rich collection of artists and craftspeople. Come to the annual Holiday Craft Faire and experience the works of talented craftspeople, shop for some gifts, and savor soups and hot drinks at the annual Holiday Craft Faire hosted by the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center. This two-day event brings to life the one-room schoolhouse set atop Columbia Hill. Admission is free. Visitors from afar will have the chance to enjoy a scenic drive leaving behind the relative hustle and bustle of town to do some holiday shopping in this classic, natural setting.

Country Christmas Faire
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA
Friday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, November 29 and 30 from 10 a.m.m to 4 p.m.
$4 Admission fee

Rated as one of the top handcrafted shows in Northern California, the Country Christmas Faire, held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, features unique gifts and crafts from top artisans from across the state. Exhibit buildings will be filled during the Thanksgiving weekend, giving shoppers a chance to start their holiday shopping with quality hand-made holiday items, ornaments, jewelry, wooden crafts, soaps and lotions, hand-woven baskets, stained glass, candles, beadwork, and dozens of other unique gifts. Visitors to the Faire will enjoy strolling live entertainment, festival foods, the magical Gingerbread House exhibit, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, errand elves, and a community bon-fire. Wagon rides around the Fairgrounds will be offered; Free childcare. To learn more about the Faire, visit NevadaCountyFaire.com.

Music in the Mountains “Holiday Pops – Celebrate the Magic”
Amaral Center at the Nevada County Fairgrounds
Saturday, December 13 at 11:00 a.m. Children are free
Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets – $10 – $50
For tickets, visit MusicInTheMountains.org.

Join Music in the Mountains for Holiday Pops – Celebrate the Magic, a turbo-boost performance of symphonic rock arranged by Mannheim Steamroller and the Trans Siberian Orchestra, and of course, your favorite carols. The concert begins with Choral Director, Mr. Ryan Murphy leading the Music in the Mountain’s Festival Chorale accompanied by 28-piece chamber orchestra. On Saturday morning, children are invited to a special Children’s Holiday Concert. Rumor has it Santa Claus may make an appearance.

Double Oak Vineyard & Winery celebrates its 29th Harvest and 18th Vintage at their Harvest Open House on Saturday, November 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tour the winery with winemaker Bob Hilsman, barrel taste, sample the new and current releases, as well as reserve wines. Savory gourmet hors d’oeuvres will be paired with fine wine.

Popular local musician James Carlson will be performing with his fine acoustic guitar. He is playing a delightful mix of country and folk with his own original style and material. A great line-up of fine artists and craftpersons offering a fine selection of wood creations, collages and mosaics, textiles and weavings, and photographs. Admission is $7; Wine Club members and their guests $5 and includes a logo wine glass.

Nevada County Restaurant Week
January 23, 2015 through February 1, 2015
Participating restaurants throughout Nevada County

Nevada County Tourism in partnership the Grass Valley Downtown Association, the Nevada City Chamber, the South Nevada County Chamber, the Penn Valley Chamber, the Truckee Chamber, the Greater Grass Valley Chamber and Sierra FoodWineArt magazine, are excited to announce Nevada County Restaurant Week 2015. The event will be held in conjunction with Visit California’s statewide California Restaurant Month. During Nevada County Restaurant Week, restaurants located throughout the County will be offering, “deals,” specials and prix-fixe menus enticing local “foodies” as well as regional visitors to come and experience a new restaurant or one of your favorites or both. A full listing of restaurants participating in Restaurant Week along with their menus will be made available on GoNevadaCounty.com.

GRASS VALLEY

Two New Event Centers Open in Grass Valley

The Foothills Event Center is Nevada County’s newest upscale venue located in the beautiful foothills of Northern California. Whether your event is an intimate evening, a business luncheon, or a wedding reception with live music, The Foothills Event Center can easily accommodate your needs. With plenty of on-site parking for over 200 cars along with bus parking, blazing fast fiber optic internet, and an open floor plan that accommodates any size group, we are excited to share The Foothills Event Center with you. The Foothills Event Center is located at 400 Idaho-Maryland Drive in Grass Valley. To learn more about this facility, visit FoothillsEvents.com.

The Historic Binkelman Brewery Building at the Grass Valley Courtyard Suites was remodeled in April and added 1,300 square feet of state-of-the-art mix-use meeting space, as well as four additional rooms to the boutique hotel’s inventory.

Born in Wurtenburg, Germany on January 2, 1828, David Binkelmann came to Grass Valley in 1853. The brick brewery was constructed in 1861 replacing a smaller 1856 frame building on North Auburn Street. Binkelmann ran the brewery until his death on May 23, 1884. Leaving his wife Sophie to carry-on until her death in 1915, when the brewery was bequeathed to her son, David J. Binkelmann. The Grass Valley Courtyard Suites is located at 210 South Auburn Street in Grass Valley. To learn more about the property, visit GVCourtyardSuites.com.

The 47th Annual Cornish Christmas Celebration
Historic Downtown Grass Valley, CA
Held the four Fridays beginning Friday, November 28; December 5,12,19 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Since 1967, as a way to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Historic Downtown Grass Valley streets are closed and filled with the sights and sounds of an old fashioned Christmas. The rooftops of beautifully restored historic buildings are lined with white lights. Handmade arts and crafts from artists throughout California are displayed, and delicious food and drinks from a number of Grass Valley restaurants and specialty food vendors are available. New this year, a FREE shuttle service from the Nevada County Fairgrounds to downtown Grass Valley. To learn more about this year’s Cornish Christmas, visit HistoricGrassValley.com.

Holidays at the Mine
Empire Mine State Historic Park
10791 E. Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA
Friday, November 28 and Saturday, November 29, 2014
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Be transported back to the early 1900′s when Empire Mine was ranked one of the oldest, largest, and most prosperous hard-rock gold mines in North America. Historic Bourn Cottage will be decked out in holiday splendor and old-fashioned decorations. Docents in lavish, turn-of-the-century costumes will portray Mr. & Mrs. William Bourn, as well as Jr., Mr., and Mrs. George Starr. Enjoy live Celtic music performed by the String Sisters. Children can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus in the nearby clubhouse, where they can share their heartfelt holiday wishes.

InConcert Sierra2014/2015 Third Sunday Concerts
Seventh-Day Adventist Church
12889 Osborne Hill Drive, Grass Valley, CA
Sunday, October 19, November 16 & December 21

To learn more about the Third Sunday Concerts and see the rest of the 2014/2015 season, visit InConcertSierra.org.

Dances for the Season – Holiday Special
Saturday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 21 at 2 p.m.

There’s no better way to close out 2014 than by enjoying holiday favorites with the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra with conductor Ken Hardin and assistant conductor Toon Vandevorst. Spreading holiday cheer with carols and celebratory songs, the program will include the premiere of a medley of carols arranged and orchestrated by Toon Vandevorst.

Jennifer Stumm, viola
Sunday, January 18, 2015 – 2:00 p.m.

Hailed by The Washington Post for the “opal-like beauty” and “phosphorescent energy” of her playing, and First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, violist Jennifer Stumm is internationally recognized as a musical innovator and dynamic advocate for her instrument. She was honored to give a TEDx presentation at the 2011 Aldeburgh Festival, which she entitled “An Imperfect Instrument,” and through a unique mixture of talk and performance, Stumm offers a compelling meditation on the viola’s capacity for emotion– and for making beautiful music. The subsequent video of her presentation was selected as an ‘Editor’s Pick’ of all talks on Ted.com.

The Center for the Arts Upcoming Events
314 W. Main Street, Grass Valley, CA

The 3rd Annual California Banjo Extravaganza
Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m.
$22 members, $25 non-member

The 3rd Annual California Banjo Extravaganza lifts off with five-string favorite Bill Evans bringing in Tony Furtado and Mark Johnson, along with a band of bluegrass all-stars. Mark Johnson is the 2012 recipient of the Steve Martin Award for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Northern California native Tony Furtado’s entrance onto the national stage came with him winning two National Banjo Championships while still a teenager and performing with Laurie Lewis’ band. He has appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and shared the concert stage with such names as Greg Allman, Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth. San Francisco Bay Area musician Bill Evans is an internationally recognized banjo life force, acclaimed for his playing, teaching and writing. The author of Banjo For Dummies, the most popular banjo instructional book in the world, Bill’s 2012 CD In Good Company features 26 guest artists. To learn more about this event, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org.

The Windham Hill Winter Solstice Celebration featuring Will Ackerman, Barbara Higbie and Liz Story with Todd Boston
Sunday, December 21 at 7 p.m.
$25 members, $28 non-member

Three captivating artists who rose to fame recording for the Windham Hill label come together to celebrate the holiday season. Windham Hill “new age” image doesn’t do justice to the passionate singer, pianist, fiddler and guitarist Barbara Higbie, whom writer Derk Richardson described as “a jazz pianist who can write and sing like Laura Nyro and Carol King, a prize-winning folk fiddler who will interpret a John Coltrane tune through a French vocal.” Higbie, whose musical associates have included Bonnie Raitt, Bobby McFerrin and Carlos Santana, put together this Winter Solstice ensemble with GRAMMY-nominated pianist Liz Story and the guitar playing Windham Hill label founder, Will Ackerman. To learn more about this concert, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org.

NEVADA CITY

A new 150-foot suspension bridge hanging above Deer Creek on the Tribute Trail in Nevada City is open. Hanging four stories over Deer Creek in Nevada City, a new bridge is complete, adding another connection to the overall Tribute Trail network. The bridge creates a loop connection from Champion Mine Road along the existing Tribute Trail to the Environs trail, which stretches on the other side of the bridge to Zion Street via Providence Mine Road. The bridge itself is built to be “dynamic” in order to be flexible, meaning it sways, wobbles and bounces a little.

Forest Trails Alliance, designed and built the striking masonry abutments on either side of the bridge, as well as designed and built an elaborate stone-encrusted half-mile access trail leading to the bridge. The new segment of the trail and bridge pays tribute to the Nisenan people of the Nevada City Rancheria, who also contributed indigenous native plants to replace the invasive species cleared by another partner group, American Rivers, which also cleared excess fuel to make the area more fire-safe. Near the petroglyph and on either side of the bridge are curved, blue-dyed concrete “waves,” designed to add an enchantment worthy of the striking downtowns of Grass Valley and Nevada City.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is tentatively set for October 28 with many state and local officials including California’s Secretary for Resources John Laird and state Assemblyman Brian Dahle, are expected to attend.

Bear Yuba Land Trust has the most current information and maps of the trail at BYLT.org.

Artisans Festival
Miners Foundry Cultural Center
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Friday, November 28 and Saturday, November 29

Celebrate the start of holiday season at the 17th Annual Artisans Festival at the historic Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s Artisans Festival will be like no other with a celebratory atmosphere of installation art, performance art, children’s art activities, and an Acoustic Café and Wine Bar all backing incredible artisans, many of whom are new to the festival.

36th Annual Victorian Christmas
Downtown Historic Nevada City, CA
Sundays, December 7, 14 and 21 from 1:30 to 6 p.m.
Wednesdays, December 10 and 14 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Welcome the holiday season in style in historic Nevada City, a quaint, Gold Rush town nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra where each year the town’s picturesque downtown transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of hilly streets outlined with twinkling white lights and authentic gas lamps, wandering minstrels and carolers dressed in Victorian attire, and a myriad of visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings. Victorian Christmas has become an annual family tradition that features holiday activities for all ages! Enjoy carriage rides, live entertainment, savory yuletide treats and libations, and of course, Father Christmas! For more information, visit NevadaCityChamber.com.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
South Yuba River Citizens League
Screenings in Downtown Nevada City and Downtown Grass Valley
Thursday, January 15 through Sunday, January 18, 2015

This January, SYRCL’s (South Yuba River Citizens League) 13th Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival returns with another incredible selection of films to change your world. Each year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators and well-known world adventurers to the historic downtown areas of Nevada City and Grass Valley, California. The theme this year is, “A Wild Life”. Many of the adventurers and activists featured in our films live “wild lives” and we intend to honor their not-so-mainstream choices, often thought to be a little on the wild side.

Considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals, festival-goers can expect to see award winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, Native American and indigenous cultures. This year’s selections will not only take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, but also instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us. Learn more about the film festival by visiting WildAndScenicFilmFestival.org.

Art at Wild & Scenic

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is proud to partner with Nevada County Arts for the fourth year in an effort to increase awareness of the intersection between arts and the environment. More than 40 businesses, wineries, cafes and galleries will exhibit selected art during the 13th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival. “Exhibiting Wild & Scenic art adds another layer to the festival experience and immerses attendees in an environmental experience throughout town,” says Melinda Booth, Film Festival Director. Learn more here.

TRUCKEE

Boreal Mountain Ski Resort celebrates their 50-Year Anniversary in 2015 Season

During the winter of 1964-65, a small ski area named Boreal opened atop of Donner Summit. Almost half a century later, it’s a thriving ski & snowboard resort with a state-of-the-art action sports facility. Fifty years is a long time and Boreal plans on throwing a season-long party and rolling out killer dealers to commemorate this exciting milestone. Learn more about the ski resort by visiting RideBoreal.com.

Fifty Fifty Brewing Company Annual Eclipse Release Party
11197 Brockway Rd, Truckee, CA
Thursday, December 4

Fifty Fifty Brewing Company will celebrate their annual ECLIPSE™ Release Party on December 4th. Eclipse is only released once a year due to the extensive brewing and aging process. This award winning Imperial Stout is put it in oak bourbon barrels then aged for six months. Party includes tasting of previous years Eclipse, plus other 5050 barrel-aging project, commemorative bottle of Eclipse and Eclipse logo snifter glasses, gourmet cheeses, artisan bread, charcuterie, and beer-inspired appetizers and early access to purchase 2014 Eclipse, as well as other vintage Eclipse styles. Learn more by visiting FiftyFiftyBrewing.com.

38th Annual Donner Lake Turkey Trot and the Mashed Potato Mile
Donner Lake, Truckee, CA
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$25-$40 registration fee

The idea of a fun race around Donner Lake was hatched back in 1976 by a small group of enthusiastic runners who wanted to make room for all the turkey and pies they were going to be eating in the weeks ahead. Thirty-eight years later the Donner Lake Turkey Trot is a popular event attracting runners from Reno, Sacramento & The Bay Area as well as many locals who enjoy the excuse to support a good cause & get out for a morning run/walk. Auburn Ski Club Junior Nordic Team organizes the race as a fundraiser and a way to get ready for the ski season. The race happens regardless of the weather — snowstorms, below freezing temperatures, ice, rain or beautiful sunny days – guaranteed to be fun! To learn more and register, please visit AuburnSkiClub.com.

New disc golf mobile map available

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A cool, new disc golf mobile map is now available for Condon Park’s disc golf course. You can download the app by scanning the QR code or, type in http://bit.ly/1sagGFk (the hyperlink is case sensitive) to be taken to the site directly from your laptop. The map was created by Nevada County Geographic Information Systems intern Daniel Kitowski. The app enables players to see a map of the course, plot their current location, then see distance and obstacles to the next hole.

Read more about the boom in disc golf in Nevada County here.

(Map: Nevada County Geographic Information Systems)

Thrillist names Grass Valley as one of their top 9 Under-the-Radar road trips

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“For the next time you step in some sidewalk poop and think to yourself, “Man, I could really use nine under-the-radar road trip options that are within driving distance of SF right about now”, here are exactly those — all “under-the-radar”, because the last thing you want to do is drive a few hours and then bump into everyone you’ve ever met as soon as you get out of the car (looking at you, Napa and Tahoe),” writes Thrillist last week.

“Grass Valley, CA
Distance from San Francisco: 143 miles; 2.5-hour drive
Why: It’s a little taste of what it might have been like in the wild, wild west. But without the gun fights. Three things to do while you’re there:

“1. Eat at The Willo, a roadhouse 15 minutes out of town where you can cook your own steak on the grill in the dining room. Or they’ll cook it for you, if you’re too fancy for that (which you’re not, right?).

“2. Check out Empire Mine, the site of the oldest, largest, and richest gold mine in California. Pack a picnic and pour one out for the 44 mules who spent their lives deep in the mines, pulling ore cars and never seeing the light of day.

“3. Stay at The Holbrooke, whose guest book was signed by Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland (they were both presidents, in case you failed US history) and whose saloon downstairs is said to be the oldest continuously operating saloon west of the Mississippi (yup, they were even open during Prohibition).”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

(photo: Larry Myhre)

Bierwagen’s Farm 24th Annual Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival

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The 24th annual Bierwagen’s Farm Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival is happening everyday in October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy a huge pumpkin patch with tons of pumpkins just waiting to be picked. Many pumpkins are still attached to the vine they grew on, allowing you to enjoy the full pumpkin-picking experience. There are plenty of pumpkins that have already been picked if you prefer not to walk to the patch. Also available is a large selection of specialty pumpkins, squash and gourds. And we can’t forget the mini pumpkins and colorful Indian corn.

Fresh apples are a fall must, and Bierwagen’s has plenty of apples for you to choose from. You will find many varieties that are familiar and some that you might not have tasted before. Think about taking home a half box. Bierwagen’s Farm presses cider once a week and it is available for the month of October. Cider is fresh, unfiltered, not sweetened and not pasteurized. Don’t forget to pick up an extra gallon to put in the freezer for later in the year as well as a package of mulling spices to make hot spiced cider for chilly fall nights.

In case you get hungry after picking out your pumpkin, you can enjoy anything from a grilled hamburger to a salad, with lots of options in between. There are plenty of sweet treats too: caramel apples, pumpkin cupcakes, and apple cookies just to name a few. Don’t miss their popular apple fritter nuggets – many customers come to the pumpkin patch just for a fresh order of nuggets. Or take home a fresh-baked pie to enjoy with your apples cider.

If you are bringing kiddos to the farm, there are lots of fun activities in store for them. In the Children’s Play Area there are the straw-bale horses, the corn (think sand) box, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin ring toss and more. There is also a nature/farm scavenger hunt that will take you on an adventurous tour of the farm. Kids of all ages (adults included) will love to visit with all of the farm animals and take advantage of several beautiful photo opportunities – its the perfect time to take a picture for the family Christmas card!

To learn more and get directions to Bierwagen’s Farm, visit their BierwagensFarm.com.