Mountain House Books in Nevada City named a “favorite local bookstore” by Chronicle Books in S.F.

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Mountain House Books of Nevada City is featured on a list of “favorite local bookstores” by Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Details here:

“Here at Chronicle Books, we’re inspired by the enduring magic of books, and are always looking for more ways to share that magic,” according to its blog this week.

“Well, what better place to breathe in the magic of books than in our our favorite local bookstores? We can spend hours lingering among shelves, combing for new treasures…and could wax poetic on the charm, importance, and beauty of bookstores for hours. But instead of doing that, we’ll point all book and bookstore-lovers to the birth of a new hashtag: #ThisIsMyBookstore.

“Each week, we’ll feature a photo tagged with #ThisIsMyBookstore on our Instagram, and will compile them all in a monthly post as our continued ode to beautiful bookstores around the world. Here are some staff submissions below, including San Francisco’s iconic City Lights.

“Mountain House Books: Located in a gold rush town, this book store has an ‘honesty box’ on the front porch. Any book on the shelf is $2, you take what you want, and drop $2 in the box. We love fun quirks like that!”

Read the full article here.

(Source: Chronicle Books)

Get out and enjoy Nevada County over Labor Day weekend

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Start your Saturday by stocking up for the weekend at either the Nevada County Certified Growers Market in at the North Star House in Grass Valley from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Nevada City Farmers Market on Coyote Street from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m, or the Foothills Farmers Market at the Truckee River Regional Park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Take a late summer dip at beautiful Scotts Flat Lake off Highway 20 a couple miles outside of Nevada City or in the South Yuba River, accessible at several locations throughout Nevada County.

There are hiking paths galore throughout Nevada County. Check out the Truckee Legacy Trail, the Loney Meadow Interpretive Trail or the wheelchair accessible Independence Trail that follows the Yuba River canyon. Whether your hiking, biking or looking for equestrian trails, find your perfect trail using Nevada County’s interactive trail web map.

Draft Horse Classic tickets on sale now

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Majestic Draft Horse performances, breath-taking competitions, and seeing a Draft Horse “up-close” are all part of the festivities at the 28th annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, September 18 – 21, at the beautiful Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Featuring six performances by the beautiful Draft Horses, this event has become the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States. The Classic spotlights a variety of horses, teams, and performances; featuring everything from farm wagons, carriages, and driving competitions to dancing horses and racing mules. The stars of the show are the horses, and with more than 120 horses stabled on the grounds, the Classic offers a unique chance to observe them in a multitude of settings.

Tickets to this event are on-sale now. Once again, we’re offering discounted pricing on adult admission tickets for evening performances, as well as on morning performances and children’s tickets. Tickets can be purchased by calling (530-273-6217), faxing (530-273-1146), or visiting the Fair Office on McCourtney Road. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at There is a small transaction fee if you order your tickets on-line. Choose from six performances!

Although there is a charge for the Draft Horse performances in the arena, admission to the Fairgrounds is free so all can enjoy the many activities of the Harvest Fair happening during the four days of the Classic. Visit the grounds to enjoy western music, Harvest Fair agricultural competitions and hundreds of community exhibits, a clogging jamboree, horse shoeing demonstrations, delicious food on Treat Street, and artwork at Art at the Classic. Plus, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the barns and meet the famous Draft Horses up-close.

On Saturday of the Classic, it’s the Backyard BBQ and Chef’s Challenge Rib Cook-Off, happening from 1 – 3:30 pm. Whether you want to show off your cooking skills or simply join the fun and taste the treats – we’ve got it all in one place. Tasting tickets and alcoholic beverages will be available to purchase at the event.

On Sunday, September 21, enjoy the Fall-like weather underneath the tall pine trees for Bounty of the County. Sponsored by Nevada County Grown, Bounty of the County takes place from 1 – 4 pm and is a pairing of fabulous local chefs with the produce and meats of Nevada County Grown farmers and ranchers. This is local, fresh, and delicious food at its best – and a feast for your palate. Information is available at

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located on McCourtney Road in Grass Valley, just 50 miles northeast of Sacramento. The phone number is (530) 273-6217. Visit for tickets to the Draft Horse Classic and for more information.

Rock legend Melissa Ethridge to perform in Grass Valley (video)

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The Center for the Arts is pleased to bring rock legend and Academy Award winner Melissa Etheridge to Grass Valley’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium on September 18.

Etheridge will play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica and piano.

“I enjoy doing the solo shows not only get to ready for a new album, I also love to dive into my catalogue of songs and bring a new freshness to my older material. It is such an intimate experience with the audience, and it is truly one of my favorite ways to perform,” said Etheridge.

Watch a performance of Ethridge’s “I’m The Only One”:

In February 2007, Etheridge received an Academy Award in the “Best Song” category for “I Need to Wake Up,” written for Al Gore’s documentary about global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Etheridge picked up the guitar at eight and began playing in local bands in her teens. After high school, Etheridge was accepted as a student at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, but left after only one year to make her way as a performer in Los Angeles.

She developed a strong following for her bluesy vocal style and riveting stage presence.

After the release of her debut album, “Melissa Etheridge” (1988), she was invited to sing on the 1989 Grammy Awards broadcast. She won a Grammy Award in 1992 for the song, “Ain’t It Heavy.” Her second Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance came with the song, “Come to My Window” on her fourth album, “Yes I Am” (1993).
In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest charting album, “Your Little Secret.” The following year, Etheridge received the “Songwriter of the Year” honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards.

Etheridge continued to write, record, and tour throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium, releasing: “Skin” (2001) and the upbeat “Lucky” (2004) along with her DVDs “Live And Alone” (2002) and “Lucky Live” (2004). 2005 marked the release of Greatest Hits: “The Road Less Traveled,” which includes “I Run for Life.”

In April 2007, Etheridge received the distinguished ASCAP Founders Award and released her ninth studio album, “The Awakening,” selected by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of their Top 50 Albums of 2007. In 2009, Melissa released her 10th studio album, “Fearless Love.”

In 2011, Etheridge received her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2012, she released her album “4th St. Feeling.” When Etheridge is not touring the world, she records her syndicated Melissa Etheridge Radio Show for daily broadcast on stations throughout the US and Canada.

To learn more or purchase tickets, click here.

“Etheridge lets it all hang out with her commanding, crackling voice and deliberate guitar strums.” – Rolling Stone

“Ms. Etheridge gave each big chorus the additional heft of her voice, still a raspy and incandescent howl.” – The New York Times

“Melissa Etheridge was baring her soul and we got to enjoy this amazing musical confessional.” – Atlantic City Weekly


Public invited to celebrate Bridgeport Covered Bridge groundbreaking

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The public is invited to attend the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the stabilization project for the Bridgeport Covered Bridge, located in the South Yuba River State Park on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at the entrance of the bridge. The Bridgeport Covered Bridge has been an important part of California’s history for over 150 years, and is the longest single span wood covered bridge left in the world.

The Groundbreaking Ceremony will be held in front of the Bridge at Noon with local officials, State Park staff and other community leaders instrumental in the effort to save the Bridge.

“That work to restore and reopen our beloved bridge will commence on the day after Labor Day is an auspicious moment. Working with the dedicated members of the Save Our Bridge Committee has been a labor of love and a testament to what we can do when we unite as a community,” said Caleb Dardick, Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League.

The $1.5 million stabilization and restoration project has two phases. In Phase I, contractors will stabilize the bridge to help secure the structure before a more comprehensive restoration can be completed.b. The stabilization work is scheduled to be completed by December 30, 2014. Phase II will include the repair and restoration of the bridge so that it is sound, safe and reopened to the public. The planning, permitting and engineering work necessary for Phase II is scheduled to begin in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

“Thanks to the huge outpouring of community support and leadership of our elected officials at the State, County and municipal levels, this project is now moving forward and funding for both phases of construction has been achieved,” said Doug Moon, Chair of the Save Our Bridge Committee.

“The bridge is a very important part of California State parks, and we are looking forward to this restoration, so that future generations and visitors to the park can continue to enjoy this unique piece of history,” said Matt Green, Sierra District Sector Superintendent, California State Parks.Built in 1862, the 229-foot Bridgeport Covered Bridge has been closed to the public since 2011 due to safety concerns over severe structural problems. In Fiscal Year 2012/13, the South Yuba State Park had 890,000 visitors, most coming from different parts of the world to see the Bridge.

For more information about the Bridge, please visit

14th Annual Nevada City Film Festival

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The 14th Annual Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) kicks off September 4-7, 2014 in historic Nevada City, CA. Every summer, NCFF makes art into a party, bringing emerging and top independent filmmakers showcasing award-winning short and feature length films from around the world to the Sierra Foothills. The four-day celebration of art, music, and independent filmmaking, includes film screenings, workshops, special performances, and a live comedy show. NBC Bay Area called it “one of the fun and funkiest” film festivals in California.

NCFF has also been called the “Sundance of the Sierra” (Sacramento News & Review) for its emphasis on fiercely independent cinema by showcasing innovative, progressive and exciting new voices in film. Each year, NCFF attends major film festivals, collaborates with film schools around the world, reads countless film blogs, and watches the hundreds of films submitted, to narrow it all down to the very best in independent film. From feature-length documentaries to world premiere animated shorts, NCFF brings in the buzzed-about festival winners, as well as some of independent cinema’s best-kept secrets.

This year’s opening night feature is Creep, the directorial debut of Nevada County native Patrick Brice. The darkly humorous found-footage thriller stars Brice as a videographer who answers a cryptic Craigslist ad placed by the titular creep (played by Mark Duplass). Alex Williams of the Daily Texan called it “smart, unsettling, and refreshingly self-aware” and Time Magazine named it “one of the 10 movies that made SXSW spectacular.” Creep premiered at SXSW in Austin, TX this spring and quickly launched Brice into a elite group of independent directors. Alejandro Jodorowsky named checked him in an interview, Creep was optioned as a trilogy and Brice was asked to direct Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman in the indie comedy The Overnight. Creep screens, Thursday, September 4 at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.

Another one of this year’s special guests is comedian Marc Maron from IFC’s hit series “Maron” and the popular podcast “WTF with Marc Maron.” Maron will headline NCFF’s Live Comedy show on Friday, September 5 at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. Two performances are scheduled for 8 and 10:30pm. For over twenty years, Maron has been writing and performing raw, honest and thought-provoking comedy for print, stage, radio, web and television.

A legend in the stand-up community, Maron has appeared on Louie, Letterman, Leno, Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Real Time with Bill Maher, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up, and The Green Room. Maron’s podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, premiered in September 2009 and has featured compelling monologues and interviews with iconic personalities such as Conan O’Brien, Louis CK, Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Judd Apatow and Ben Stiller. It has become a worldwide phenomenon averaging 2.5-3 million downloads each month. His IFC comedy series Maron is currently in its second season.

Internationally recognized multimedia performance artist Miwa Matreyek will also showcase her latest project at NCFF. Matreyek combines stunning animation with the art of movement, cleverly using a projection of her silhouette to interact with her creations. Earlier this year, Miwa premiered her new project The World Made Itself at Sundance. The fantastical kaleidoscopic experience is sophisticated yet full of childlike wonder, leading the audience through the history of the earth, from its birth to today’s complex and fast-paced world.

The thematic journey is a spectacle of surrealistic metaphor and fantasy. Matreyek also performs Myth and Infrastructure, which traverses seascapes, cityscapes and domestic spaces to conjure dreamlike scenes with nuanced layers of light and shadow. Matreyek has shown her works at venues around the world, including TEDGlobal (UK), the SF Exploratorium, Spain, Mexico, Chile and more. Matreyek performs twice Friday, September 5 at the Haven Underground.

In addition to the above mentioned special guests, NCFF will screen 70 short films, 10 feature length films, a special student works program featuring films from Sierra College students, workshops, and after parties in historic locations throughout downtown Nevada City. The first round of 2014 Official Selections have been announced and can be found at

In previous years NCFF has hosted filmmakers such as Mike Mills (The Beginners, Thumbsucker), Miranda July (The Future), Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia), James M. Johnston (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies), Greg Finton (The World According to Dick Cheney), Galen Pehrson (MOCA), Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim and comedians including Nick Kroll (FX’s The League, and Comedy Central’s Nick Kroll Show), Mark Proksch (The Office), Brett Gelman (Go On), Natasha Leggero (Chelsea Lately), Eric Andre (Adult Swim), and Neil Hamburger.

What else is new at NCFF this year? So far….

Outdoor Family Film Screening of ET in Pioneer Park – Friday, August 15, 2014

Filmmaker Salons: NCFF Salons are a unique opportunity to be apart of an in-depth conversation led by filmmakers and industry professionals about major issues and ideas related to independent cinema.

Filmmaker Workshops: NCFF Workshops are an exciting opportunity for audiences to engage with Festival filmmakers and get an insider’s look at their craft and process. Classes are open to film lovers and filmmakers alike. This year’s workshops include Adventure Storytelling with GoPro and How to Create a Successful Comedy Webseries.

Director’s Spotlight – The director’s spotlight showcases the complete works of a filmmaker giving festival-goers the opportunity to see and learn the filmmaker’s growth and gain insider/industry tips and tools.

TICKETS: Tickets $7/$9 for individual screenings, $89/$99 Festival Passes. Tickets go on sale August 1 for members, August 15 for the public, online at, by phone at (530)
362-8601, and in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.

(Photos: Nevada City Film Festival)

119th Miners Picnic this weekend

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Gold glistens at 119th Miners Picnic – and everyone’s invited!

In 1895, the year of the first-ever Miners Picnic, money was raised to help gold miners’ widows and orphans. One hundred nineteen years later gold continues to play a major part in this event – only now instead of contributing, visitors can take home a bit of gold.

“One way or another,” said Miners Picnic Chairman Jack Laird, “there will be more gold prizes offered at this year’s event than ever before. For the very first-time, there’s the Grab the Gold Raffle. Winners could claim a gold nugget worth $350.00 or one of three gold dust vials worth between $50.00 and $150. Gold experts Jerry and Goldie Levitt have been extra generous in donating these valuable prizes. They have also donated gold for the Gold Panning activity – enough so that everyone who pays the $3.00 to pan walks away with more than $3.00 worth of gold.

Gold history and lively entertainment

Will the rescue team arrive in time to save the injured miners? Catch all the drama at the mine rescue reenactment at high noon.

The old Mine Yard will be buzzing with activity, including a dramatic mine-rescue reenactment at high noon. Brave miners and vintage rescue vehicles join forces to save the day.

Living History will be in full bloom at Empire Cottage, so visitors can enjoy a friendly chat with original owners, Mr. and Mrs. William Bourn, Jr., as well as visionary mine supervisor, George Starr and his wife Libby. Housekeeper Katie Moriarty will share behind-the-scenes stories about life at Empire Mine in the early 1900s. All these colorful characters will be portrayed by Empire Mine State Historic Park (EMPA) docents in authentic, turn-of-the-century costumes.

Just outside the Clubhouse, visitors can bring their blankets, chairs and lunches, and picnic near the vintage gardens – with the stately fountains in the background. Cousin Jack Pasties, served by Park volunteers, will be available for purchase. Local vendors Sweeney’s Weenies, Lazy Dog Ice Cream, Brew Bakers Coffee and Baked Goods, Old Tyme Kernel Kettle Korn, An Honest Pie, and Jamba Juice will also have tasty snacks and drinks for sale.

At 1:15, popular local band Rush Creek (with special guest appearance by “Humbug Jonny” Meredith) will perform on the stage near the Clubhouse – the perfect place to picnic. Many of the lively, old-time tunes they’ll play date back to our gold-mine heydays. Roving minstrels, magician Peter Franchino and other surprises will add to the fun, including a visit by mountain man George Steger, Ray Ray the Clown, and some very wild women and their adorable donkeys. At 2:00, organic farmer Amigo Bob Cantisano will lead a tour of Empire’s heritage trees.

To add to the upbeat, community feel, Robert Russell, Grass Valley’s official town crier for the last 10 years, will be on hand to remind folks to purchase their Grab the Gold raffle tickets – and to announce the winners at the Gold Panning area at 3:15 p.m.

“Miners Picnic is the day we celebrate our action-packed history,” Laird added. It’s a day with built-in appeal for all ages. Traditionally, we attract visitors from all over California and some from all over the world. Whether visitors leave with gold prizes or just golden memories, the 119th Miners Picnic is rich in gold, grit and glory!”

The picnic is hosted by EMPA and Park volunteers – and everyone’s invited!

(Photo: Dreamspinner Productions)

Zagat lists Nevada City as one of their top ten foodie trips in Northern California

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Nevada City
Imagine if the Wild West collided with a European village. There might be winding, narrow streets in a walkable town, pine trees, Old West saloons, wooden sidewalks and historic homes. Not far from Lake Tahoe, in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, is Nevada City, a funky, artsy town that feels like Europe collided with California’s Gold Country with a little bit of New Orleans party spirit under the surface. Visit the town during Day of the Dead or Halloween and you’ll really see what we’re talking about.

What to Eat & Drink: About two miles out of downtown Nevada City, don’t miss roadhouse extraordinaire The Willo. Equal parts festive, locals’ bar and old-school steakhouse, the joint beckons with a neon sign glowing through the pines, a parking lot oft-lined with classic cars and waitresses that call you “hon.” Sitting under Elvis, John Wayne and scripture-verse clocks, enjoy thick cuts of NY steak that either you or their staff member cook on a giant grill. Back in town, the quirky dive bar of choice is Mine Shaft Saloon (since 1978). You can also savor gourmet ice cream at Treats or try third-wave coffee at elegant Victorian-Old West parlor The Curly Wolf.

While You Are There: Akin to the great musical cities of the South, Nevada City has a vibrant music scene, despite its small size. There are a number of live-music options, but the coolest shows are at the historic Miner’s Foundry. In the fall, the region is famed for its radiant fall colors and even offers walking maps through the town showing off maximum color. We know New Englanders who swear by the fall here.

Transportation Time: Roughly a two-and-a-half-hour (140-mile) drive from San Francisco.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

(Source: Zagat, photo: The Curly Wolf)

KVMR Celtic Festival announces performers

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The 18th annual KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace mixes Celtic music and magic with world-class musicians, dance, pageantry, living history, falconry, athletics, storytelling, jam sessions and shopping. The outdoor event takes place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 26, 27 & 28 in Grass Valley, California at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, a bucolic setting on 100 acres among giant ponderosa pines. There are eight stages and performance areas. Our main stage hosts many of the best Celtic musicians on the world stage.

Our 2014 main-stage headliners include, from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac, Irish flutist Nuala Kennedy and her band, the international quintet – Runa, four sisters from Ireland’s County Bundoran – The Screaming Orphans, a return appearance of the Hanz Araki Band featuring Colleen Raney, Celtic rockers the Mclean Avenue Band, 1916, Tempest and home town favorites A Thousand Years at Sea.

As late summer begins to cool, the Nevada County Fairgrounds will be transformed into a Celtic village where world-famous Celtic musicians perform, shopping and dining opportunities abound and O’Dea’s Irish Pub celebrates the change of season. Hundreds of regional performers, singers, bagpipers, actors, jugglers and storytellers roam the fairgrounds.

Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in with jam sessions and workshops scheduled throughout the weekend. Revelers make music into the night in the available campgrounds and RV hook-ups complete with tall trees and a lake.

History buffs explore encampments of “Guilds” who re-create points and places in time. Royalty and their subjects demonstrate how peasants and gentry lived in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Exciting and educational, the Celtic Animals exhibit houses falcons, eagles, hawks, owls, sheep and ponies.

Amateur and professional athletes test their strength and skill in Scottish Games. Children are kept engaged with arts and crafts, story telling, and romping in a straw bale castle. Seniors are admitted an hour before the event opens on Sunday and treated to scones and tea. The festival is disabled accessible.

For tickets and to read more about the KVMR Celtic Festival’s performances and events click here or visit their website.

(Photo: Riley Smith, McLean Avenue Band)

Sierra Brewfest: An epic afternoon of sun, suds and fun (video)

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The Sierra BrewFest will celebrate its 25th Anniversary on August 23, 2014 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. As one of the oldest, continuously running brewfests in California, the Sierra BrewFest is known for showcasing small microbreweries in Northern California such as ol’Republic Brewery, Auburn Ale House, Hoppy Brewing Company, Tahoe Mountain Brewery, Loomis Basin Brewery and Out of Bounds Brewing Company just to name a few. This year’s roster will feature over 100 hand-crafted beers from some of the best microbreweries on the planet.

Enjoy yourself at the most beautiful fairgrounds in California in the Sierra Foothills surrounded by the tall pines. This unique microbrew tasting experience includes unlimited beer tastings, Bag-O games, and delicious food from some of the best food trucks and local restaurants. Where else can you taste delicious beer while enjoying barbequed oysters or fresh sushi?!

This year marks the second Bag-O games tournament, also known as corn hole or bean bag toss. Gather a team of friends to compete in the friendly tournament where you can win tickets to the 2015 Sierra BrewFest. Start practicing and get ready to sign up at the event.

And there’s more than just suds and fun on tap. This year’s entertainment will feature blues, soul, and rock-n-roll from the wildly popular Jamal Walker Band (see video below). Soak up the sun, fill up on the suds, eat some grub, and shake your groove thang!

Proceeds from the BrewFest benefit Music in the Mountains, and help them bring great music to the community and the schools. Tickets for unlimited tastings are available in advance for $30 and at the gate for $35. Tickets for non-tasters are $10, and youth under 18 are free. Buy tickets and get more information at or call the MIM box office at (530) 265-6124.

(Photo: Kris Wakefield)