Country Christmas Faire Thanksgiving Weekend

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Rated as one of the top handcrafted shows in Northern California, the annual Country Christmas Faire 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.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 30, 2014.

To learn more about this year’s Faire, visit

Watch a video from the 2010 County Christmas Faire here:

(Video: Mountain Event Productions)

Nevada County Fairgrounds CEO Sandy Woods inducted into Western Fairs Association’s Hall of Fame

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Western Fairs Association (WFA) announced this week that they will induct Sandy Woods, chief executive officer of the Nevada County Fairgrounds, into the Western Fairs Association’s Hall of Fame at its upcoming convention in Reno.

The WFA Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made substantial contributions to the Fair industry through leadership, education, legislation and outstanding service.

Woods is being recognized for her contributions to the Fair industry, including her work at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. She has worked at the Nevada County Fairgrounds since 1995, where she started as Deputy Manager, and has served as the CEO since 2009.

Additionally, Woods has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Fairs Association since 2005, and served as the WFA Board President in 2012. She is currently Chair of the California Fairs Alliance, which provides advocacy and resource development for the network of California fairs.

“Sandy’s service as an Officer, and as the President of the Western Fairs, set a new bar for leadership,” noted WFA Executive Director Stephen Chamber. “Her continuing role as the Chair of the California Fairs Alliance has helped California’s 78 fairs move through the difficult challenges driven by the Great Recession. Celebrating her service will be the highlight of our January Convention.”

Prior to her work at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Woods worked as the Controller/CFO for MasterCard for the western United States. She also has an extensive background and career in international agriculture. Upon moving to Nevada County, she became the general manager of the Nevada City Winery and remains a director at the Winery. She is also a past director of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation, as well as a member of the Foothill Lions Club.

“The Hall of Fame Board of Governors did an outstanding job,” said WFA President Pat Kress. “Sandy defines commitment and service to the fair community. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the California fair network. She is a great addition to the WFA Hall of Fame.”

The Western Fairs Association is a non-profit trade association serving the Fair industry throughout the Western United States and Canada. WFA serves fair-related businesses, fair management, fair board directors, festivals, and industry associations.

Woods’ induction will take place in January at WFA’s industry awards celebration in Reno.

- Western Fairs Association

Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas

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The enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty holiday foods fill the air, along with cries of street vendors hawking their wares and lamp-lit streets filled to overflowing with authentic Christmas treasures. It’s the 36th one & only Victorian Christmas – full of new shows, sights, sounds and attractions.

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.

This annual, family tradition takes place two Wednesday evenings (Dec. 10 & 17) and three Sunday afternoons (Dec. 7, 14 & 21), and features holiday activities for all ages: carriage rides, live entertainment, savory yuletide treats and libations, and of course, Father Christmas!

At locations throughout downtown, Victorian singers, bagpipers, brass bands and strolling minstrels provide warm Christmas music. Nevada City’s famous Walking Christmas Tree and a living nativity scene can be found, along with hot roasted chestnuts and horse drawn carriage rides.

As parking can be difficult in Nevada City during Victorian Christmas, plan on dropping your group off in town and then park your car and catch the Shuttle from the Nevada County Government Center, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City CA 95959. Shuttle costs $5 for adults and children 15 and over. Children under 15 ride free. Return journeys are free for all. Shuttle hours are 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays and noon to 6:30 p.m. Sundays.

To learn more, visit

47th annual Cornish Christmas Celebration in Downtown Grass Valley

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Recapture the spirit of Christmas past amid the charming surroundings of historic downtown Grass Valley California during the annual Cornish Christmas Celebration. Started in 1967 as a way to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Cornish Christmas remains one of the city’s most popular events.

Mill and West Main Streets are closed to motorized traffic and filled with the sights and sounds of an old fashioned Christmas; carolers, jugglers, musicians, the Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir, Tommyknocker Cloggers and of course, Santa Claus. Handmade arts and craft from artists throughout California are displayed on our historic downtown Grass Valley streets.

Delicious food and drink can be purchased from a number of Grass Valley restaurants and specialty food vendors. Retail stores are open for your holiday purchases as well.

Friday nights November 28 through December 19, 2014 from 6 to 9 p.m.

This year we are offering a FREE shuttle service from the Nevada County Fairgrounds to downtown Grass Valley. Click here for directions to free shuttle!

For more information, visit

Hallmark Channel’s “The Christmas Card” filmed in Nevada City

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Hallmark Channel’s “The Christmas Card,” filmed in and around Nevada City, will be shown several days and times this holiday season.

“The Christmas Card” is the story of Cody Cullen (John Newton), a career soldier who is deeply touched by an anonymous holiday card he receives while serving in Afghanistan. When he returns to the United States, he treks to the picturesque California town of Nevada City, from which the card originated. He soon meets and unexpectedly falls in love with Faith (Alice Evans), the woman who sent the card – and is practically accepted as a new member of the family by her parents (Asner and Lois Nettleton). But there’s one major roadblock to happily-ever-after: The girl has a boyfriend who moves fast to propose once Cody is in the picture. Will Faith accept? Or is the soldier a soul mate who rescues Faith in the nick of time?

Sunday, November 23 at 7 p.m.
Monday, November 24 at 1 a.m.
Wednesday, December 3 at 9 p.m.
Thursday, December 4 at 9 a.m.
Sunday, December 14 at 7 a.m.
Sunday, December 14 at 9 p.m.
Wednesday, December at 3 p.m.
Thursday, December 18 at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 23 at 9 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24 at 1 p.m.

Watch a short video here:

Boreal Mountain Resort celebrates its 50th anniversary this season

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Boreal Mountain Resort is celebrating a big anniversary this season as it moves into its 50th year of snowsports operations. To mark the golden anniversary, the resort will host three events to celebrate the occasion along with commemorative giveaways. Branded with a special 50th anniversary logo, Boreal launches a new website at with an emphasis on guest efficiency and ease.

The resort continues to invest in energy-efficient snowmaking improvements designed to use less water and electrical energy in production. Over the summer, crews made significant enhancements to infrastructure, replacing a variety of snowmaking pipes, pumps and valves. A new cooling system was installed to ensure resources are better utilized. The new infrastructure allows the mountain operations team to be more efficient during the early season and help establish a solid base that will last throughout the entire winter season.

Expanded beginner-friendly learning terrain, strengthens Boreal Mountain Resort as a top resort for new-to-snow guests. The addition of a 100-ft surface lift provides safer and less crowded terrain, ideal for learning to ski and snowboard. Roughly the width of a grooming machine, a new kid-specific trail was cut in the beginner area and winds through the trees to give children a magical experience.

Boreal Mountain Resort has partnered with Neff Headwear to bring a new one- of a kind signature terrain park, Neff Land. Located off of the Flying Dutchman chairlift, the pirate-themed Neff Land will boast over 30 ridable features including a life-sized ship mast, cannons, pirates and more.

Also new for 2014-15 at Boreal, many mountain services have been remodeled to increase efficiency and guest service. A new Snowsports School kiosk will provide convenient sales and a comfortable meeting area for guests participating in private lessons. A new rental services process will enhance the flow of guests and reduce waiting time.

(Source: Boreal Mountain Resort, photo: Tucker Norred)

New article by Bay Area travel writer about Tess’ Kitchen Store’s Chef’s Dinners

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Bay Area travel writer Carole Terwillger Meyers recently visited Nevada County and wrote an blog item about her experience at Tess’ Kitchen Store’s Chef’s Dinner.

“This gigantic gourmet kitchen store sprawls over three levels. It is by far the largest such store I have seen, and stocks both the latest and the greatest as well as the tried and true. Among the goods are a large selection of knives, locally-made wood cutting boards, and pots and pans galore.

“In addition to the hands-on cooking classes scheduled in the basement kitchen, Chef’s Dinners are offered one per month by reservation. These expansive dinners are prepared by multi-talented chef Alan Tangren, who formerly was on the staff at Chez Panisse, taught meteorology at U.C. Davis, and was raised on a local farm! Dinners are limited to ten participants and consist of five courses that are paired with local wines, plus a concluding course paired with coffee. Diners sit on stools at a high marble counter—all the better to watch the preparations, listen to interesting stories between courses, and eat each item as it is ready. Dinners sell out fast so plan ahead.”

To read the rest of the article, click visit

(Article and photos: Carole Terwilliger Meyers, Weekend Adventures Update and

Winter hours for Nevada County Fairgrounds

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Effective November 10 the Nevada County Fairgrounds will return to its winter hours with the inner-grounds and gates locked at 4:30 p.m. and closed on weekends. The inner-grounds and gates will remain open during the week to walkers and bicyclists, but all must be off the grounds before the gates lock at 4:30 p.m.

The winter hours only affect the inner-grounds and gate closures; it does not affect the Main Office, which is open during its normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additionally, the RV Park at the Fairgrounds will remain open, and the gates and inner-grounds will remain open for any events that are taking place on the grounds during the winter months.

For more information about the Nevada County Fairgrounds, visit or call (530) 273-6217.

Bud Fish’ Tree Lighting & Downtown Holiday Festival

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The Annual Bud Fish’ Tree Lighting and Downtown Holiday Festival is Friday, November 21 beginning at 4 p.m. in downtown Truckee. The Truckee Downtown Merchants have partnered with the Truckee Rotary for the annual ceremony to honor community member Bud Fish. It is followed by the kick-off of the holiday season by lighting the downtown. Local children will decorate the tree and there will be cookies, hot chocolate and a special visitor.

“Exploring California’s Gold Country: Nevada City”

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Bay Area travel writer Susan Alcorn published another article about her recent trip to Nevada County that is published on

“On a recent trip to the gold country, we “leaf peekers” hoped to see Nevada City at the height of its fall color. Nature being what she is, we were early in the season, but nevertheless, we found much to photograph and to do in this charming small city and the surrounding area. Nevada City has a population of only 3,068, but it’s the county seat of Nevada County. Its downtown, with 93 buildings, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s easy to take a walking tour to see the many fine brick storefronts in its downtown and the stately Victorian homes close by. (Click here for a map)

“One of the most popular old buildings is the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, which was built in 1856. The foundry was the first manufacturing location of the Pelton wheel. The Pelton wheel, invented by Lester Pelton in 1879, was a major breakthrough in mining operations. Basically, the turbine collected and transformed the energy of flowing water much more efficiently than waterwheels had previously. The Pelton wheel is still widely used for many applications today.

“The Miners Foundry now operates as a community and performing arts center hosting hundreds of activities yearly including stage and musical productions, receptions, and dances. Inside the foundry, you can find a printed, self-guided tour of the many historic artifacts in the building. Nevada City also hosts many popular tourist attractions. In January, the “Wild & Scenic Film Festival,” focusing on environmental issues, outdoor adventure and extreme sports is held. In June (usually on Father’s Day Weekend) the Nevada City Classic, a challenging professional cycling race, is held. Lance Armstrong was the winner in 2009.

“Hiking opportunities:

“In addition to the Nevada City walking tour, there are many other places to hike. The South Yuba River State Park (details in previous articles, see links below) is great for hiking year round.

“In addition, there is the Independence Trail. The Bear Yuba Land Trust’s website reads, “This trail, founded by the late John Olmsted, transformed an historic gold mining ditch into the nation’s first identified handicapped-accessible wilderness trail. It is now one of the most popular trails in the area, contouring along wooded hillsides, passing live streams, and crossing deep gorges on restored wooden flumes that once transported water for hydraulic mining. The trail has two separate sections (West and East) that extend from one main trailhead on Hwy 49. Independence Trail West is oriented for most of its length around the canyon of Rush Creek, a large tributary stream that enters the South Yuba River at Jones Bar. The West trail features several wooden flumes, a large covered viewpoint, picnic tables and benches. Flume 28, over 500′ in length, crosses above a waterfall on Rush Creek 1.1 miles west of the trailhead. It is a “must see” piece of mining history.”

“While you are in the region, plan to visit the fascinating Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. The park is the site of world’s largest hydraulic gold mine. Miners in the 1850-1880s, forced water through hoses and nozzles under high pressure to blast and wash the gold out of the mountainsides. Malakoff Diggins “devastated the pristine landscape leading to the first environmental law enacted in the nation.” In the park are more than 30 miles of hiking trails as well as camping and miners’ cabins (open seasonally), fishing, and Gold Rush-era buildings.”

To read the full article, including hiking opportunities, click here.

(Source: Susan Alcorn,