Nevada County’s most popular travel and tourism stories of 2015

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Here are some of our most popular stories from 2015 from GoNevadaCounty.com:

“What’s New in Nevada County Fall 2015″ (Credit: Bierwagen’s Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival)

“2015 Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair in Grass Valley” (Credit: Gina Lee Tharp)

Shh! This is Northern California’s Best Secret Swimming Spot” (Source: Roadtrippers.com’ Getaways; Photo: Suzanne LaGasa/Flickr)

Nevada County Ranks #28 of 3,111 Counties Nationally” (Source: Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post; Photo: Michael Weissenborn)

Hiking Trails in Nevada County, CA (Source: Sierra FoodWineArt magazine)

What’s New in Nevada County, CA June through September 2015 (Photo: Kial James)

Check out our new photo gallery: Vintage Trailers at the Nevada County Fairgrounds (Photo: Douglas Hooper)

2015 Summer Fairs, Festivals & Concerts in Nevada County (Photo: Music in the Mountains)

Nevada City and Truckee named among Best Romantic Weekend Destinations in the West (Source: Sierra FoodWineArt magazine; Photo: James Good/Flickr)

Five Favorite Swimming Holes in Nevada County (Photo: GoNevadaCounty.com)

Visit California features Empire Mine State Historic Park (Photo: Nevada County Historical Society)

Nevada County Native Ishaan Reyna Releases “Lights” (Photo: IshaanReyna.com)

Scott’s Flat Lake named among California’s Top 10 Paddle Boarding Spots (Photo: NorCal Stand Up Paddle Facebook)

Nevada City: Ride Fast, Live Slow (Photo: Amgen Tour of California)

Bonnie Raitt to perform at the Nevada County Fairgrounds this Spring (Photo: BonnieRaitt.com)

Truckee named one of America’s 20 Coolest Outdoor Towns (Photo: Jeff Engerbretson/Squaw Valley)

Colorful History Blooms at Empire Mine with Garden Tours (Photo: Dreamspinner Productions)

Ananda Village’s annual tulip display (Photo: Roseanne Burke)

Wildflower Walks begin along the South Yuba River in March (Photo: SYRCL)

Pacific Crest Trail featured in popular “Wild” movie (Photo: Fox/Searchlight.com)

What’s New in Nevada County, CA February through May 2015 (Photo: Grass Valley Downtown Association)

New Interactive Map launched to find County historic sites (Source: Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission and Nevada County GIS)

Nevada County Restaurant Week: January 23 – February 1, 2015 (Source: Nevada County Tourism)

Sierra Foothills and Truckee Wineries score in 2015 S.F. Chronicle Tasting Competition (Source: Sierra FoodWineArt magazine: Photo: Dan Senkbeil at Naggiar)

Nevada County Tourism participates in 5th annual Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show (Photo: Nevada County Tourism)

Perfect weather ahead to visit Boreal Mountain Resort; watch a video from Boreal’s Opening Day (Photo: Boreal Mountain Resort)

Boreal Mountain Resort: 12 feet of snow for Christmas and New Year’s

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“As of Thursday, December 24, we’ve received 12 feet of snow,” Boreal Mountain Resort is reporting.

New Snow (72-Hour): 36″
Base Depth: 46″
Lifts Open: 7

“Always the first resort in the area to open, Boreal’s lifts spin from 9:00am – 9:00pm daily providing skiers and riders easy access to the slopes, day or night,” according to Boreal’s website. “Those new to snow will enjoy the Take 3, Ride free program offering a free season pass upon completion of three lessons.

“With five parks and a pipe, Boreal is a terrain park enthusiasts’ dream come true. Woodward Tahoe, located steps away from the slopes, is Tahoe’s only action sport training facility offering indoor trampolines, foam pits, skateparks, ramps and more.”

New Years Eve: Laughs, Lolo and Legs

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Join The Center for the Arts as we ring in the New Year with a party not to be forgotten featuring comedy, jazz and dancing at “New Years Eve – Laughs, Lolo and Legs” on Dec. 31.

For those looking to start early, The Center will offer an elegant and festive four course feast crafted by Chef Emily Arbaugh highlighting Chacewater wines being skillfully selected by winery owners Paul and Kellye Manuel. Diners will begin with champagne and appetizers at 7 pm followed by three courses, each served with a unique and expertly paired wine. Tickets are limited and include a reserved seat to the show.

Queen of Consciousness Comedy or Spiritual Stand Up, Katie Rubin is a lady person. Funny to the core, she can also look deep and serious at topics through a nimble, dark and hilarious lens.

For the past eight years, Katie has toured with her first comedic solo show, “Insides OUT!” to venues across the country. In 2006, “Insides OUT!” received a nine-week Equity production at The Sacramento Theater Company. The show had a four-week run at Equity Theater, Foothill Theater Company in Nevada City and has toured to over 100 events and venues nationwide.

Rubin began her career as a Solo Show Performer at Amherst College with her first original piece, “PartyBoobyTrap.” Her second play, “Avoiding Less Blue,” was produced through the 2000 New York Fringe Festival.

In addition to performing and writing original material, Rubin works as a stage, screen, and voice over actress, and acting and vocal coach. Most recently, she played lead roles in Capital Stage’s production of “In The Next Room” or “The Vibrator Play,” The B Street Theater’s production of “Rabbit Hole,” and “Wit,” The Sacramento Theater Company’s “A Christmas Carol,” and Foothill Theater’s production of “Urinetown.”

Recently she completed an original 10-person play for Capital Stage’s annul fundraising event and two plays commissioned by the Health Education Department at UC Davis.

Singer Lorraine Gervais and her band will delight audiences with their version of neo vintage jazz pop music. They use the backdrop of vintage stride piano, a mean rhythm section with old school snare and stand-up bass, hot clarinet riffs, and gypsy jazz guitar to create a neo-swing style all their own.

Individually, she and her players have shared stages with the likes of Zap Mama, Mavis Staples, Pink, Chris Isaak, Etta James, Taj Mahal and Pete Escovedo to name a few. Their musical roots are firmly planted in jazz, blues, soul, world, gospel and electronica from the west coast on out to international stages.

Based in the Sierra foothills of Northern California, Bow-Tie Beauties Burlesque Troupe is a performance group of strong, sensuous women with a variety of performance backgrounds. They present a blend of dance, circus and comedy with a sensual slant. They have produced and performed in a variety of shows including; The Burlesque Circus Side Show, 90′s Hip Hop, Vaudeville Valentines, A Night at the Cabaret, Rocky Horror Burlesque Show, Booty at the DNA lounge in San Francisco and many more.

DJ Jamal Walker will spin discs for dancing into the wee hours of the New Year.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org.

(Source: The Center for the Arts)

Nevada City Winter Craft Fair

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The fun and festive Nevada City Winter Craft Fair returns just in time for the holiday season to the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Sunday, December 13, 2015, 10 a.m. -6 p.m., in downtown Nevada City.

The independent, juried craft fair showcases over sixty of the local region’s top Etsy vendors, artisans, designers, do-it-yourself crafters, and features their unique, handmade, original and repurposed art, clothing, accessories, jewelry, and housewares. Attendees can also expect to find letterpress, paper and stationary items as well as children’s things, toys, ceramics, bath products, and many more unique holiday gifts.

“The Nevada City Craft Fair features the best of the best local talent in indie design and craft. You will find beautiful and functional items, handmade with excellent craftsmanship from up and coming artists and crafters,” explains the festival’s new producer Naomi Cabral. “There is a level of modernity and fine artistry to the
designs that the indie craft festival movement is known for throughout the country. The Nevada City Craft Fair is no different in its depth. In fact, with its unique small mountain town setting, the originality and sustainability of the crafts you will find is even more prevalent.”

The first Nevada City Craft Festival was produced the summer of 2010 by a group of local young crafters, artists and social do-gooders who were inspired by the independent entrepreneurship and creative talents in their community as well as the success of the Renegade Craft Fairs across the US and Europe. The bi-annual event continues to grow and to date has introduced over 9,000 attendees to more than 600 local and regional artists, designers and crafters.

The Nevada City Craft Fair is more than a holiday shopping bazaar, it is a celebration of local hardworking artists and the American craft movement. The artists showing their works are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries all the while improving our local community.

A few of this year’s artists include The Cosmic Soaper, a boutique body care company based in Fair Oaks specializing in handcrafted vegan soap made with organic, locally purchased ingredients and scented only
with natural essential oil blends to stimulate your mood and well-being. Marty May Press & Stitchery, is an independent operation in the heart of downtown Sacramento. Using traditional screen printing methods, environmentally friendly water-based inks and American made shirts, Marty May’s shirts both look and feel amazing. Pickle Pottery, is created with high fire clay and high quality glazes, each hand made, dipped and designed by Stephanie Adams in her studio in Nevada City. J&D and the Workshop is another locally based designer. J&D uses recycled silver and ethically sourced stones as much as possible in her jewelry, which features modern shapes and clean lines. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of this year’s vendors.

Emily’s Catering and Cakes will be serving a wide range of warm and delicious food, along with cookies, cupcakes and other holiday sweets. A no-host full bar serving seasonal favorites will also be available.

For more information go to MinersFoundry.org or call (530) 265-5462.

(Source: Miners Foundry Cultural Center; photo: Akim Aginsky)

Nevada City listed as one of 10 U.S. Towns With Incredible Christmas Celebrations

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10 U.S. Towns With Incredible Christmas Celebrations, names Nevada City to its list, according to the Huffington Post in their Travel section on December 4, 2015.

“Like Christmas cards sprung to life, some of America’s towns go all out for the holidays. From coast to coast, these communities go to great lengths to make the season bright by decking out their streets with twinkling lights by the thousands–or even millions. In these towns, window decorations, holiday markets, and towering Christmas trees all make for a very festive December. Here are the ten U.S. towns with incredilbe Christmas celebrations. — Zachary Laks

Nevada City Victorian Christmas

Where: Nevada City, California About an hour northeast of Sacramento, the historic and quaint Nevada City (population: 3,068) takes great pride in their annual Victorian Christmas festival. A former Gold Rush town, Nevada City now is noted for its many historic buildings, mountainous surroundings, and bygone picturesque downtown. The Christmas season in Nevada City has been described by its Chamber of Commerce as “a genuine Christmas card come to life” as the city transforms into a winter wonderland complete with twinkling white lights, authentic gas lamps, and carolers dressed in Victorian apparel. Festival attendees are encouraged to dress in period attire, complete with feathers, scarves, and top hats. Insider Tip: Make sure you stop by My Favorite Things in downtown Nevada City, where gorgeous Christmas décor and artisan local crafts fill a cozy boutique space. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Sacramento Travel Guide

To read the full article, click here.

(Source: Zachary Laks, Huffington Post; Photo: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce)

Truckee ranked one of the nation’s snowiest cities

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Ready for Winter? Here Are the 30 Snowiest Cities in America,” according to Tribune Media Wire on December 3, 2015.

“Brace yourself, winter is coming. You’ll sense its imminent arrival with a chill that creeps into the air. A chill that forces us to don our grandma-knit scarves, mukluks and tacky holiday sweaters.

“Upon winter’s arrival, frost will cover your windows and icicles will form on your roof’s edges if you live in a cooler climate. If you’re lucky enough to live in a snowy region, snowmen and snow angels will start to decorate local lawns.

“While the seasonal change might not be as dramatic in your area, some American cities experience Snowmageddons of sorts. WeatherDB researched and ranked the 30 snowiest cities in the contiguous United States. The ranking uses 30-year average monthly snowfall totals as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and prioritizes U.S. cities with populations over 6,000.

#9. Truckee, California

Annual Snowfall: 189.7 inches Population: 16,100 Record Snowfall: 48 inches – Jan. 11, 1911″

To see additional charts and snowfall totals for Truckee, click here.

To read the full article and see what other cities made the list, click here.

(Source: Tribune Media Wire; Photo: Ian Prince)

Nevada City Winter Craft Fair is Dec.13 at Miners Foundry

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The fun and festive Nevada City Winter Craft Fair returns just in time
for the holiday season to the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Sunday,
December 13, 2015, 10am-6pm, in downtown Nevada City.

The independent, juried craft fair showcases over sixty of the local
region’s top Etsy vendors, artisans, designers, do-it-yourself
crafters, and features their unique, handmade, original and repurposed
art, clothing, accessories, jewelry, and housewares. Attendees can
also expect to find letterpress, paper and stationary items as well as
children’s things, toys, ceramics, bath products, and many more unique
holiday gifts.

“The Nevada City Craft Fair features the best of the best local talent
in indie design and craft. You will find beautiful and functional
items, handmade with excellent craftsmanship from up and coming
artists and crafters,” explains the festival’s new producer Naomi
Cabral. “There is a level of modernity and fine artistry to the
designs that the indie craft festival movement is known for through
out the country. The Nevada City Craft Fair is no different in its
depth. In fact, with its unique small mountain town setting, the
originality and sustainability of the crafts you will find is even
more prevalent.”

The first Nevada City Craft Festival was produced the summer of 2010
by a group of local young crafters, artists and social do-gooders who
were inspired by the independent entrepreneurship and creative talents
in their community as well as the success of the Renegade Craft Fairs
across the US and Europe. The bi-annual event continues to grow and
to date has introduced over 9,000 attendees to more than 600 local and
regional artists, designers and crafters.

The Nevada City Craft Fair is more than a holiday shopping bazaar, it
is a celebration of local hardworking artists and the American craft
movement. The artists showing their works are creating beautiful,
inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries all the while
improving our local community.

A few of this year’s artists include The Cosmic Soaper, a boutique
body care company based in Fair Oaks specializing in handcrafted vegan
soap made with organic, locally purchased ingredients and scented only
with natural essential oil blends to stimulate your mood and
well-being. Marty May Press & Stitchery, is an independent operation
in the heart of downtown Sacramento. Using traditional screen
printing methods, environmentally friendly water-based inks and
American made shirts, Marty May’s shirts both look and feel amazing.
Pickle Pottery, is created with high fire clay and high quality
glazes, each hand made, dipped and designed by Stephanie Adams in her
studio in Nevada City. J&D and the Workshop is another locally based
designer. J&D uses recycled silver and ethically sourced stones as
much as possible in her jewelry, which features modern shapes and
clean lines. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of this year’s
vendors.

Emily’s Catering and Cakes will be serving a wide range of warm and
delicious food, along with cookies, cupcakes and other holiday sweets.
A no-host full bar serving seasonal favorites will also be available.

KNOW & GO:
What: Nevada City Winter Craft Fair
When: Sunday, December 13, 2015, 10am-6pm
Where: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Tickets: $3, Children 12 and under Free
For more information go to www.minersfoundry.org or call (530) 265-5462

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BOY6cgmKWo&feature=youtu.be

(Photo: Akim Aginsky)

—Miners Foundry

Sierra Master Chorale holiday concerts

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Get enveloped in the magic of the season as the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra perform two holiday concerts, Dec. 19 and 20 in Grass Valley.

The 70-member auditioned choir and 26-member orchestra are conducted by InConcert Sierra Artistic Director Ken Hardin. This December, Hardin has created a program that will weave “Stories of the Season” to capture the joy of the holidays.

From holiday classics such as “For Unto Us a Child is Born” by George F. Handel, “The Little Drummer Boy” arranged by Mark Hayes, “Joy to the World,” to more contemporary works, such as “Bethlehem Rejoices,” by local composer Mark Vance and “The Very Best Time of the Year” by John Rutter. In keeping with tradition at these concerts, Hardin and the Sierra Master Chorale will encourage the audience to join along for a few favorite songs. The program also includes works by Bach, Vaughn Williams and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Overture” — which will be performed by the orchestra.

Tickets to both performances are $32 for general admission, $16 for youth and are available by phone at 530-273-3990, online at www.inconcertsierra.org or in person at BriarPatch Co-op. The Saturday, Dec. 19 concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 20 concert is at 2 p.m. The Sierra Master Chorale will perform at the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12889 Osborne Hill Road, in Grass Valley.

Many have made the Sierra Master Chorale concerts part of their holiday tradition each December. Come experience the warmth and emotion of “The Very Best Time of the Year” with the Sierra Master Chorale.

(Source: InConcert Sierra)

2015 Country Christmas Faire Nov. 27, 28 & 29

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Mark your calendar for the 31st annual Country Christmas Faire at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley on November 27, 28 and 29. Rated as one of the top handcrafted shows in Northern California, the Country Christmas Faire features unique gifts and crafts from top artisans from across the state, as well as from Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and New York.

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, errand elves, and a community bon-fire. Wagon rides around the Fairgrounds will be offered; and Victorian singers, the bell ringing RiverBells, and the Sierra Symphony quartet will perform throughout the event.

Santa will be available each day until an hour before the event closes, so bring your camera to capture that special photo with Santa. Free babysitting will be offered by Girl Scouts of the Northern Mines Service Unit, so parents can drop off their children while they enjoy holiday shopping. Errand Elves from Clear Creek School will be available to assist shoppers throughout the event.

On Sunday of the Faire, the Nevada County Fairgrounds will partner with Grass Valley Elks for a canned food drive. Bring a can of food on Sunday, November 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and receive $1 off Sunday’s admission price (one coupon per person). All food donated is collected by the Grass Valley Elks and used in their Christmas baskets that they hand out in December.

The Country Christmas Faire begins Friday, November 27, and runs through Sunday,
November 29. Admission is $4 for adults, and children 12 and under are free. Parking is free. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located at 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley, 50 miles northeast of Sacramento, off Highway 49. For more information, visit the Fairgrounds’ web site at NevadaCountyFair.com or call (530) 273-6217.

(Source: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

2nd Annual Nugget Fringe Festival

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Chicago and San Francisco have one, New York has several, Edinburgh’s is the biggest, and now, so does Nevada County. What are we talking about? Fringe Festivals of course. These exciting, envelope pushing, raucous, large, multi-arts festivals are popping up all over the world to the delight of theater hungry audiences. Quest Theaterworks presents The 2nd Annual Nugget Fringe Festival January 21-31, 2016 at locations throughout Grass Valley and Nevada City, CA.

The Nugget Fringe Festival is an un-curated collection of eclectic theater, dance, music, comedy, and spoken word. This year’s festival will include over a hundred performers from Nevada County and as far as San Francisco and Los Angeles, presenting upwards of thirty distinct shows, comprising more than one hundred and twenty performances over ten days with about five thousand seats available. This makes The Nugget Fringe Festival one of the largest indoor mountain town arts events in the region.

“Fringe Festivals are known for exposing audiences to progressive, contemporary performance art that stretches the imagination and defies expectation,” explains Scott Ewing, founder of Quest Theaterworks and The Nugget Fringe Festival. “It also nurtures emerging and established performing artists in our community who are looking to push the boundaries of art.”

Wild, weird, refreshing, experimental, off-the-wall, innovative and fearless are all words that have been used to describe The Nugget Fringe Festival. This year’s lineup continues where last year’s festival left off, with an unparalleled cross section of Nevada County’s finest actors and experimenters, along with opportunities for new, up and coming performers to independently produce theatrical works in the true spirit of the international “Fringe” movement.

“Events such as The Nugget Fringe are crucial,” says John Deaderick, local veteran actor, director and educator, who will also be performing in the festival. “They allow artists to take risks with actor-focused, experimental material. This enlarges the theatrical experience for both performer and audience in ways otherwise not feasible.”

A few of this year’s confirmed shows include:

Richard Winters’ “Sleeping in the Middle of the Bed” takes audiences on an epic yet all-too relatable journey – exploring the secret life of a newly divorced man.

Damiian Lang returns with his new show, “How To Make Love in Traffic.” “I want it to provoke feelings, inspire action, and create more equanimity, harmony, beauty and loving friendships between the sexes. I want to make em laugh, hit em in the gut, kiss their heart and make it all better – a bit of sensual, sexual, emotional, mental, spiritual enlightenment swimming in heart vibrating synchronicity.”

“Songs to My Soul, A Musical Memoir” For decades, Cynthia Waring has written songs about her life. At 68, she has found the courage to sing them. “This show is about never giving up. It speaks of me as a woman, trained to be a seductress, finally learning to love from the depth of my sou …”

“Tomorrow the World” – Enjoy the standup stylings of pretty boy Danny McCammon, gammon boy Casey Burke, Matt “The Stick” Teff, John “Beard or no beard?” Bivens and Kenneth “J” Greer. You’ll slap your knee and jerk your neighbor in this madcap roundup of everything from corn to Roundup. See them now because Tomorrow The World.

“American Cosmonauts”, the KVMR radio show starring Casey Burke, John Bivens, and Matt Teff. We are working on a potential live broadcast from KVMR for that performance. Four years ago, Eugene and Leo were just two broke American citizens. In a moment of desperation they got very drunk. At some point, during their stupor, Leo convinced Eugene that their best opportunity for fame and fortune lay in signing up to be cosmonauts… Now in the present, these two have been marooned miles above the Earth in the station Sputnik 8. Having realized too late that there is no such thing as a rich or famous cosmonaut, Eugene and Leo turned to the next best star making medium… radio.

“Eh, Joe?” – Paul Micsan and Lois Ewing team up to present Samuel Beckett’s most accessible short piece, “Eh, Joe?” A lonely man seals himself in to fight off his demons. He appears safe enough. He has made precautions. Alas, as he readies himself for rest, he is taunted by the voice of a woman he once knew. A stunning look at how we are all taunted by our past, by the voices in our heads, and by the thoughts stirred when we reflect.

Selected as “Best of the Fest” for the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival, Last of the Knotts is a one man comi-tragedy and the story of poet-hipster, Doug Knott’s irreverent and thorny battle with becoming a father… or Knott!

“The Nugget Fringe Festival really is theater for all hair colors.” says Ewing. “It’s not just for older or younger audiences. It is for anyone who loves art and having a good time.”

Tickets for The Nugget Fringe Festival go on sale December 1st at NuggetFringe.com.

(Source: Nugget Fringe Festival)