Category Archives: Community

Nevada County Fairgrounds winter 2015 hours

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Nevada County Fairgrounds begins winter hours, effective November 2, 2015 with the inner-grounds and gates to be 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.

The Fairgrounds will return to its summer hours beginning May 1, 2016. For more information about the Nevada County Fairgrounds, visit or call (530) 273-6217.

(Source & Photo: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

Hallmark Channel’s “The Christmas Card” to air Nov. 31, 2015

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Hallmark Channel’s “The Christmas Card,” filmed in Nevada City, tells the story of a soldier, Cody Cullen, with no family who, while serving in Afghanistan, receives an anonymous holiday card that touches him deeply. The movie will air on the Saturday, October 31, 2015 at 9 p.m. PST.

While on leave back home, he travels to Nevada City, the picturesque town from which the card was sent. Once there, Cody meets and falls in love with beautiful Faith Spelman, who sent the card, and quickly becomes a cherished member of the Spelman family.

Yet romance for Cody and Faith seems out of the question, because she has a boyfriend and is about to become engaged.

You can visit the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce at 132 Main Street, Nevada City, for a map to see some of the local filming spots, as well as a DVD of the movie.

A video trailer is here:

(Video & Photo: Hallmark Channel)

Pink Martini with Storm Large to perform in Grass Valley

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Pink Martini and Storm Large come to Grass Valley for international holiday show. Unparalleled purveyors of a multilingual blend of cosmopolitan sounds, Pink Martini will deliver a festive holiday concert featuring beloved songs from around the globe during a special Grass Valley show presented by The Center for the Arts on Dec. 4.

This performance will feature tracks from their 2010 holiday album, Joy to the World, with classics like “White Christmas” alongside Hebrew prayers, Chinese New Year tunes and a samba-inspired version of “Auld Lang Syne.”

“I love the holidays and all the music that goes with it. We strove to make an inclusive and non-denominational album that could be played anywhere in the world. There are 14 songs on Joy to the World including well-known traditional holiday songs like Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ sung by China Forbes in English and by the incredible Saori Yuki, ‘the Barbra Streisand of Japan,’ in Japanese,” said Bandleader Thomas Lauderdale.

Led by Lauderdale and vocalist Storm Large, the “little orchestra” draws inspiration from music all over the world, crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop.

Featuring a dozen musicians, Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America and North America.

Pink Martini made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden.

Since then, the band has gone on to play with more than 50 orchestras around the world, including multiple engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Other appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2011; four sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall; the opening party of the remodeled Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Governor’s Ball at the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008; the opening of the 2008 Sydney Festival in Australia; multiple sold-out appearances, and a festival opening, at the Montreal Jazz Festival, two sold-out concerts at Paris’ legendary L’Olympia Theatre in 2011; and Paris’ fashion house Lanvin’s 10-year anniversary celebration for designer Alber Elbaz in 2012.

In its twentieth year, Pink Martini was inducted into both the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.

Pink Martini’s debut album Sympathique was released independently in 1997 on the band’s own label Heinz Records (named after Lauderdale’s dog), and quickly became an international phenomenon, garnering the group nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Best New Artist” in France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards in 2000.

The band has collaborated and performed with numerous artists, including Jimmy Scott, Carol Channing, Jane Powell, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Henri Salvador, Chavela Vargas, New York performer Joey Arias, puppeteer Basil Twist, Georges Moustaki, Michael Feinstein, filmmaker Gus Van Sant, Courtney Taylor Taylor of The Dandy Warhols, clarinetist and conductor Norman Leyden, Japanese legend Hiroshi Wada, Italian actress and songwriter Alba Clemente, DJ Johnny Dynell and Chi Chi Valenti, Faith Prince, Mamie Van Doren, the original cast of Sesame Street, the Bonita Vista High School Marching Band of Chula Vista, California, the Portland Youth Philharmonic, and the Pacific Youth Choir of Portland, Oregon.

Singer Storm Large began performing with Pink Martini in March 2011, when China Forbes took a leave of absence to undergo surgery on her vocal cords. Forbes made full recovery and now both she and Large continue performing with Pink Martini.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Watch a video of Storm Large performing with Pink Martini here:

(Source: The Center for the Arts; Video: Tyler Kalberg)

Nevada County Fairgrounds begins search for 2016 fair theme

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Submit the winning theme for the 2016 Nevada County Fair theme and win a prize package to the 2016 Nevada County Fair.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is hosting a contest to find the winning theme for the 2016 Fair. Do you have a catchy or fun theme that you think would be perfect for the 2016 Nevada County Fair?

Visit the Fair’s website at and submit a theme idea that you think would be perfect for the Fair. If the theme you submit is selected, you win. The winner will receive a 2016 Nevada County Fair package that includes two free admission tickets for each day of the Fair, a 5-day parking pass for the Fair, and ride coupons.

Submissions must be five words or less and no trade-marked themes will be considered. The contest runs now through November 5, 2015. For those without access to the Internet, entry forms are available at the Nevada County Fairgrounds office, or information can be mailed to the Fairgrounds at P.O. Box 2687, Grass Valley, CA 95945. No phone entries will be accepted.

Once the winning theme is selected, there will be a contest to design artwork or submit a photo to illustrate the theme. Each year, the theme and artwork appear on advertisements, buttons, posters, banners and the Fair’s website to promote the Fair.

The 2016 Nevada County Fair is scheduled for August 10 through 14. For a complete list of contest rules or information, visit or call (530) 273-6217.

(Source: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

Sierra Vintners’ wine trails are May 14, July 16 and Sept. 24, 2016

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Sierra Vintners’ Regional Wine Trails are May 14, July 16 and September 24 in 2016.

The May 14 wine trail is Amour Privé, Bear River, Fawnridge, Lone Buffalo, Mt. Vernon, Naggiar, Sierra Knolls and Viña Castellano.

The July 16 trail features Avanguardia, Bent Metal, Coufos Cellars, Grant Marie, Gray one, Pilot Peak and Szabo.

The September 24 wine trail is Double Oak, Datoa, Lucchesi, Nevada City, Smith and Solune.
“Enjoy 21 wineries at your own pace in the beautiful foothills,” according to the group.

The cost is $35 per trail or $80 for all three trails. For wine club members, the cost is $30 per trail or $70 for all three trails. It costs $15 for a designated driver per trail, which includes food and beverages.

The Sierra Vintners wine region is relaxed and rich in history, nestled within the beauty of the mountains. It surrounds the gold rush towns of Auburn, Grass Valley, Nevada City and Marysville. There you can find fine dining, shopping, art and entertainment, all with plenty of charm.

For more information, visit

Fright Night on Halloween with Achilles Wheel

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Miners Foundry Cultural Center presents FRIGHT NIGHT, Nevada County’s largest Halloween bash, Saturday, October 31st. The legendary Halloween party now in its thirty-seventh year, promises another infamous evening of sensational costumes and ambiance, an epic dance party, and rollicking rock n’ roll.

This year’s FRIGHT NIGHT features live music from one of Northern California’s most popular groups Achilles Wheel, plus local psych rockers The Soft Bombs and Scary Little Friends from San Francisco.

Over the last year Achilles Wheel has dominated the Northern California roots and world music scene performing at Jerry Bash, California Worldfest, The Strawberry Music festival, The Redwood Mountain Faire, The Redwood Ramble, Dead On The Creek, Railroad Earth’s Hangtown Halloween, and a sold out show at Sierra Nevada Big Room in Chico, California.

Offering drivingly danceable rhythms, hard pumping bass, and hypnotically addictive blends of psych, kaleidoscopic electrophonic melodies, The Soft Bombs are at once retro and distinctly forward-looking. The band’s live shows are enhanced by colorful projections and extended dance-improvs that whip the audience into frenzy.

Based in San Francisco with underlying southern soul roots, strong songwriting is really the bread and butter of Scary Little Friends. Scary Little Friend’s live shows combine an understated professionalism with raw talent. They connect with their audience the old-fashioned way by offering authentic heartfelt performances that fulfill our desire to connect. No gimmicks, no tricks. Just great songs about what you were thinking but couldn’t say.

A few of the many highlights at this year’s FRIGHT NIGHT includes the infamous costume contest that always leaves the town talking, a spectacular light show by Mark Jacoby, a special treat at intermission created by LIT Projection featuring the art work of Romero Alves and Zach Haller, food by Horn of the Bull Taqueria, and more. This year’s costume contest features cash prizes, an esteemed group of judges, and emceed by Heather Donahue, star of The Blair Witch Project and author of Grow Girl.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Click here to watch a VIDEO of last year’s Fright Night special intermission show.

(Source: Miners Foundry Cultural Center; Photo: John Taber; Video: Romeo Alves & Zach Haller)

Bridgeport Fall Festival is October 25, 2015

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What’s New in Nevada County Fall 2015

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October: Bierwagen’s Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival
Pumpkin patch and an abundant supply of apples and fresh-pressed cider.

Oct. 30: Safe Trick or Treat
For preschool age children in downtown Grass Valley.

Nov. 14: Holiday Open House Downtown Grass Valley

Nov. 27-29: Country Christmas Faire
Nevada County Fairgrounds
One of the top handcrafted shows in Northern California, the Faire features unique gifts and crafts.

Nov. 27-28: Holidays at the Empire Mine

Oct. 11: Autumn Shindig Harvest Festival
The festival is on the outdoor lawn of the North Columbia Schoolhouse on the
San Juan Ridge.

Dec. 5: Railroad Museum Christmas Party Dec. 5-6 Holiday Craft Faire
North Columbia Schoolhouse

Dec. 13: Winter Craft Fair
The fair at Miners Foundry Cultural Center features unique and local handmade artisan and vintage goods.

Oct. 25: Bridgeport Fall Festival
South Yuba River State Park

Oct. 15-16: Haunted Historic Tour
Captivating stories offering spooky twists.

Fridays, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11, 18, 6-9 p.m.
Recapture the spirit of Christmas past in historic downtown Grass Valley during the annual Cornish Christmas celebration. Started in 1967 to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Cornish Christmas is one of the region’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, musicians, the Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir, a street vendor selling roasted chestnuts, and Santa Claus.

Handmade arts and crafts from artists throughout California are displayed in his- toric downtown Grass Valley streets. Delicious food and drink can be purchased from Grass Valley restaurants and specialty food vendors.

Sundays, Dec. 6, 13, 20 1:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Dec. 16, 23, 5-9 p.m.
Welcome the holiday season in style in historic Nevada City, where each year the town’s picturesque downtown transforms into a Christmas card come to life.

The annual, family tradition features holiday activities for all ages: carriage rides, live entertainment, savory yuletide treats and libations, and Father Christmas.

It’s a magical setting of hilly streets out- lined with twinkling white lights and au- thentic gas lamps, wandering minstrels, carolers dressed in Victorian attire and visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings.

The aromas of roasted chestnuts and holiday foods fill the air, along with cries of street vendors hawking their wares and streets filled to overflowing with Christmas treasures.

—Sierra FoodWineArt magazine
(Photo: Thomas Thompson and Sierra FoodWineArt magazine

29th annual Draft Horse Classic Awards Announced

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Awards for the 29th annual Draft Horse Classic, held September 24 – 27 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, have been announced. Albert Cleve of Farmington, Missouri, judged the Draft Horse competitions and halter show. Dwight Gilbert from Nevada was the judge of the pulling contest; and Robbie Mederos from Danville, CA was the horseshoe competition judge.

More than 50 Draft Horse exhibitors – traveling from California, Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho – competed for approximately $30,000 in premium awards. The competitions took place during six performances over the four-day event.

The winner of the Ultimate Hitch competition was Wayne Wareing of Wareing Shires, from Blackfoot, Idaho.

Audrey Popoff of Unhitched Ranch, from Colton, CA was recognized as the outstanding lady driver, accumulating high points to win the Susan Parnell High Point Perpetual Award.

The Teamster of the Year Award was presented to Deb Luis, an honor bestowed upon her by the voting of her fellow teamsters. Luis is from Debzdrafts in Marysville, CA. The Andy Amsbaugh Teamster Award went to Steve Smith of Quail Creek Percherons, Carmichael, CA; and Dakota Shinn of Shinn Ranch Percherons, Placerville, CA, won the Youth of the Show award.

The Overall Supreme Champion horse, GT Bold Adventure, is owned by Thiel Family Percherons of Pleasant Grove, CA, and shown by Jason Bexon. The Grand Champion Stallion, Rolling Acres Tyrane, is also owned by Thiel Family Percherons.

The Grand Champion Mare, Noodle, is owned by Top Hand Ranch and shown by Crystal Newborn of Elverta, CA.

The winner in the 2015 Edward Martin Perpetual Horseshoeing Competition was Lance Yohe of Elk Grove, CA.

At the Harvest Fair, with more than 800 items entered, the Best of Division in the Scarecrows went to Sierra View Manor in Grass Valley; and the People’s Choice award for the Scarecrows went to Nicholas Husak of Grass Valley.

A complete list of 2015 Draft Horse Classic awards, as well as all the Harvest Fair winners, is on the Nevada County Fairgrounds’ website at

The 2016 Draft Horse Classic is scheduled for September 22 – 25. Tickets will go on sale on May 2, 2016. Visit for more information.

(Source: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

Music in the Mountains annual Home Tour

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Music in the Mountain’s Home Tour on Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4, allows visitors to take a peek at Lifestyles of the Gold Country.

From Queen Anne and King George to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, this year visit six of the most elegant and interesting homes in the county. Enjoy refreshments provided by the MIM Alliance Volunteers and Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets phone (530) 265-6124 or visit