Category Archives: Events & Happenings

Time to plan your entry for the 2015 Nevada County Fair!

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“Catch the Fair Bug” is the theme of the 2015 Nevada County Fair and it’s time to dust off your favorite recipe, gather fabric for your quilt or prune your Petunias for your flower arrangement entry.

The Nevada County Fair’s Competition Handbook, which includes all the information you need to enter exhibits in this year’s Fair, is now available. If you can make it, bake it, grow it or show it, there is a category for you – and it can be found in the Competition Handbook!

Why not showcase a talent, a project, a cooking skill, or a special collection. Try baking cookies, entering a prized photo, creating a produce character, making the Ugliest Decorated Cake, writing a poem, or entering the Pet Look-A-Like photo contest. This year, we have some fun, new categories, including a Spelling Bee, tiny terrariums, creating the best BBQ sauce, an Instagram Contest, Recycled Fan art, an ugly lamp contest, or a painted rock category.

There are also lots of special contests like the Squash Mobile Races, Daily Special Food Contests, and the Newlywed Game. With hundreds of categories available for children and adults – the Competition Handbook has something for everyone.

Copies of the free handbook are available at the Fairgrounds’ Office, Chamber of Commerce offices, post offices, county libraries, Raley’s, SPD, Ben Franklin, Foothill Mercantile, and other local businesses, as well as on-line at

It’s easy to enter! Look through the book, pick your favorite categories, and follow the simple steps for completing the entry forms. You can even enter on-line at This year, there won’t be any entry fees for most categories (yes, it’s free!), you can enter on-line or at the Fair office, and there will be some great prizes!

The deadline for submitting paper entry forms and on-line entries is July 24 at 4 p.m.

This year’s Competition Handbook also contains information about discounted Fair tickets available now through August 11, discount days at the Fair, and nightly arena events.

The 2015 “Catch the Fair Bug!” Nevada County Fair is August 12 – 16. For more information, visit or call (530) 273-6217.

(Source: Nevada County Fair)

Nevada City and Truckee named among best romantic weekend destinations in the West

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“Nevada City and Truckee have been named among the 23 best romantic weekend destinations in the West, according to VacationIdea is a U.S.-based online magazine covering the most exciting destinations, hotels, restaurants and activities around the world. The web site was named “Best of the Web” by Forbes for 9 years and receives 500,000 monthly unique visitors.

“Other cities on the list included Big Sur; Ellensburg, Washington; Healdsburg; Hood River; Walla Walla; San Luis Obispo; Seabrook, Washington; Astoria, Oregon; Coronado, California; The Dalles, Oregon; McMinnville, Oregon; La Jolla, California; Cannon Beach, Oregon; Palm Springs; Ventura; Santa Barbara; Fort Bragg; Sausalito; Truckee; Two Harbors, Catalina Island; Carmel-by-the-Sea; and Langley on Whidbey Island.


“Surrounded by incredible Sierra Nevada Mountain vistas, Nevada City is a historic town with a rich gold rush heritage,” according to the travel website. “The charming downtown is home to unique shops and cafes inviting visitors to relax and soak up the scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts will have access to diverse hiking and biking trails in the area which also host the Nevada City Bicycle Classic, a 50-year-old tradition and the largest bike race on the West Coast.

“Where to Stay: Emma Nevada House offers six individually furnished guest rooms, including the Empress Chamber featuring romantic regal décor.

“Where to Eat: The restaurants in town serve a variety of flavors, including sushi, Thai, Mexican and Italian. For dessert, try homemade ice cream at Treats or handmade chocolates at the Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe.

“Don’t Miss: Learn all about the narrow gauge railroad era at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum which houses important artifacts from that time period.”


“Tucked away in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Truckee is a friendly and inviting mountain town that has been established as one of the region’s best summer and winter sport destinations. Surrounded by spectacular natural scenery, summer sees a wealth of outdoor adventures, with nature trails to hike and bike, lakes and ponds to fish and swim, and camping and picnicking to enjoy the warm summer sunshine. In the winter, there is world-class skiing, skating and sledding, as well as an array of winter festivals and carnivals to celebrate the snow.

“Downton Truckee is home to lovely little stores and shops to explore, as well as museums and historic buildings that tell the story of the town’s heritage.

“Where to Stay: Donner Lake Inn B & B has five guest rooms and a great room with a library, game area and a wood burning fireplace (website).

“Where to Eat: If you like to try new omelette flavors, Squeeze In boast a menu of over 60 delicious choices.

“Don’t Miss: Piping Rock Equestrian Center offers horseback riding for novice and expert riders, including clinics, and both Western and English instruction.”

Read the full article at

(Photo: James Good/Flickr; Videos: Ishaan Reyna and Mountain Event Productions, and Town of Truckee Chamber of Commerce and; Source:

BYLT hosts Celebration of Trails Day on May 30

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Bear Yuba Land Trust
Celebration of Trails Day
National Forest Headquarters
Coyote Street, Nevada City, CA 95959
May 30, 2015
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Free

Join Bear Yuba Land Trust and area trail enthusiasts for a community Celebration of Trails on Saturday, May 30. It’s the one day of the year all of your favorite trail supporters and outdoor recreation groups will come together to bring the community everything they want to know about trail related topics – a one stop resource for gear, maps, flora and fauna, and more.

Start the day with a lineup of morning outings: a beginner, moderate and intermediate trek; a family bike ride and a run then follow up with a trails day fair and celebration in the afternoon. Stop by the Tahoe National Forest headquarters on Coyote Street in Nevada City for a fun afternoon of family activities, food, beverages, live music and more. This is a free event and a great opportunity to get familiar with all the local trails and trail groups in our region. Learn more here.

(Photo: Hank Meals)

Nevada County, Grass Valley and Truckee named among “America’s best” in new analysis

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Nevada County is ranked one of America’s 50 best counties for outdoor activities in America, according to a new analysis by

Placer County ranked #36, Nevada County ranked #47 and El Dorado ranked #49 in the nation, according to Pittsburgh-based Niche, which runs a ranking and review site. The methodology for the rankings, which also include cities, towns and neighborhoods, is here.

In California, Placer County ranked #3, Nevada County ranked #6 and El Dorado County ranked #7 in outdoor activities. Calaveras County ranked #1.

The 2015 Niche rankings “takes into account key indicators of a location’s environment and surroundings, including air quality, local weather, and access to natural amenities and outdoor recreation, in an attempt to measure an area’s quality of and access to the outdoors,” according to the website.

In addition, these locales in our region ranked in the top 100 as the nation’s best places for outdoor activities: Auburn (#40), North Auburn (#42) Grass Valley (#54), Lake Wildwood near Grass Valley (#62), Alta Sierra near Grass Valley (#80), South Lake Tahoe (#48), Placerville (#30) and Pollock Pines (#41).

In California our local towns ranked high for outdoor activities: Placerville was #2, Lake Tahoe was #7, Auburn was #9 and Grass Valley was #18.

Our region also showed up on the “best towns in America list.” Truckee ranked #65 and Placerville ranked #95.

In California, Truckee ranked #23, Placerville ranked #27, Auburn ranked #29, South Lake Tahoe ranked #33 and Grass Valley ranked #39. Palo Alto was ranked the best town in America.

Our local towns generally received higher marks for things to do, outdoor activities, commute and weather (mostly “A’s”) and lower grades for housing and jobs (“C” or lower). The countywide results were similar but often more negative on the housing and jobs front.

Grass Valley ranked #98 on the “American Towns with the Most Things to Do” list. It received a low ranking on the “millennial newcomers” list, just 1.1 percent.

A place is defined as being located within a Census-defined urbanized cluster or a principal city for an urbanized area with a population greater than or equal to 5,000 and less than 100,000.

Nevada City’s population is less than 5,000, so it was not part of the analysis.

(Photo: John Daly)

Bear Yuba Land Trust’s 25th Anniversary Dance Party with Pete Escovedo & Sons

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Tickets go on sale at midnight Friday, May 15 for Bear Yuba Land Trust’s (BYLT) August Anniversary Latin jazz Dance Party with Pete Escovedo & Sons honoring 25 years of saving land.

This year’s Land Trust concert, the 13th Annual “Stars Under the Stars” concert series will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday, August 23 on the lawn at the historic North Star House. In addition to the concert, the event features a gourmet gala dinner and auction. It’s BYLT’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo is an artist who broke down the barriers between Smooth Jazz, Salsa, Latin Jazz and contemporary music. His name has been synonymous in the music industry for more than 50 years. Escovedo is known worldwide for his live performances, session work and solo albums. He has performed with artists such as Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Prince, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea and Arturo Sandoval.

For more information visit

Watch Jeff Bridges, Janis Ian, Terry Riley and others wish The Center for the Arts Happy 15th Anniversary

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The Center for the Arts celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. The Center will hold an Open House tonight with free performances, birthday cake and more at 6 p.m.

Check who’s wishing them a “Happy 15th Anniversary” on this video:

What’s New in Nevada County, CA June through September 2015

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Bear Yuba Land Trust
Celebration of Trails Day
National Forest Headquarters
Coyote Street, Nevada City, CA 95959
May 30, 2015
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Free

Join Bear Yuba Land Trust and area trail enthusiasts for a community Celebration of Trails on Saturday, May 30. It’s the one day of the year all of your favorite trail supporters and outdoor recreation groups will come together to bring the community everything they want to know about trail related topics – a one stop resource for gear, maps, flora and fauna, and more. We’ll start the day with a lineup of morning outings: a beginner, moderate and intermediate trek; a family bike ride and a run then follow up with a trails day fair and celebration in the afternoon. Stop by the Tahoe National Forest headquarters on Coyote Street in Nevada City for a fun afternoon of family activities, food, beverages, live music and more. This is a free event and a great opportunity to get familiar with all the local trails and trail groups in our region. Learn more here. (Photo: Hank Meals)

North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center presents
Gamelan Sekar Jaya
17894 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
Saturday, June 13, 2015

Gamelan Sekar Jaya, a sixty-five member company of musicians and dancers based in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in the performing arts of Bali, Indonesia, returns to the lovely outdoor amphitheater at North Columbia School House Cultural Center, nestled in the San Juan Valley just 20 minutes from Nevada City. Led by master artists I Made Arnawa and Emiko Saraswati Susilo, Sekar Jaya’s performance will include traditional and newly created works on three distinct gamelan ensembles: the vibrant five-tone gong kebyar; the sweetly shimmering four-tone gamelan angklung; and the delicate and virtuosic gendér wayang quartet. They will be joined by Sekar Jaya’s Balinese dance ensemble. The audience is welcomed to sit on a blanket, or move freely to take in the performance from multiple perspectives, and enjoy the complex interlocking rhythms and virtuosic ensemble sensibility of Balinese music and dance. Learn more here.

40th Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
June 18-21, 2015

Four days of family fun – jamming, workshops, children’s programs, Luthier’s Pavilion, Kids on Bluegrass, and camping on site. It’s the best in Bluegrass and Old Time Music on stage under the beautiful pine trees! Learn more here.

Music in the Mountains SummerFest
Nevada County Fairgrounds and other venues
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
June 24 – July 5, 2015

For its 34th season, Music in the Mountains brings contemporary and classical music together in a two-week celebration of community, art and music. This year’s programming includes, Randy Newman, Cirque de la Symphonie, Mozart’s Requiem, The Glory of Russian Ballet, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, and the always popular “Happy Birthday, USA”! Learn more here.

SummerFest Arts Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
June 26 – June 28, 2015

In conjunction with Music in the Mountains SummerFest, over 30 visual artists will be showing and selling their art Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 26-28 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. A Randy Newman concert and art stroll opens the festival on Friday evening. Saturday includes the free Family Art Fair from 10 – 4, with free classes, workshops, demonstrations, musical entertainment, and even a fashion show by the always fascinating Haute Trash Ensemble. Saturday night features a spell-binding concert that includes the acrobatic artistry of Cirque de la Symphonie, as well as the opportunity to stroll the fine artwork in the booths. The art displays and demonstrations continue from 11 -3 on Sunday, and the Festival wraps up with an indoor matinee concert featuring the Mozart Requiem. Learn more here.

Nevada County AirFest
Nevada County Air Park
13083 John Bauer Ave., Grass Valley, CA 95945
Friday Evening and Saturday, July 10-11, 2015

Nevada County Air Park event features fly byes and displays of warbirds, jets, classic, air tankers and more. Friday Night Dinner Dance, pancake breakfast, airplane rides, classic cars, museum displays, kids activities and food galore. Admission $5; 10 and under FREE. Learn more here.

Rough & Ready Secession Days
Downtown Rough & Ready, CA 95975
Sunday, June 28, 2015
7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On April 7, 1850, the town of Rough and Ready, angered at the lack of law and order, and the passage of a new mining tax, voted to secede from the Union and form the Great Republic of Rough and Ready. The Republic lasted less than 3 months when, the story goes, Nevada City refused to sell the “foreign” miners liquor! The town gathered again and decided to re-join the Union…just in time for the 4th of July celebration. These days, Rough & Ready celebrate Secession Days on the last Sunday in June with food, fun and entertainment. The day starts with a Pancake Breakfast to raise funds for the Rough and Ready Volunteer Fire Department. Crafters and merchants ply their trades, our Town Blacksmith fires up the forge in the Blacksmith Shop, and the Fruit Jar Pickers play their special brand of music. The highlight of the day is the annual musical/melodrama “The Saga of Rough and Ready” performed live on stage. Rough and Ready souvenir sales, raffles, and more food and fun makes this a safe and enjoyable day for the whole family! Learn more here.

California WorldFest
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
July 16-19, 2015

The Center for the Arts presents California WorldFest featuring eight stages of music from around the world! Visitors can also enjoy camping, workshops, international food, fine crafts and children’s programming. This year’s line-up includes diverse music as King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Emisunshine, Makana, Birds of Chicago, and much more. Learn more here.

30th Annual Sierra Storytelling Festival
North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
17894 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
July 17-19, 2015

Set among the towering pines, sloping lawn and our historic one-room schoolhouse on Columbia Hill, the Sierra Storytelling Festival is celebrating its 30th year. Known as “The Queen of Storytelling Festivals”, the festival brings a line-up of talented, nationally recognized storytellers to the Schoolhouse stages. 2015 Tellers include Patrick Ball, Dovie Thomason, Rafe Martin Barbara McBride-Smith, Willy Clafin, Angela Lloyd, Izzi Tooinsky the Wild Man and other special guest. Our storytellers will entertain listeners of all ages with tales from around the world and close to home. Bring friends and family and picnic on the lawn, slow down, turn off the phone and soak in the stories of world-class tellers. Buy your tickets early, to make sure you get a seat at this world-renowned event. Learn more here.

Nevada County Fair
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
August 12-16, 2015

Join us for five days of excitement and fun for fair-goers of all ages. The Nevada County Fair is the perfect opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, carnival rides, animals, and exhibits – at the most beautiful fairgrounds in California. This is affordable fun for the whole family! Learn more here.

Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA 95945
September 24-27, 2015

Join the beautiful Draft Horses at the 2015 Draft Horse Classic. Majestic Draft Horse performances, breath-taking competitions, and seeing a Draft Horse “up-close” – it’s all part of the Annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. The Classic has grown to become the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States, and features six majestic performances, along with non-stop entertainment in between classes. Learn more here.

Art at the Classic – Held during the four days of the Draft Horse Classic, this world-class equine and western art show features more than 100 works by painters, sculptors, photographers and other fine artists. Take time to browse the show, meet some of the artists and purchase beautiful works of original art, photography, cards and other items from the artists’ booths.

Events at California State Parks Located in Nevada County, CA

Bird Walks
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA 95946
Saturday, June 6; Tuesday, July 7; Saturday, September 5

Over the two hour bird walk you might spot the Canyon Wren, American Dipper, Acorn Woodpecker, Golden Crowned Kinglet, Bald Eagle, Phainopepla and more. Bring snacks, water, binoculars, a field guide and wear good shoes. FREE Admission to Park; $5 Parking Fee. Learn more here

Gold Panning Demonstrations
South Yuba River State Park, Penn Valley, CA 95946
Every Saturday, Sunday and Holiday – (Memorial Day – Labor Day)
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Free

Docents will demonstrate how to pan for gold in our troughs, which are very likely to yield a bit of gold for most everyone. Practice in the troughs, and then try your hand in the river. Remember, only pans and hands allowed in the park. Learn more here

Humbug Day
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
23579 North Bloomfield Road
Nevada City, CA 95959
Saturday, June 13, 2015
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

See the exciting and controversial hydraulic gold mining era of the 1870’s! Enjoy music, wagon rides, barbecue picnic, homemade ice cream, re-enactments, craft demonstrations, gold panning, candle making and tin punching, old fashioned family games and prizes, storytelling, living history tours of historic North Bloomfield, the world’s shortest parade and water blasting of the old hydraulic water cannon! Learn more here.

Garden Tours
Empire Mine State Historic Park
10791 E. Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
Every Saturday and Sunday – May through September, 2015
Tours begin at 11 a.m.; Park Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission (to Park) is $7 for adults 17 and over, $3 for children 6 – 16, Free for children under 6.

Combining history, color, and serenity, Empire Mine State Historic Park’s thirteen acres of landscaped grounds are a popular highlight, especially when the springtime gardens are in bloom. Designed in the early 1900s by famed architect Willis Polk, these magnificent estate gardens are among California’s oldest and most unusual. For the first time, Garden Tours will be offered on both Saturdays as well as Sundays for the public to enjoy. To celebrate the springtime displays, enthusiastic, knowledgeable docents will lead the Garden Tours on both Saturdays and Sundays from May through late September. Visitors may view the formal and informal gardens, the reflecting pools or even the grassy walks. Many specimens on the grounds are thought to have been gifts to the Bourn Family (Empire’s prosperous owners from 1869 to 1929) from their world-traveled friends. Benches provide plenty of places to sit, rest, and savor the surrounding beauty that transports visitors to another era. Tours last about 45 minutes, and will feature landscape trends of the early 1900s, as well as the Arts and crafts Movement that influenced landscape design. Visitors may also see the perennial gardens and permanent plantings both at Empire Cottage and the nearby Clubhouse. There is no extra charge for these tours, and everyone’s invited – including dogs on leashes. Roses are being propagated this year by docents, and will be for sale in the Gift Shop this autumn. Garden enthusiasts, artists and photographers are advised to bring their cameras. Learn more here.

Sierra Vintners Wine Trail Tours
Throughout Nevada County
May 16, July 17 and September 26, 2015
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enjoy wine, food, music and more at three regional wine trail tours at Sierra Vintners wineries. Affordable tickets for all three start at $55 for wine club members; $65 general public. Individual day tickets are $25 for wine club members; $30 general public. Designated driver tickets are $10. Participating wineries are clustered by region reducing the drive time between each. Learn more here.
May 16, 2015
Avanguardia Wines, Bent Metal Winery, Coufos Cellars, Gray Pine Winery, Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery, Szabo Vineyards
July 18, 2015
Double Oak Vineyards & Winery, Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, Nevada City Winery, Smith Vineyard, Solune Winegrowers, Grant Eddie Winery
September 26
Bear River Winery, Fawnridge Winery, Lone Buffalo Vineyards & Winery, Mt. Vernon Winery, Naggiar Vineyards, Sierra Knolls Vineyards & Winery, Vina Castallano Winery


The Center for the Arts presents

Alasdair Fraser’s 10th Annual Grand Fiddlers Rally
Saturday, June 27, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
$23 members, $25 non-member, $10 children, 12 and under

Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp will celebrate the fiddle music of Scotland and the World in Grass Valley at Veterans Memorial Auditorium with their eighth annual Fiddle Camp concert. Over 200 musicians, singers and dancers ranging in age from 5 to 85 will join Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and the world-class faculty of camp instructors to celebrate with a week of intensive study and revelry. Renowned performer and master teacher of the rich fiddling tradition of Scotland, Alasdair Fraser inspires to higher and deeper levels of self-expression within an embracing community of listeners, learners and like-minded folk. The variety and expressivity of Alasdair’s playing is evident in his numerous recordings—from intimate fiddle/guitar duets, to a more contemporary interpretation of tradition, to high-energy original tunes with his Skyedance band. Learn more here.

Thursday Night Market and Free Summer Concerts
Historic Downtown Grass Valley
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Thursday Nights, June 18 – August 6, 2015
6 to 9 p.m.

The Grass Valley Thursday Night Market is a wonderful event that includes a certified Farmer’s Market, arts, crafts, food, and the ever-popular FREE Summer Concert Series. Learn more here.


First Friday Art Walk
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
First Fridays – May thru October 2015
5 to 9 p.m.

The First Friday Art Walk is a celebration of Nevada City’s diverse mix of galleries, artisan boutiques, retail shops, wine tasting rooms, restaurants, as well as our wonderfully artistic and creative community. Participating Downtown businesses will be open from 5pm to 9pm and many will host “receptions” with local artists, trunk shows, and/or performances. Many shops are also offering snacks and beverages as well as sales and specials only valid for the event. There will be live music and theatrical performances at various locations throughout the downtown area. In addition there will be a Youth Arts Showcase featuring Artists between the ages of 4-18 with some fantastic prizes donated by local businesses, as well as a “Kids Zone” on York Street with some fun activities and art projects for kids of all ages. Learn more here.

55th Annual Nevada City Bicycle Classic 2015
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
Sunday, June 21, 2015
1 to 6:30 p.m.

The Nevada City Classic is one of the premiere sporting events in the Sierra foothills, the largest and oldest bike race on the West Coast, and the second-oldest race in the nation. Historic Nevada City is draped with flags and bunting and provides a colorful backdrop as cyclists whiz through the downtown area, spokes flashing and crowds cheering. Senior and professional riders representing top U.S. cycling teams are expected to race in the men’s 90-minute main event. Women’s, Junior’s and Master’s races also are planned. Action begins at 1 p.m. and is usually complete by about 6:30 p.m. Learn more here.

Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby
Pioneer Park
421 Nimrod St., Nevada City
Saturday, June 13, 2015
12 to 4 p.m.

The 5th annual Nevada City Adult Soapbox Derby will be held on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 at Pioneer Park. Entered in either the Art or Speed category, teams will compete in head to head racing…or generally crazy feats of gravity powered fun! According to Rich Bodine, Chief Instigator for the race, “Art teams tend to win the crowd…while Speed teams win the race.” Every year the creativity and skill of the teams in both design and workmanship seems to improve, and with each year, our team of volunteers manages to pull off a fun-filled day for the entire family. Learn more here.

25th Annual Nevada City Summer Nights
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
Wednesday Evening, July 15, 22 and 29, 2015
6 to 9:30 p.m.; FREE

During Summer Nights, Nevada City’s landmark historic district is closed to motorized traffic and filled with arts, crafts, classic cars, food, drink and music. Leading Sierra foothills musicians perform on outdoor stages throughout the downtown area. Summer Nights visitors can enjoy a meal at one of our many and varied restaurants, unwind with some live music or just relax with a leisurely stroll around our stores and the top class craftsmen selling their wares on the street. Kid Friendly Fun! Summer Nights is for everyone. There are bounce houses, face painting and more to make sure that kids will have a great time at this family affair. Special Additions! Broad Street will host a Farmer’s Market with fresh, local produce and a different Classic Car Show every week. Learn more here.

Nevada City Uncorked
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
Saturday, August 29, 2015
1 to 4 p.m.

Nevada City Uncorked, a food and wine event that celebrates the agricultural bounty of Nevada County, is a walk-about-town style format that includes 20 different venues throughout downtown. Each venue, whether it is a retail shop, restaurant, or winery tasting room, will include wine tasting and food sampling. This year’s event features a farm-to-table theme between the local farmers and participating restaurants and caterers who will transform the fresh materials into signature dishes. The wineries, in addition to pouring their favorite wines, will be highlight their newest release of the season in celebration of the upcoming harvest. Learn more here.

Constitution Day Festivities
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
September 12 and 13, 2015
Learn more here.

Revolutionary War Days – Saturday September 12 and Sunday, September 13. The Delaware Regiment of the Brigade of the American Revolution will be offering living history demonstrations of Revolutionary War soldiers drilling and firing, drilling of kids with mock muskets, music by the California Consolidated Drum Band, and colonial life living history. Flag raising to music and reading of the Declaration of Independence will be at 10am each day, and activities conclude at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.

Free Outdoor Concert in Downtown Nevada City – Saturday, September 12 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Nevada County Concert Band and Watsonville Community Band on Pine Street, Downtown Nevada City.

Nevada City’s 49th Annual Constitution Day Parade – Sunday, September 13 at 2 p.m. has been a local tradition since 1967 and is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution observance in western America. The parade through the downtown historic district includes marching bands, floats, antique autos, equestrians, politicians and perennial crowd favorites such as the Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band and the Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City, a humorous but reverent group that portrays each U.S. president. Learn more here.

15th Annual Nevada City Film Festival
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Nevada City, CA 95959
September 10-13, 2015

The Nevada City Film Festival brings award-winning shorts and feature films from around the world to the historic venues of Nevada City, California. A four-day celebration of art, music, and independent film-making, NCFF includes screening, workshops, special performances, parties, and a live comedy show. On Sunday, the Mardi Gras Street Faire will be held on North Pine Street, in Historic Downtown Nevada City, from 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be food, drink, crafts, and clothing. Learn more here.

Miners Foundry Cultural Center presents
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA 95959

Allah Las ~ “Sacred Sands”
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Doors Open at 8 p.m.; Music Begins at 9 p.m.
Tickets – $15/Advance; $20/Door

Allah Las features a sound cultivated from the annals of California culture; the perfect mixture of the sands, the seas, the streets, and the cities of the golden state. This is a standing / dancing concert. Los Angeles based garage rock quartet Allah Las is comprised of Miles Michaud, Pedrum Siadatian, Spencer Dunham, and Matthew Correia. Three of the four band members were working in the L.A. branch of the legendary record store Amoeba when the group formed in 2008, and they spent a great deal of time researching the garage and psychedelic sounds of the 60’s. The Allah Las sound combines the harmonies and pop hooks of the British invasion, the trippy atmosphere of West Coast psychedelic bands, and the raw swagger of countless American garage rockers. Learn more here.

Allen Stone
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Doors Open at 7 p.m.; Music Begins at 8 p.m.
Tickets – $22/Advance; $25/Door

Allen Stone exhibits an easy grace in blending everything from edgy-soul-pop and earth folk-rock to throwback R&B and Parliament-inspired funk. Like many of his own musical heroes (Stevie Wonder chief among them), Allen Stone pulls off the near-magical feat of channeling a weight-of-the-world sensitivity into his songs while still radiating hope and promise. Stone’s breezily poetic lyrics touch on topics ranging from rampant materialism to the toxic takeover of technology in art. Allen Stone’s newest release Radius features a lush yet raw sonic landscape staying true to his pledge to rely entirely on live instrumentation. Jon Pareles, chief popular music critic for the New York Times praised Stone for possessing “a tenor voice with the eagerness and frisky syncopation of [Stevie] Wonder.” Learn more here.


Donner Memorial State ParkNew Visitor Center to Open to Public
Donner Summit Truckee, CA 96160
June 6, 2015
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The new Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center will open its doors to the public on Saturday June 6, 2015 with a special ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony. The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and visitors will enjoy free parking and free admission to the exhibits, as well as speeches by dignitaries. The dedication ceremony will take place on the 97th anniversary of the original Pioneer Memorial Dedication. The new visitor center will replace the existing Emigrant Trail Museum, and will feature a state of the art facility with innovative and engaging programs and exhibits. Compelling new exhibits feature stories of the Emigrant Experience, the Land of the Washoe, Chinese construction of the railroad and early motoring adventures over Donner Pass. The Multipurpose Theater includes state-of-the-art audiovisual systems for presentations. An expanded information center welcomes visitors with interactive kiosks for exploring connections to other state parks. A spacious museum store provides keepsakes for visitors young and old. Improvements to the landscape include a paved walk to the Pioneer Memorial, the path taken by the Donner Party and other emigrants. Learn more here.

Tahoe DonnerSummer Concert on the Green
11509 Northwoods Blvd, Truckee, CA 96161
Friday, July 3, 2015
Doors Open 5 p.m.; Concert 6 p.m.
Tickets – $35 Adults; $15 Ages 7-12; Free 6 & Under (Add $5 on day of event)

We’re recreating the iconic eras of Beatles and Stones history with two bands performing at this summer’s Concert on the Green. Two all-star tribute bands are scheduled: Britain’s Finest, bringing the complete Beatles experience to Tahoe Donner, and Glimmer Twins, a Rolling Stones tribute band. You won’t believe how much they sound like the real deal! Our tree-lined driving range has a gentle slope, so bring the whole gang and prepare for a rockin’ and nostalgic evening under the stars. Food and drink will be available on-site, or bring your own picnic. Low back chairs only, please. Tickets on sale now! Don’t wait – this event will sell out! Learn more here.

Truckee Tahoe Airport Air Show & Family Festival 2015
Truckee Tahoe Airport
10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, CA 96161
July 11, 2015
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Truckee sky will come alive with planes (and Otto the helicopter!) swirling and soaring through the air at the 2015 FREE Truckee Tahoe AirShow & Family Festival (TTAS&FF), a “Salute to Veterans. The event and parking is FREE.
Highlights include Spencer Suderman, Winner of the Guinness World Record for inverted flat spins; spectacular aerial performances by world-renowned performers; numerous vendor booths, static aircraft displays with pilot docents, a Kid’s Fun Zone with games, music, puppet shows, and face painting, FREE speaker forums, FREE flights for Kids (on Sunday, July 12) and much more. Learn more here.

Truckee Thursdays
Historic Downtown Truckee
Truckee, CA 96160
Every Thursday
June 11 through August 20, 2015
5 to 9 p.m.; FREE

From mid-June through August, Thursday night in Downtown Truckee is a special experience for people of all ages. The event features a Certified Farmers’ Market, food vendors, merchant and community displays, as well as great entertainment, children’s activities and a beer garden. Learn more here.

Truckee Open Arts Studios Tour
Truckee, CA and Surrounding Neighborhoods
July 17,18 &19 AND July 24, 25 &26, 2015
10 AM – 5 PM; Free

Nevada County Arts presents the first annual Truckee Open Art Studios Tour. The Tour invites visitors to experience the evolution of art from creative spark to finished product through demonstration and dialog with some of Truckee’s finest professionals, including several nationally known painters, sculptors, multi-media artists, and woodworkers. Many studios are in close proximity to each other and all are within a ten-minute drive from downtown Truckee. A ‘print’ Guidebook is available at the California Welcome Center in downtown Truckee as well as many other business locations. The Truckee Open Art Studios Tour is the signature event of a TOAST to Truckee’s Creative Community, a town-wide celebration of the arts over ten days from July 17 – July 26, 2015. Learn more here.

34th Annual Donner Lake Triathlon (DLT)
West End Beach on Donner Lake, Truckee, CA 96160
July 25 and 26, 2015

For years the Donner Lake Triathlon has been and remains the favorite triathlon of many. It’s no wonder as the event features an epic setting, a beautiful and challenging course, and is located very near Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. 2015 also marks the 5th annual Donner Lake Kids Triathlon and the 3rd annual Donner Lake Half Triathlon. We welcome you to Truckee. Donner Lake is 2.7 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. The water is clear and clean with a maximum depth of 328 feet. West End Beach operated by the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District serves as the main venue. A sandy beach with majestic views of the surrounding Sierra awaits you. Learn more here.

120th annual North San Juan Cherry Festival is June 27

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The 120th annual North San Juan Cherry Festival is June 27. The festival is a free family event that offers arts, crafts, food and entertainment for children of all ages. There will also be a parade down Highway 49, live music and community service information booths.


Riders depart Nevada City in Amgen Tour of California (video)

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Watch a video of the riders departing Nevada City in the Amgen Tour of California:

With just one climb and elevations of 2,500 feet in Nevada City, and a more gentle climb of 55 feet in Lodi, this was another sprinter-friendly stage in the Amgen Tour of California.

At the end of the 124.5 mile race, Etixx – Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team’s Mark Cavendish (GBR) rocketed to his 10th stage win of the 2015 season — and his second stage win in a row in the 10th annual Amgen Tour of California. Tinkoff-Saxo’s Peter Sagan (SVK) finished second and Drapac Professional Cycling’s Wouter Wippert (NED) finished third.

“To be fair, on the line, I didn’t even know if I’d got it,” said Cavendish. “I’m happy I could win after the hard work of Etixx – Quick-Step today.”

The 8-stage race, traversing hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring, continues until May 17.

We were perched on the corner of Broad and South Pine streets to watch the race and capture the start on video. After a short circuit on the historic Nevada City Classic course, the riders headed into Grass Valley where another warm reception awaited. From Grass Valley, the peloton headed due south on two race favorites: Rattlesnake Road and Dog Bar Road.

The route passed just east of Auburn over the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California. From here, the riders looked over their shoulders to the American River some 730 feet below and the start of the Highway 49 climb.

Once they reached the KOM, it was a fast downhill route into Lodi. On the way, the stage crossed several railroad crossings and past several vineyards that have established Lodi as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.”

(Text: Amgen Tour of California and; video:

The Center for the Arts 15th anniversary celebration is May 14

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In the late 1990s the building at 314 West Main Street in the heart of downtown Grass Valley, California was drawing the attention of artists. Built in 1947 to house a Chevrolet dealership, the building had evolved from automobiles to being a school of cosmetology, a gymnasium and a video production facility. In 1999 a group of artists and art supporters under the leadership of realtor Jon Blinder formed a board of directors and filed for incorporation as The Northern California Center for the Arts. A long process of renovation began with the goal of creating a facility for artists to learn, create and perform.

Fifteen years later The Center for the Arts has evolved into one of the busiest arts venues and production companies in Northern California with the 20,000 square foot facility hosting hundreds of events annually. The Center has also expanded to present concerts and events at other venues including the 1000-seat Veterans Memorial Auditorium and the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

To celebrate their 15th year The Center is throwing itself a birthday party on Thursday, May 14 complete with balloons, streamers, birthday cake and live entertainment.

Center executive director Julie Baker says, “We see our 15th anniversary as an opportunity to share the history of The Center, the people of the Center, the contribution The Center makes to the economic prosperity of the County and how it impacts not only the region but the lives of the diverse population of people that make up the community. Unlike other non-profits The Center is in business to bring business to the region.”

The Open House birthday celebration will include performances by Roy Rogers, Kelly Fleming & Che Greenwood, Barry Friedman, Juliet Gobert & Homer Wills, Lorraine Gervais & Jacob Aginsky, Dakota Sid & Travers Clifford, Peter Wilson, Dancing With Our Stars, Barwick & Siegfried, Yuba Rio Hot Club, The Movement Alliance and Saul Rayo.

15th Anniversary schedule for Main Stage:
6:00 – Kelly Fleming & Che Greenwood
6:15 – Juggleboyz – Barry Friedman & his son
6:25 – Juliet Gobert & Homer Wills
6:45 – Lorraine Gervais & Jacob Aginsky
7:00 – Dakota Sid & Travers
7:15 – Peter Wilson
7:30 – Aaron Ross
7:45 – Premier of Music Video
7:55 – Dancing With Our Stars
8:05 – AirAligned
8:15 – Barwick & Siegfried
8:30 – Roy Rogers solo
8:50 – Yuba Rio Hot Club
9:10 – The Movement Alliance
9:20 – Rayo


The Center for the Arts – Spring Membership Drive

The Center for the Arts annual Spring Membership Drive kicks off during the month of May with special incentives to support the busy non-profit organization through membership.

Center executive director Julie Baker says, “Membership is a win-win for The Center and the community. Benefits of membership include a hefty discount on event tickets, early access to the best seats and special member events along with the sure knowledge that you’re helping make Nevada County a special place.” Members can to purchase up to 4 tickets at member pricing saving up to $10 per ticket.

During the May membership drive The Center will celebrate it’s fifteenth birthday with a free open house-concert showcasing over 25 performers including live music, dance, juggling and acrobatics in the Main Stage theater.

“There are many ways a membership in the Center benefits the whole community.” Baker adds. “With a strong membership base, The Center has the means to support and promote local artists, underwrite children’s theater, provide low cost youth arts and education programs, partner with local non-profits, donate tickets to other fundraisers, award scholarships and offer free community services.”

Those joining or renewing their membership in May will be entered to win a Center for the Arts annual pass good for two tickets to any Center show. As an additional incentive, May memberships will run for 15 months instead of the usual 12.

Just announced productions that are on sale to members-only during the May membership drive include Dancing With Our Stars, Edgar Winter Band, Leon Russell, Todd Rundgren, Ruthie Foster and Charlie Musselwhite, The Waifs, Maria Muldaur, Paula Poundstone and David Sedaris.


During the membership drive, any new, renewing or upgrading members and those referring a friend to The Center will be entered to win:
Grand Prize: Annual Pass – 2 tickets to any Center produced show from June 1, 2015 – May 31, 2016
Thanks for your help to make the 2015 Spring Membership Drive a success!
Offering again this year – $50 Volunteer Fan Membership

New Show Announcements:
Dancing With Our Stars – On sale to Encore and Family April 15
On sale to Members May 1
On sale to General Public June 1

Edgar Winter Band – on sale to Encore members now
On sale to Members April 28th
On sale to General Public May 12

Leon Russell on sale to Encore members now
On sale to Members May 1st.
On sale to General Public June 1

The Waifs – on sale to Encore members now
On sale to Members May 1st
On sale to General Public June 1

Paula Poundstone – on sale to Encore members now
On sale to Members May 1st
On sale to General Public June 1

David Sedaris – on sale to Encore members now
On sale to Members May 1st
On sale to General Public June 1

(Source: Peter Wilson, Photo: Tommy Gleason)