Category Archives: Events & Happenings

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)

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)

Award-winning humorist David Sedaris returns to Grass Valley

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NPR Humorist and Best-selling Author David Sedaris chooses to return to Grass Valley to make people laugh, one of only two stops in Northern California, as part of his selling out tour, on November 17, presented by The Center for the Arts.

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

David Sedaris’ original radio pieces can often be heard on This American Life, distributed nationally by Public Radio International and produced by WBEZ. David Sedaris has been nominated for three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word and Best Comedy Album.

David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, each of which became a bestseller. There are a total of seven million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 25 languages.

He was the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris’s pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in The Best American Essays. His newest book, a collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer), was published in September 2010 and immediately hit the NYT Bestseller Fiction List.

He and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name The Talent Family and have written half-a-dozen plays produced at La Mama, Lincoln Center, and The Drama Department in New York City. These plays include Stump the Host, Stitches, One Woman Shoe, which received an Obie Award, Incident at Cobbler’s Knob, and The Book of Liz, which was published in book form by Dramatists Play Service.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

(Source: The Center for the Arts; Photo: Anne Fishbein)

Sierra Stages brings Tony Award-winning “Falsettos” to Grass Valley

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Sierra Stages presents the groundbreaking musical “Falsettos” for ten performances only from November 5 through November 22 at the intimate Off Center Stage in Grass Valley. “Falsettos” is the final production of Sierra Stages’ seventh season, and is directed by Sandra Rockman, with dance direction by George Jayne and musical direction by Ken Getz, who conducts the live band.

Part intimate family drama, part neurotic urban comedy, and part keenly observed meditation on a shifting definition of the American family, “Falsettos” is the 1992 Tony Award-winning musical by William Finn and James Lapine. Finn wrote music and lyrics for the Broadway hit “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, which was presented by Sierra Stages in 2011, and Lapine is the author of the Tony Award-winning musical “Into the Woods”, which was presented by Sierra Stages in 2010.

The story of “Falsettos” focuses on Marvin and his struggles to create a ‘tight knit family’ out of his eclectic array of core relationships (including his ex-wife, his new boyfriend, his adolescent son, his psychiatrist, and his lesbian next-door neighbors) amidst a series of monumental life changes. During the course of the musical, he is forced to reckon with his own views on love, responsibility, and what it means to be a man.

A musical-theater benchmark for its candid depiction of a gay relationship, “Falsettos” is a pairing of two one-act musicals by Finn and Lapine: “March of the Falsettos” and “Falsettoland”, which were produced Off Broadway in 1981 and 1990. The original Broadway production of “Falsettos” opened to positive reviews, and was nominated for seven Tony Awards, winning two, for best original score and best book.

“Falsettos” features an all-local cast of Nevada County actors Jonathan Hansard, Danny McCammon, Ken Miele, Nancy Haffey, Kate Haight, Tinley Ireland and Graham Bennett. The set design is by Pamela Hodges, costume design is by Jill Kelly, and lighting design is by Casey Burke.

For more information about “Falsettos” and Sierra Stages, visit

(Source: Sierra Stages; Photo: David Wong)

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

Raising Appalachia performs in Grass Valley October 29 & 30, 2015

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Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith bring their band Rising Appalachia to The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley for two nights October 29 and 30.

Rising Appalachia was voted “Green Album of the Year” by the Huffington Post and Atlanta’s Best Folk Act by the Creative Loafing. Their tours have taken them across Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, the Indian subcontinent, and across the United States. They are committed to keeping their work accessible at the local level and expanding to larger audiences abroad. They have maintained autonomy by self managing, recording, producing and creating their work.

Joined full-time by their band, Biko Casini on percussion, and David Brown on stand up bass and baritone guitar, expect everything from folk standards to jazz, to New Orleans soul, to old mountain traditionals, to activist anthems, as their style redefines folk music as a truly living art.

Rising Appalachia have toured over 25,000 miles across the US from community collective events to the Kennedy Center. They’ve been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered, E-town, The School of America Vigil, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Emory University Shwartz Center, The Beacon Theater NYC, The Lake Eden Arts Festival, Radio Popular Verona, Italy, Guerilla Radio Amsterdam, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Highlander Center 75th Reunion, Burning Man, Urkult (Sweden), and Festa Del Fuoco (Stromboli Italy) and many more.

They’ve independently released six full length albums, including their brand new album Wider Circles. Having been raised in the American South with Appalachian lullabies at night and soul music for breakfast, Leah and Chloe draw inspiration from the global community. Their mother and father claimed art and music as a full part of their lives and the girls have been shaped by the sounds of the South.

“Music is the tool with which we wield political prowess. We are building community and tackling social injustice through melody. It is taking its own personality, carrying us all along the journey down the damp and strange alleyways and cryptic coded pathways to poetic observations, social change, lyrical messages, political rage, symphonic coercing, ferocious bantering, bicycles and train tracks, primal will, fresh air intoxicants, harmony and alliteration, noise and something sweeter than words can ever touch.” says Leah Song.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

(Source: The Center for the Arts)

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

2015 Fall Colors Open Studios Tour of Nevada County

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This October 70+ local artists will welcome the public to 46 studios and art galleries during a free tour spanning two weekends. The Center for the Arts with support from Nevada County Arts presents the Fall Colors Open Studios and Art Tours 2015 held on October 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It’s an event that showcases a thriving arts community, two walkable historic downtowns and nearby nature trails in a blaze of fall color.

The tour kicks off with a free-for-all-ages Preview Exhibit and Artist Reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 8 at The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley. Stop by The Center to meet local artists and view their work, plan a weekend tour, buy art, preview upcoming shows and check out youth workshops.

Throughout the tour, the public will get the chance to meet artists and view new work and buy original art in a wide range of media and styles. The tour allows art lovers the chance to see the artists’ workspace – the place where art is made – watch live demonstrations, and learn about the art process from concept to completion.

This year’s tour features painters, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists, illustrators, jewelers, designers, woodworkers and more. Up to 27 locations on the tour will offer demonstrations and special projects.

Participants are encouraged to experience all that the community has to offer by checking out local shops and restaurants and community events like the First Friday Art Walk and the Saturday Farmers Market.

To plan a tour, look for the Fall Colors Tour Guide Companion that will include: artist information, maps, nature trails, weekend events, live music and a list of tasting rooms and restaurants.

New this year The Center for the Arts will offer an opportunity to win gift certificates for a show. Everyone that visits 5 or more studios will be eligible to win a $25 gift certificate for a show, and everyone that visits 10 or more studios will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate for a show.
The person that visits the most studios will win a grand prize.

To be eligible for all prizes, bring your marked Open Studios guide back to The Center of the Arts
by October 31 during business hours Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Copies of Fall Colors tour guides are available at: The Center for the Arts, Art Works Gallery, ASIF Studios, BriarPatch Co-op, Grass Valley and Nevada City Chambers, Alexander Gallery, Summer Thyme’s, and The Artist Workshop.

For latest updates, online maps and a downloadable guide visit:

For more information call: 530-274-8384

(Source: The Center for the Arts)