Category Archives: Events & Happenings

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)

2015 Celtic Festival and Marketplace is October 2, 3 & 4

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The 19th annual KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace mixes Celtic music and magic October 2, 3 & 4 in Grass Valley, California at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, a bucolic setting on 100 acres among giant ponderosa pines. There are eight stages and performance areas. Our main stage hosts many of the best Celtic musicians on the world stage.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is transformed into a Celtic Village and headline concert venue. World-famous Celtic musicians perform on our main stage to. Mainstage musical headliners for this year include Galician piper Carlos Nuñez, Irish squeeze box master Sharon Shannon, Irish sister quartet Screaming Orphans, Boston fiddler Hanneke Cassel, Irish singer/songwriters Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, Celtic rockers Dàimh, California duo Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald, Sacramento’s own One Eyed Reilly and many more.

Shopping and dining opportunities abound with over 50 vendors and a complete Irish Pub. Hundreds of regional performers, singers, bagpipers, actors, jugglers and storytellers roam the fairgrounds.

We will again be offering our Free Friday Youth Arts Program, giving local students ages 10-18 the opportunity to participate in workshops with headline performers. Also returning will be the Friday night Ceilidh – a Celtic party with music, dancing and revelry under the stars.

Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in with jam sessions and workshops scheduled throughout the weekend. History buffs can explore several encampments of “Guilds” who re-create points and places in time. Exciting and educational, the Celtic Animals exhibit houses falcons, eagles, hawks, owls, sheep and ponies.

Revelers make music into the night in the campgrounds complete with tall trees and a lake. Camping and RV hookups are available on-site.

Amateur and professional athletes test their strength and skill in Scottish Games. Children are kept engaged with arts and crafts, story telling, and romping on the straw bales.

We hope you and your family will join us for this year’s KVMR Celtic Festival.


Friday, October 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. the Celtic Festival’s Friday Youth Arts Program has grown to be a wonderful afternoon of music, magic, dance and arts instruction for aspiring artists. Participants, ages 10-18, learn from world-class artists and festival headliners. Youth participants in the program can take 1-3 consecutive workshops of their choice.

The FREE program includes workshops and a discounted youth day pass for attendees.

Friday, October 2 from 7:30 p.m. this year the KVMR Celtic Festival will get a running start on Friday night with our first-ever Friday Night Ceilidh – an evening of Celtic music and dance featuring Reel of Seven and internationally acclaimed dance caller Linda Henderson.

Reel of Seven is considered one of the country’s premier Celtic dance bands featuring Andy Imbrie on piano, fiddler Deby Benton Grosjean, cellist Renata Bratt, with percussionist Gary Campus keeping the beat. They’ve released two CDs and have collectively performed throughout USA and abroad.

There’ll be line, circle, and couple dancing for all ages and abilities. No need to come with a partner – it’s a great way to socialize and meet friends.

The Friday Night Ceilidh will be held at the Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds with indoor space for dancing, an outdoor deck with food and a full service pub, and beautiful garden space for relaxing and enjoying the evening.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

(Source: KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace)

2015 Bridgeport Fall Festival is October 25

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The 2015 annual Bridgeport Fall Festival takes place October 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the South Yuba River State Park. The day is fun for the whole family with hayrides, gold panning, food & drink, frozen yogurt, barn tours, children’s games & crafts, pumping painting, music and live bands, and more!

Admission is free, parking is $5. The park is located at 17660 Pleasant Valley Road in Penn Valley, CA.

For more information phone (530) 432-2546 or visit

2015 Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair in Grass Valley

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Join the beautiful Draft Horses for the 29th annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, happening September 24 – 27, 2015 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Featuring six performances by the beautiful Draft Horses, this event has grown to become the premiere Draft Horse show in the western United States.

The Classic spotlights a variety of horses, teams, rigs and performances; featuring everything from farm wagons, carriages, and driving competitions to dancing horses and racing mules. The stars of the show are the horses, and with more than 120 horses stabled on the grounds, the Classic offers a unique chance to observe them in a multitude of settings.

Like last year, we’ve kept lower pricing on adult admission tickets for evening performances, and we’ve also continued the discounted pricing for the morning performances and children’s tickets.

In between classes, enjoy showcase specialty acts. New this year, enjoy Gladius the Show, an acrobatic equestrian production that incorporates aerialists, fire, and Roman riding. There’s also the California Cowgirls, chariot and chuck wagon races, and the Gold Rush Fire Brigade.

Also taking place at the Fairgrounds during the four days of the Classic is the Harvest Fair, which features musical entertainment, a clogging jamboree, food vendors on Treat Street, Art at the Classic, horse shoeing demonstrations, a chance to visit with the horses, guided barn tours, and hundreds of community exhibits.

This year’s Draft Horse Classic is September 24 – 27 at the tree-covered Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling the Fairgrounds Office at (530) 273-6217 or visiting

(Source: Nevada County Fairgrounds; Photo: Gena Tharp)