Category Archives: Events & Happenings

Cynthia Levesque of Neva Co and Nevada City First Friday Artwalk featured in new Visit California “2015 California Vacation Guide”

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Visit California’s “2015 California Vacation Guide” is out and it has several mentions of Nevada County attractions and businesses. Nevada City’s Cynthia Levesque, owner of Neva Co, and founder of the wildly popular Nevada City First Friday Artwalk, is pictured on the Gold Country page noting our area’s inviting shops.

“The Sierra foothills that roll arose this region are California classics, where the state’s past, present, and future merge into one exciting destination. Feel the rush of panning for gold like a forty-niner and rafting iconic whitewater rivers. Escape to perfectly preserved historic towns with Old West architecture, now housing a new generation of outstanding wine tasting rooms, farm-to-table restaurants, inviting shops, and charming B&Bs.”

To read the full Guide, click here. To order your own copy, contact Visit California.

Nevada County attractions and businesses promoted in the “2015 California Vacation Guide”

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Visit California’s “2015 California Vacation Guide” is out and it has several mentions of Nevada County attractions and businesses. Read about Nevada City’s Neva Co on page 91; Nevada County on page 95; Grass Valley and Nevada City on page 96; Empire Mine State Historic Park on page 97; Firehouse Museum, Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad & Transportation Museum, Nevada County Traction Co., South Yuba River State Park, and the Tahoe National Forest on page 98. Under Events, the Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival is promoted. On page 99 the Gold Miners Inn – Holiday Inn Express is listed for lodging.

To read the full Guide, click here. To order your own copy, contact Visit California.

Achilles Wheel performs New Year’s Eve at the Miners Foundry

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Paul Emery Music and the Miners Foundry present Achilles Wheel and the Soft Bombs on New Year’s Eve! Achilles Wheel is about playing music that makes you want to dance, while the Soft Bombs offer sounds of psychedelic rock, electronic dance music, and baroque pop. Celebrate New Year’s Eve the Nevada City way!

Achilles Wheel is a high energy Roots & World Music / Rock & Roll band, featuring award winning songwriting, numerous stringed instruments, and more drums than you can shake a stick at.

The fiery epicenter of the Achilles Wheel sound is Jonny Mojo on lead guitar and vocals, surrounded by Paul Kamm and Shelby Snow on rhythm, bass, and vocals, and Gary Campus and Mark McCartney on drums and vocals.

Based out of Nevada City, the Soft Bombs were founded in 2010, forming their current line up in 2012.

Drivingly danceable rhythm, hard pumping bass, hypnotically addictive blends of psych, kaleidoscopic electrophonic melodies that 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 a frenzy.

If you love to dance and celebrate life, come see Achilles Wheel and make a joyful noise.

Food will be available for purchase as well as a full bar. Be sure to stick around for the midnight surprise!

Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and the music starts at 9:00 p.m. Achilles Wheel will take the stage at 10:15 p.m. Tickets are $25.00. Ticketing fees may apply. Tickets are available online, by phone or in person at the Miners Foundry, or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.

(Source: Miners Foundry, videos: Achilles Wheel, Soft Bombs)

Fodor’s Travel names Nevada City one of the “Top 10 U.S. Towns With Huge Christmas Celebrations”

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Fodor’s Travel named Nevada City as of of the “Top 10 U.S. Towns with Huge Christmas Celebrations”

Where: Nevada City, CA

About an hour northeast of Sacramento, the historic and quaint Nevada City (population: 3,068) takes great pride in their annual Victorian Christmas festival. A former Gold Rush town, Nevada City now is noted for its many historic buildings, mountainous surroundings, and bygone picturesque downtown. The Christmas season in Nevada City has been described by its Chamber of Commerce as “a genuine Christmas card come to life” as the city transforms into a winter wonderland complete with twinkling white lights, authentic gas lamps, and carolers dressed in Victorian apparel. Festival attendees are encouraged to dress in period attire, complete with feathers, scarves, and top hats.

Insider Tip: Make sure you stop by My Favorite Things in downtown Nevada City, where gorgeous Christmas décor and artisan local crafts fill a cozy boutique space.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Sacramento Travel Guide

To read the full Fodor’s Travel “Top U.S. Towns With Huge Christmas Celebrations” article, click here.

(Photo courtesy: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce)

2015 Wild & Scenic Film Festival (video)

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Join us for another fabulous weekend at the largest film festival of its kind. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival sits apart from the hundreds of festivals around the world by leaving you feeling INSPIRED and MOTIVATED to go out and make a difference in your community and the world.

As a festival by activists and for activists, Wild & Scenic is organized and produced by SYRCL (the South Yuba River Citizens League). For over a quarter century, we’ve been building a community to protect and restore the rivers of our home watershed, from source to sea. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival puts our local work – and yours too – into the broader environmental and social context, and serves to remind us that we’re participants in a global movement for a more wild and scenic world.

At our festival, you’ll witness how individuals and communities across the globe are taking action and becoming part of the solution on issues ranging from energy, food systems, biodiversity, climate change and the protection and restoration of wild lands and wild waters. You’ll experience the adrenaline of kayaking the wildest rivers, climbing the highest peaks and trekking across the globe with adventure films from around the world. You’ll explore the issues and movements with leading environmental activists and professionals, filmmakers and celebrities. And you’ll celebrate the natural and human world in all its diversity, in 9+ venues for films and workshops, a children’s Saturday morning “cartoons” program, art shows, wine tastings, a Gala Event and awards ceremony.

All this and more at the largest (and most unique!) film festival of its kind in the US and in one of the most charming towns in the Sierra Nevada, Nevada City, California.

InConcert Sierra brings Jennifer Stumm to Grass Valley

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The ​sound a viola​ ​make​s​ is absolutely unique among string instruments. ​”​​The viola​ presents deep, mellow, rich sounds creating lush textures​, haunting melodies, and overwhelming emotion​​​. The sound can be described with words such as ​thick and rich, like chocolate!,” notes artistic director Ken Hardin. Come taste for yourself on Sunday, January 18​ at 2 p.m. when InConcert Sierra presents​ ​Jennifer Stumm, ​one of the foremost violists​ on the concert stage today.​

Stumm is internationally recognized as a superb musician and dynamic advocate for her instrument. Her solo career was launched after winning three major international competitions, including becoming the first solo violist​ to win first prize by unanimous vote​ ​in the sixty-year history of the ​​Concert Artist Guild International ​Competition. In 2011 Jennifer gave an in-depth view of the viola in a TedTalk called, “The Imperfect Instrument,” at the TEDx Aldeburgh conference. ​ ​T​​hrough a mixture of talk and performance, her presentation offers​ a compelling meditation on the viola’s capacity for emotion​, ​and for making beautiful music.​ ​She also adoringly refers to the lesser known viola​ as​ the “middle child of the string instruments.”​ ​The talk was named an editor’s pick on​

The program includes popular repertoire for the viola from the Romantic period including Hector Berlioz’ “Harold in Italy” arranged by Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann’s “Märchenbilder,” and Franz Lizst’s “Romance Oubliée” and “Oh! Quand je dors.” Stumm has arranged her program in a format common to the nineteenth century when pieces with multiple movements were interspersed amongst those of other composers throughout the program.

“I’ve always wanted to hear Harold in Italy which is highly regarded, and particularly as part of the viola repertoire. Jennifer will be interspersing the movements of Harold in Italy and Märchenbilder with other pieces throughout her program which relieves the intensity, but leaves the listeners very satisfied. It’s a very clever programming format. I’m excited about offering a unique opportunity to hear a truly virtuosic violist, playing amazing repertoire, and in such an amazing acoustic setting as the Grass Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church,” says Hardin.

Noted pianist Eric Zivian will perform with Stumm. Zivian has graduate degrees from the Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music, and has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada.

For tickets or to learn more about this and other concerts, visit

Bonnie Raitt to perform at the Nevada County Fairgrounds this spring

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The Strawberry Music Festival announces Bonnie Raitt to perform at the 2015 Strawberry Music Spring Festival:

“We are very pleased to announce that artists for the Spring 2015 Festival are to include Bonnie Raitt, Peter Rowan’s Big Twang Theory, Ray Bonneville, Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge, Sam Baker, and Chicago Farmer! Tickets are now on sale, so don’t miss out on special winter prices,” the Strawberry Music Festival announced on Friday. “Visit our Ticket page for more information or Buy Tickets Now.

On Thanksgiving week the Festival announced: ““Great news folks! We could not be happier to announce that the Spring 2015 Festival is taking place at the Nevada County Fairgrounds on Memorial Day weekend- Thursday, May 21st through Sunday, May 24th.”

Nevada County Restaurant Week is promoted at

Leave a comment continues to promote Nevada County Restaurant Week as part of their “California Restaurant Month: Prime time for foodies” on their website and through emails. Click here to read the list of participating Nevada County restaurants and their special Restaurant Week offerings.

Final performances of “Home for the Holidays” through this weekend

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Synthetic Unlimited presents Home for the Holidays, a heartwarming, original holiday musical for the whole family, from November 28th to December 21st.

This kid-friendly play, full of traditional Christmas songs and sing-alongs, dancing, and antics by the Marko Puppets, plays at the Synthetic Unlimited Opera House, at 120 Joerschke Drive, Grass Valley for four weekends, on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Come as early as 7 pm for drinks and desserts. Tickets are available at 1-888-95-SHOWS, the Briar Patch, and SyntheticUnlimited.

Love local trails? Say no to mud this rainy season

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Love Local Trails? Say No to Mud This Rainy Season

With the increase in precipitation from December storms in the Sierra Nevada foothills, a number of local trails are taking a beating.

Bear Yuba Land Trust asks the community to be responsible trail users and stay off the trails when the ground is water logged and muddy to avoid further damage to the soil, trail widening, unnecessary erosion and higher maintenance costs. Bikes and horses can cause the most damage, but foot traffic is also destructive when the ground is wet.

“We are appreciative that you use our trails, however when the trail surface is displaced it creates maintenance and erosion issues. During these wet conditions please find a hard surface trail until soggy trails can drain and dry sufficiently for use,” said BYLT’s newest Trails Coordinator, Shaun Clarke.

Already this season, Hirschman Trail is showing big ruts from mountain bicycle use near the pond. Crews will have to bring rock in to raise the grade. Hiker boots can become a problem when people step around mud puddles and widen the trail.

After recent storms, downed limbs littered the Tribute Trail. On Banner Mountain, the Orene Wetherall Trail was closed temporarily after a slide over the weekend. Volunteers quickly corrected the situation but it is still recommended to stay away until there’s a break in the weather and the soil has a chance to drain.

“We don’t recommend they go down there because it’s so wet and muddy. When you get six inches of rain it gets pretty saturated,” said BYLT’s senior Trails Coordinator Bill Haire.

Besides damaging the trail, hiking in a storm can be dangerous. Tree roots can lose their footing with flooding and rockslides. A wind storm can break branches and topple trees overhead.

It might be better to stay home, eat soup and read a book or use alternative trails like the Litton Trail, the paved bike path around Western Gateway Park or the Hardrock Trail at Empire Mine State Historic Park.

“It’s a bummer but that’s the climate here, you have to wait until it dries out,” Clarke said.

To find trails in Nevada County, click here or here. Learn more about Bear Yuba Land Trust at

(Source: Laura Peterson, Bear Yuba Land Trust)