Category Archives: Events & Happenings

Concerts, parades for Fourth of July in Nevada County

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Nevada County Fairgrounds
Music in the Mountains presents Happy Birthday USA!
Friday, July 3
, 8 p.m.
Constantine Kitsopoulos, Conductor

Celebrating Broadway, Disney, and the Good Ol’ US of A. The Best Fourth of July Party is with the MIM Chorus and Orchestra, a picnic at the fairgrounds, and all your favorite patriotic tunes.

A perfect family event, with special events and activities planned for young people.

Music in the Mountains

Grass Valley
A colorful parade through historic downtown Grass Valley and the Sierra foothills’ largest aerial fireworks display top the 2015 Fourth of July celebration in Nevada County.

The parade will be Saturday, July 4th at 11 a.m. The festive parade winds through downtown Grass Valley.  Parade-goers are advised to bring lawn chairs and arrive early to find a good vantage point.

The Nevada County Concert Band performs a curbside pre-parade concert an hour prior to the parade, and continues to provide intermittent music throughout the parade.

Touchdown Productions will be broadcasting “Live” the parade locally and internationally on NCTV Channel 11 and NCTV So. County Channel 16 as well as

Following the parade is a traditional family celebration under the pines at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Live music and entertainment, food and refreshments are offered. The fireworks spectacular blasts off at 9:30 p.m.

Fairgrounds gates open at 3 p.m. and entertainment begins at 4 p.m. Admission rates:  $10 adv/$15 gate
No alcohol, glass, pets, barbecues or personal fireworks may be brought onto the fairgrounds.

Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce

Plans are underway for another exciting 4th of July parade — the quintessential display of small-town Americana. This festive and fun-filled event is always a favorite and a true Truckee tradition.

Truckee’s July 4th parade begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of 89S and Donner Pass Road, and progresses 1-1/4 miles down Donner Pass Road into historic Truckee, ending at the corner of Bridge and Church Street around noon.

This year’s parade theme of “Live-Work-Play Truckee!” celebrates everyone in our community that enjoys life in the mountains every day or when visiting.

The Parade is produced by the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Town of Truckee with logistical support by Big Blue Adventure, LLC.


(Photo: Joe Anderson)

USA Cycling National Championships

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More than 700 cyclist will put their wheels on the line in Truckee on Sunday, June 28th for the USA Cycling Junior/Amateur National Criterium Championships. Riders from all 50 states will be represented in the fields and racers 9 years of age up to 50 will be competing. They anticipate 3000+ people coming through downtown Truckee throughout the day.

Truckee’s neighboring town of Nevada City to the west, also in Nevada County, was once again host of an Amgen Tour of California in 2015. Watch a video of the 2010 Amgen race, here:

(Source: Truckee Chamber of Commerce)

Rough and Ready’s Secession Days this weekend

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Shortly after its founding in 1849, Rough and Ready was a thriving little town, big enough to almost become the County Seat. Over the intervening decades the town went through cycles of growth and contraction, but the community never forgot its roots and its heritage as The Great Republic of Rough and Ready. 166 years after Captain A.A. Townsend started the settlement, the town celebrates its history and the three months in 1850 that the town briefly stood alone in secession from the United States, as the Great Republic. This year, once again, the town comes alive and welcomes citizens and visitors alike to enjoy the annual Secession Days celebration on Sunday, June 28.

The celebration will actually begin the evening before, on Saturday, June 27, when the local Grange #795 located just up the hill from downtown, will hold their big Secession Days Spaghetti Feed. Come on down beginning at 6pm and, for a $10 donation, enjoy a feast of spaghetti with sauce, salad, garlic bread, coffee and dessert. Kids under 10 eat free. Socialize with friends and meet new ones. Please bring your own dinner service and adult beverage.

The next morning will kick-off at 7 a.m., when the Firefighter’s Association will cook a delicious breakfast, including eggs cooked to order, ham, pancakes and beverage for only $7.50 for adults and $5 for children. Breakfast will be served inside the Fire Station until 10:30 a.m. Meanwhile, across the street, some of the locally-famous Fruit Jar Pickers will be entertaining the crowd with their own special blend of music.

Around 10 a.m., the Pickers will yield the stage for the Rough and Ready Rascals and their latest rendition of “The Ongoing Saga of Rough and Ready: The Play”, which pokes good-natured fun at the early history of the town. Always a crowd favorite, you won’t want to miss this fun-filled production. At the conclusion of the play, having worked up a good appetite again, wander over to the Grange booth for a hamburger or some home-baked goodies…or make your way back to the Fire Station, where the Firefighter’s Association will be offering hot dogs, chili dogs and cold drinks for $4 to $6.50.

Always something going on, music by Stepside, Steve and Lynn Rutherford and friends, will be entertaining on the Stage for an hour or so starting at around 11:30 a.m.

But there’s more to Secession Days than just food and entertainment. The Gra-Neva A’s will drive through town and park their beautifully restored antique vehicles in front of the market for your inspection. Stroll down Marketplace Alley and check out the many and varied wares of our crafters and vendors. Stop in at the Fippin Blacksmith Shop, where our blacksmiths, Hal Davis and Michael Smallwood, will have fired up the forge, and where you can purchase official Rough and Ready souvenirs and apparel. Buy some raffle tickets for prize raffles held by the Chamber, Grange and the Firefighter’s Association. And, certainly buy a few spaces (while they last) and take a chance on our Rough and Ready Rooster Roulette!

The kids haven’t been forgotten, either, thanks to the Firefighters. They’ve set up a free Inflatable Play Area to keep the kids happy and entertained. There may be a wet area, as well, so bring the kids’ bathing suits or dry clothes just in case! Things start wrapping up about 2:30 p.m. to end a fun day for the entire family.

There is no admission and parking is free. Overflow parking is available at the Grange Hall or down the road at the Animal Clinic. All proceeds go to help local community non-profit organizations: The Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce, The Rough and Ready Grange #795, and the Rough and Ready Firefighter’s Association and Fire Auxiliary.

To learn more about Secession Days, visit

(Source: Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce; Photo credit: Rosie Mariani)

Nevada County Penny Pitch is June 27 at Kane’s in Grass Valley

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Now in its 8th year, the Nevada County Penny Pitch is a beloved Grass Valley tradition. This year’s Penny Pitch is Saturday, June 27 and dedicated to the memory of the late John Kane.

The old-fashioned event is patterned after San Francisco’s 38-year-old penny pitch fundraiser. Nevada County’s version is on the patio and sidewalk in front of Kane’s Restaurant in downtown Grass Valley.

Contestants pitch pennies against a wall, and the closest to the wall wins. Kane’s will offer a special food menu along with a DJ and a raffle. Last year, some 175 players pitched pennies raising more than $7,000 for DVSAC. Join in the fun. Gather a team of 1-6 people and register for just $15/player.

Principal sponsors and hosts are Nevada County Broadcasters, Inc. (KNCO-830AM & STAR 94FM) and Kane’s Restaurant.

To register, visit

SummerFest Art Show June 26-28

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Music in the Mountains joins with Nevada County Arts to curate an Art Show and Fair featuring exceptional works by more than 30 local and regional artists on our headliner weekend, Friday, Saturday & Sunday June 26, 27 & 28. Festival-goers can also enjoy an array of live local music, artist workshops, and fun family activities before and in between performances.

Saturday includes the free Family Art Fair from 10am – 4pm, with free classes, workshops, demonstrations, musical entertainment, and even a fashion show by the always fascinating Haute Trash Ensemble. The art displays and demonstrations continue from 11am – 3pm on Sunday.

For more information, click here.

Here’s a video from a previous SummerFest:

—Music in the Mountains

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