Category Archives: Grass Valley

Watch a video of this year’s 4th of July parade in Nevada City

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Every year the Sierra foothill towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley take turns hosting the annual 4th of July parade. In 2014 it was Nevada City’s turn. Watch a video of this year’s 4th of July parade here:

(Vidoe: TouchDown Productions)

Nevada County draws prestigious statewide conference

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The California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCO) has announced it will hold its annual staff conference in Nevada County next year, April 15-17, 2015.

The annual CALAFCO Staff Conference is attended by up to 100 LAFCo staff members from every county in California. The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Express and at the Courtyard Suites in Grass Valley, with one evening banquet at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City. This is excellent news for Nevada County tourism venues, which will see business midweek during the pre-summer season.

Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCos) are local agencies established in every California County by the State legislature to encourage the orderly formation of local governmental agencies, ensure efficient public services, preserve agricultural and open space land resources, and to discourage urban sprawl.

Founded in 1971, CALAFCO is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting its membership with educational and technical resources, providing statewide coordination of LAFCo activities, serving as a resource to the Legislature and other bodies, and offering a structure for sharing information among the various LAFCos and other governmental agencies it serves.

Supervisor Hank Weston has served as Chair of the Nevada County LAFCo since June 2007. Grass Valley City Councilmember Lisa Swarthout, also a LAFCo Commissioner and current Chair of the Economic Resource Council (ERC), said the ERC Tourism Advisory Committee will be standing by to welcome and offer assistance to this group.

— Nevada County CEO Friday memo

(Photo: SYRCL)

Enjoy a magical evening at Starry, Starry Nights

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Nevada County hosts elegant affairs at historic sites: the Julia Morgan-designed North Star House, the stone-walled Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the lush grounds of Empire Mine State Park.

Few, if any, are more splendid than Starry, Starry Nights, now in its 22nd year and the highlight of the summer event season.

The summer soirée, held on Saturday, July 19, is redolent of the Great Gatsby era: a starry night, twinkling lights in the trees, guests dressed in white, and dining and dancing on the grounds of Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley.

The food is exceptional—an elegant, Take a dance floor break to peek at the multi-course dinner prepared by Antonio’s Custom Catering. Fine local wines are ing by local Nevada County Astronomers. featured, including Nevada City Winery, The event is a fundraiser for Sierra Lucchesi Vineyards and Sierra Starr.

The Starry affair also includes hors d’oeuvres and a no-host cocktail bar; along with the complimentary wines and beer.

The pièce de résistance is the famous “dessert tent,” which includes a specialty coffee bar by a local favorite, Sierra Mountain Roasters.

After dinner, a “gotta-dance” band, Power of 12, with 12 musicians and a hot five-piece horn section, will entertain the guests.

Take a dance break to peek at the stars thanks to telescopes set up for star-gazing by local Nevada County Astronomers.

The event is a fundraiser for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation. “Starry, Starry Nights has done wonders to help create a healthier community, raising hundreds of thousands of dollar in its history,” says Executive Director Kimberly Parker.

Tickets are $135 per person ($85 is tax deductible). Reservations are needed by July 1. For more information, call Sierra Nevada Memorial Foundation at 530-477-9700 or visit

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt; photo: Starry, Starry Nights)

Father’s Day Festivities

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Father’s Day began in 1909 in Spokane, WA, when a daughter requested a special day to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised his six children after his wife died. Today Father’s Day is celebrated in 50 countries, from Antigua to Zimbabwe.

Far removed from video games, smartphones and other modern-day activities, our region offers some memorable Father’s Day experiences: fishing, bike riding, festivals, picnicking and more. Here are some examples:


The Nevada City Bicycle Classic, on Sunday, June 15, is one of the premiere sporting events in the foothills, the largest and oldest bike race on the West Coast and the second-oldest race in the nation.

The event celebrates its 54th anniversary this year and many of the nation’s top cyclists are expected to be on hand. Action begins at 1 p.m. and is usually complete by about 6:30 p.m.

Several thousand spectators attend the tradi- tional Father’s Day event.

For more information, visit and


The Truckee Father’s Day Ribfest & BBQ is on June 15 at the Tri Counties Bank Plaza (12047 Donner Pass Road) from noon-4 p.m.

Ribs, Rods & Rock-n-Roll is this year’s theme. The event includes classic cars, local rock’n’roll bands for singing and dancing, a beer garden, children’s activities and arts and crafts.

Festival-goers can enjoy delicious ribs and food from local restaurants, including Auburn Barbeque Company, Taco Station and the Resort at Squaw Creek Six Peaks Grille.

For more information, visit


The California Bluegrass Association’s Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival is held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. The four-day festival begins Thursday, June 12 and runs through Sunday (Father’s Day).

For more information, visit

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt, Photos: Nevada City Bicycle Classic,

Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley on June 12-15

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The California Bluegrass Association presents its 39th Annual Father’s Day Festival June 12-15 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. With top bands from the East and California, the festival offers big-name entertainment, plus many after-hours jam sessions by music-playing fans.

Among the major bands that will be appearing are Junior Sisk, the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association male vocalist of the year and his band, Ramblers Choice.

Peter Rowan and his band will be there, as will the Lonesome River Band, the Deadly Gentlemen, the Foghorn Stringband, the Kathy Kallick Band, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, and the Roland White Band.

Each year a band is selected to be the festival’s Emerging Artists. This year Town Mountain from Asheville, NC, was picked to fill that slot.

The group also received a prestigious Bluegrass Association Momentum Award last year in North Carolina. The award recognizes new, young bluegrass acts taking their place on the national stage.

Five West Coast bands will appear on the main stage this year as the California Showcase. They are Matt & George and their Pleasant Valley Boys, Bucking Mules, Sisters Grim, Bean Creek and Grass Valley’s own Ragged But Right.

Each year the fairgrounds at Grass Valley begins filling up with tents and recreational vehicles on the Sunday before the festival begins.

Festival vendors arrive on Wednesday, setting up a food area that will offer coffee, sausages, Asian food, vegetarian food, Mexican food, crepes, snow cones and a locally made ice cream stand that draws lines of customers.

Nearby are vendors of hats, apparel, jewelry and craft items, musical instruments and supplies.

The festival is family friendly. For children who are learning to play an instrument, the Kids on Bluegrass program begins working up songs on Thursday with main stage performances Friday and Saturday evenings. Several graduates of this program have become professional or semi-professional musicians.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt; Photo:

Outdoor Theater Returns to Nevada County

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During a one night performance, Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) and Quest Theaterworks will bring the return of outdoor summer theater back to Nevada County audiences with the production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Quest Theaterworks will present a fun, revised version of Twelfth Night – “a big broad comedy with some poignancy” – to the North Star House at 5 p.m. Saturday July 5. Families are invited to bring a picnic supper on the lawn to watch the play considered accessible for modern audiences. Beer, wine and desserts will be available for purchase.

Outdoor theater has a more festival feel, says Artist Directory Scott Ewing. Think Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival or Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In recent years, the historic North Star House designed by the famed architect Julia Morgan and run by the North Star Conservancy has become a community venue for concerts and other events.

With community support, BYLT conserves beautiful local open spaces forever, builds miles of trails and provides dozens of outings and experiences for young and old to connect with nature. “We wanted to partner with Bear Yuba Land Trust to help them out. The North Star House seemed like a beautiful place to bring outdoor theater back to Nevada County,” said Ewing.

This is the first Shakespeare production for the touring theater group. Preeminent actress of the region, Director Trish Adair has directed Shakespeare in the past. Ewing was a partner and business manager of “Reduced Shakespeare Company,” which performed condensed versions of all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays each night. The company toured all over the world.

The play centers on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. The play focuses on the Countess Olivia falling in love with Viola (who is disguised as a boy), and Sebastian in turn falling in love with Olivia.

“It’s Downton Abbey, Shakespeare Style… “This play is a lot of fun and ultimately about bullying and how we treat each other,” Ewing said. Quest Theaterworks slogan is, “theater that entertains, engages and enlightens.” Plays are designed to give audiences a good experience and something to think about.

Bear Yuba Land Trust Community Program Manager Melony Vance first became enthralled by the quality of Quest Theaterworks with their production of Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie” at the Elks Lodge in Grass Valley.

“Quest Theaterworks is known for producing quality shows using unusual and interesting venues. Not a traditional theatrical setting, we all sat around the edges of the room while the play took place in the center. The actors were so believable, we all had tears in our eyes by the end of the show,” said Vance.

Tickets cost $40 in advance and supports Bear Yuba Land Trust and Quest Theaterworks. For an additional $20, theater lovers will have the opportunity to pre-purchase tickets for a VIP Cast Reception following the show. It’s an opportunity to mingle with the actors and director in a private room of the historic North Star House. Hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer will be included

This is a bring-your-own-chair event. On the lawn, ticketholders will find a section in front for blankets, a middle section for low chairs and a section in the rear for high chairs. Shade canopies will be allowed in the rear section only. Picnics are encouraged and beer, wine and desserts will be available for purchase. No outside alcohol please.

For every five tickets purchased, get one free.
To purchase tickets online, visit here.

(Source: Bear Yuba Land Trust)

WorldFest, a 4-Day World Music Festival

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WorldFest, a 4-Day World Music Festival at the Grass Valley Fairgrounds Thursday through Sunday, July 10-13.

More than 6,000 attendees a day enjoy World-Class performers from 10 AM to 11 PM on 8 stages at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, “California’s most beautiful fairground,” with BIG trees and rolling lawns.

At this year’s WorldFest enjoy music, dancing, workshops, crafts, games and parades for ALL AGES.

This year’s talent features world-class headliners from the US and abroad along with return appearances by WorldFest favorites. Many of the performers are scheduled to give workshops on one of the festivals 8 stages giving fans a chance to listen and interact close-up.

Camping among the pines has become increasingly popular – this year over 2,500 folks are expected to camp out. Groups return each year creating elaborate collective campsites, sharing food and jamming (often joined by main stage performers) late into the night.

Focus on women performers with 50%+ women driven shows. Community & Culture – Native People’s Village, Aruvedic workshops, Soul Shake Dance Church, Yoga & Tai Chi, Workshops and Jamming, Sustainable and Green.

Drawing inspiration from the Vancouver Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, MerleFest in North Carolina, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival, the California WorldFest includes eight performance stages, a complete children’s program, a community outreach history and a pledge to present the finest artists and performers from throughout our world.

From Afro/Pop to Bulgarian Harmonies, Latin to Bluegrass, Scottish fiddle tunes to Rock & Roll, Jumpin’ Jazz to Gypsy, Folk to New Acoustic, Mariachi to Electronica, Swing Jazz to Tex Mex, Bollywood to the newest Celtic incarnations, the California WorldFest is the home of our globes finest music and dance.

EASY ACCESS within 1 hours drive from Sacramento.
For more details go to

(Photo: WorldFest)

Memorial Bridge Tours on May 26

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Participate in one of three tours of memorial bridges dedicated to Vietnam War and Operation Freedom Veterans on May 26, 2014.

The purpose of the tours is to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our American freedoms and liberties.

The tours are sponsored by Friends of Nevada County Military and will begin at Pioneer Park in Nevada City after the 9 a.m. Veterans of Foreign War ceremony with a bike tour to the Grass Valley Veterans’ Hall. The American Legion services begin at 11 a.m. at the Vets Hall after which the walking and bus tours will begin at approximately 1 p.m. and end at about 3 p.m.

For more information contact one of the following organizers: Pat Nelson (477-8480), Catherine Ione-Perkins (906-3668), Louise Bock (913-8969) or Joyce Yaksick (615-1920).

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Western stars including Clint Walker coming to Gold Rush Days in Grass Valley

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The Grass Valley Downtown Association is honored to announce that this year’s Gold Rush Days will feature western movie and television stars Clint Walker, Johnny Crawford, Peter Sherayko and Charlie LeSueur on June 21-22 in historic Downtown Grass Valley.

Clint Walker is a local legend best known for his cowboy role as “Cheyenne Bodie” in the western television series “Cheyenne”; Johnny Crawford was nominated for an Emmy award at age 13 for his role as the son of Lucas McCain (played by Chuck Connors) in “The Rifleman.”

Peter Sherayko is an actor, historian and filmmaker best known for his work on western movies such as “Tombstone” and television shows like “Deadwood” for HBO; and Charlie LeSueur is a well-known Western film historian, writer and actor.

Gold Rush Days, now in its second year, will feature two days of non-stop action. With help from our friends from the Empire Mine State Historic Park, South Yuba Trust, Nevada County Historical Society and the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum, Gold Rush Days will take you back in time to 1853.

Both Saturday and Sunday from 10-5 p.m. we will feature reenactments, gold panning, blacksmithing, demonstrations, music, exhibits, a Saturday night “Hoe-Down” and BBQ, Sunday morning cowboy church followed by a pancake breakfast benefiting the Hospice of the Foothills and more.

“We are absolutely honored to have the opportunity to host these celebrities here in Grass Valley. We will be showing some of their films at 151 Union Square during the event, and visitors will have an opportunity to meet them” said Julia Jordan, Executive Director.

For more information about Gold Rush Days, call 530-272-8315 or visit

2014 Nevada City Dirt Classic Bike Races

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2014 Nevada City Dirt Classic Bike Races

This year’s Nevada City Dirt Classic x-c bike race series dates are June 14, June 29 and July 27. Enjoy trails of Nevada County with three special days of x-c bike racing.

Make it a Father’s Day weekend by participating Saturday, June 14 in Race 1 which features the course at Osborne Hill, Grass Valley, a local’s favorite; this is the most technical course. Stay overnight for the Nevada City Classic Bicycle Race on Sunday, June 15 to watch world-class bicycle riders compete.

Race 2 takes place on Sunday, June 29 and features the Dascombe/Pioneer Trails in the Tahoe National Forest along Highway 20.

Race 3 will be held on Saturday, July 12 also along the Dascombe/Pioneer Trails in the Tahoe National Forest along Highway 20.

The 2014 Nevada City Dirt Classic will be having a Fat Bike racing category, 3.8″ tire minimum.

To register online for this year’s event visit here.

Enjoy all of Nevada County bike trails year-round; see a listing of the trails here.

(Photos: Nevada City Dirt Classic)