Category Archives: Grass Valley

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)

Nevada County plans a “Celebration of Trails” for June 7

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What: Celebration of Trails
When: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 7
Where: Trail Fair Headquarters – Parking Lot, County of Nevada, Rood Center
Cost: Free

Bear Yuba Land Trust is teaming up with the community to host a number of guided outings on local trails in Nevada County for the annual “Celebration of Trails.”

Coinciding with National Trails Day, the event held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 7, is open to all and is meant to encourage more people to get outdoors on local trails. More than 20 local organizations, outdoor experts and trail advocates are coming together to organize 14 different outings.

A trails day headquarters will be set up in the parking lot of Nevada County’s Rood Center parking lot, across from the trailhead of the Hirschman Trail. People can stop by for local trail information and maps, grab a cup of coffee and a baked good from Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters and pick up the day’s schedule.

After an introduction by local dignitaries, a number of outings will depart, carpool style from the Rood Center. Afterward, folks will gather at Matteo’s Public for spirits and camaraderie.

Events include a five-mile hike in the South Yuba Canyon led by Hank Meals, three bike rides led by Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC), a hike at Black Swan led by Stephen Hein of Mendocino Tahoe Conservancy, a day hike at Spenceville Wildlife and Recreation Area led by Richard Thomas of Friends of Spenceville, and a walk on the Hard Rock Trail at Empire Mine led by State Park Ranger Greg Sherr.

They also include equestrian ride at Lone Grave led by Gold Country Trails Council, a family friendly wheelchair accessible nature hunt at Hirschman’s Pond led by Ana Acton of FREED and Robyn Martin of OLALA Farms, and a four-mile hike from Lang’s Crossing to Spaulding Lake led by Sierra Club.

Other events are a guided geology tour at Malakoff Diggins State Park led by Geoscientist David Lawler of Far West Geoscience Foundation, a Nevada City tree tour led by Nevada County Walkers, a walk to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain led by Ray Bryars, a six-mile walk on the Deer Creek Tribute Trail led by Amber Taxiera of The Sierra Fund, and a walk on the Environs Loop Trail led by Ori Chafe of Sierra Streams Institute.

For more information visit:

—Laura Brown, Bear Yuba Land Trust

Suzanne Vega performing in Grass Valley

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Contemporary folk star and Grammy Award winner Suzanne Vega comes to Grass Valley for a special concert presented by The Center for the Arts on May 22.

Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, she sang what has been labeled contemporary folk or neo-folk songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village clubs.

Since the release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut album, she has given sold-out concerts in many of the world’s best-known halls. In performances devoid of outward drama that nevertheless convey deep emotion, Vega sings in a distinctive, clear vibrato-less voice that has been described as “a cool, dry sandpaper- brushed near-whisper” and as “plaintive but disarmingly powerful.”

For tickets and more information about the concert, contact the The Center for the Arts.

Watch a live performance of Suzanne Vega here:


Mountain Bike Endurance Ride

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Mountain Bike Endurance Ride
Saturday, May 17, 2014

This year’s Mountain Bike Endurance Ride challenging fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe offers two routes:

50 Miles of demanding, technical trails, mostly single track
45 Miles of moderately technical trails, mostly single track

The 50 mile route follows a beautiful loop out of Nevada City on local trails, including the incomparable South Yuba Trail. The route is comprised of approximately 80% single track, 7,000+ feet of climbing and stunning views of the South Yuba River. It is one of the most memorable and challenging rides you’ll do this year, on road or dirt. This route is a tough ride, roughly equivalent to a difficult road century. It is best suited for advanced, fit mountain bikers. Last year, most participants completed the ride in 7-8 hours.

The 45 mile route is less demanding, but also follows some of the best trails in the area.

For a more detailed description of the trails, click here.

Please note that although there are well stocked food stations on the routes, this is largely a self-supported ride that covers some remote terrain in isolated areas of Nevada County.

New this year will be shorter routes available for those riders who want to support this great cause but are not prepared for the endurance routes. Please contact our office to make arrangements for your route after you register following the instructions below: or (530) 265-2059.

This is a charity ride, so each rider is encouraged to collect at least $250 in sponsorship donations. We also have event sponsors that help offset the costs of the ride. All proceeds raised at this event support our valuable mentoring programs for at-risk children in the Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe region.

To register:

Call Rick Kalb at 530-470-1800
A registration packet will be mailed or emailed to you.
Complete the registration form mailed to you and submit per instructions.
Start collecting pledges! Please note that we have set up a way for our riders to collect pledges online to facilitate their fundraising efforts. To do so, all you need to do is follow the steps outlined in your registration packet. For more information on collecting online pledges, Big Brothers Big Sisters: 530-265-2059 or

Nevada County has lots of bike paths to ride year-round. Here is a list of some of them.

(Photo: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe)

Travel Gumbo writes about the Empire Mine

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A recent tour of the Empire Mine State Historic Park appears on the travel website, Travel Gumbo, complete with several images of the Bourn Cottage and its beautiful grounds as well as the historic mining facilities.

“The park is about a mile from my house in Grass Valley and, though I’d been there before and admired the gardens and the cottage from the outside, I went back the day after Easter to take the tours given every day starting at 1:00,” writes Port Moresby on the travel website Travel Gumbo.

“Our guide, Dan, gave a wonderfully entertaining tour, first an hour devoted to the clubhouse and the cottage, then another hour to the mine, explaining how the technology introduced at the Empire Mine revolutionized hard rock gold mining.”

The rest of the article is here.

(Credit: Travel Gumbo, photo:

Grass Valley’s art scene featured in League of California Cities monthly magazine

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Grass Valley’s art scene is featured in the League of California Cities monthly magazine, Western City, a reminder of its role in the community’s economic development.

The excerpt of the article by Craig Watson, director of the California Arts Council, is here:

“Arts organizations can also play a role in attracting companies to a city, according to Julie Baker, executive director of the Center for the Arts, an independent nonprofit performing arts complex in Grass Valley (pop. 12,638).

“‘We do a lot with local employers,’ says Baker. ‘When people come to this community and see what’s happening, they can’t believe what we’re doing in a small town. Then they say, ‘I guess I could leave the city and live in a small community.’

“Grass Valley City Council Member Lisa Swarthout agrees with Baker. ‘When we’re working to bring jobs here, the arts and culture set us apart from other communities,’ she says. ‘The arts play a vital role in our local economy.

“The Center for the Arts really helped put Grass Valley on the cultural map with artists of high caliber. Local businesses benefit directly. People travel here to see a show or performance at the center and stay for the weekend in local inns. They eat in our restaurants and shop in the stores and galleries.”

“The center also offers classes, workshops and a dance studio, creating synergy in the community.

“Musicians Wynton Marsalis and Ted Nash recently performed in Grass Valley at the Center (see photo below). Marsalis says, ‘We’ve played here several times, and we always have a great time.’ Nash adds, ‘It’s one of our favorite places — a community of people who really appreciate music.’”

The article is here.

(Photos: Center for the Arts; John Taber for The Center)

Nevada County Fairgrounds begins summer hours

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Effective May 1, the Nevada County Fairgrounds will return to its summer hours. This change in hours means that the Fairgrounds’ inner-grounds and gates will be open during the week and on the weekends from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The public restrooms will also be closed each day at 4:30 pm.

The summer hours only apply to the inner-grounds and gate closures; it does not affect the Fairgrounds’ Administration Office, which is open during its normal business hours of Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Additionally, the RV Park at the Fairgrounds will remain open, and the gates and inner-grounds will remain open for any events that are taking place on the grounds during the summer months.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is host of the annual Nevada County Fair which runs August 6-10, 2014.

For more information about the Nevada County Fairgrounds, visit or call (530) 273-6217.

Destruction Derby returns to Nevada County Fair

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Destruction Derby returns to the Nevada County Fair

It’s back – the Destruction Derby at the Nevada County Fair! This year’s Derby, held on Sunday, August 10 at 7 p.m., during the Nevada County Fair, will be locally produced by five of Nevada County’s Rotary Clubs – The Rotary Club of Nevada City, Rotary Club of Nevada County South, 49er Breakfast Rotary of Nevada City, Penn Valley Rotary, and Rotary Club of Grass Valley.

To prepare for this exciting Fair-time event, Rotary has scheduled a planning meeting for the community – for potential drivers, sponsors and derby enthusiasts – on Thursday, May 8, from 6 – 7 pm at Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Registration forms will be available for drivers interested in entering the Derby.

For additional information regarding the Derby, contact Allison Swartzendruber, co-chair of Rotary’s Nevada County Destruction Derby at (530) 277-6229 or

This year’s Nevada County Fair is August 6-10. The Destruction Derby will be held on Sunday, August 10, at 7 pm. Tickets for the Derby and for the Fair will go on sale on June 1. Visit for details.