Category Archives: Grass Valley

Rock legend Melissa Ethridge to perform in Grass Valley (video)

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The Center for the Arts is pleased to bring rock legend and Academy Award winner Melissa Etheridge to Grass Valley’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium on September 18.

Etheridge will play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica and piano.

“I enjoy doing the solo shows not only get to ready for a new album, I also love to dive into my catalogue of songs and bring a new freshness to my older material. It is such an intimate experience with the audience, and it is truly one of my favorite ways to perform,” said Etheridge.

Watch a performance of Ethridge’s “I’m The Only One”:

In February 2007, Etheridge received an Academy Award in the “Best Song” category for “I Need to Wake Up,” written for Al Gore’s documentary about global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Etheridge picked up the guitar at eight and began playing in local bands in her teens. After high school, Etheridge was accepted as a student at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, but left after only one year to make her way as a performer in Los Angeles.

She developed a strong following for her bluesy vocal style and riveting stage presence.

After the release of her debut album, “Melissa Etheridge” (1988), she was invited to sing on the 1989 Grammy Awards broadcast. She won a Grammy Award in 1992 for the song, “Ain’t It Heavy.” Her second Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Performance came with the song, “Come to My Window” on her fourth album, “Yes I Am” (1993).
In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest charting album, “Your Little Secret.” The following year, Etheridge received the “Songwriter of the Year” honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards.

Etheridge continued to write, record, and tour throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium, releasing: “Skin” (2001) and the upbeat “Lucky” (2004) along with her DVDs “Live And Alone” (2002) and “Lucky Live” (2004). 2005 marked the release of Greatest Hits: “The Road Less Traveled,” which includes “I Run for Life.”

In April 2007, Etheridge received the distinguished ASCAP Founders Award and released her ninth studio album, “The Awakening,” selected by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of their Top 50 Albums of 2007. In 2009, Melissa released her 10th studio album, “Fearless Love.”

In 2011, Etheridge received her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2012, she released her album “4th St. Feeling.” When Etheridge is not touring the world, she records her syndicated Melissa Etheridge Radio Show for daily broadcast on stations throughout the US and Canada.

To learn more or purchase tickets, click here.

“Etheridge lets it all hang out with her commanding, crackling voice and deliberate guitar strums.” – Rolling Stone

“Ms. Etheridge gave each big chorus the additional heft of her voice, still a raspy and incandescent howl.” – The New York Times

“Melissa Etheridge was baring her soul and we got to enjoy this amazing musical confessional.” – Atlantic City Weekly

(Photo: MelissaEthridge.com)

North Star House master plan for restoration in the works

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By Joe Heckel, President, North Star Historic Conservancy

In 2003, a building sat vacant. It was in poor condition and deteriorating to the point of collapse. Rain poured into the building from a failing roof and through open windows. The interior had been vandalized, with all fixtures stripped and graffiti covered the walls.

Piles of garbage and debris littered the floors. There was no heat, water or sewer. What occurred next to this building and the surrounding property is one of the more remarkable stories of perseverance and dedication for our County.

This building and its surrounding grounds contain a unique legacy. It was once a beautiful iconic landmark, serving as the main building for the second largest gold producer in California history; the home of one most significant and interesting families in the American West and the first major work of a premier female architect.

The building, of course, is The North Star House at 12075 Auburn Road, south of Grass Valley. Through the efforts and vision of countless volunteers and leaders of our community, this 10,000 square foot building stands today, very much intact. The grounds have been cleaned of debris, abandoned cars, excessive vegetation and the historic gardens are being restored.

The North Star House is now managed and operated by the North Star Historic Conservancy (NSHC), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.

The North Star House was designed by famed architect Julia Morgan and built in 1905 for the owners of the North Star Mine. The North Star House served as the social headquarters of the North Star Mine and was where the public and investors were invited to meet and greet. This special example of California Craftsman-style architecture was recently placed on the National and the California State Historic Buildings Registers.

It served as the home to mine superintendent Arthur DeWindt Foote, his wife, Mary Halleck Foote and their children. Arthur, known as A.D., was an engineering genius who pioneered the use of the Pelton wheel and designed the Tyler-Foote Road. He was also an amateur botanist who shared his work with such notable horticulturists as Luther Burbank and Felix Gillette.

Mary was as remarkable as A.D., as she was an accomplished artist who illustrated the works of many prominent authors of the period, including Bret Harte and Nathaniel Hawthorne. She was a regular correspondent to periodicals such as Harper’s Weekly, where she shared her perspective of a Victorian woman in the Gold Country.

The House and surrounding historic grounds was seen as a historically important site that a few thoughtful citizens recognized as worthy of preservation and restoration.

In 2004, the owner and prospective developer of the 762 acre North Star property donated the House and 14 acres to the Nevada County Land Trust, today the Bear Yuba Land Trust.

In 2006, the NSHC was created to restore and manage the North Star House and the historic grounds. After years of volunteer labor and an infusion of donated funds and materials, the House and grounds have been significantly improved and made more accessible to the public.

Now fast forward onto 2014 and what is happening for the property and The North Star House. The NSHC has prepared a Master Plan for the 14 acres which not only seeks to restore and rehabilitate The North Star House and grounds, but allows it to be opened to the public in a phased approach. Our goal is to continue to restore the North Star House and open it as a cultural event center.

The North Star House will be a wide range of social, cultural and educational opportunities including exhibits, meetings, classes, performances and gatherings of all types. Funds obtained from these activities will be invested into restoration efforts.

Our application (here) to approve our Master Plan will be presented before the Planning Commission on August 14.

Also, the NSHC is hosting its first-ever fundraiser on Saturday, August 16. This is a benefit concert to help with our renovation projects and to further our Master Plan for the property.

Come enjoy the sounds of Lorraine Gervais and her Love Bombs on the front lawn on a summer night. Information about our August 16 event can be found on our website at www.NorthStarConservancy.org.

The North Star House can become a cultural event center for Nevada County. Please help us make the North Star shine once again with your generous support.

To see more photos of the historic North Star House, click here.

(Photos: North Star House and Berkeleyside.com)

Jazz up your summer with David Benoit concert

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There’s still time to get your tickets for the best outdoor concerts of the summer while supporting your favorite land trust.

Award winning composer and smooth jazz pianist David Benoit will perform an intimate benefit concert for Bear Yuba Land Trust at the beautiful historic North Star House in Grass Valley on Sunday, July 27!

Benoit’s performance is the first in a series of three jazz concerts – the 12th annual and largest benefit of the year for the Land Trust. Proceeds will support continuing land conservation, trail building and youth and trekking programs in our community.

Grammy Award nominee David Benoit has entertained audiences around the world for more than 30 years with his contemporary and classical approach to jazz. Since launching his recording career in 1977, Benoit has released over 25 solo recordings.

In 2010, Benoit was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Smooth Jazz Awards in Michigan City, Indiana. Benoit serves as conductor of the Asia America Symphony Orchestra and leads such eminent orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphonies of: London, Nuremberg, San Francisco, Atlanta, San Antonio and San Jose. This live performance in your own backyard is not to be missed!

Buy tickets here. Enjoy a performance by David Benoit here: watch?v=sSBZfoe8frs&list=UUCzj-jQhAtGrf_Gca0TX23g/”target=”_blank”.

Come celebrate In Nevada County – California State Parks turns 150 years old this year!

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This year the California State Parks commemorates the 1864 establishment of the first state park in the world.

On June 30, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill granting 39,000 acres of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Tree Grove to the State of California. Never before had land been set aside to protect its natural state for the public to enjoy. This historic legislation was the beginning of not only the California State Park System, but the national park idea we know today. Click here to access the new History of California State Parks brochure.

Nevada County, CA has four California State Parks within its jurisdiction and we welcome your visit. Plan on spending a day or two to explore the rich history that each of these State Parks have to offer.

Empire Mine State Historic Park, located in Grass Valley, is the site of one of the oldest, largest, deepest, longest and richest gold mines in California. In existence for more than 100 years, the mine produced 5.6 million ounces of gold before it closed in 1956. (5.6 million ounces of gold is equivalent to a box seven feet long, seven feet high, and seven feet deep filled with gold.) The park contains many of the mine’s buildings, the owner’s home and restored gardens, as well as the entrance to 367 miles (the distance, as the crow flies, from Grass Valley to Magic Mountain) of abandoned and flooded mine shafts. The park consists of forested backcountry and eight miles of trails – including easy hikes (for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding) – in the park.

On Saturday, August 23 from 11 AM to 4 PM, the Mine will host the 119th Miners Picnic. Since 1895, the Miners Picnic has been a picnic, a tradition – and tons of fun for all ages. It’s a rare chance to picnic on the stately grounds near fountains, vintage rose gardens and majestic trees. Bring your own lunch (as well as blankets and chairs) or purchase good food, ice cream and beverages from popular local vendors. Enjoy real gold panning, an old-fashioned cakewalk and the Search for the Gold Challenge, games and fun for all. Docents in period costumes bring history to life. They’ll be welcoming visitors at historic Empire Cottage. The Mine Yard will be buzzing with activity, including a dramatic mine rescue reenactment at high noon.

South Yuba River State Park is located in Penn Valley. This 20-mile portion of the South Yuba River canyon stretches from Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park to Bridgeport covered bridge. The area includes the longest single-span covered bridge in the world, the steep rugged canyon of the South Yuba River, and the Independence Trail – the first identified wheelchair-accessible wilderness trail in the country. Visitors can view fast water pouring over massive granite ledges in the spring and warm, slow moving emerald swimming holes during the late summer. Families can also enjoy panning for gold, beautiful wildflowers in the spring, and docent-led history, nature and gold-panning tours throughout the year.

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, located in Nevada City is the site of California’s largest “hydraulic” mine. Visitors can see huge cliffs carved by mighty streams of water, results of the gold mining technique of washing away entire mountains to find the precious metal. Legal battles between mine owners and downstream farmers ended this method. The park also contains a 7,847 foot bedrock tunnel that served as a drain. The visitor center has exhibits on life in the old mining town of North Bloomfield.

Donner Memorial State Park, is located in the Eastern region of Nevada County near the quaint town of Historic Truckee. Visitors are welcome year-round at the Emigrant Trail Museum and at the Pioneer Monument, built to commemorate those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800′s. Included in the museum are displays and information about one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains, the Donner Party, forced by circumstances to camp at the east end of Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47, resulting in human suffering and loss of life. Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada, Donner Memorial State Park offers the summer vacationer opportunities for camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water-skiing, and hiking. In winter, visitors can cross-country ski and snowshoe on trails and enjoy the season’s beauty.

For more historic park sites, visit GoNevadaCounty.com.

(Source: Nevada County Tourism, Lani Lott)

What’s Up in Nevada County August through October, 2014

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What’s up in Nevada County August, September and October 2014:

County

Nevada County Exhibit Awarded Silver Ribbon at 2014 California State Fair
Nevada County Tourism

Each year the County of Nevada is invited to participate in the California State Fair’s Counties Exhibits competition. For over 100 years, the Counties Exhibit Program has been one of the most popular attractions at the annual State Fair. With more than 700,000 visitors in just 17 days, counties are able to widely market and showcase the best and brightest of their area. Each three-dimensional interactive exhibit is uniquely tailored to highlight the special features of the county.

This year Counties Exhibits’ theme is “From Our County to Your Table” with the intention of highlighting the agricultural features of each participating County. Nevada County Tourism is very proud to announce that Nevada County’s Exhibit was awarded a Silver Ribbon at the July 11 State Fair Award Ceremony. The County Exhibit will be on display at the California State Fair in the Counties Exhibits Building from July 11 through July 27, 2014. The award winning County Exhibit will then travel up to Grass Valley and be on display at the Nevada County Fair – August 6 – August 10 in the Ag Sperience area.

Stars at North Star House Jazz Series
North Star House
12183 Auburn Road, Grass Valley, CA
Sunday, July 27; Sunday, August 24; Sunday, September 28
Gates open at 5:00 p.m.
$45/BYLT members; $55 Not yet members

The Bear Yuba Land Trust will host a series of three Sunday afternoon concerts at the historic North Star House featuring some of jazz music’s greatest stars and local Nevada County talent. The Stars at North Star House Jazz Series will kick off Sunday, July 27 with internationally celebrated contemporary jazz pianist and composer David Benoit. Local favorites, The Sierra-5 from the Sierra Jazz Society will perform blues jazz on Sunday, August 24 followed by Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band who will bring the series to a fiery conclusion on Sunday, September 28.

During all three jazz concerts, a variety of food vendors will be available during the event for general admission ticket holders. A cash bar will be open throughout the events. Groups who desire to “upscale” their picnics during the August and September concerts can reserve a table for eight for $80, and pre-order boxed picnic dinners for $20 (choice of chicken or vegetarian). Local favorite Christopher’s Deli will provide a boxed picnic dinner for the August 24 concert and caterer Antonio Ayestaran Custom Catering will prepare a Latin-themed box dinner for the September – Poncho Sanchez concert. For those not sitting at tables, it is advised to bring low-legged, low-back chairs for lawn seating. For more information, visit BYLT.org.

Nevada County Fair
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA
Wednesday, August 6 – Sunday, August 10

The Nevada County Fair offers five full days of excitement and fun for fair-goers of all ages. This event is the perfect opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, carnival rides, animals and exhibits in a community-friendly environment and at affordable family prices! Experience special arena events every evening, ranging from rodeo to Monster Trucks, to Destruction Derby. Highlights include free entertainment on multiple stages, contests, demonstrations and exhibits. For more information, visit NevadaCountyFair.com.

BBQ Battle and Foreign Car & Motorcycle Show
Western Gateway Park
Penn Valley, CA
Saturday, August 16

United Way of Nevada County is gearing up for its Annual Barbeque Battle/Foreign Car & Motorcycle Show – one big show of autos, food, live music and fun. The “Foreign Car Show” portion, in collaboration with the Sierra Sports Car Group, features vintage foreign vehicles on display. The BBQ Battle portion will offer barbecue tastings for judging. For more information, visit UWNC.org.

2014 Sierra BrewFest – An Epic Afternoon of Sun, Suds and Fun
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd., Grass Valley, CA
Saturday, August 23
3:00 – 6:30 PM
$30 Advance; $35 At Door; $10 Non-tasters; Children Free

A unique, unlimited microbrew tasting experience. Sample over 100 hand-crafted beers. Enjoy delicious food from some of the best local food trucks and restaurants. For more information, visit MusicInTheMountains.org/Event/Sierra-Brewfest.

Strawberry Music Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd., Grass Valley, CA
Thursday, September 11 – Sunday September 14

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is pleased to announce that this year’s Strawberry Music Festival will be held at the beautiful tree-covered Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. This popular music festival – which features four days of music, camping and recreation – draws thousands of musicians, entertainers, and music enthusiasts from across the United States each year. The festival features a wide range of musical acts, representing many different musical genres, including Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, swing, rock, Cajun, Celtic and gospel.

Last year, Strawberry Music’s Fall Festival was cancelled due to the Rim Fire that burned around their festival home near Yosemite. After being denied a permit for this year’s fall festival at Camp Mather, they came to the Nevada County Fairgrounds to ask for sanctuary so that the festival could continue. For more information, visit StrawberryMusic.com.

Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Festival
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA
Thursday, September 18 – Sunday, September 21

Join the beautiful Draft Horses at the 2014 Draft Horse Classic. Majestic Draft Horse performances, breath-taking competitions, and seeing a Draft Horse “up-close” – it’s all part of the Annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair. The Classic has grown to become the premier Draft Horse show in the western United States, and features six majestic performances, along with non-stop entertainment in between classes. Between the Draft Horse performances, the Harvest Festival is bustling with activity. Visit the barns and meet the horses, taste the delicious Treat Street goodies, stroll through the Western Art Show or sit and enjoy the live entertainment. For more information, visit NevadaCountyFair.com/Draft-Horse-Classic/.

Bounty of the County – A Celebration of Nevada County Agriculture
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd., Grass Valley, CA
Sunday, September 21
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Bring your appetite to this fun and delicious event, hosted by Nevada County Grown. Bounty of the County is a pairing of fabulous local chefs with the produce and meats of Nevada County Grown farmers and ranchers. This is local, fresh, and delicious food at its best – and a feast for your palate. In addition to great food, vendors will be selling Nevada County Grown products; there will be information booths, children’s activities, music by local musicians and a number of free demonstrations. For more information, visit NevadaCountyGrown.org/EventsCalendar/Bounty-of-the-County.

The Center for the Arts presents
 Fall Colors Open Studios and Art Tour of Nevada County
Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6
Saturday, October 12 and Sunday October 13

Visit 74 local artists in 34 studios this October and see where art is made, displayed, and appreciated in Nevada County. Featuring painters, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists, illustrators, jewelers, designers, woodworkers and more, you will have the opportunity to meet the artists, view new work, and buy original art in a wide range of media & styles. See their workspace, watch live demonstrations, observe works in progress and learn about an art process from concept to completion. Beyond an art sale, Open Studios is a chance to experience first-hand how, where and why art is created. For more information, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org/OpenStudiosTour-post/.

Grass Valley

Tess’ Kitchen Store launches new monthly cooking series, “Chef’s Table” led by Alan Tangren, who worked at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley.
115 Mill Street, Historic Downtown Grass Valley, CA

Guests will gather around the kitchen at Tess’ while Chef Alan prepares a themed menu paired with wines. The ingredients are always fresh and local whenever possible. Alan Tangren was responsible for “Foraging” the ingredients for Chez Panisse for seven years. He helped write two of Alice Waters cookbooks contributing the content on ingredients.

Throughout the six-course meal, Alan will provide expert cooking advice in a friendly, approachable style. Alan will also be teaching “Thursday Night Market Forage” this summer where he will lead a tour of Grass Valley Downtown Association’s Thursday Night Market and return to the kitchen and prepare a delicious dish. Under owner Steve Rosenthal, Tess’ Kitchen Store is becoming a regional hub and is the largest store of its kind in the region, with 6,200 square-feet in a striking three-story structure. For more information, visit TessKitchenStore.com.

119th Miners Picnic at Empire Mine
Empire Mine State Historic Park
Grass Valley, CA
Saturday, August 23
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Everyone’s invited to this once-a-year, action-packed event. Since 1895, the Miners Picnic has been a picnic, a tradition – and tons of fun for all ages – only in California! It’s a rare chance to picnic on the stately grounds near fountains, vintage rose gardens and majestic trees. Relive the days of gold, grit and glory when Empire Mine ranked as one of the largest, oldest and most prosperous hard-rock gold mines in North America.

Bring your own lunch (as well as blankets and chairs) – or purchase good food, ice cream and beverages from popular local vendors. Enjoy real gold panning, an old-fashioned cakewalk and the Search for the Gold Challenge, games and fun for all. Docents in period costumes bring history to life. They’ll be welcoming visitors at historic Empire Cottage. The Mine Yard will be buzzing with activity, including a dramatic mine-rescue reenactment at high noon. Will the rescue team get there in time to save the injured miners? (There’s only one way to find out.) The first Miners Picnics raised money for miners’ widows and orphans. Today, we celebrate our colorful, local history. For more information, visit EmpireMine.org.

The Center for the Arts presents
 Two Great Concerts at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Grass Valley, CA:

Melissa Etheridge: This is ME Solo
Friday, September 19 – 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA
$68 members, $78 non-member

The Center for the Arts is pleased to bring rock legend Melissa Etheridge to Grass Valley’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium. A limited run in an intimate setting, Melissa will be playing acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica and piano. Etheridge says, “I enjoy doing the solo shows not only get to ready for a new album, I also love to dive into my catalogue of songs and bring a new freshness to my older material. It is such an intimate experience with the audience, and it is truly one of my favorite ways to perform.” For more information and to purchase tickets, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org/Melissa-Ethridge/.

Lee Ann Womack
Friday, October 24 – 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
225 South Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA
$40 members, $50 non-member

Lee Ann Womack never intended to go almost seven years between records, but she knew when she released new music, she wanted it to be very special. For the Grammy-winner who’s one of the rare women to win the prestigious Country Music Association’s Album of the Year, she wanted an album made purely for the sake of the songs and the spark of the musical performances. That album – the eagerly anticipated The Way I’m Livin’ was produced by Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, David Nail) and features the songs of Chris Knight, Mindy Smith, Buddy Miller, Mando Saenz, Hayes Carll, Neil Young, Bruce Robison and one cagey cover lifted from Roger Miller. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org/Lee-Ann-Womack/.

Nevada City

Nevada City’s Farm to Table Dinner
Downtown Historic Nevada City, CA
Sunday, August 10
7:00 – 11:00 PM
Tickets $75 plus 18% gratuity

Come August 10th a small army of volunteers will transform the normally busy street in historic downtown Nevada City into an enchanting setting with the 150 year old New Orleans style buildings and full ‘Sturgeon Moon’ as the backdrop. Produced by Reinette Senum and catering overseen by Shanan Manuel’s Feast & Gathering Organic Catering, this is community affair with organic meals prepared by a host of neighboring restaurants: Matteo’s Public, Three Forks Bakering & Brewing Co., Café Mekka, Pete’s Pizza, The Crazy Horse Bar and Grill, The Fix, and Treats Ice Cream. The Chamber will be serving a local wine and beer at its open bar.

Participating farms include: Dinner Bell, First Rain, Mountain Bounty, River Hill, The Food Love Project, Jim Gates’ Nevada County Beef, Soil Sisters, Angie’s Little Boy Blue, and Reed Hamilton Grains, to name a few. As the evening unfolds a 12-piece band, The Earles of Newtown, will begin playing at 8:30pm and promises to transport the crowd to New Orleans with their rich and colorful sounds of the south. To purchase tickets, visit EventBrite.com/The-Nevada-City-Farm-To-Table-Banquest-2014-tickets-12263601763.

Miners Foundry Cultural Center presents Three Exciting Concerts:

Jerry Bash 2004
Saturday, August 2
Pioneer Park, Nevada City, CA
4:00 – 10:00 p.m.
$20 admission

Jerry Bash 2014 is a community celebration featuring music, food, drinks, art, and vendors. The day will be headlined by the DeadBeats in a 20th anniversary reunion concert. The DeadBeats formed during the Summer of 1994 on the notion they could pull off some reasonable Grateful Dead covers. Soon it was apparent the band was on to something, a certain indefinable sound and feel that really captures the essence of a Dead show. Though band members have come and gone over the years, Tom, Paul, and Gary have remained the core of the band, providing a solid continuity to the DeadBeat sound. Jerry Bash 2004 also features music by Achilles Wheel, T-Buck & the Bad Dreams, Cheatin’ Buzzies, and Scary Little Friends. To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit MinersFoundry.org/Jerry-Bash-2014.

MarchFourth Marching Band
Miners Foundry Cultural Center
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Friday, August 8
Doors Open at 7:30 PM; Show at 9:00 PM
Tickets $22 advance/$26 General

With a rallying cry of “Joy Now!”, MarchFourth throws itself and the audience into a swirling volcano of high-energy music and spectacle. MarchFourth Marching Band (M4 to its fans) is a kaleidoscope of musical and visual energy that inspires dancing in an atmosphere of celebration.

More about M4: Aside from their marching band themed costumes, as well as the 5-piece percussion corps and 6-part brass section, M4 is far from a “marching band” in any traditional sense (though this group of 15-20 has been known to parade down Main Street before taking the stage). M4 is anchored by funky electric bass and has been evolving into a more guitar- and vocal-driven musical experience. The show will take you on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the gypsy camps of eastern Europe to the African jungle by way of Brazil, echoing the deepest grooves of American funk, rock, and jazz then boiling it all together in cinematic fashion with high-stepping stilt-acrobatics and dazzling dancers.

This genre-busting, in-your-face experience is not to be missed! What began as a Fat Tuesday party in Portland, Oregon on March 4th 2003 has since become one of the nation’s best live touring acts. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit MinersFounddry.org/MarchFourth-Marching-Band/.

Iris DeMent – “Go On Ahead and Go Home”
Miners Foundry Cultural Center
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Thursday, October 23
Doors Open at 6:30 PM; Music Begins at 7:30 PM
Tickets are $28 Advance General; $32 Door General; $40 Limited Reserve

The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is thrilled to welcome back one of the most celebrated country-folk performers of her day, singer/songwriter Iris DeMent. At the age of three, her devoutly religious family moved to California, where she grew up singing gospel music; during her teenaged years, however, she was first exposed to country, folk, and R&B, drawing influence from Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. DeMent first began composing songs at the age of 25. Honing her skills at open-mic nights she won almost universal acclaim thanks to her pure, evocative vocal style and spare, heartfelt song craft. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit MinersFoundry.org/Iris-Dement/.

Piety Hill Cottages Motel and B&B

AWARDED 2014 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE

Recognized as a Top Performing Lodging Accommodation as Reviewed by Travelers on the World’s Largest Travel Site, Piety Hill Cottages Motel and Bed & Breakfast, a lodging facility in Nevada City, Ca; serving singles, couples and families since 1933, received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award.

The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. “TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence,” said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience.” For more information, visit PietyHillCottages.com.

Nevada City Film Festival
Historic Downtown Nevada City, CA
Thursday, September 4 – Sunday, September 7

The Nevada City Film Festival screens over 100 films in a variety of historic locations in downtown Nevada City. Comedies, dramas, documentaries, animation and international shorts, this festival have it all. By combining creative programming of short and full-length films, enthusiastic audiences and a truly festive environment, Nevada City Film Festival has become known as one of the most innovative, fun, and artist-friendly events on the film festival circuit. For more information, visit NevadaCityFilmFestival.com.

Nevada City Uncorked
Historic Downtown Nevada City, CA
Saturday, September 6, 2014
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Nevada City Uncorked is an amazing food and wine event celebrating the agricultural bounty of Nevada County. It’s a walk-about-town style format that includes 20 different venues throughout Historic Downtown Nevada City. Each venue, whether it is a retail shop, restaurant, or winery tasting room, will include wine tasting and food sampling.

This year’s event will feature a farm-to-table theme between the local farmers, participating restaurants and caterers who will transform the fresh materials into signature dishes. The wineries, in addition to pouring their favorite wines, will highlight their newest release of the season in celebration of the upcoming harvest. For more information, visit SierraVintners.com/Scripts/Eventspg.cfm.

Constitution Day 2014
Historic Downtown Nevada City
Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14

The 48th Annual Constitution Day Parade tops a weekend of festivities in this historic California Gold Rush town. Nevada City’s Constitution Day Parade has been a local tradition since 1967 and is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution observance in western America. The 2 p.m. Sunday parade features more than 100 entries and culminates other activities including Revolutionary War Living History in Pioneer Park, the Gold Country Duck Race on Deer Creek. The parade through the downtown historic district includes marching bands, floats, antique autos, equestrians, politicians and perennial crowd favorites such as the Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band and the Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City, a humorous but reverent group that portrays each U.S. president.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR DAYS!
 The Delaware Regiment of the American Revolution will be offering living history demonstrations of Revolutionary War soldiers drilling and firing, drilling of kids with mock muskets and hats, music by the California Consolidated Drum Band, and colonial life living history. Flag raising to music and reading of the Declaration of Independence will be at 9am each day, and activities conclude at 5pm on Saturday and 12pm on Sunday. Friends of Nevada County Military presents an exhibition of photos of service men and women from Nevada County who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exhibit at City Hall, 317 Broad Street: Saturday Noon to 4:30pm; Sunday 12:30 to 2pm. For more information, visit NevadaCityChamber.com/Nevada-City-Events/Constitution-Day-Parade/.

The Famous Marching Presidents – Constitution Day Parade
Historic Downtown Nevada City
2:00 p.m.

The Famous Marching Presidents number nearly 200 Presidents, first ladies, secret service and volunteers – all residents of Nevada City, California, a small town of 3,000 nestled in the Gold Country of the Sierra Foothills. Marching since 1988, our Presidents, First Ladies, and Secret Service agents have become a dynamic part of Nevada City’ historic observances and local heritage.

The Marching Presidents is the highlight of Nevada City’s Annual Constitution Day Parade, which has been a local tradition since 1967 and is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution observance in western America. Only in California could a state assemble nearly 200 Presidents, first ladies and secret service and have them march together! For more information, visit FamousMarchingPresidents.org.

Truckee

Donner Party Hike
Donner Summit, Truckee, CA
Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5

The unforgiving Sierra Nevada winter of 1846-47 started early, setting the stage for what was to become an incredibly agonizing story of human desperation and determination. In April of 1846 the Donner Party set out to reach California. A series of errors, mishaps and tragedy followed in their footsteps. Reaching the base of the Sierra just as an early winter storm set in, their fate was sealed, forcing them to stay the winter. Split into two camps, one at the base of what is now Donner Lake, and the other at Alder Creek, the emigrants faced unimaginable perils. Relief finally came in March, with few of the original party surviving.

The annual Donner Party Hike offers two days of emigrant history. Choose from seven guided hikes that will explore different aspects of emigrant and early Truckee history while enjoying dramatic Sierra Nevada scenery. Guides lead groups of approximately 15–20 people to interpretive spots while sharing detailed information along the trail. Saturday hikes will begin and end at Sugar Bowls’ Mount Judah Lodge located on Highway 40 on Donner Summit. In the afternoon enjoy a hamburger lunch and an afternoon presentation by Ethan Rarick, author of Desperate Passage – the Donner Party’s Perilous Journey. Sunday’s walking tours focus specifically on the tragedy of the Donner Party. We start at Alder Creek, where the Donner family was forced to stay the winter. Hear of the grueling travel and mishaps of the Donner Party and the archeological finds at this location. Only in California! For more information, visit Truckee.com.

Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop
Historic Downtown Truckee
Saturday, October 4
Noon to 4:00 PM
Tickets $40 advance/$45 day of event

Now in its 11th year, The Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop has established itself as one of Truckee’s preeminent events. This annual favorite brings nearly 1,000 locals and tourists to historic downtown Truckee to sip wine, taste scrumptious food samples and enjoy shopping.

Every year the event partner’s with a local non-profit organization. Over the past 10 years the event has donated more than $25,000 to local non-profits. Some of our past partners include, Tahoe Safe Alliance, Girls on the Run, The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe and Sierra Senior Services. This year their partner is Tahoe Food Hub. Attendees will receive a commemorative wine glass to sample wine at 30+ venues, 5 food tickets and a program with a map to all participating venues. For more information, visit TruckeeWineWalk.com.

Truckee’s Haunted Historic Tour
Historic Downtown Truckee
Thursday, October 16 and Friday, October 17

Small groups of visitors from as far away as the east coast, mid west and LA and as nearby as Reno, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area will be immersed in engaging tales performed by talented characters at seven interesting historic sites. This year’s highly anticipated performances will take place in new featured haunts including Bluestone Jewelry, LaGalleria and Tahoe Oil & Spice while returning to a handful of previous favorites including BeSpoke, The Railroad Depot, Truckee’s infamous Masonic Lodge 200 and The Truckee Hotel. Skillfully weaving together dramatic, downright haunting and funny stories inspired by times of yore, this Tour will be complete with treats and tricks. For more information, visit TruckeeHistoryTour.org.

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 SupportSierraNevada.org.

(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:

NEVADA CITY BICYCLE CLASSIC

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 NevadaCityChamber.com and NevadaCityClassic.com.

TRUCKEE FATHER’S DAY RIBFEST

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 TruckeeRibFest.com.

CALIFORNIA BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL

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 FathersDayFestival.org

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt, Photos: Nevada City Bicycle Classic, TownMountain.net)

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: TownMountain.net)