Category Archives: Grass Valley

2015 Nevada County Grown Farm Guide is out

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There is more than just gold in these foothills that we live in! Welcome to
the 2015 Nevada County Grown Farm Guide.

With the changing trends in agriculture Nevada County is filled with a wealth of potential. This farm guide enables you to find farmers and products of all kinds: from fruits to nuts and from meats to flowers.

As a consumer we strive to know where our food comes from. In this guide you are able to find the farmers that will welcome you to learn all about the food that you eat.

You are able to support our local farm community by finding their products at Farmers Markets, going out to the farm itself, joining a local CSA and in local markets and local restaurants.

In keeping with the effort of supporting Nevada County Agriculture, Nevada County Grown is continually finding ways to help with marketing these farmers to better feed the public.

For additional information about local farms, local events or becoming a member of our organization, please visit our website at:

—Nevada County Grown (text and photo)

“Bring your Silver to Gold Country” themed Airstream trailer rally

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“Bring your silver ‘home away from home’ and enjoy springtime at the beautiful Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley,” suggests the Northern California Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International at this week’s rally. Close to 30 vintage and new Airstream trailers and RVs have gathered at the Nevada County Fairgrounds this week for an open to the public swap meet Thursday afternoon, April 30 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Some of the trailers will be open for viewing.

During the rally attendees will also tour local attractions like the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City, the Empire Mine State Park in Grass Valley, a visit to the Bridgeport Covered Bridge in Penn Valley, and visit the Nevada County Certified Growers Market at the historic North Star House in Grass Valley.

(Photo: Long Beach WBCCI)

2015 Amgen Tour of California Stage 2 starts in Nevada City

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The tenth anniversary edition route for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California, America’s largest and most prestigious professional cycling race, will have its Stage 2 start in Nevada City on Monday, May 11, 2015

With just one climb and elevations of 2,500 feet in Nevada City, which is hosting its third race start, and a more gentle climb of 55 feet in Lodi, this will likely be another sprinter-friendly stage. After a short circuit on the historic Nevada City Classic course, the riders will head into Grass Valley where another warm reception will await. From Grass Valley, the peloton will head due south on two race favorites – Rattlesnake Road and Dog Bar Road – to its finish in Lodi.

Read more about the 2015 Amgen Tour California race and all of its stages, here.

Learn about other Nevada County cycling events and races, including the 55th Nevada City Bicycle Classic, here.

Watch a video of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, Stage 1 Nevada City to Sacramento, here:

(Photo: Amgen Tour of California, Video: uRidetv)

3rd Annual Little Italy Pasta Sauce Cook-off

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The Nevada County Italian Cultural Foundation’s 3rd Annual Pasta Sauce Cook-Off is scheduled for Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday, May 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. in Grass Valley. Bring the whole family and make it a pre-Mother’s Day celebration: kick back on the beautiful Gold Miners Inn / Holiday Inn Express & Suites patio with a glass of wine, yummy pasta and sauce, festive music, and delicious gelato and tiramisu.

While tasting sauces and casting your votes, shop for local goodies including jewelry, custom T-shirts, plants and more.

To register for the cooking competition, please phone (530) 272-2660.

Learn about your Italian heritage with the help of the Nevada County Italian Cultural Foundation. Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2015 Italian Festa on September 26 & 27, 2015.

New paint and wine classes

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The Foothills Events Center announces it will host Come Paint with Us, new paint and wine classes. Bring some friends or come alone for a fun night out enjoying painting, food and wine at The Foothills Center in Grass Valley! Learn to paint masterpieces with ease and enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres from their historical bar and a local artist will guide you through every step of our featured painting. Take home your very own 16×20 masterpiece at the end of the night.

Classes run for 2 hours with a different painting every time. Each class is $45 with all materials provided. Classes will be ongoing. Join their next event April 30, 2015 where they will sit and paint Le Chat Noir. Private parties are available for birthdays, bachelorette, baby/bridal shower, reunions, church groups, or just if you want to get together with friends to paint!

(Source: The Foothills Event Center)

Summer Fairs & Festivals in Nevada County

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Summer is the perfect time to visit Nevada County and enjoy one of the many fairs and festivals that are happening throughout the season. From California WorldFest to the Sierra Storytelling Festival to the annual Nevada County Fair, there is some type of fair, festival or gathering almost every weekend to delight all ages and interests. A few of the festivals are featured below.

Strawberry Music Festival
May 21-25, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Strawberry Music Festival presents the gold standard in main stage entertainment, intimate side stage performances, top notch children’s programming, and workshops and activities for all ages. Headlining this year’s festival is Bonnie Rait!

40th Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival
June 18-21, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival presents four days of family fun – jamming, workshops, children’s programs, Luthier’s Pavilion, Kids on Bluegrass, and camping on site. It’s the best in Bluegrass and Old Time Music on stage under the pines.

Music in the Mountains SummerFest
June 24 – July 5 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
For its 34th season, Music in the Mountains presents SummerFest, bringing contemporary and classic music together in a two-week celebration of community, art and music. This year’s programming includes Randy Newman, Circque de la Symphonie, Mozart’s Requiuem, The Glory of Russian Ballet, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, and the always popular “Happy Birthday USA.”

California WorldFest
July 16-19, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Center for the Arts presents California WorldFest featuring eight stages of music from around the world. Visitors can also enjoy camping, workshops, international food, fine crafts and children’s programming. This year’s line-up includes diverse music such as King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, Lucinda Williams, Buffy Saint-Marie, Emisunshine, Birds of Chicago, and much more.

30th Annual Sierra Storytelling Festival
July 17-19, 2015 – North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
Set among the towering pines, sloping lawns and historic one-room schoolhouse on Columbia Hill, the Sierra Storytelling Festival is now in its 30th year. Known as “The Queen of Storytelling Festivals,” it brings a line-up of internationally recognized storytellers to the Schoolhouse stages.

Nevada County Fair
August 12-16, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
Enjoy five days of entertainment and fun for fair-goers of all ages at the Nevada County Fair. The Fair presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, carnival rides, animals and exhibits – at the “most beautiful fairgrounds in California.” This is affordable fun for the whole family.

15th Annual Nevada City Film Festival
September 10-13, 2015 – Historic Downtown Nevada City
The Nevada City Film Festival brings award-winning shorts and feature films from around the world to the historic venues of Nevada City. A four-day celebration of art, music, and independent film-making, NCFF includes screenings, workshops, special performances, parties and a live comedy show.

(Source: Nevada County Tourism)

Colorful history blooms at Empire Mine with garden tours

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Combining history, color, and serenity, Empire Mine State Historic Park’s thirteen acres of landscaped grounds are a popular highlight, especially when the springtime gardens are in bloom. Designed in the early 1900s by famed architect Willis Polk, these magnificent estate gardens are among California’s oldest and most unusual.

“Early spring is the time the stunning Gold of Ophir roses are likely to look their best,” said Garden Tours Coordinator Jeanne Powell, “and this season, for the first time, Garden Tours will be offered on both Saturdays as well as Sundays for the public to enjoy.“ The Gold of Ophir rose graces the dramatic entrance to Empire Cottage, one of the Park’s most photographed sites. One of many heritage roses, the Gold of Ophir reflects the romance and prosperity of Empire Mine’s heydays. “We are proud of our gardens,” Powell added. “They are lovingly tended by one full-time gardener and a staff of volunteers.”

To celebrate the springtime displays, enthusiastic, knowledgeable docents will lead the Garden Tours on Saturdays in April and on both Saturdays and Sundays from May through late September. Visitors may view the formal and informal gardens, the reflecting pools or even the grassy walks. Tours vary with weather changes and what’s in bloom. Many specimens on the grounds are thought to have been gifts to the Bourn Family (Empire’s prosperous owners from 1869 to 1929) from their world-traveled friends. Benches provide plenty of places to sit, rest, and savor the surrounding beauty that transports visitors to another era.

Tours last about 45 minutes, and will feature landscape trends of the early 1900s, as well as the Arts and crafts Movement that influenced landscape design. Fascinating photographs will bring history to life. Visitors may also see the perennial gardens and permanent plantings both at Empire Cottage and the nearby Clubhouse.

There is no extra charge for these tours, and everyone’s invited – including dogs on leashes. Roses are being propagated this year by docents, and will be for sale in the Gift Shop this autumn. “Many think Empire Mine’s golden treasures are underground, but the Park has a plethora of floral treasures above the ground as well,” Powell said. Garden enthusiasts, artists and photographers are advised to bring their cameras.

Empire’s well-tended estate gardens are a fascinating contrast to the gold, grit and glory of the Mineyard below, making a day at Empire Mine State Historic Park an unusual, unforgettable trip to Nevada County’s world-famous past. The Park welcomes approximately 100,000 visitors a year, many from all over the world.

Garden Tours at Empire Mine State Historic Park will begin at 11 a.m. every Saturday in April, and every Saturday and Sunday from May to late September. The Park is located at 10791 E. Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults 17 and over, $3 for children 6 – 16, and free for children under 6. Phone (530) 273-8522 for further details or visit

(Photos: Dreamspinner Productions)

Singer-songwriter Randy Newman performing in Grass Valley on June 26, 2015

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Music in the Mountains is going to present popular singer-songwriter Randy Newman on Friday, June 26 ”under the stars” at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. It marks Newman’s first performance ever in the Sacramento region.

Newman has won three Emmys, six Grammy Awards and two Academy Awards. He has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards. Newman also has his own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

“An Evening with Randy Newman” is part of MIM’s SummerFest — from June 16 to July 5. “We want to take festival-goers on a sonic journey where they will not only be entertained, but will experience true musical excellence,” explains Cristine Kelly, executive director of Music in the Mountains. “Randy Newman was the perfect artist to headline this year’s festival. He is a master musician and storyteller who is known for his incredible body of work.”

With songs that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and a host of unforgettable film scores, Newman has used his many talents to create musical masterpieces. Often referred to as a “musician’s musician,” many of the world’s most notable singers have covered his songs including Alan Price, Van Dyke Parks, Judy Collins, Cass Elliot, Art Garfunkel, the Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, Nina Simon, Wilson Pickett, Pat Boone and Peggy Lee, to name just a few.

After starting his songwriting career as a teenager, Newman launched into recording as a singer and pianist in 1968 with his self-titled album Randy Newman.

Throughout the 1970s he released several other acclaimed albums such as: 12 Songs, Sail Away, and Good Old Boys. In addition to his solo recordings and regular international touring, Newman began composing and scoring for films in the 1980s.

The list of movies he has worked on since then includes The Natural, Awakenings, Ragtime, all three Toy Story pictures, Seabiscuit, James and the Giant Peach, A Bug’s Life and Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, the prequel to Monsters Inc.

Newman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Tickets are $55 premium; $37.50 general admission; $85 for a general admission family pass (two adults and two children); and $15 for youth under 18. The performance begins at 8 p.m.; gates open at 6:30 p.m.

Watch a Newman video here:

Tickets for MIM’s SummerFest — the region’s top classical musical festival — go on sale April 1 unless otherwise noted:

Tuesday, June 16: Young Composers I, Peace Lutheran Church, Grass Valley, show at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 17: Young Composers II, Peace Lutheran Church, 7:30pm

Friday, June 19: Wet Ink featuring the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Peace Lutheran Church, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 20: Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time, Peace Lutheran Church, 2 p.m.

Wednesday, June 24: The Glory of Russian Ballet, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Amaral Center, 7:30 p.m. Tickets on sale now through season subscription only.

Friday, June 26: Randy Newman, Nevada County Fairgrounds, outdoor main stage, 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 27: Cirque de la Symphonie, Nevada County Fairgrounds, outdoor main stage, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 28: The Mozart Requiem, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Amaral Center, 3 p.m. Tickets on sale now through season subscription only.

Wednesday, July 1: Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Amaral Center, 7:30 p.m. Tickets on sale now through season subscription only.

Thursday, July 2: Conrad Tao, In Recital, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Amaral Center, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 3: Happy Birthday USA, Nevada County Fairgrounds, outdoor main stage, 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 5: Storm Large of Pink Martini and the Crazy Arc of Love, Nevada County Fairgrounds, outdoor main stage, 7:30 p.m.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt; Photo at top: Pamela Springsteen)

2015 Nevada County Fair poster introduced

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The 2015 Nevada County Fair poster was introduced today with the theme “Catch the Fair Bug!” Local artist Juli Marks of Grass Valley created the artwork which was selected to be the official poster for this year’s fair which runs August 12 – 16, 2015.

Watch a video from previous Nevada County Fairs, here:

Amy Grant concert in Grass Valley Thursday, February 26, 2015

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The Center for the Arts presents Amy Grant in concert Thursday, February 26, 2015 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

Amy Grant’s career spans more than 30 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. With three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums, her total career album sales have exceeded 30 million. Grant’s chart success has been consistent throughout her career with six No. 1 hits, ten Top 40 pop singles, seventeen Top 40 Adult Contemporary tracks and multiple Contemporary Christian chart-toppers. In addition to her six GRAMMY® Awards, Grant has earned 26 Dove Awards (including four Artist of the Year Awards) and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Conventional wisdom has it that Grant put Contemporary Christian Music on the map becoming the first Contemporary Christian artist to have a platinum record, the first to hit No. 1 on the Pop charts, and the first to perform at the GRAMMY® Awards. With that, her legacy as one of the most influential artists of the past couple of decades is assured.

Her first studio album in more than a decade, How Mercy Looks From Here, released May 14, 2013 and debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 Chart. Her first career remix album In Motion: The Remixes is available now.

To purchase tickets, visit