Category Archives: Grass Valley

29th annual Draft Horse Classic Awards Announced

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Awards for the 29th annual Draft Horse Classic, held September 24 – 27 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, have been announced. Albert Cleve of Farmington, Missouri, judged the Draft Horse competitions and halter show. Dwight Gilbert from Nevada was the judge of the pulling contest; and Robbie Mederos from Danville, CA was the horseshoe competition judge.

More than 50 Draft Horse exhibitors – traveling from California, Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho – competed for approximately $30,000 in premium awards. The competitions took place during six performances over the four-day event.

The winner of the Ultimate Hitch competition was Wayne Wareing of Wareing Shires, from Blackfoot, Idaho.

Audrey Popoff of Unhitched Ranch, from Colton, CA was recognized as the outstanding lady driver, accumulating high points to win the Susan Parnell High Point Perpetual Award.

The Teamster of the Year Award was presented to Deb Luis, an honor bestowed upon her by the voting of her fellow teamsters. Luis is from Debzdrafts in Marysville, CA. The Andy Amsbaugh Teamster Award went to Steve Smith of Quail Creek Percherons, Carmichael, CA; and Dakota Shinn of Shinn Ranch Percherons, Placerville, CA, won the Youth of the Show award.

The Overall Supreme Champion horse, GT Bold Adventure, is owned by Thiel Family Percherons of Pleasant Grove, CA, and shown by Jason Bexon. The Grand Champion Stallion, Rolling Acres Tyrane, is also owned by Thiel Family Percherons.

The Grand Champion Mare, Noodle, is owned by Top Hand Ranch and shown by Crystal Newborn of Elverta, CA.

The winner in the 2015 Edward Martin Perpetual Horseshoeing Competition was Lance Yohe of Elk Grove, CA.

At the Harvest Fair, with more than 800 items entered, the Best of Division in the Scarecrows went to Sierra View Manor in Grass Valley; and the People’s Choice award for the Scarecrows went to Nicholas Husak of Grass Valley.

A complete list of 2015 Draft Horse Classic awards, as well as all the Harvest Fair winners, is on the Nevada County Fairgrounds’ website at

The 2016 Draft Horse Classic is scheduled for September 22 – 25. Tickets will go on sale on May 2, 2016. Visit for more information.

(Source: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

Music in the Mountains annual Home Tour

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Music in the Mountain’s Home Tour on Saturday and Sunday, October 3 and 4, allows visitors to take a peek at Lifestyles of the Gold Country.

From Queen Anne and King George to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, this year visit six of the most elegant and interesting homes in the county. Enjoy refreshments provided by the MIM Alliance Volunteers and Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets phone (530) 265-6124 or visit

2015 Fall Colors Open Studios Tour of Nevada County

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This October 70+ local artists will welcome the public to 46 studios and art galleries during a free tour spanning two weekends. The Center for the Arts with support from Nevada County Arts presents the Fall Colors Open Studios and Art Tours 2015 held on October 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It’s an event that showcases a thriving arts community, two walkable historic downtowns and nearby nature trails in a blaze of fall color.

The tour kicks off with a free-for-all-ages Preview Exhibit and Artist Reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, October 8 at The Center for the Arts in downtown Grass Valley. Stop by The Center to meet local artists and view their work, plan a weekend tour, buy art, preview upcoming shows and check out youth workshops.

Throughout the tour, the public will get the chance to meet artists and view new work and buy original art in a wide range of media and styles. The tour allows art lovers the chance to see the artists’ workspace – the place where art is made – watch live demonstrations, and learn about the art process from concept to completion.

This year’s tour features painters, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists, illustrators, jewelers, designers, woodworkers and more. Up to 27 locations on the tour will offer demonstrations and special projects.

Participants are encouraged to experience all that the community has to offer by checking out local shops and restaurants and community events like the First Friday Art Walk and the Saturday Farmers Market.

To plan a tour, look for the Fall Colors Tour Guide Companion that will include: artist information, maps, nature trails, weekend events, live music and a list of tasting rooms and restaurants.

New this year The Center for the Arts will offer an opportunity to win gift certificates for a show. Everyone that visits 5 or more studios will be eligible to win a $25 gift certificate for a show, and everyone that visits 10 or more studios will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate for a show.
The person that visits the most studios will win a grand prize.

To be eligible for all prizes, bring your marked Open Studios guide back to The Center of the Arts
by October 31 during business hours Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

Copies of Fall Colors tour guides are available at: The Center for the Arts, Art Works Gallery, ASIF Studios, BriarPatch Co-op, Grass Valley and Nevada City Chambers, Alexander Gallery, Summer Thyme’s, and The Artist Workshop.

For latest updates, online maps and a downloadable guide visit:

For more information call: 530-274-8384

(Source: The Center for the Arts)

2015 Celtic Festival and Marketplace is October 2, 3 & 4

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The 19th annual KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace mixes Celtic music and magic October 2, 3 & 4 in Grass Valley, California at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, a bucolic setting on 100 acres among giant ponderosa pines. There are eight stages and performance areas. Our main stage hosts many of the best Celtic musicians on the world stage.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is transformed into a Celtic Village and headline concert venue. World-famous Celtic musicians perform on our main stage to. Mainstage musical headliners for this year include Galician piper Carlos Nuñez, Irish squeeze box master Sharon Shannon, Irish sister quartet Screaming Orphans, Boston fiddler Hanneke Cassel, Irish singer/songwriters Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, Celtic rockers Dàimh, California duo Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald, Sacramento’s own One Eyed Reilly and many more.

Shopping and dining opportunities abound with over 50 vendors and a complete Irish Pub. Hundreds of regional performers, singers, bagpipers, actors, jugglers and storytellers roam the fairgrounds.

We will again be offering our Free Friday Youth Arts Program, giving local students ages 10-18 the opportunity to participate in workshops with headline performers. Also returning will be the Friday night Ceilidh – a Celtic party with music, dancing and revelry under the stars.

Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in with jam sessions and workshops scheduled throughout the weekend. History buffs can explore several encampments of “Guilds” who re-create points and places in time. Exciting and educational, the Celtic Animals exhibit houses falcons, eagles, hawks, owls, sheep and ponies.

Revelers make music into the night in the campgrounds complete with tall trees and a lake. Camping and RV hookups are available on-site.

Amateur and professional athletes test their strength and skill in Scottish Games. Children are kept engaged with arts and crafts, story telling, and romping on the straw bales.

We hope you and your family will join us for this year’s KVMR Celtic Festival.


Friday, October 2 from 4 to 7 p.m. the Celtic Festival’s Friday Youth Arts Program has grown to be a wonderful afternoon of music, magic, dance and arts instruction for aspiring artists. Participants, ages 10-18, learn from world-class artists and festival headliners. Youth participants in the program can take 1-3 consecutive workshops of their choice.

The FREE program includes workshops and a discounted youth day pass for attendees.

Friday, October 2 from 7:30 p.m. this year the KVMR Celtic Festival will get a running start on Friday night with our first-ever Friday Night Ceilidh – an evening of Celtic music and dance featuring Reel of Seven and internationally acclaimed dance caller Linda Henderson.

Reel of Seven is considered one of the country’s premier Celtic dance bands featuring Andy Imbrie on piano, fiddler Deby Benton Grosjean, cellist Renata Bratt, with percussionist Gary Campus keeping the beat. They’ve released two CDs and have collectively performed throughout USA and abroad.

There’ll be line, circle, and couple dancing for all ages and abilities. No need to come with a partner – it’s a great way to socialize and meet friends.

The Friday Night Ceilidh will be held at the Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds with indoor space for dancing, an outdoor deck with food and a full service pub, and beautiful garden space for relaxing and enjoying the evening.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

(Source: KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace)

2015 Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair in Grass Valley

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Join the beautiful Draft Horses for the 29th annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, happening September 24 – 27, 2015 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Featuring six performances by the beautiful Draft Horses, this event has grown to become the premiere Draft Horse show in the western United States.

The Classic spotlights a variety of horses, teams, rigs and performances; featuring everything from farm wagons, carriages, and driving competitions to dancing horses and racing mules. The stars of the show are the horses, and with more than 120 horses stabled on the grounds, the Classic offers a unique chance to observe them in a multitude of settings.

Like last year, we’ve kept lower pricing on adult admission tickets for evening performances, and we’ve also continued the discounted pricing for the morning performances and children’s tickets.

In between classes, enjoy showcase specialty acts. New this year, enjoy Gladius the Show, an acrobatic equestrian production that incorporates aerialists, fire, and Roman riding. There’s also the California Cowgirls, chariot and chuck wagon races, and the Gold Rush Fire Brigade.

Also taking place at the Fairgrounds during the four days of the Classic is the Harvest Fair, which features musical entertainment, a clogging jamboree, food vendors on Treat Street, Art at the Classic, horse shoeing demonstrations, a chance to visit with the horses, guided barn tours, and hundreds of community exhibits.

This year’s Draft Horse Classic is September 24 – 27 at the tree-covered Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling the Fairgrounds Office at (530) 273-6217 or visiting

(Source: Nevada County Fairgrounds; Photo: Gena Tharp)

Guided barn tours offered at this year’s Draft Horse Classic

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Get behind-the-scenes and meet the stars of the Classic – the beautiful Draft Horses

Guided Barn Tours will be offered to visitors to this year’s Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair – giving them an up close and personal visit with the magnificent Gentle Giant Draft Horses. The behind-the-scenes Guided Barn Tours, led by teamster Eleanor Roberts, are another way for visitors to be able to meet and talk with Draft Horse exhibitors, as well as meet the stars of the Classic.

Barn tours will be held on Friday, September 25, at 3 p.m. and Saturday, September 26, at 2 p.m. Advance reservations are recommended, as there are a limited number of openings for each tour. The cost for the tour is $10 per person, and advance reservations can be made by calling the Fair Office at 530-273-6217. If there is still availability, tickets may also be purchased the day of the event at the Arena box office.

Each tour will last about 45 minutes and will include meeting the exhibitors and learning about how they got involved with Draft Horses; discussing and seeing the different Draft Horse breeds; a show-and-tell of Draft Horse equipment, and a discussion about the training of Draft Horses and what it takes to put a team together. You’ll also get to roam to the various barns on the Fairgrounds to meet the beautiful Draft Horses!

The 29th annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair starts Thursday, September 24 and runs through Sunday, September 27 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. The Draft Horse Classic features six stunning performances in the arena. If you can’t make it to a guided barn tour, the barns are always open for viewing the horses throughout the event in between performances. Additionally, live entertainment at the Pine Tree Stage, a world class art show, Treat Street goodies, vendors with western wear and items, a clogging jamboree, and a live horse shoeing competition are all part of the Harvest Fair, which takes place at the Fairgrounds during all four days of the Classic.

For tickets to the Draft Horse performances or tickets to the Barn Tours, call the office at 530-273-6217 or visit for information about Draft Horse Classic.

(Source: Nevada County Fairgrounds; Photo: Katy Hight)

Wine and food tasting abounds in Nevada County this summer

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For savory eats and award-winning wines, these festivals offer eclectic tastings, hands-on cooking demos with imaginative chefs, and breathtaking venues:


A premier wine tasting experience from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on “roads less traveled” in Nevada and Placer Counties. The trail includes wineries that are relatively near one another, reducing the driving time. The wineries are offering gourmet food pairings to go with their wines and music.

Sierra Vintners are situated between Sacramento and Reno with easy access off I-80.

The wineries on the July 18 wine trail are near Grass Valley and Nevada City: Double Oak Vineyards & Winery, Katoa Cellars, Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, Nevada City Winery, Smith Vineyard and Solune Winegrowers.

The vintners on the September 26 wine trail are in South Nevada County or North Auburn: Bear River Winery, Fawnridge Winery, Lone Buffalo Vineyards & Winery, Mt. Vernon Winery, Naggiar Vineyards, Sierra Knolls Vineyards & Winery and Viña Castellano Winery.

The wineries are in picturesque settings, where you can see wildflowers, coveys of quail and other wildlife. Sierra Vintners produce a wide variety of vines, with over 45 planted varietals, ranging from Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon to Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Sangiovese and Tempranillo.

For tickets and more information, visit


Uncorked is a walk-about-town style format from 1-4 p.m. that includes 20 venues throughout downtown. Each location, whether it is a retail shop, restaurant, winery or tasting room, will includewine tasting and food sampling.

This year’s event features a farm-to-table theme between the local farmers and participating restaurants and caterers who will transform the fresh products into signature dishes. The wineries will highlight their newest release of the season in celebration of the upcoming harvest.

For tickets and information, visit


Now in its 12th year, The Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop is one of Truckee’s preeminent events. This annual favorite from noon-4 p.m. brings nearly 1,000 locals and tourists to historic downtown Truckee to sip wine, taste food samples and enjoy shopping.

Attendees will receive a commemorative wine glass to sample wine at more than 30 locations, food tickets and a program with a map to all participating locations.

For more information, visit


Nevada County ranks #28 of 3,111 counties nationally

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The Washington Post published an article that ranks every county in America by scenery and climate, and Nevada County ranked #28 out of the 3,111 counties.

“Nevada County, CA: This county has extremely high natural amenities. Rank: 28 out of 3,111 counties.

“In the late 1990s the federal government devised a measure of the best and worst places to live in America, from the standpoint of scenery and climate,” the article said. “The ‘natural amenities index’ is intended as ‘a measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance the location as a place to live.’

“The index combines ‘six measures of climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer.’ Those qualities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water.

“These ‘natural aspects of attractiveness,’ as the USDA describes them, are intended to be constant and relatively immutable. They’re not expected to change much over time, so the USDA hasn’t updated its data beyond the initial 1999 scoring. “Natural amenities pertain to the physical rather than the social or economic environment,” the USDA writes. Things like plants, animals or the human environment are excluded by definition.

“We can measure the basic ingredients, not how these ingredients have been shaped by nature and man.” I stumbled on these numbers after reading about a recent study linking natural amenities to religiosity. (U.S. counties with nicer weather and surroundings tend to have less religious residents.)

“I’ve mapped all the counties above according to where they rank on the natural amenities index — mouse over to check out how desirable (or not) your own county is.

“You’ll see that Sun Belt counties fare pretty well — especially ones in California and Colorado. In fact, every single one of the 10 highest-ranked counties is located in California. After Ventura County, Humboldt, Santa Barbara, Mendocino and Del Norte counties round out the top five.”

To read the full article and view the maps, click here.

(Source: Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post; Photo: Michael Weissenborn)

New video of the 2015 Nevada County Fair

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The Nevada County Fair continues through this Sunday. Watch a video from this year’s fair, here:

(Video: Nevada County Fairgrounds)

Video of the Nevada County Fair

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The 2015 Nevada County Fair begins tomorrow! Check out this cool video courtesy of