Category Archives: Nevada City

Big News: Nevada City to host 2015 Amgen Tour

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This is big news! Nevada City is a host city for the men’s race, and South Lake Tahoe is a host city for the women’s race. The race begins in Sacramento.

The Amgen Tour of California, presented by AEG, announced it will make its grand return to Sacramento, the capital of California, to kick off the 10th anniversary of America’s largest cycling race. The eight day stage race will travel a north-to-south route and span nearly 700 miles through many of California’s most breathtaking roads and sceneries. The Amgen Tour of California is also proud to announce a first of its kind, three-day professional women’s cycling race on May 8-10, 2015, as well as an invitational Time Trial on May 15, 2015.

Regarded as the largest and most prestigious cycling event in America, 52 California cities have hosted the race throughout the past nine editions. For the 10th anniversary, the start of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California will take place in Sacramento, the state’s capital, and travel through 12 additional host cities during the eight day event including Nevada City, Lodi (first-time host city), San Jose (ten-time host city), Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Big Bear Lake, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) and Pasadena.

“Since we launched the Amgen Tour of California nine years ago, we have strived to host the world’s top cyclists in a race that will not only challenge them as professionals, but will also provide a stunning backdrop,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “As we look ahead to our 10th edition of the race, we’re certain the worldwide audience will be on the edge of their seats watching as the sport’s best men and women cyclists compete against each other in what is likely to be our most challenging and picturesque course ever.”

Stage 1 of the race commences on May 10, 2015 in the state’s capital of Sacramento, which marks the seventh time the city has hosted the race and the third time as the overall start. After eight days of racing, cyclists will conclude the race in the city referred to fondly as the “City of Roses,” Pasadena.

Nevada City is stage 2

Stage 2 of the race will find the peloton traveling through historic Nevada City to first-time host city Lodi, known as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” Stage 3 will see the cyclists start and finish in the only city to have participated in all 10 editions of the race, San Jose.

As the peloton continues its journey south, Stage 4 will take the race from one ocean side community to another when the peloton traverses from Pismo Beach to Avila Beach. This year marks the second time each city has served as a host city.

Stage 5 of the race will commence in the “American Riviera” known as Santa Barbara, where cyclists will have the chance to take in picturesque views of the California coast and Pacific Ocean. From Santa Barbara, cyclists will land in Santa Clarita, with both cities sharing the distinction of serving as host cities six times since the race began.

Third-time host city Big Bear Lake will host this year’s Individual Time Trial (Stage 6), where cyclists will compete against the clock while taking in stunning mountain and lake views. During Stage 7, Ontario, referred to as the “Gateway to Southern California,” will host cyclists for the second time as they make their way to a mountain top finish at Mt. Baldy, a third-time host city.

As the race draws to a conclusion, the peloton will travel from L.A. LIVE in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This marks the third time Los Angeles has served as a host city after hosting the overall finish of the race in 2012, also at L.A. LIVE. Pasadena has hosted the race four times, including the overall finish in 2008.

For ten consecutive years, biotechnology company Amgen has served as the title sponsor of the race and will continue to activate Breakaway from Cancer® leading up to and during the race. Founded in 2005 by Amgen, Breakaway from Cancer aims to increase awareness of important resource available to people affected by cancer, from prevention to survivorship.
The Amgen Tour of California draws global recognition as one of the most anticipated cycling events of the year attracting Olympic medalists, World Champions and top Tour de France competitors.

2015 AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA TO HOST UNPRECEDENTED FOUR DAYS OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CYCLING

To highlight the extraordinary achievements in women’s cycling, the 2015 Amgen Tour of California will continue to expand its support of women’s cycling and host a first of its kind three-day women’s cycling stage race. The women’s race will travel through South Lake Tahoe on May 8-9, 2015 and conclude in Sacramento on May 10, 2015, the same day of the overall start of the men’s race.

As with previous years, the world’s top-ranked time trialists will be invited to race against the clock during an invitational Time Trial preceding the men’s Individual Time Trial at Stage 6 in Big Bear Lake. Powered by SRAM, one of the founding sponsors of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial, the women’s cycling event serves as a chance for female cyclists to display the powerful and exciting racing they are known for around the world.

“We are beyond thrilled to see the Amgen Tour of California continue to expand its entire women’s racing platform. This will continue to expose the world to the passion and force women have on the bike,” said, SRAM President Stan Day.

“AEG has always been proud to support women’s cycling and is pleased to once again expand its women’s competition to four days,” said Bachochin. “Hosting four days of women’s cycling, fans will have the opportunity to watch the immense talents and achievements of the best women cyclists from around the world.”

The Host City partners for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California include:

Women’s Race:

Stage 1: Friday, May 8 – South Lake Tahoe
Stage 2: Saturday, May 9 – South Lake Tahoe
Stage 3: Sunday, May 10 – Sacramento

Invitational Time Trial: Friday, May 15 – Big Bear Lake

Men’s Race:

Stage 1: Sunday, May 10 – Sacramento
Stage 2: Monday, May 11 – Nevada City to Lodi
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 12 – San Jose
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 13 – Pismo Beach to Avila Beach
Stage 5: Thursday, May 14 – Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
Stage 6: Friday, May 15 – Big Bear Lake (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 7: Saturday, May 16 – Ontario to Mt. Baldy
Stage 8: Sunday, May 17 – L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) to Pasadena

For further information on the 2015 Amgen Tour of California, visit AmgenTourofCalifornia.com.

(Source: Amgen Tour of California and SierraCulture.com)

What’s up in Nevada County November through December, 2014

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COUNTY

North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center Upcoming Events
17894 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City, CA

Linsey Aitken & Ken Campbell Concert
Friday, November 7, 2014
Doors 7:00 p.m.
 Show 8:00 p.m.

$15 advance/member, $20 door
To purchase tickets, visit NorthColumbaiSchoolhouse.org.

Linsey Aitken and Ken Campbell hail from Loch Lomond, Scotland, and will be performing one of the best Songbooks in contemporary Scots acoustic music incorporating vocals, cello, guitar, Northumbrian pipes, piano, and laud. Linsey Aitken is a highly regarded cellist and vocalist crossing genres from classical to folk, trained on cello and piano at the RSAMD. She has performed professionally all over the UK from the Royal Albert Hall to the sands of Calgary Bay in Mull. Ken Campbell – Scottish singer-songwriter with a well-established pedigree over 30 years and with five albums to date, festivals, concerts, TV and radio throughout Europe, USA and beyond.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival Encore
Friday, November 14, 2014
Doors Open at 6:00 p.m.; Films will show from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Tickets: $15 Schoolhouse and SYRCL Members or Advance; 
$18 Door

$8 Kids 5 to 12 (Kids under 5 are free)
To purchase tickets, visit NorthColubmiaSchoolhouse.org.

For the second consecutive year, Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour will be making an appearance on the San Juan Ridge at the historic North Columbia Schoolhouse. SYRCL and the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center have partnered to bring an encore presentation of films from the 2014 Wild & Scenic Festival. A series of shorter films will be arranged around one longer feature.

Holiday Craft Faire
Saturday, December 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 7, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The San Juan Ridge is known for its rich collection of artists and craftspeople. Come to the annual Holiday Craft Faire and experience the works of talented craftspeople, shop for some gifts, and savor soups and hot drinks at the annual Holiday Craft Faire hosted by the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center. This two-day event brings to life the one-room schoolhouse set atop Columbia Hill. Admission is free. Visitors from afar will have the chance to enjoy a scenic drive leaving behind the relative hustle and bustle of town to do some holiday shopping in this classic, natural setting.

Country Christmas Faire
Nevada County Fairgrounds
11228 McCourtney Rd, Grass Valley, CA
Friday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, November 29 and 30 from 10 a.m.m to 4 p.m.
$4 Admission fee

Rated as one of the top handcrafted shows in Northern California, the Country Christmas Faire, held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, features unique gifts and crafts from top artisans from across the state. Exhibit buildings will be filled during the Thanksgiving weekend, giving shoppers a chance to start their holiday shopping with quality hand-made holiday items, ornaments, jewelry, wooden crafts, soaps and lotions, hand-woven baskets, stained glass, candles, beadwork, and dozens of other unique gifts. Visitors to the Faire will enjoy strolling live entertainment, festival foods, the magical Gingerbread House exhibit, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, errand elves, and a community bon-fire. Wagon rides around the Fairgrounds will be offered; Free childcare. To learn more about the Faire, visit NevadaCountyFaire.com.

Music in the Mountains “Holiday Pops – Celebrate the Magic”
Amaral Center at the Nevada County Fairgrounds
Saturday, December 13 at 11:00 a.m. Children are free
Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets – $10 – $50
For tickets, visit MusicInTheMountains.org.

Join Music in the Mountains for Holiday Pops – Celebrate the Magic, a turbo-boost performance of symphonic rock arranged by Mannheim Steamroller and the Trans Siberian Orchestra, and of course, your favorite carols. The concert begins with Choral Director, Mr. Ryan Murphy leading the Music in the Mountain’s Festival Chorale accompanied by 28-piece chamber orchestra. On Saturday morning, children are invited to a special Children’s Holiday Concert. Rumor has it Santa Claus may make an appearance.

Double Oak Vineyard & Winery celebrates its 29th Harvest and 18th Vintage at their Harvest Open House on Saturday, November 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tour the winery with winemaker Bob Hilsman, barrel taste, sample the new and current releases, as well as reserve wines. Savory gourmet hors d’oeuvres will be paired with fine wine.

Popular local musician James Carlson will be performing with his fine acoustic guitar. He is playing a delightful mix of country and folk with his own original style and material. A great line-up of fine artists and craftpersons offering a fine selection of wood creations, collages and mosaics, textiles and weavings, and photographs. Admission is $7; Wine Club members and their guests $5 and includes a logo wine glass.

Nevada County Restaurant Week
January 23, 2015 through February 1, 2015
Participating restaurants throughout Nevada County

Nevada County Tourism in partnership the Grass Valley Downtown Association, the Nevada City Chamber, the South Nevada County Chamber, the Penn Valley Chamber, the Truckee Chamber, the Greater Grass Valley Chamber and Sierra FoodWineArt magazine, are excited to announce Nevada County Restaurant Week 2015. The event will be held in conjunction with Visit California’s statewide California Restaurant Month. During Nevada County Restaurant Week, restaurants located throughout the County will be offering, “deals,” specials and prix-fixe menus enticing local “foodies” as well as regional visitors to come and experience a new restaurant or one of your favorites or both. A full listing of restaurants participating in Restaurant Week along with their menus will be made available on GoNevadaCounty.com.

GRASS VALLEY

Two New Event Centers Open in Grass Valley

The Foothills Event Center is Nevada County’s newest upscale venue located in the beautiful foothills of Northern California. Whether your event is an intimate evening, a business luncheon, or a wedding reception with live music, The Foothills Event Center can easily accommodate your needs. With plenty of on-site parking for over 200 cars along with bus parking, blazing fast fiber optic internet, and an open floor plan that accommodates any size group, we are excited to share The Foothills Event Center with you. The Foothills Event Center is located at 400 Idaho-Maryland Drive in Grass Valley. To learn more about this facility, visit FoothillsEvents.com.

The Historic Binkelman Brewery Building at the Grass Valley Courtyard Suites was remodeled in April and added 1,300 square feet of state-of-the-art mix-use meeting space, as well as four additional rooms to the boutique hotel’s inventory.

Born in Wurtenburg, Germany on January 2, 1828, David Binkelmann came to Grass Valley in 1853. The brick brewery was constructed in 1861 replacing a smaller 1856 frame building on North Auburn Street. Binkelmann ran the brewery until his death on May 23, 1884. Leaving his wife Sophie to carry-on until her death in 1915, when the brewery was bequeathed to her son, David J. Binkelmann. The Grass Valley Courtyard Suites is located at 210 South Auburn Street in Grass Valley. To learn more about the property, visit GVCourtyardSuites.com.

The 47th Annual Cornish Christmas Celebration
Historic Downtown Grass Valley, CA
Held the four Fridays beginning Friday, November 28; December 5,12,19 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Since 1967, as a way to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Historic Downtown Grass Valley streets are closed and filled with the sights and sounds of an old fashioned Christmas. The rooftops of beautifully restored historic buildings are lined with white lights. Handmade arts and crafts from artists throughout California are displayed, and delicious food and drinks from a number of Grass Valley restaurants and specialty food vendors are available. New this year, a FREE shuttle service from the Nevada County Fairgrounds to downtown Grass Valley. To learn more about this year’s Cornish Christmas, visit HistoricGrassValley.com.

Holidays at the Mine
Empire Mine State Historic Park
10791 E. Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA
Friday, November 28 and Saturday, November 29, 2014
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Be transported back to the early 1900′s when Empire Mine was ranked one of the oldest, largest, and most prosperous hard-rock gold mines in North America. Historic Bourn Cottage will be decked out in holiday splendor and old-fashioned decorations. Docents in lavish, turn-of-the-century costumes will portray Mr. & Mrs. William Bourn, as well as Jr., Mr., and Mrs. George Starr. Enjoy live Celtic music performed by the String Sisters. Children can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus in the nearby clubhouse, where they can share their heartfelt holiday wishes.

InConcert Sierra2014/2015 Third Sunday Concerts
Seventh-Day Adventist Church
12889 Osborne Hill Drive, Grass Valley, CA
Sunday, October 19, November 16 & December 21

To learn more about the Third Sunday Concerts and see the rest of the 2014/2015 season, visit InConcertSierra.org.

Dances for the Season – Holiday Special
Saturday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 21 at 2 p.m.

There’s no better way to close out 2014 than by enjoying holiday favorites with the Sierra Master Chorale and Orchestra with conductor Ken Hardin and assistant conductor Toon Vandevorst. Spreading holiday cheer with carols and celebratory songs, the program will include the premiere of a medley of carols arranged and orchestrated by Toon Vandevorst.

Jennifer Stumm, viola
Sunday, January 18, 2015 – 2:00 p.m.

Hailed by The Washington Post for the “opal-like beauty” and “phosphorescent energy” of her playing, and First Prize Winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, violist Jennifer Stumm is internationally recognized as a musical innovator and dynamic advocate for her instrument. She was honored to give a TEDx presentation at the 2011 Aldeburgh Festival, which she entitled “An Imperfect Instrument,” and through a unique mixture of talk and performance, Stumm offers a compelling meditation on the viola’s capacity for emotion– and for making beautiful music. The subsequent video of her presentation was selected as an ‘Editor’s Pick’ of all talks on Ted.com.

The Center for the Arts Upcoming Events
314 W. Main Street, Grass Valley, CA

The 3rd Annual California Banjo Extravaganza
Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m.
$22 members, $25 non-member

The 3rd Annual California Banjo Extravaganza lifts off with five-string favorite Bill Evans bringing in Tony Furtado and Mark Johnson, along with a band of bluegrass all-stars. Mark Johnson is the 2012 recipient of the Steve Martin Award for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Northern California native Tony Furtado’s entrance onto the national stage came with him winning two National Banjo Championships while still a teenager and performing with Laurie Lewis’ band. He has appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and shared the concert stage with such names as Greg Allman, Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth. San Francisco Bay Area musician Bill Evans is an internationally recognized banjo life force, acclaimed for his playing, teaching and writing. The author of Banjo For Dummies, the most popular banjo instructional book in the world, Bill’s 2012 CD In Good Company features 26 guest artists. To learn more about this event, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org.

The Windham Hill Winter Solstice Celebration featuring Will Ackerman, Barbara Higbie and Liz Story with Todd Boston
Sunday, December 21 at 7 p.m.
$25 members, $28 non-member

Three captivating artists who rose to fame recording for the Windham Hill label come together to celebrate the holiday season. Windham Hill “new age” image doesn’t do justice to the passionate singer, pianist, fiddler and guitarist Barbara Higbie, whom writer Derk Richardson described as “a jazz pianist who can write and sing like Laura Nyro and Carol King, a prize-winning folk fiddler who will interpret a John Coltrane tune through a French vocal.” Higbie, whose musical associates have included Bonnie Raitt, Bobby McFerrin and Carlos Santana, put together this Winter Solstice ensemble with GRAMMY-nominated pianist Liz Story and the guitar playing Windham Hill label founder, Will Ackerman. To learn more about this concert, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org.

NEVADA CITY

A new 150-foot suspension bridge hanging above Deer Creek on the Tribute Trail in Nevada City is open. Hanging four stories over Deer Creek in Nevada City, a new bridge is complete, adding another connection to the overall Tribute Trail network. The bridge creates a loop connection from Champion Mine Road along the existing Tribute Trail to the Environs trail, which stretches on the other side of the bridge to Zion Street via Providence Mine Road. The bridge itself is built to be “dynamic” in order to be flexible, meaning it sways, wobbles and bounces a little.

Forest Trails Alliance, designed and built the striking masonry abutments on either side of the bridge, as well as designed and built an elaborate stone-encrusted half-mile access trail leading to the bridge. The new segment of the trail and bridge pays tribute to the Nisenan people of the Nevada City Rancheria, who also contributed indigenous native plants to replace the invasive species cleared by another partner group, American Rivers, which also cleared excess fuel to make the area more fire-safe. Near the petroglyph and on either side of the bridge are curved, blue-dyed concrete “waves,” designed to add an enchantment worthy of the striking downtowns of Grass Valley and Nevada City.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is tentatively set for October 28 with many state and local officials including California’s Secretary for Resources John Laird and state Assemblyman Brian Dahle, are expected to attend.

Bear Yuba Land Trust has the most current information and maps of the trail at BYLT.org.

Artisans Festival
Miners Foundry Cultural Center
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Friday, November 28 and Saturday, November 29

Celebrate the start of holiday season at the 17th Annual Artisans Festival at the historic Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s Artisans Festival will be like no other with a celebratory atmosphere of installation art, performance art, children’s art activities, and an Acoustic Café and Wine Bar all backing incredible artisans, many of whom are new to the festival.

36th Annual Victorian Christmas
Downtown Historic Nevada City, CA
Sundays, December 7, 14 and 21 from 1:30 to 6 p.m.
Wednesdays, December 10 and 14 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Welcome the holiday season in style in historic Nevada City, a quaint, Gold Rush town nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra where each year the town’s picturesque downtown transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of hilly streets outlined with twinkling white lights and authentic gas lamps, wandering minstrels and carolers dressed in Victorian attire, and a myriad of visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings. Victorian Christmas has become an annual family tradition that features holiday activities for all ages! Enjoy carriage rides, live entertainment, savory yuletide treats and libations, and of course, Father Christmas! For more information, visit NevadaCityChamber.com.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
South Yuba River Citizens League
Screenings in Downtown Nevada City and Downtown Grass Valley
Thursday, January 15 through Sunday, January 18, 2015

This January, SYRCL’s (South Yuba River Citizens League) 13th Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival returns with another incredible selection of films to change your world. Each year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators and well-known world adventurers to the historic downtown areas of Nevada City and Grass Valley, California. The theme this year is, “A Wild Life”. Many of the adventurers and activists featured in our films live “wild lives” and we intend to honor their not-so-mainstream choices, often thought to be a little on the wild side.

Considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals, festival-goers can expect to see award winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, Native American and indigenous cultures. This year’s selections will not only take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, but also instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us. Learn more about the film festival by visiting WildAndScenicFilmFestival.org.

Art at Wild & Scenic

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is proud to partner with Nevada County Arts for the fourth year in an effort to increase awareness of the intersection between arts and the environment. More than 40 businesses, wineries, cafes and galleries will exhibit selected art during the 13th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival. “Exhibiting Wild & Scenic art adds another layer to the festival experience and immerses attendees in an environmental experience throughout town,” says Melinda Booth, Film Festival Director. Learn more here.

TRUCKEE

Boreal Mountain Ski Resort celebrates their 50-Year Anniversary in 2015 Season

During the winter of 1964-65, a small ski area named Boreal opened atop of Donner Summit. Almost half a century later, it’s a thriving ski & snowboard resort with a state-of-the-art action sports facility. Fifty years is a long time and Boreal plans on throwing a season-long party and rolling out killer dealers to commemorate this exciting milestone. Learn more about the ski resort by visiting RideBoreal.com.

Fifty Fifty Brewing Company Annual Eclipse Release Party
11197 Brockway Rd, Truckee, CA
Thursday, December 4

Fifty Fifty Brewing Company will celebrate their annual ECLIPSE™ Release Party on December 4th. Eclipse is only released once a year due to the extensive brewing and aging process. This award winning Imperial Stout is put it in oak bourbon barrels then aged for six months. Party includes tasting of previous years Eclipse, plus other 5050 barrel-aging project, commemorative bottle of Eclipse and Eclipse logo snifter glasses, gourmet cheeses, artisan bread, charcuterie, and beer-inspired appetizers and early access to purchase 2014 Eclipse, as well as other vintage Eclipse styles. Learn more by visiting FiftyFiftyBrewing.com.

38th Annual Donner Lake Turkey Trot and the Mashed Potato Mile
Donner Lake, Truckee, CA
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
$25-$40 registration fee

The idea of a fun race around Donner Lake was hatched back in 1976 by a small group of enthusiastic runners who wanted to make room for all the turkey and pies they were going to be eating in the weeks ahead. Thirty-eight years later the Donner Lake Turkey Trot is a popular event attracting runners from Reno, Sacramento & The Bay Area as well as many locals who enjoy the excuse to support a good cause & get out for a morning run/walk. Auburn Ski Club Junior Nordic Team organizes the race as a fundraiser and a way to get ready for the ski season. The race happens regardless of the weather — snowstorms, below freezing temperatures, ice, rain or beautiful sunny days – guaranteed to be fun! To learn more and register, please visit AuburnSkiClub.com.

Legendary County Folk Singer Iris DeMent

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On Thursday, October 23rd, Iris DeMent, one of the great voices in contemporary popular music, returns to the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, performing songs that span her twenty-two year career along with songs from from her most recent album Sing the Delta, a masterpiece sixteen years in the making. DeMent’s legendary voice sounds as if it comes from the previous century, but her songwriting has as much in common with Joni Mitchell as Hank Williams. This is one of only three California performances that also includes shows in Napa and Berkeley. Supporting DeMent on this tour is Pieta Brown, daughter of legendary troubadour Greg Brown.

The Grammy-award nominee is best known for her one of a kind voice that is “capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back-power”. DeMent was born in Paragould, Arkansas, the last of fourteen children in her family. Her parents were farmers, but after hitting hard times in 1964, they sold the farm and moved west to California. DeMent’s parents passed on to her their love of music: Her mom sang around the house and at church, and as a young man, her dad had played fiddle at dances around Arkansas. For a family that saw its share of hard times, music was a necessity of life, not just a pastime. Her older sisters formed a gospel group called The DeMent Sisters and eventually recorded an album. She grew up listening to traditional country and gospel music, which influenced her roots-folk sound, though she was twenty-five years old when she wrote her first song. While living in Kansas City, she taught herself to play the guitar. Her songs drew directly upon her own life and the people within it. Eventually, DeMent moved to Nashville, where her performances led to a recording contract.

Since her 1992 debut, DeMent has bloomed as a songwriter, finding her niche in folk and country, putting out four albums and performing with greats such as John Prine, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, and Merle Haggard. Haggard, who said of DeMent, “She’s the best singer I’ve ever heard,” invited her to sit in as his piano player touring with his legendary band The Strangers. He subsequently covered two of her songs “No Time To Cry” and the gospel-tinged “The Shores of Jordan.”

Along the way, several of DeMent’s songs became cultural touchstones. “Let The Mystery Be” found its way to MTV Unplugged as a duet by David Byrne and Natalie Merchant. “Our Town” was played over the farewell scene in the series finale of Northern Exposure. She has also made frequent appearances on Garrison Keillor’s radio show A Prairie Home Companion. Her album of gospel songs, “Lifeline”, which included her rendition of “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” was later used in the closing credits of the Coen brothers’ film True Grit.

This rare performance is a family affair. Opening the show is her step-daughter Pieta Brown. Brown grew up in rural Iowa and Alabama and was exposed to traditional and rural folk music through her father. With a voice reviewers alternately describe as “rich,” “dark” and “dreamy,” and a musical style that ranges from haunting to rocking, Brown has released six critically acclaimed albums.

“When Pieta sings you’re aware of something effortless and natural, like rain on earth,” Mark Knopfler observed, while Don Was called her “a great singer-songwriter who possesses major star-power magnetism,” and DeMent described her as “the best poet I’ve heard in a long damn time.”

Brown is no stranger to superstar collaborations. She’s toured with Knopfler and shared the stage with John Prine, Brandi Carlisle, JJ Cale, Emmylou Harris and Amos Lee, just to name a few.

Her latest album, Paradise Outlaw (Red House), is Brown’s most emotionally resonant compositions, and some of her most expressive performances, to date. It was recorded at Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Wisconsin, with a supporting cast that includes Vernon, Amos Lee, David Mansfield and her father.

“Paradise Outlaw came from a radically different place. I was thinking a lot about freedom, experimentation, poetry, folk songs, bending forms and voices. I also wrote and delivered half the songs on the banjo, which was completely new for me,” says Brown.

As Pieta puts it in the album’s dedication, “In the preface to a super cool book of photographs of the Beats called Paradise Outlaws, John Tytell says it well: ‘The notion of paradise may be one of our ultimate fictions, but it still motivates action in the world. While the way the Beats saw the world made them outlaws, they also shared a view of art that was unelitist, anti-hierarchical, egalitarian.’ That makes a lot of sense to me. I feel like my songs come from the same beat streets and off-kilter countrysides, and the same worlds where peace, love and freedom will always be worth exploring. So to all my fellow paradise outlaws, thank you for the hopeful illusions, the grit, the grace and above all, the songs and music that carry me through.”

Tickets are available online at MinersFoundry.org, by phone (530) 265-5040, or in person at the Miners Foundry and at BriarPatch Co-Op.

Open Studios & Art Tour begins this weekend

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The annual Fall Colors Open Studios & Art Tour begins this weekend. The tour takes place over two weekends and gives art lovers the opportunity to see where art is made by 72 artists in 50 studios in western Nevada County. View and purchase original work in a wide variety of media and styles, watch live demonstrations, observe works in progress, and learn about an art process from concept to completion and experience first-hand how, why and where art is created.

View a list of participating artists and map to their studios below and visit The Center for the Arts for more information.


Awesome Nevada City Dirt Bike Classic video!

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Grab your bike and your kids and hit the dirt trails with the Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

This event begins with a helmet and bike check before you head out on the trails and is followed with a caterer lunch. There will be t-shirt painting, skills clinic, fender blender demo and goodie bags for participants. Preregistration required. For more information check out their website, YBONC.org.

You can read more about this organization here. Meanwhile, check out the video of the 2014 Nevada City Dirt Classic, a 3-race summer series:

(Filmed and edited by Matteo Pierrazi)

Mountain House Books in Nevada City named a “favorite local bookstore” by Chronicle Books in S.F.

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Mountain House Books of Nevada City is featured on a list of “favorite local bookstores” by Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Details here:

“Here at Chronicle Books, we’re inspired by the enduring magic of books, and are always looking for more ways to share that magic,” according to its blog this week.

“Well, what better place to breathe in the magic of books than in our our favorite local bookstores? We can spend hours lingering among shelves, combing for new treasures…and could wax poetic on the charm, importance, and beauty of bookstores for hours. But instead of doing that, we’ll point all book and bookstore-lovers to the birth of a new hashtag: #ThisIsMyBookstore.

“Each week, we’ll feature a photo tagged with #ThisIsMyBookstore on our Instagram, and will compile them all in a monthly post as our continued ode to beautiful bookstores around the world. Here are some staff submissions below, including San Francisco’s iconic City Lights.

“Mountain House Books: Located in a gold rush town, this book store has an ‘honesty box’ on the front porch. Any book on the shelf is $2, you take what you want, and drop $2 in the box. We love fun quirks like that!”

Read the full article here.

(Source: Chronicle Books)

Get out and enjoy Nevada County over Labor Day weekend

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Start your Saturday by stocking up for the weekend at either the Nevada County Certified Growers Market in at the North Star House in Grass Valley from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Nevada City Farmers Market on Coyote Street from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m, or the Foothills Farmers Market at the Truckee River Regional Park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Take a late summer dip at beautiful Scotts Flat Lake off Highway 20 a couple miles outside of Nevada City or in the South Yuba River, accessible at several locations throughout Nevada County.

There are hiking paths galore throughout Nevada County. Check out the Truckee Legacy Trail, the Loney Meadow Interpretive Trail or the wheelchair accessible Independence Trail that follows the Yuba River canyon. Whether your hiking, biking or looking for equestrian trails, find your perfect trail using Nevada County’s interactive trail web map.

14th Annual Nevada City Film Festival

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The 14th Annual Nevada City Film Festival (NCFF) kicks off September 4-7, 2014 in historic Nevada City, CA. Every summer, NCFF makes art into a party, bringing emerging and top independent filmmakers showcasing award-winning short and feature length films from around the world to the Sierra Foothills. The four-day celebration of art, music, and independent filmmaking, includes film screenings, workshops, special performances, and a live comedy show. NBC Bay Area called it “one of the fun and funkiest” film festivals in California.

NCFF has also been called the “Sundance of the Sierra” (Sacramento News & Review) for its emphasis on fiercely independent cinema by showcasing innovative, progressive and exciting new voices in film. Each year, NCFF attends major film festivals, collaborates with film schools around the world, reads countless film blogs, and watches the hundreds of films submitted, to narrow it all down to the very best in independent film. From feature-length documentaries to world premiere animated shorts, NCFF brings in the buzzed-about festival winners, as well as some of independent cinema’s best-kept secrets.

This year’s opening night feature is Creep, the directorial debut of Nevada County native Patrick Brice. The darkly humorous found-footage thriller stars Brice as a videographer who answers a cryptic Craigslist ad placed by the titular creep (played by Mark Duplass). Alex Williams of the Daily Texan called it “smart, unsettling, and refreshingly self-aware” and Time Magazine named it “one of the 10 movies that made SXSW spectacular.” Creep premiered at SXSW in Austin, TX this spring and quickly launched Brice into a elite group of independent directors. Alejandro Jodorowsky named checked him in an interview, Creep was optioned as a trilogy and Brice was asked to direct Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman in the indie comedy The Overnight. Creep screens, Thursday, September 4 at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.

Another one of this year’s special guests is comedian Marc Maron from IFC’s hit series “Maron” and the popular podcast “WTF with Marc Maron.” Maron will headline NCFF’s Live Comedy show on Friday, September 5 at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. Two performances are scheduled for 8 and 10:30pm. For over twenty years, Maron has been writing and performing raw, honest and thought-provoking comedy for print, stage, radio, web and television.

A legend in the stand-up community, Maron has appeared on Louie, Letterman, Leno, Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Real Time with Bill Maher, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up, and The Green Room. Maron’s podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, premiered in September 2009 and has featured compelling monologues and interviews with iconic personalities such as Conan O’Brien, Louis CK, Robin Williams, Anthony Bourdain, Judd Apatow and Ben Stiller. It has become a worldwide phenomenon averaging 2.5-3 million downloads each month. His IFC comedy series Maron is currently in its second season.

Internationally recognized multimedia performance artist Miwa Matreyek will also showcase her latest project at NCFF. Matreyek combines stunning animation with the art of movement, cleverly using a projection of her silhouette to interact with her creations. Earlier this year, Miwa premiered her new project The World Made Itself at Sundance. The fantastical kaleidoscopic experience is sophisticated yet full of childlike wonder, leading the audience through the history of the earth, from its birth to today’s complex and fast-paced world.

The thematic journey is a spectacle of surrealistic metaphor and fantasy. Matreyek also performs Myth and Infrastructure, which traverses seascapes, cityscapes and domestic spaces to conjure dreamlike scenes with nuanced layers of light and shadow. Matreyek has shown her works at venues around the world, including TEDGlobal (UK), the SF Exploratorium, Spain, Mexico, Chile and more. Matreyek performs twice Friday, September 5 at the Haven Underground.

In addition to the above mentioned special guests, NCFF will screen 70 short films, 10 feature length films, a special student works program featuring films from Sierra College students, workshops, and after parties in historic locations throughout downtown Nevada City. The first round of 2014 Official Selections have been announced and can be found at www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com.

In previous years NCFF has hosted filmmakers such as Mike Mills (The Beginners, Thumbsucker), Miranda July (The Future), Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia), James M. Johnston (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies), Greg Finton (The World According to Dick Cheney), Galen Pehrson (MOCA), Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim and comedians including Nick Kroll (FX’s The League, and Comedy Central’s Nick Kroll Show), Mark Proksch (The Office), Brett Gelman (Go On), Natasha Leggero (Chelsea Lately), Eric Andre (Adult Swim), and Neil Hamburger.

What else is new at NCFF this year? So far….

Outdoor Family Film Screening of ET in Pioneer Park – Friday, August 15, 2014

Filmmaker Salons: NCFF Salons are a unique opportunity to be apart of an in-depth conversation led by filmmakers and industry professionals about major issues and ideas related to independent cinema.

Filmmaker Workshops: NCFF Workshops are an exciting opportunity for audiences to engage with Festival filmmakers and get an insider’s look at their craft and process. Classes are open to film lovers and filmmakers alike. This year’s workshops include Adventure Storytelling with GoPro and How to Create a Successful Comedy Webseries.

Director’s Spotlight – The director’s spotlight showcases the complete works of a filmmaker giving festival-goers the opportunity to see and learn the filmmaker’s growth and gain insider/industry tips and tools.

TICKETS: Tickets $7/$9 for individual screenings, $89/$99 Festival Passes. Tickets go on sale August 1 for members, August 15 for the public, online at www.nevadacityfilmfestival.com, by phone at (530)
362-8601, and in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.

(Photos: Nevada City Film Festival)

Zagat lists Nevada City as one of their top ten foodie trips in Northern California

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Nevada City
Imagine if the Wild West collided with a European village. There might be winding, narrow streets in a walkable town, pine trees, Old West saloons, wooden sidewalks and historic homes. Not far from Lake Tahoe, in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, is Nevada City, a funky, artsy town that feels like Europe collided with California’s Gold Country with a little bit of New Orleans party spirit under the surface. Visit the town during Day of the Dead or Halloween and you’ll really see what we’re talking about.

What to Eat & Drink: About two miles out of downtown Nevada City, don’t miss roadhouse extraordinaire The Willo. Equal parts festive, locals’ bar and old-school steakhouse, the joint beckons with a neon sign glowing through the pines, a parking lot oft-lined with classic cars and waitresses that call you “hon.” Sitting under Elvis, John Wayne and scripture-verse clocks, enjoy thick cuts of NY steak that either you or their staff member cook on a giant grill. Back in town, the quirky dive bar of choice is Mine Shaft Saloon (since 1978). You can also savor gourmet ice cream at Treats or try third-wave coffee at elegant Victorian-Old West parlor The Curly Wolf.

While You Are There: Akin to the great musical cities of the South, Nevada City has a vibrant music scene, despite its small size. There are a number of live-music options, but the coolest shows are at the historic Miner’s Foundry. In the fall, the region is famed for its radiant fall colors and even offers walking maps through the town showing off maximum color. We know New Englanders who swear by the fall here.

Transportation Time: Roughly a two-and-a-half-hour (140-mile) drive from San Francisco.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

(Source: Zagat, photo: The Curly Wolf)

LA Weekly promotes Nevada City’s new Three Forks Bakery & Brewery

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“Have you ever had a seven-minute egg? Wait. Have you ever heard of Nevada County? Well, it’s between Sac and Tahoe, and if you’re up for about a seven-hour road trip and you’re willing to believe me that this place is nicer than Tahoe, and about an hour closer, well, perhaps you’ll give it a try.

“Anyway, Nevada County’s got the Yuba River and a nice vintage store called The Parlour, and now, wonderfully, Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. Three Forks makes its own beer and pizza (and everything else) from scratch and it is also is the home of Three Forks cook Jes Taber and her delicious and inventive (but not annoyingly so) salads, many of which feature a seven-minute egg,” writes Sarah Miller for LA Weekly.

Read the full article of LA Weekly’s promotion of Nevada City’s new Three Forks Bakery & Brewery by clicking here.

(Source: SF Weekly, photo: Jes Taber)