Category Archives: Recreation

Bonnie Raitt to perform at the Nevada County Fairgrounds this spring

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The Strawberry Music Festival announces Bonnie Raitt to perform at the 2015 Strawberry Music Spring Festival:

“We are very pleased to announce that artists for the Spring 2015 Festival are to include Bonnie Raitt, Peter Rowan’s Big Twang Theory, Ray Bonneville, Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge, Sam Baker, and Chicago Farmer! Tickets are now on sale, so don’t miss out on special winter prices,” the Strawberry Music Festival announced on Friday. “Visit our Ticket page for more information or Buy Tickets Now.

On Thanksgiving week the Festival announced: ““Great news folks! We could not be happier to announce that the Spring 2015 Festival is taking place at the Nevada County Fairgrounds on Memorial Day weekend- Thursday, May 21st through Sunday, May 24th.”

Nevada County Restaurant Week is promoted at

Leave a comment continues to promote Nevada County Restaurant Week as part of their “California Restaurant Month: Prime time for foodies” on their website and through emails. Click here to read the list of participating Nevada County restaurants and their special Restaurant Week offerings.

Love local trails? Say no to mud this rainy season

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Love Local Trails? Say No to Mud This Rainy Season

With the increase in precipitation from December storms in the Sierra Nevada foothills, a number of local trails are taking a beating.

Bear Yuba Land Trust asks the community to be responsible trail users and stay off the trails when the ground is water logged and muddy to avoid further damage to the soil, trail widening, unnecessary erosion and higher maintenance costs. Bikes and horses can cause the most damage, but foot traffic is also destructive when the ground is wet.

“We are appreciative that you use our trails, however when the trail surface is displaced it creates maintenance and erosion issues. During these wet conditions please find a hard surface trail until soggy trails can drain and dry sufficiently for use,” said BYLT’s newest Trails Coordinator, Shaun Clarke.

Already this season, Hirschman Trail is showing big ruts from mountain bicycle use near the pond. Crews will have to bring rock in to raise the grade. Hiker boots can become a problem when people step around mud puddles and widen the trail.

After recent storms, downed limbs littered the Tribute Trail. On Banner Mountain, the Orene Wetherall Trail was closed temporarily after a slide over the weekend. Volunteers quickly corrected the situation but it is still recommended to stay away until there’s a break in the weather and the soil has a chance to drain.

“We don’t recommend they go down there because it’s so wet and muddy. When you get six inches of rain it gets pretty saturated,” said BYLT’s senior Trails Coordinator Bill Haire.

Besides damaging the trail, hiking in a storm can be dangerous. Tree roots can lose their footing with flooding and rockslides. A wind storm can break branches and topple trees overhead.

It might be better to stay home, eat soup and read a book or use alternative trails like the Litton Trail, the paved bike path around Western Gateway Park or the Hardrock Trail at Empire Mine State Historic Park.

“It’s a bummer but that’s the climate here, you have to wait until it dries out,” Clarke said.

To find trails in Nevada County, click here or here. Learn more about Bear Yuba Land Trust at

(Source: Laura Peterson, Bear Yuba Land Trust)

More great ink this week for Grass Valley and Nevada City

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The San Jose Mercury News wrote about our old-fashioned Christmas celebrations in an article that ran yesterday. The travel writer, Ginny Prior, visited Nevada County through a Familiarization Tour coordinated by Lani Lott with Nevada County Tourism.

Happy Wanderer: For old-fashioned Christmas, head to Gold Country “All that glitters is not gold. Some of it comes from the twinkling lights heralding Christmas in California’s Gold Country.

“It was a shop owner who first spread the word that James Marshall had struck gold in the Sierra foothills.

“San Francisco literally emptied overnight. And in 1849, when President James Polk confirmed the rumor, it triggered a mass migration that saw 90,000 people come to Gold Country in the first year.

“What a cross section of humanity. Enterprising and eclectic, they paved the way for what you find today in Grass Valley and neighboring Nevada City — a strong sense of community and celebration of preservation.

“Take the Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley. A tunnel from Empire Mine led to the bar at this boomtown hotel, where a miner could tie up his mule, turn his gold into cash and down a whiskey or three in the saloon.

Today, the Holbrook and most of downtown Grass Valley are on the National Register of Historic Places. Likewise with Nevada City, where the Victorian downtown is so perfectly preserved.

“Hallmark made a movie here called “The Christmas Card.” In 2005, folks came together to support the production, using Nevada City’s diner, hotel, church and even fellow citizens as supporting artists.

“The twin towns are known for their music and live theater — art forms on steroids during the holidays.

“Downtown Nevada City holds its Victorian Christmas on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons through Dec. 21, where costumed carolers stroll along gas lamp-lit streets as the aroma of roasted chestnuts fills the air.

“Just outside town, Empire Mine State Historic Park punctuates the holiday experience. Docents dressed in elegant Victorian costumes host tours in the Bourn family mansion and working machine, wood and blacksmith shops.

“And since many mine workers were of Cornish descent, Grass Valley hosts an authentic Cornish Christmas on Friday and Dec. 19.

“With downtown streets closed, it takes on the aura of an old-fashioned Christmas with carolers, jugglers, musicians and plenty of handmade gifts for Santa to pack in his sleigh.

“What are your favorite local adventures? Drop me a line, and I’ll share them with readers. You can reach me at or online at”

To view the full article, click here.


“Nevada City’s Victorian Christmas:
47th annual Grass Valley Cornish Christmas:
Empire Mine State Historic Park:
Grass Valley lodging:,

(Source: San Jose Mercury News)

Cool new video about Truckee!

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The Town of Truckee Chamber of Commerce produced a cool new video about locals’ favorite things to do. Check it out!

The Center for the Arts purchases iconic California Worldfest (video)

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The Center for the Arts has purchased the iconic California WorldFest from its founders, Sierra FoodWineArt has learned. It has been held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds since its founding in July some 18 years ago.

It is a coup for The Center, which has succeeded in bring world-class talent to the foothills, from Joan Baez to Willie Nelson.

For its part, the County Fairgrounds is hosting more major festivals, including the Strawberry Music Festival.

The WorldFest, started by Dan and Christine, is now going to be in its 19th year. “We’ve decided we’ve come to the end and want to infuse new energy and take a step back,” Dan told Sierra FoodWineArt.

Next year’s WorldFest will be held July 16-19

The California WorldFest began as a showcase for some of our world’s finest artists performing music and dance from the United States and around the world.

Drawing inspiration from the Vancouver Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, MerleFest in North Carolina, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival, the California WorldFest includes eight performance stages, a complete children’s program, a community outreach history and a pledge to present the finest artists and performers from throughout our world.

From Afro/Pop to Bulgarian Harmonies, Latin to Bluegrass, Scottish fiddle tunes to Rock & Roll, Jumpin’ Jazz to Gypsy, Folk to New Acoustic, Mariachi to Russian Folk, Swing Jazz to Gospel, Bollywood to the newest Celtic incarnations, the California WorldFest is the home of our globes finest music and dance.

Watch a video of Tommy Emmanuel and Brittni Paiva at the 2012 California Worldfest below:

(Source: Sierra

A walking Christmas tree in Nevada City that rivals Stanford’s

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The Stanford Tree is the Stanford Band’s mascot and the unofficial mascot of Stanford University. The Tree’s costume, newly created each year, is a prominent target for pranksters from rival schools, in particular Cal Berkeley.

Nestled in the Sierra foothills, Nevada City has its own tradition of a walking tree. In this case, the Walking Christmas Tree is a longtime tradition at Victorian Christmas. This annual, family tradition takes place December 10, 14, 17 and 21, 2014, and features carriage rides, live entertainment, yuletide treats, libations and Father Christmas.

The walking tree wanders up and down Broad Street greeting guests. “People joke that this is a happier tree than the Stanford tree,” says Cindy Moon, a Nevada City Chamber Commerce volunteer who is the current “Christmas Tree Lady.”

The handmade tree is a work of art, made of green satin, fleece, a hoop skirt and adorned with lights, ornaments and bells. The tree took about 40 hours to create. Nevada City’s “Christmas Tree Lady” hands out candy canes to visitors. “The adults mob me more than the children,” Cindy jokes.

(Source:, Photo: Jeanne Duerst)

Nevada City named one of the Most Beautiful Small Towns in Amercia

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Nevada City was named one of The 19 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America by “It’s time to ditch the big city for one of these places. Small town America is still alive and well,” writes

“Wait, is this a town out of the old west that they just happened to restore and modernize? Well, pretty much. Nevada City has been around since 1849, when it was first settled by miners during the gold rush. In fact, it’s in the National Registry of Historic Places, and most of the buildings were built in the 19th century.

“Old gaslights still light the streets, and the whole place just has a very rustic vibe to it, but you literally feel like you’re stepping into the scenes of a modern-day John Wayne set when you first drive through town. Afterwards, you can go through the surrounding nature preserves and catch a show at the historic Nevada Theater in town. It’s one of the few old-style theaters still left in the area.”

To read the full article, click here.

(Credit: Ken Rockwell)

Read our Top Stories for 2014

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In case you missed any of them, here are some of our top stories in 2014. Enjoy!

Nevada City a finalist for America’s coolest small town. Nevada City was named of the the 15 finalists for America’s coolest small town, according to “Nevada City may be a little off the beaten path (60 miles northeast of Sacramento, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains), but residents value the Gold Country town for its music and art scene, food, and proximity to some of California’s amazing rivers, lakes, and the Sierra,” the travel website states.” To read the full article and watch a video, click here.

Nevada City Snowboarder Evan Strong wins Gold Medal in Sochi Winter Paralympics Nevada City snowboarder Evan Strong won the inaugural Winter Paralympics men’s snowboard cross medal Friday in Sochi, Russia. The 27-year-old Strong had a total time of 1 minute, 43.61 seconds. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Sacramento Bee writes about Bridgeport Covered Bridge “The historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge on the South Yuba River is about to be fitted for a life-saving girdle,” writes the Sacramento Bee. To read the full article, click here.

New York Times lists Truckee-Tahoe among Top U.S. places to visit in 2014 This weekend’s New York Times has listed Truckee-Tahoe as one of the top 52 places in the world to visit in 2014. It is a reminder of our region’s world-class amenities. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Nevada County Restaurant Week January 23 – February 1 Nevada County Tourism and, the official tourism website of Nevada County, in partnership with the Grass Valley Downtown Association, Greater Grass Valley Chamber, Nevada City Chamber, Penn Valley Chamber, South County Chamber, Truckee Donner Chamber and Sierra FoodWineArt magazine, are excited to announce Nevada County Restaurant Week 2015. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Bierwagen’s Farm 24th Annual Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival The 24th annual Bierwagen’s Farm Pumpkin Patch & Harvest Festival is happening everyday in October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy a huge pumpkin patch with tons of pumpkins just waiting to be picked. To read the rest of the article, click here.

What’s Up in Nevada County November through December 2014 Check out what’s happening throughout Nevada County from November through January. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Tour the HGTV Dream Home 2014 in Truckee starting January 9 Schaffer’s Mill in Truckee is proud to be the host community for the incredible HGTV Dream Home 2014. You can tour this amazing 3,200-square foot home beginning Thursday, January 9th and continuing every Thursday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Feburary 14th. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Nevada City named one of the 10 intriguing smalls towns in the USA Nevada City has been named one of the “10 Intriguing Small Towns in the USA Everyone Should Visit” by “I’ve been fortunate enough to do some traveling around the USA, and along the way I’ve come across a lot of neat little towns,” states To read the full article, click here.

Amy Grant (watch video) and Jeff Bridges coming to Grass Valley The Center for the Arts announces Amy Grant and Jeff Bridges & The Abiders will be performing in Grass Valley. To read the rest of the article, click here.


Take a hike this fall! With the arrival of fall comes cooler days and nights meaning local trails are awash in gold and crimson, providing a wealth of opportunities for families to unplug, get outdoors, take a walk and encounter the wonders of nature. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Nevada City Chamber of Commerce’s Victorian Christmas commercial to air on the Hallmark Channel

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Like the Grass Valley Downtown Association’s Cornish Christmas, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce’s own Victorian Christmas commercial will be aired multiple times on the Hallmark Channel during the holidays, including during airings of “The Christmas Card,” which was filmed in Nevada City.

Click here to view “The Christmas Card” showtimes and watch the Victorian Christmas commercial below: