So much to do in Nevada County on Thanksgiving Weekend

The holiday season has begun! Christmas decorations have started to take over our favorite stores and the radio has started to mix in holiday tunes, but first comes Thanksgiving. If you’re going to be in Nevada County for this holiday of family and feasting, think about exploring all of the many things there are to do while you’re here.

Small Town Charm

On Friday, November 25, the Grass Valley Downtown Association kicks off Cornish Christmas. Since 1967, Grass Valley, CA has been host to Cornish Christmas, a weekly holiday themed celebration taking cornish-christmasplace from 6-9 p.m. every Friday through December 23, highlighting the traditions and costumes of the area’s Cornish heritage while celebrating the magic of Christmas. Revelers are invited to stroll down the quaint streets of downtown Grass Valley, enjoying entertainment, vendors dressed in period attire, and a host of holiday themed activities.

Fairgrounds Red Barn Craft Co (Main Street Center) 3

Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fairgrounds

Then, continue your travel back in time from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. November 25-26 to celebrate the Empire Mine Holiday Open House to celebrate the holidays early 1900’s style. Empire Cottage will sparkle with colorful, old-fashioned decorations. Visitors will get to meet Living History docents in lavish period costumes as they portray the characters who helped make Empire Mine one of North America’s oldest, largest and most prosperous hard-rock gold mines. Owners Mr. and Mrs. William Bourn, Jr. will be there to welcome guests, as will Mine Superintendant George Starr and his wife, Libby. In the kitchen, however, it is housekeeper Katy Moriarty who rules the roost – and she will have plenty to say about what life was like in those heady heydays. Visitors will also be offered complimentary Christmas cookies. On Friday, singer/guitarist Kelly Fleming will perform festive music in the stately dining room, and on Saturday, visitors can enjoy Heather MacAdam’s magnificent music.

Do your holiday shopping in style at the 32nd annual Country Christmas Faire, taking place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, November 25-26, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, November 26, at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Rated as one of the top handcrafted shows in Northern California, the Country Christmas Faire features unique gifts and crafts from top artisans from across the state, as well as from Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and New York. Exhibit buildings will be filled 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 will enjoy strolling live entertainment, festival foods, the magical Gingerbread House exhibit, errand elves, and a community bonfire. Wagon rides around the Fairgrounds will be offered, and Victorian singers, the bell ringing RiverBells, and the Sierra Symphony quartet will perform throughout the event.

Down in Penn Valley, Saturday is full of fun, family-friendly activity. Come and enjoy their first Annual Small Business Saturday, a fun and interactive trek from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on November 26, through the Penn Valley Village Center which will showcase local businesses. Shoppers are invited to begin the spirited holiday shopping excursion at the host business, Penn Valley True Value Hardware, located at 17387 Penn Valley Drive. Then, end Small Business Saturday the perfect way at Penn Valley’s 14th Annual Cowboy Christmas Celebration! The celebration is set to begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 26, in the Penn Valley Shopping Center located on the corner of Penn Valley Drive and Spenceville Road in Penn Valley. Be sure to dress snugly in your favorite Western attire. Sashay to the music and western dance lessons offered by DJ Jamie Hogan. More highlights of the evening include a ceremonial Christmas tree lighting, activities for children and a visit with Santa Claus! Complimentary cowboy chicken and beef stew, soft drinks, coffee and hot chocolate will be served. Admission is free! For more Information about Penn Valley Holiday events please contact the Penn Valley Area Chamber of Commerce: (530) 432-1802.

The Great Outdoors

Yewei'Im Bom Trail Sign

Photo courtesy of BYLT

Outdoor and exercise enthusiasts will be happy to know that there are many opportunities for hiking and biking in our communities. If you’re a runner, consider taking part in the 11th annual Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot, a 5k and 10k walk/run that takes place at 7:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at Nevada Union High School’s Hooper Stadium. The proceeds go to charity, and you get a workout in before the feast begins. For more information, visit

The day after Thanksgiving, Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) invites you to hike off your Thanksgiving dinner on the Yewei’im Bom Trail at the Burton Homestead Preserve. This free event goes from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and trekkers are encouraged to come at any time during those hours to enjoy an easy one mile trek on BYLT’s newest trail. Maps will be available the day of the trek, or can be downloaded from BYLT’s online Trails Portal:

If you’re into winter sports, head up to Boreal Mountain Ski Resort to hit the slopes. The resort just opened last weekend, and the area has over 14” of fresh powder just waiting for you. Not only do they have great runs for skiing and snowboarding, they also have a Playland Tubing area that the whole family can enjoy.



Photo courtesy of LeGacy Productions

Celebrate the Arts
For the patrons of theater, consider taking in a performance of Rodger Hoopman’s “Scrooge,” presented by LeGacy Productions at the Nevada Theater at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, November 25-26, at the Nevada Theater. This delightful adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, written by and starring Rodger Hoopman, has been produced at the Chatauqua Playhouse in Sacramento since 1978 and is making its debut at the Nevada Theatre on Friday! Lively music, dancing and a wonderful script and cast will make this a must see for the holiday season. Tickets only $20 in advance, available at the BookSeller, Harmony Books, online at or by calling (530) 268 5419.

With so many wonderful activities happening, you might never want to go home!