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9th Annual Guitarfish Music Festival at Cisco Grove Campground

Summer Nights & Worldly Music – Things To Do In July

Summer is everyone’s favorite season in Nevada County and rightly so. Here's our favorite list of things to do in July.

Tips & Resources

July is home to some of the biggest events of the year like:

Sierra Storytelling Festival

California Worldfest

4th of July Festivities

By Alex Silgalis

Plentiful sunshine. Warm days and cozy nights. Summer is everyone’s favorite season in Nevada County and rightly so. There is so much to see and do. Take a dip in our alpine lakes. Go for a hike in Donner Memorial State Park. Stroll the historic avenues in Nevada City or Truckee. And if that isn’t enough things to do in July, these events are literally filled with fireworks of fun.

4th Of July Festivities

How could we start this list of things to do in July without calling out our county’s 4th of July celebrations.

Grass Valley / Nevada City

Donkey dressed up in 4th of July gear in the 4th of July parade in Nevada City California
Image appears courtesy: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

Each year, Grass Valley and Nevada City take turns on hosting Fourth of July. The festivities include a parade that winds through the historic downtown that both kiddos and those of us who are still kids at heart will enjoy. This is a VERY popular event so be sure to arrive early and bring lawn chairs for a comfy seat. Post parade, the festivities continue at the county fairgrounds followed by of course fireworks!


Up higher, the quaint town of Truckee has their own traditions to celebrate America’s Independence. Get a bit of cardio by joining the community in the Firecracker Mile. Then chill out at a good ole fashioned parade where things kick off by fire trucks sounding their horns and police cars their sirens. And it all tops off with a BBQ and fireworks on Donner Lake and on the shores of Big Blue North Lake Tahoe with a drone light show. It’s no wonder this is one of the premier events in Truckee in the summer months.

Sierra Storytelling Festival

July 7th & 8th

Upcoming writers, actors, playwrights, travelers, jugglers, and what social scientist Brene Brown would call ‘wholehearted people’, this should be on your things to do in July bucket list. For more than three decades, the Sierra Storytelling Festival held every July has hosted award-winning, multilingual artists, whom you may have heard on NPR, as a voice in a film, or seen in a filmed theatre production. Bringing people to the Nevada County region from San Francisco and all Northern California, this event became known as the “queen of Storytelling Festivals” due to the quaint setting, literate audience, and attention to detail.

Nevada City Summer Nights

July 12th, 19th, 26th

Nevada City Summer Nights Annual Festival

If you’re looking for things to do in July on a Wednesday night, consider the Nevada City Summer Nights. Starting on July 12th, the beautiful historic district closes its roads to vehicles and opens its doors to art, food, drink, and music. For more than thirty years, residents and visitors use Wednesday evenings to enjoy a meal and unwind with local music. Even the kids can enjoy activities like face painting and a bounce house to expend their energy.

Summer is a season that truly exemplifies the community spirit in Nevada County. The question isn’t what are things to do in July in the foothills and mountains of the Sierra, but how can you fit all this fun into one summer?


Alex Silgalis

Alex founded Local Freshies® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.

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