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Food, Family, and Fun Things To Do In November In Nevada County

From traditional November fun like a Turkey Trot to a deep dive into Native history as part of Nisenan Heritage Day, here's what's in store for you this November.

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Get in the spirit of the holidays and join the time honored tradition of the Downtown Holiday Festival and Bud Fish Tree Lighting Ceremony in Truckee-Tahoe.

This month is Native American Heritage Month – come celebrate at the Nisenan Heritage Day.

Burn some calories before Thanksgiving at the annual Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot.

By Alex Silgalis

Maybe because it’s so fleeting or that there are so many traditions that go along with it, but fall might be the greatest season of the year especially in Nevada County. It’s still warm during the day for outdoor fun, but at the same time there’s a bit of crispness at night. To help celebrate this great time of year, here’s a list of fun things to do in November in Nevada County.

Nisenan Heritage Day

November 4th

Did you know the month of November is Native American Heritage Month? Celebrate the deep history in our region at the Nisenan Heritage Day at the Sierra College in Grass Valley. This is your chance to join the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe and California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project to celebrate the Nisenan culture. In past years, this event has delved into the history and future of the local Indigenous tribe as well as how they reflected in the fabric of the community.

Downtown Holiday Festival and Bud Fish Tree Lighting Ceremony

November 17th

Christmas Trees on a snowy night in Truckee
Photo by: Karen Hutton Appears courtesy: Visit Truckee-Tahoe

On the third Friday in November just before Thanksgiving, the community comes together to kick off the holiday season. The festivities begin as elementary school children help decorate over 600 Christmas trees that line Donner Pass Road. The celebration then shifts to the Train Depot Courtyard when Santa Claus arrives to oversee the lighting of the Bud Fish tree, along with all of downtown Truckee, precisely at 5:15 pm. While taking in all the wonderful events, you can enjoy sipping on hot chocolate and nibbling on Christmas cookies. Listen to the joyful carolers’ tunes, and feel free to join in and sing along. It’s no surprise that this beloved Christmas tradition has been going strong for over 45 years.

Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot

November 23rd

Image appears courtesy: MEBII Turkey Trot

If there’s one thing that screams things to do in November, it’s a Turkey Trot. An opportunity to band together with your friends or household to join in on this favorite, seasonal experience. For Nevada County, the annual shindig is the Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot. Featuring 5K and 10K runs, thousands of like-minded individuals show up to share in the positive mood of Thanksgiving. One highlight of the event is a tree display with leaf-shaped messages, each one with a note of thanks written by a runner.

That’s Not All!

Don’t forget that Cornish Christmas kicks off on November 24th in Grass Valley. This five decade old annual tradition recaptures the spirit of Cornish miners that migrated here during the Gold Rush by singing Christmas songs sung in Cornwall England at the turn of the 19th century. In summary, don’t let autumn pass you by without one more pumpkin spice latte and a visit to Nevada County.


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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