Final Summer Nights Event July 31

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The 23rd Annual Summer Nights in Nevada City celebration, an outdoor festival of art and music, will be held three Wednesday evenings, July 17, 24, and 31.

During Summer Nights, Nevada City’s landmark historic district is closed to motorized traffic and filled with arts, crafts, classic cars, food, drink and music. Leading Sierra foothills musicians perform on outdoor stages throughout the downtown area. Hours are 6-9:30 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Three Wednesday nights in July — the best FREE entertainment for the whole family!

Fabulous Music! Put on your dancing shoes and come on out to hear West Coast Juice and Sergeant Funky; listen to favorite oldies with Then Again; and tango the night away to Ivan Najera’s exhilarating Latin American infused music. Don’t miss these great free concerts! For a complete list of performers go to

Kid Friendly Fun! Summer Nights is for everyone. There are bounce houses, face-painting and more to make sure that kids will have a great time at this family affair.

Eat and Drink with Friends and Family! Enjoy a meal at one of Nevada City’s fine restaurants, ice cream from our local stores, delicious treats from our Food Court or just hang out at our beer and wine garden listening to great live bands. There’s food for all tastes and pocketbooks at Summer Nights.

Crafts and Art! Town will be filled with arts and crafts booths featuring cool, one-of-a-kind gifts designed and produced by local artists and crafters as well as hand-picked out-of-town vendors. If you’re looking for summer gifts, Summer Nights is the perfect place to come.

Special Additions! Broad Street will host a Farmer’s Market with fresh, local produce and a different Classic Car Show every week. And don’t miss the exotic music and dance of Troupe Al Ama Belly dancers!

Go to for more information and a complete list of entertainment.

Last Week to See “Avenue Q” – Closes Aug 3

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Sierra Stages presents AVENUE Q
July 10 – August 3

Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City

Thursdays at 7 PM; Fridays & Saturdays at 8 PM
Wednesday July 10 at 7 PM; Sundays (July 21 & July 28) at 2 PM

Information:, 530-346-3210

Audiences are raving about the Sierra Stages production of AVENUE Q, the smash-hit Broadway musical now playing at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City. Performances of the three-time Tony Award-winning musical are on Thursdays at 7 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM through August 3 only.

With a cast of 11 humans and 28 puppets, AVENUE Q is a cross between Sesame Street and South Park, and is certainly not appropriate for the kids. You’ll meet Princeton, a fresh-faced college grad, and his wacky new neighbors living way, way out on the outskirts of New York City on Avenue Q, where everyone’s looking for the same things he is: a decent job, a stable relationship, and a “purpose”. The life lessons come fast and funny as Princeton learns that “It Sucks to Be Me,” “The Internet Is for Porn” and “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.”


The New York Times hailed AVENUE Q as “a breakthrough musical of a very different stripe. Savvy, sassy and delicious!” and Entertainment Weekly claimed it was “one of the funniest shows you’re ever likely to see!” AVENUE Q features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx.

The Sierra Stages production of AVENUE Q is directed by Robert Rossman, with musical direction by Ken Getz. Puppet consultation is by Kenny Miele, puppet construction and costume design is by Alan Rollins, set design is by Pamela Hodges, lighting design is by Erin Beatie, and technical direction is by Thomas Taylor. The cast includes Isaias Acosta, Kristine Alcamo, Lyra Dominguez, Nancy Haffey, Kate Haight, JR Lewis, Erick Lindley, Danny McCammon, Conor Nolan, Jordan Thomas-Rose, and Kim Wellman.

“AVENUE Q is one of those shows that has been on our wish-list from the beginning of our company four years ago,” said Sierra Stages Board member and AVENUE Q musical director Ken Getz. “The show is not only incredibly funny and incredibly irreverent, but also it is steeped in the best tradition of Broadway musicals, with intelligent and fun music, literate and funny lyrics, engaging characters, and an interesting and meaningful story line,” said Getz. “The show grabs you in the first two minutes of the opening number and takes you on a wild and totally entertaining ride for the next two hours,” he said. AVENUE Q director Robert Rossman adds, “The show is deceptively difficult to pull off, as it requires a cast who can act, sing, and operate puppets all at the same time, as well as a design and technical staff with the imagination and determination to create this unique world,” Rossman said. “We are fortunate to have a truly talented group both onstage and backstage for this show.”

Please note: Due to adult situations (like full-puppet nudity) and adult language (which we cannot repeat here), AVENUE Q may be inappropriate for kids or closed-minded adults.

Performances of AVENUE Q are Thursdays at 7 PM and Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM, with a special Wednesday preview performance on July 10 at 7 PM and two

Sunday matinees on July 21 and July 28 at 2 PM.  General Admission Tickets are $25. For those audience members who prefer a specific seat location and wish to provide additional financial support for Sierra Stages, Reserved Tickets for all performances are available for $35. Tickets are available online at or by calling the Sierra Stages ticket line at 530.346.3210. Tickets are also on sale at BriarPatch Co-op on Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley.


Asleep at the Wheel with Cousin Cricket Aug 2

Cousin Cricket circ. 1970

Cousin Cricket circ. 1970

Asleep at the Wheel

Asleep at the Wheel

Nine-time Grammy award-winning Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel is coming to the Nevada City Miner’s Foundry on Friday, August 2nd! Local band Cousin Cricket, Northern California’s longest continually-running Western Swing band opens at 7:30 pm.

Come dance the night away to classic country, swing, and rockabilly! Full bar, and Gourmet Southern Comfort Food.

Tickets available at The Briar Patch, The Miner’s Foundry or online at or call 530-265-5040 for more information.


Railroad Museum’s Annual Yard Sale Aug 3 & 4

On Saturday and Sunday, August 3 & 4, from 8am-2pm, the Railroad Museum will hold its Annual Yard Sale featuring items in the tool and mechanical categories along with traditional yard sale items.

The Museum’s Gift Shop will be open.

The Museum is located at #5 Kidder Court in Nevada City, which can be reached off of Gold Flat Road via Bost Avenue or New Mohawk Drive.

For more information call (530) 479-0902 or go to


Emily’s Catering Open During Summer Nights

Emily’s Catering is excited to announce that we will open our beautiful patio and indoor historic brick room for dining during Summer Nights. Live music and local artists. Serving California style tapas, delicious desserts, and ice cold drinks. Featuring Bear River Pasta Company’s hand made and local ravioli. As always, everything is made from scratch with only the best seasonal, local and organic products.

Take a break from the busy streets at the coolest patio in town! Food to go also available. Now accepting credit cards.

Emily’s Catering & Cakes, 313 Commercial Street • 5:30-11 pm July 31

Download Emilys Summer Nights Menu

Local RV “Big Blue” featured on TV July 29

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Everyone wants a big RV! At least that’s what the show, Epic “RVs”, on the Destination America channel would have you believe. Local RV owner and Chamber member Bruce Rayner of Nevada City is featured on Monday night’s episode (July 29th) at 6pm and at 8pm.

The show features several out of this world RVs and the people who own them. Among those featured is “Big Blue”, a custom RV that started life as an 18-wheeler big rig tractor. Watch the show to see how Bruce conceived and built this long distance RV home, with help from a number of Nevada City and Grass Valley suppliers and talented local help. A film crew shot the segment in May at Squaw Valley.

Check the channel number on your service in the Grass Valley area:006 ld car2 0037
DirecTV 286 6pm and 8pm
Comcast 201
Suddenlink 206 HD411
Dish 194
ATT 465 HD 1465

Art Extravaganza At The Alpha Bldg July 24-27

Art Extravaganza At The Alpha Building!

Reception • Wednesday, July 24 • 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Sale • Thursday, Friday & Saturday • July 25 – 27 • Noon – 7:00 pm

210 Broad Street, Nevada City

Show and Sale of six of Nevada City’s late, great artists:
Beverly Hackett • Richard Hackett • Charles Woods • David Osborn • George Mathis • Robert Gilberg


“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” Plays July 18-28

Synthetic Unlimited is proud to present “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, a naughty and hilarious favorite of Edward Albee’s, at The Stonehouse in Nevada City for six dates from July 18th to Sunday, July 28th. This party piece follows the drink and drama-sodden living room antics of two highly dysfunctional American couples.

Join us early at 5 pm for Happy Hour drink prices of $3 well and draft drinks and $5 wine. A traditional New England dinner is served starting at 6 pm. Grace Fae and Dylan Sherwood McConnell open with a free hour of live original and jazz music at 6:30. The show starts at 7:30 pm, and runs for two hours with a short intermission.

Visit or call 1-888-95-SHOWS to buy tickets.

Fire Fee Telephone Townhall July 23

Senator George Runner (Ret.), Member of the State Board of Equalization, will be holding a telephone townhall regarding the confusing and controversial Fire Prevention Fee. The call, on Tuesday July 23 at 6 p.m., will be held for residents of Placer, Sierra, Nevada, and Yuba counties.

These upcoming townhalls are co-sponsored by State Senators Ted Gaines and Jim Nielsen and Assemblymembers Brian Dahle and Dan Logue.

During the call, we’ll discuss the latest fire “fee” news, including the lawsuit and pending legislation, and answer questions from callers.

If you’d like to participate, please register at least 24 hours before the event at or by calling (916) 324-4970.

Taxpayers who pre-register will receive a telephone call at the start of the event inviting them to connect to the townhall.

Weekly Music at California Organics

For the last year, California Organics Market and Cafe has featured free live local music ever Friday and Saturday night in the cafe. The casual, family-friendly setting has attracted a burgeoning scene of music lovers and foodies that faithfully come out every weekend to see local music acts such as Juliet Gobert, Ishaan Judd, Catherine Scholz, The Free Range String Band, Blackbird Quartet, and more.

Organizing the live music nights is Karen Carchidi. Carchidi’s roots of supporting and working with local bands runs deep. In the past she has worked at KVMR as an event coordinator organizing the KVMR Celtic Festival, KDVS in Davis booking the popular Live in Studio A program, and at Putumayo World Music before working at California Organics.

“It’s in my blood,” explains Carchidi. “I’ve always wanted my own cafe to showcase new artists in an intimate and supportive setting.”

Carchidi books mostly acoustic or string bands and on special occasion blues and rock bands. In the case of Bob Mora’s Retirement Party last month, over one hundred friends and fans from the community came out to enjoy Mora and friends perform.

“We are giving our regular shoppers and those who have never been to the store or restaurant a reason to stop by and see what is going on,” says Carchidi. “But most importantly we are building community around great food and music.”

For a full calendar of performers go to

California Organics Market and Cafe is located in the 7-Hills Business District at 135 Argall Way, Nevada City. Live music usually starts Friday and Saturday between 6-6:30pm and can go till 9pm. To contact Karen about booking email her at

Benefit for Larry Terronez Jr. July 26

Larry Terronez Jr. Hip Hop Benefit Concert: Mac Mike, Greg Christ, The Coach & More!

On Friday, July 26th, join us at the Stonehouse Event Center from 9:30 PM – 2 AM to celebrate the life of Larry Terronez Jr. and to show support for his family! 100% of the proceeds will go to his children. Hosted by Greg Christ & The Coach, the Lineup includes The Coach, Mac Mike, Greg Christ, Heavy D, Messy Jesse, DJ Arty Fresha, Kerlar, & more! Tickets will be $10 at the door, and donations will be appreciated! The Stonehouse is located at 107 Sacramento Street, in downtown Nevada City.


Singer/Songwriter Workshop July 28

Toon Vandevorst’s Singer/Songwriters Workshop & Presentation!

Join us for Toon’s annual Singer Songwriter Workshop on Sunday, July 28th, from 4-6 pm at The Stonehouse Event Center. This workshop will focus entirely on writing and performing your own original song(s). It is open to songwriters in any style as long as they are comfortable singing their own work, either with some form of accompaniment or a cappella. There will be lots of exercises and group instruction that will be of interest to more experienced and beginning songwriters alike. There will also be analysis and discussion of well-known (and sometimes lesser-known) songs. The workshop has room for a minimum of 4 students, and a maximum of 9. Tickets are$70 for two hours.

Stay after the convention for Salsa dancing and a free Jazz concert on the patio from 6-9pm. A dinner Theatre production by Synthetic Unlimited, “Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” starts at 7:30 pm.

The Stonehouse is located at 107 Sacramento Street, in downtown Nevada City.


Picnic & Pops Concert “California Dreamin” July 28

The Nevada County Concert Band presents its second of three Picnic & Pops Concerts at Nevada City’s Pioneer Park on Sunday July 28 @ 5pm with the theme “California Dreamin’.” This is the ninth year that our 80-member county band has hosted an invitational band event for its July concert, with musicians coming from as far away as Orange County and Portland.

“The stage will be filled with nearly 130 musicians,” says conductor Cheryl Woldseth. “Most bands take the summer off, but the Nevada County Concert Band is at the height of their performance season now. It is like a reunion, with musicians returning each year because they enjoy our beautiful town and people.”

Of course, the music itself draws them to come, just like it does the audience to hear it. The concert theme “California Dreamin'” will highlight the many features of our golden state. From the gold rush song “Eureka!” with gold panners to the Beach Boys hit “California Girls,” from old TV westerns in “Go West!” to the snowy “Into the Storm,” from our state park tribute “Yosemite Autumn” to our Disneyland memories “Baroque Hoedown,” this great state really shines. “High Flight” will feature the trumpet section, along with a Tijuana Brass medley. The full program is listed on the band’s website, including more marches and pop favorites. Later this year when the band travels to Washington DC and Gettysburg, they will perform this “California Dreamin'” concert.

There’s a lot of action, with various band members standing for spot solos, and the audience dancing off to the side. Come with your picnic or enjoy treats from the hot dog or ice cream vendors. And the concert is free, accessible, and great for all ages.

For more information go to

A Tip Of The Hat To Our Roots


© Photo: Sierra Vintners

In Nevada County, when you start talking about the history of grapes, wines, or wineries, you need to go back to the 80s. But, you also need to clarify whether you are talking about the 1980s, or the 1880s.

Vine roots grow deep in Nevada County. Our vine history stretches back to 1848 when Nevada and Placer Counties were still part of Yuba County.

The discovery of gold brought the influx of gold-seeking Argonauts, who arrived with mining pans, pickaxes, and grapevines hanging from their saddlebags. As soon as towns like Nevada City sprung up, grapevines were planted to supply wine for the thirsty miners.

As early as1862, a saloon on Broad Street was serving their customers wine that was grown and produced in Nevada City. In 1869, Francis Seibert won one of the first awards in California for his pure Zinfandel wine grown on Piety Hill in Nevada City.

By 1870, there were 450,000 vines in the county representing several hundred acres of grapes. Wines were selling for as much as $2.00 a gallon, a very respectable price. E. G. Waite produced a wine thought to be comparable to the Clarets of France. It was heady times for wine in Nevada County.

After the economic downturn of the post civil war years, the 1880s issued in another decade of vineyard growth. The demand for wine was strong and it became fashionable, as a gentleman farmer, to plant a vineyard. Grapes were even sold to Napa where they were prized for their robust color and flavor.

By 1887, there were at least 17 recognized grape growers, 10 of whom produced their own wine. In 1889, Nevada City Winery produced 8,000 gallons of wine.

A 100 years later, in the 1980s, a modern version of Nevada City Winery was again producing wine and it was once again fashionable for gentlemen farmers to plant vineyards. The renaissance of the modern era was led by the likes of Bob Wilder, Dick Angel, Peter Arnold and Doctors Smith, Cobden and Jewett all who were among the first to plant vineyards.

The very first modern era vineyard can be traced back to 1974 when John Callendar planted the “Little Wolf Vineyard” on Perimeter Road in the south county. It was a seven-acre vineyard planted to seven different red varietals.

100 years separated these two golden eras with more than a few bumpy patches in between.

While the Cornish miners who came over from England to work in the hard rock gold mines preferred beer, an influx of German and Italian settlers at the end of the 19th century brought a wine tradition with them. Bierwagon, Personeni, and Locatelli are just a few of the names associated with vineyards or wineries in the early years of the 20th century.

While it is commonly thought that Prohibition put an end to Nevada County’s wine industry that is not the case at all. While commercially produced wine was illegal (although that did not mean production ceased entirely), interest in home winemaking increased dramatically. Halfway through this remarkable experiment in social engineering there were more grapes growing in Nevada County than had existed before the start of Prohibition.

The grape and wine business is famous for its boom and bust cycles. In 1927, the planting spree collided with the onset of the depression and prices fell through the floor.

Finally, with the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, half a dozen wineries opened for business in Nevada County. However, by then the wine market had shifted. Volume and value were all that mattered and mega producers like Italian Swiss Colony and Gallo dominated the market while California’s central valley was an endless source of cheap grapes. Nevada County wineries could not compete with that. WW II was the final straw and the last of the wineries of that era finally closed in the early 1950’s.

Things remained like that until John Callender planted his Little Wolf Vineyard in 1974 and the modern era was born.

Now, once again, there are hundreds of acres of vineyards dotting the county’s rolling hills and 20 wineries are producing world-class wines.

For a list of wineries and tasting rooms in Nevada City go to Nevada City Wineries & Tasting Rooms. For a list of member wineries in the Nevada County Winery Association visit Sierra Vintners.


Rod Byers, CWE, is a Certified Wine Educator and wine writer as well as a California State Certified Wine Judge. You can find information about his upcoming Sierra College Kaleidoscope Wine Classes at and he can be reached at 530-273-2856.