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Solstice Festival returns to Tahoe City

Long standing local events are finally scheduled to return to Tahoe City this summer, signaling a return to “normal” for visitors and locals alike. The Tahoe City Downtown Association announced the 15th Annual Tahoe City Solstice Festival, an event that celebrates the start of the summer season at Lake Tahoe, will return this year. Featuring a myriad of small group activities, events and promotions held at businesses throughout the town, the festival will take place June 12-20.

“During a typical year, Tahoe City bustles with visitors who come for our large-scale events,” said Kylee Bigelow, executive director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association. “This will be the first in-person event series since September 2019, and we know visitors and locals are excited to get out and enjoy all that Tahoe City has to offer.”

New this year, as part of the Solstice Festival celebration, the Tahoe City Golf Course will host the inaugural Swing into Summer Golf Classic on June 16. A scramble-style event, golfers should expect quirky challenges to contribute to the fun. Open to all skill levels, participants are encouraged to sign their team up for a day on the greens. Tee times will begin every 10 minutes starting at 9 a.m., with golfers asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their tee time. Presented by the Tahoe City Public Utility District, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and Placer County, this nine hole tournament will happen rain or shine, with prizes awarded for first, second and third place teams. All participants will receive a goodie bag with golf swag and essentials for their day on the golf course. A fundraiser for the Tahoe City Downtown Association, greens fees are $240 per team and include two golf cart rentals per team. Tickets available here https://visittahoecity.org/swing-into-summer-golf-classic/

Presented by sponsors including Bluescape, Bently Heritage Estate Distillery, Tahoe City Marina, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and Placer County.

Scheduled events during Tahoe City’s Solstice Festival include:

  • Cartoons, Cereal & Mimosas at the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema – June 12 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Summer Solstice Sunset Kayak Tour with Tahoe City Kayak- June 12 and June 13 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Slushee & Selfie at Side Bar at Za’s Lakefront – Daily June 12-20 from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tahoe City Historic Walking Tour – June 14 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 am.
  • Big Views Tiny Paintings, Plein Air Workshop- June 14 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tahoe City Waterfront Tour – June 15 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Cornhole & Happy Hour at West Shore Market – June 16 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tahoe City Farmers’ Market at Commons Beach – June 17 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 14th Annual Tahoe City Solstice Stroll Classic Car Show – June 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Celebrate Solstice at Muse – June 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Live music with Peter Joseph Burtt and The King Tide at Moe’s Original BBQ – June 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • North Tahoe Arts Summer Solstice Open House – June 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Pioneer Cocktail Club Summer Block Party – June 19 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Lakefront Stargazing Tours – June 19 from 9 p.m to 10:30 p.m.
  • Summer Solstice Sail with Tahoe Sailing Charters – June 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Other events are being added to the schedule by some of Tahoe City’s popular businesses and local non-profits. The full calendar of events will be updated online at https://visittahoecity.org/summer-solstice/, with sales for ticketed events coming soon.

Long standing local events are finally scheduled to return to Tahoe City this summer, signaling a return to “normal” for visitors and locals alike.
Courtesy of Tahoe City Downtown Association
The Tahoe City Downtown Association announced the 15th Annual Tahoe City Solstice Festival, an event that celebrates the start of the summer season at Lake Tahoe, will return this year.
Courtesy of Tahoe City Downtown Association
“During a typical year, Tahoe City bustles with visitors who come for our large-scale events,” said Kylee Bigelow, executive director of the Tahoe City Downtown Association. “This will be the first in-person event series since September 2019.”
Courtesy of Tahoe City Downtown Association


Ring in the New Year with The Gold Souls

Provided photo
A Funktastic New Year’s Eve featuring The Gold Souls will be broadcast from The Center for the Arts on Dec. 31.

WHO: The Gold Souls

WHAT: A Funktastic New Years Eve from The Center for the Arts

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 31 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Online broadcast

ADMISSION: Free public broadcast, donations welcome

MORE INFO: Visit thecenterforthearts.org or call 530-274-8384

The Gold Souls are bringing the driving grooves of funk, the rich textures of soul, and the compelling storytelling of the blues to you, at home, with a special New Year’s Eve broadcast from The Center.

Visit thecenterforthearts.org to RSVP for free. Tune in on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. or watch the replay whenever you’re ready to bring a little funk to your New Year.

This show was pre-recorded before the current stay-at-home order went into effect, and it will be the last free broadcast in the From The Center series. The series began in June when The Center leaped into the world of livestreaming to provide gigs for artists and crews, and musical experiences for fans and members at a time when live audiences were not possible. While it is still unknown when audiences will be able to return to the auditorium, The Center continues to develop more ways for us to stay connected through the arts.

Starting in 2021, From The Center shows will be ticketed. The Center for the Arts encourages you to become a member for free or discounted access to future livestreams and replays.

The Gold Souls burst on the Sacramento music scene in early 2017 and are swiftly becoming one of the most promising new talents in the area. Led by the dynamic Juniper Waller, the group is made up of young talent hailing from the Bay and Sacramento areas. With Darius Upshaw on guitar, Alex Severson on the keys, Billy D. Thompson on the drums, and Jace Dorn on bass, each member has a hand in writing and song composition, making The Gold Souls a truly collaborative effort.

They released their self-titled five song EP in May of 2017 and toured down the California coast soon after in support of the fresh blues, soul-funk EP. Their next single, “Nobody,” was released in late 2017 and was featured on Apple Music Blues’ Hot Tracks list. They released their full length album, “Good to Feel,” in June of 2018, an album that stuck to their core oath to never sacrifice the groove. Their next single, “True Blue,” was produced/engineered by multi-Grammy winner Timothy Bloom (Smokey Robinson) and was released in February of 2019. This past April, the band went on tour through Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and New Orleans. Their latest single, “Strongman,” was released this past summer (2019), a single that promotes a story of female-empowerment through rich soul textures and a vintage-inspired sound. The release was accompanied by a visually stunning lyric video in October of this year. After their debut at the Joshua Tree Music Festival, The Gold Souls wrapped 2019 with a NYE show with their fans at The Palm Playhouse.

This New Year’s Eve, you can join The Gold Souls and The Center for the Arts for a Funktastic New Year’s Eve. This is a free public broadcast that will stream on YouTube and Facebook on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. Donations are appreciated to help compensate the artists and the crews working hard behind the scenes to bring art and music into your home during this challenging time. Visit thecenterforthearts.org to RSVP and for more information.

Source: The Center for the Arts

Ski season gets underway in Truckee-Tahoe

Ski season gets underway in Truckee-Tahoe

Empire Mine to host “Mine, Wine & Dine” fundraiser

Now in its third year, “Mine, Wine & Dine” has staked its claim as a summer-evening highlight, dedicated to maintaining and improving Empire Mine State Historic Park.

With dining outside the 1905 Clubhouse plus a rare evening opening of Empire Cottage, the event is a tribute to our gold-mine past.

“Imagine dining in the very same place where the Bourn Family entertained international business magnates over a century ago,” said event chair Steve Sanchez. “We mix some of Empire’s early elegance with contemporary fun to create a unique experience, complete with a tempting selection of fine wines and craft beer.”

Family-style dining will be presented by Antonio Ayestarán Custom Catering. Living History docents in period attire will share fascinating facts about the mine’s heydays — and its world-famous success.

Sanchez works closely with event coordinator Shanin Ybarrondo, head of Grass Valley-based Immersion Marketing.

“This event is also rich in top-quality entertainment,” Ybarrondo said. “We’ll enjoy engaging vocals by Jane Sinclair before dinner, followed by after-dinner dancing to award-winning band Dream and the Dreamer. Personally, I think experiencing the Park under the stars adds more than a touch of magic.

“As with every successful fundraiser, sponsorship is the key, and it’s gratifying to see the number of local businesses that support us. Eventhelper.com, Paulette’s Country Kitchen and Scope Landscape Management are our three top sponsors this year. Their vision and generosity, as well as that of all our sponsors, is a meaningful way to help safeguard the Park’s future.”

Since the 2018 “Mine, Wine & Dine,” major projects have been accomplished, including repairing the outdated irrigation system to keep the park green and the fountains flowing. Plaques that identify the stately trees have been installed.

A reliable transportation vehicle has been purchased for weddings and assisting those with special needs — plus major repairs are planned for the historic greenhouse.

“Repairs and improvements are a never-ending challenge,” Sanchez said.

Empire Mine Park Association hosts this event, and since 1976, the association has demonstrated a stalwart passion for its support of the park.

In the early 1900s, Empire Mine was a pillar of Nevada County’s prosperity. It still is, but in a very different way. Its success is no longer measured in ounces of gold, but in the number of visitors it attracts. Empire Mine State Historic Park welcomes around 100,000 visitors each year.

Tickets to “Mine, Wine & Dine” are available at minewinedine2019.brownpapertickets.com, as well as in the park’s gift shop 530-273-8522, and through Immersion Marketing at 913-2334, shanin@immersionmktg.com.

Courtney Ferguson is Empire Mine Park Association’s outreach coordinator, a published author, and a freelance writer.

D-Day anniversary observation in Nevada County (VIDEO)

The 75-year remembrance of D-Day is taking place now at the Veterans Memorial Building in Grass Valley.

Nevada City’s First Friday Art walk kicks off this week

Nevada City’s First Friday Art Walk is back for its sixth year, kicking off this Friday with downtown venues hosting mixers, receptions and live music.

The first, almost impromptu, event in 2013 attracted several hundred visitors and prompted organizers to close off parts of some streets. Last year, an estimated 2,000 art lovers crowded the city streets for each art walk.

Even more has been planned for 2019.

“It is bigger and better this year, definitely,” said organizer Cynthia Levesque. “We have a lot of new things happening.”

Nevada City Film Festival will get the party started early with a Local Creatives Happy Hour from 4-6 p.m. Folks can meet like-minded artists, filmmakers, photographers, designers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and others to learn about projects, pool resources, develop partnerships, find mentors, and help build a vibrant, youthful creative culture in Nevada County. Guest artists’ work will be on display and drinks, noshes and nibbles will be available. The happy hour will be at Nevada City Film Festival’s headquarters at 110 Union Street Alley.

Ready Nevada County is collaborating with Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the art walk for a summer-long series of Ready, Set, Go mixers. These casual mixers will feature art, socializing, education and an opportunity to connect with seasoned professionals focused on fire prevention and preparedness. Art from the Osborn/Woods Gallery will be on display and representatives from 211 Connecting Point will be on hand to help people sign up for Code Red emergency alerts. Miners Foundry will provide a no-host bar on the outside patio. There will be a poetry reading at 5 p.m. with Molly Fisk and live music throughout the evening.

There will be live music and theatrical performances at various locations throughout downtown. In addition, there will be a Youth Arts Showcase featuring artists between the ages of 4-18 and a “Kids Zone” on York Street with activities and art projects for kids of all ages.

“I’m thrilled to see such community involvement this year,” Levesque said. “With over 28 downtown businesses participating, there’s sure to be something for everyone.”

Friday’s events

On Broad Street, LeeAnn Brook Fine Art will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a reception featuring “The Color of Light,” a photography show by Frank Francis and the gypsy jazz of Yuba Rio, and Gallery 125 & Media Lounge will host a grand opening celebration. Elixart will have a group show with an artist meet and greet from 7-9 p.m., followed by music from 9 p.m. to midnight.

The Aerial Lab returns this year, performing at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at York and Broad streets. The Boardwalk Stage on Commercial Street will have live music by The Ruckrich Family Band at 6 p.m., poetry readings by The Poetry Crashers at 7 p.m., and music by Fog Holler at 8 p.m.

The Nevada City United Methodist Church’s fellowship hall will serve as an art gallery, with 25 church member artists showcasing their works. Music will be provided and food and beverages will be available. Brief guided tours of the church, located at 433 Broad St., will be offered.

Friday will be the official kick-off with a reception for Ruth Chase’s I Am HERe art installation in Robinson Plaza. Stop by and place some thoughtful words of belonging onto the installation.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

Penn Valley Rodeo Parade canceled

The 2019 Penn Valley Rodeo Parade has been canceled due to “very inclement weather conditions,” according to a Facebook post by the Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“This is not a decision that was easily arrived at, but we must first and foremost always consider public safety concerns for participants, support staff, fans, and of course our equestrian entries,” the post stated.

The rodeo itself is planned to go on as scheduled.

From humble beginnings, Penn Valley Rodeo heads into 62nd year

What began as a family get-together and ranch rodeo that included a number of Penn Valleys founding families has become a not-to-be-missed Nevada County tradition — as the 62nd Penn Valley Rodeo takes place this weekend.

Teresa Dietrich, Penn Valley Community Rodeo Association board member, sponsorship co-chair and mutton busting co-chair, said Penn Valley was originally a dairy community with a long and enduring history of being an agricultural center in Nevada County.

“Once a year all of the families would get together and have a ranch rodeo,” Dietrich said. “It was a big community celebration. All the women would bake pies and make salads. There would be a barbecue and all the local ranchers got together to show off their ranching talent. It was a big community picnic with a ranch rodeo.”

Over 60 years ago, those neighborly get-togethers became a formal rodeo and fundraiser for the Penn Valley Fire Department to raise funds to buy new equipment. At some point, they were unable to sustain the event and they offered it up to the public. Dietrich says is when community members stepped up and formed the Penn Valley Community Rodeo Association.

Today the rodeo continues on the same iconic and historic grounds as those first neighborhood gatherings, now owned by the Penn Valley Fire Protection District.

Dietrich says putting on a good rodeo requires a good stock contractor, a wonderful announcer and an entertaining rodeo clown.

“We bring in four-star rodeo livestock as our stock contractor, and we have Don Jesser who has been our professional rodeo announcer for a number of years, and we have J.J. Harrison as the rodeo clown again. He is considered one of the top 10 in the nation as far rodeo entertainer.”

She says the role of the rodeo clown goes far beyond entertainment.

“The rodeo clown entertains between events, but he is also the barrel man. During bull riding, the barrel man must be able to get out there and distract the bull from injuring any of the cowboys that have come off the bull.

“So he is literally putting his life at risk every time he is in there because those bulls are about 2,000 pounds and by the time they get the rider off their back, they are a little agitated, so that clown is brightly colored to distract the bull and protect the cowboy. That is his job. He is also very funny and a great entertainer.”

The sanctioned rodeo is this Friday and Saturday. In addition to bull riding events will include bronco riding, roping, saddleback bronc riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing and many more.

Dietrich said, “The athletes who are competing in our rodeo are competing also for points for the whole series across the state of California.” The association has increased prize money to entice riders from competing rodeos.

The event begins with a coronation of the junior and senior rodeo queens. Opening ceremonies include the grand entry, with all the queens carrying flags, the competitors entering the arena and the often-emotional presentation of the American Flag and the singing of the National Anthem.

Dietrich said other popular events include a calf scramble.

“Any child that is at the rodeo can enter the arena and chase the cattle around and find the calf that has a ribbon on its tail. The kid that gets the ribbon, gets the prize.”

For the second year the Wild West Buckers, riders aged 6-13, will be featuring the sport of bareback riding and supplying mini bucking horses and ponies. And they will have muttin busting as well.

Saturday, a rodeo parade kicks off at 3 p.m. beginning at Western Gateway Park and ending at the Rodeo Grounds with Grand Marshal Bob Winters, along with a number of community organizations represented in classic cars, tractors, and riders on mules and horseback.

Except for Truckee-based Owner of Smokey’s Kitchen & Catering, all the food vendors are nonprofits and Smokey’s owner, Michael Lathury, will be donating a percentage of their proceeds, selling pulled pork, ribs, chicken and all the fixings.

The Nevada Union Football Boosters will have hamburgers and hot dogs at their booth, and Ready Springs School runs the Little Wranglers Snack Shack featuring pizza and other nuggets kids love to eat. Kare Crisis Nursery will be serving homemade delights in the pie booth. The Penn Valley Chamber will have refreshments for sale as well.

There are pony rides, face painting and other activities for the kids.

An after-rodeo dance party will be held each night featuring The James Slack Band.

Breakfast will be sold at the old firehouse, and Cowboy Church, with the Hale Family and Friends will also be taking place. Sunday admission is free with muttin busting at 10 a.m. and jackpot roping at 11 a.m.

Proceeds from the Rodeo go to support the Penn Valley Rodeo Scholarship program and other youth in agriculture programs as well as the Penn Valley Fire District with an EMT scholarship fund. For the full schedule of events and to buy tickets online see www.pvrodeo.com.

Be awed by beauty and creativity on Soroptimist Garden Tour

Step into a world of beauty and wonder at the 26th annual Soroptimist International of the Sierra Foothills Garden Tour Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This popular event allows the public into some of our community’s most beautiful and elaborate private gardens, and the homeowners who have created them are on hand to answer questions and welcome you into their world.

This year, six diverse gardens from South County to Nevada City will be featured on the tour, giving attendees a glimpse of the secret worlds of residents at different elevations and climates.  Each garden is uniquely special, and has been chosen for the meticulous love and care that is taken to keep each one well maintained year round.

#1 Japanese Garden and Tea House

Enter into the far East in South Nevada County

Steve and Nancy Murphy have brought the Far East to South Nevada County with their majestic Japanese Garden.  You are greeted by a large weeping Tolleson’s Blue Weeping Juniper and a stone water basin which is called a tsukubai, signifying the Zen saying “be satisfied with what you have.”  Traverse through a passageway of elegant gardens dotted with stone statuary and beautiful flowers and trees. Emerge to an arbor covered with blooming wisteria and gaze upon a view of the distant horizon incorporated into the landscape composition. In Japanese, this is called Shakkei, meaning “captured alive.”  Wind through Japanese maple trees and azaleas to the highlight of the garden, the Tea House.  If you time it just right, you may be treated to a traditional tea ceremony.  Steve will be wandering about the garden dressed in traditional dress and available to answer questions, and he and Nancy invite you to step into another culture while enjoying the tranquility of their gardens.

#2 A Long Term Relationship with a Garden at Busted Boot Ranch

See what a three decade long labor of love looks like at Busted Boot Ranch

Susan and Michael Street welcome you to their sprawling 21 acre three-decade labor of love.  Meander through a riot of flowers, trees, and unique combinations of flora that are as beautiful as they are eclectic.  There are so many fun flourishes in this garden.  You’ll see the bathtub bed which contains a clawfoot tub with a novel fountain.  Vegetables, a vast array of trees, and a thirty year old artichoke plant are mixed in this eccentric and charming locale.  The Streets have done all the work themselves.  Michael has done all the hardscaping, mostly rock work.  Susan runs the irrigation, mostly by sprinklers, on an as needed basis. She says that she has been observing and nurturing this garden for so long that she knows every plant, and has watched how they migrate around the planting beds.

#3 Wildlife Wonders

See if you can spot some wildlife at the pond.

Bev Giovanetti invites you to come and enjoy their labor of love that has blossomed into a paradise for both people and wildlife.  Bev and her husband have enjoyed lots of wildlife on their waterfront such as geese, mallards, and wood ducks.  There is a nesting pair of geese that returns to their barn rooftop each year.  Bev has maintained wooden nesting boxes for the wood ducks, and says that the pond is also home to beavers and fish.  In fact, the fauna have made themselves right at home so much that the property has been registered with the state to provide information for wildlife monitoring.  Beyond the pond teeming with friendly critters, the yard and garden surrounding it are beautiful.   There is a bocce court and she shed among the flowering trees, vegetable garden, and green “country” lawn.  It’s easy to see why so many creatures have decided to make this their home.

#4 A Complete Makeover

Check out the adorable she shed at this stop on the tour

See a true work in progress at the one acre garden of Brian Spencer & Teresa Trimble, who recently purchased property that was overgrown with trees and brush.  After clearing the excess trees and brush the couple has been working with local architect Keith Brown and landscape designer Cathy D’s to create their own personal paradise.  Teresa’s one request was to have something colorful at every time of the year.   The front area is planted with azaleas, a few winter-blooming camellias, spireas, barberry, redbud, dogwood, Japanese maples, lavender, and salvias, so Teresa should get her wish for year-round color shows.  The front also has redwood trees, Deodar cedars, and soon a blue spruce or two.  They are in the process of building a deluxe outdoor living area complete with a new covered patio with ceiling fans, an outdoor pavilion, and much more.  Come see this paradise in progress and don’t miss the luxury “she shed” while you’re there!

#5 A Forest of Flowers

Find secret nooks and crannies as you meander through the forest of flowers

Jay, Chad, and their mother, Jean invite you to explore their garden which surrounds their family compound.  Wander through the vegetable and fruit garden and rest in the shade of the many fruit trees. Behind the residences is a fragrant garden area with beds of roses and an herb garden.  Stroll along a nice path through a forest of mature azaleas, most forming hedges, large rhododendrons, with dogwoods and camellias dotted throughout.  You will arrive at the pond, complete with a new dock perfect for summer tranquility.  Or you may get sidetracked and wander around on lesser paths and find the tiny “secret garden,” as the visiting children of the family love to do.  Don’t worry, all paths lead to the pond.  The original creator of this garden had it in one of the first garden tours 25 years ago.  Come see how the garden has grown and meet the enthusiastic new owners who want to improve it and keep it at its best.

#6 A Garden for Splendid Entertaining

This one will give you garden envy!

Marcia Accola has created a backyard landscape that is absolutely stunning for entertaining.  Interested in trying some landscape design, she took courses from Robert Littlepage of the former California School of Landscape Design in Auburn.  A big takeaway for her was the idea of breaking a large area down into little vignettes.  She has designed her own back landscape to include beautiful paths and little patios for sitting areas that wind through the trees. She created a dining area near a beautiful fountain, a gorgeous outdoor kitchen in the round made of flagstone, and a nice cozy flagstone sitting bench that wraps around a fire pit.  This entertaining spot is complete with gentle lighting and outdoor speakers.  The flagstone in the construction is also used for the paths that connect the whole place together.  Pass through a gate to enter a cutting garden with lilacs, black-eyed Susans, the fall-blooming Japanese anemones, and giant dinner-plate dahlias – reaching upwards of 6 ft. tall; it’s like walking through the Alice in Wonderland garden.  You will find many stops to sit and rest along the way around the garden and even a bed perfect for a summer nap in the shade.

Don’t miss this wonderful glimpse into the secret gardens of Nevada County. The cost to attend the Soroptimist Garden Tour is $25 in advance, and $30 at the garden gates.  For more information or to purchase tickets, call 530-273-7989 or visit https://www.sierrasoroptimist.org/2018-garden-tour.

Celebrate our Earth: Earth Day, Health Fair comes to Sierra College’s Nevada County campus

Thursday students and the public is invited to partake in Earth Day and Health Fair festivities at Nevada County’s Sierra College campus, according to a release.

There will be live entertainment, including children from the Childhood Development Center singing songs, two live band performances as well as Zumba dancing.

Several community organizations will have tables, including the Bear Yuba Land Trust, Nevada County Electric Car Association, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, Tahoe National Forest, United States Department of Agriculture, Conservation Service and more. Many other Sierra College clubs will have tables as well.

Health organizations will be attending, including Nevada County Public Health department, Grass Valley Crossfit, Training Zone and more.

A leaflet assignment scavenger hunt will take place. Once participants have completed the assignment, they will have the opportunity to collect a raffle ticket, potentially winning a variety of prizes.

Sierra College hopes to create an interactive experience, presenting an educational carnival. The college hopes people not only learn about health and environmental issues, but also make connections to the campus.

Source: Sierra College