Lemonade: The magic of summer waits on the horizon | TheUnion.com

Lemonade: The magic of summer waits on the horizon

Never mind that the official first day of summer is more than two weeks away. From where I was standing on the corner of Commercial and Pine streets in downtown Nevada City last Friday night, it looked and felt like it had already arrived.

During the summer, something special happens to town between the time the sun slips below the top of Broad Street and the cool breeze floats down Dear Creek to when the warm glow of the street lamps comes on. It’s in the diffused light of dusk, where the magic of chance and possibility for the evening lies.

While I waited for a friend outside Julie Baker’s art gallery, I couldn’t help but notice these subtle changes that make the town come alive at night. Bluesy riffs spilled out from the Crazy Horse onto the street, where people where milling in and out of shops during the First Friday Art Walk. Soft roars of laughter could be heard from inside Friar Tucks while a line of people anxiously waited for opening night at Off Broadstreet. A kick drum pounded away from inside Coopers Ale Works, announcing a sound check for the night’s rock show. People chatted and visited with their neighbors before heading off to dinner. Even the kids that congregate on the street seemed friendlier than usual.

So much was happening right there in front of me, and I wanted to do it all. I was inspired. I wanted to eat, drink, dance, make friends with strangers, explore new places, run down to the Holiday to karaoke one last time and rally a group of friends for a late-night swim in the river. Anything seemed possible at that very moment, and I was overwhelmed with excitement at what this summer holds for you and me.

Just gazing at any one of the bulletin boards in Nevada City or Grass Valley or flipping through the Prospector each week, it’s overwhelming – the number of local events on the horizon. There is so much to look forward to this summer, beginning this week at the Grass Valley Farmers Market on Mill Street, where there will be live music every Thursday evening.

This weekend, Saturday, June 9, is the second annual North Columbia Bluegrass Hootenanny in North San Juan with Alina Estelle Hardin, the Belfrey Brothers, Poplollys, Ragged But Right and many more. Then there is the favorite Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival June 14-17 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Kings & Queens and Citay get psychedelic at Coopers Ale Works in Nevada City on June 16. The ladies of Zepperella won’t disappoint with their stunning covers of early Led Zeppelin on June 29 at Miners Foundry. And then, of course, there is the much-anticipated Aaron Ross album release show on July 26 at Miners Foundry. Even the Nevada City Film Festival will feature three nights of live music, Aug. 16-18, at various locations in downtown Nevada City.


Lemonade is cool and refreshing, usually sweet and a little bit tart. Jesse Locks is a freelance writer and partner of the Grass Roots Record Company. You can reach her via e-mail at jesse@grassroots recordco.com or by phone at (530) 601-2415.

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