Nevada City Mardi Gras Weekend |

Nevada City Mardi Gras Weekend

The sights, sounds and spirit of Mardi Gras take over in Nevada City Saturday and Sunday as the 18th Annual Mardi Gras celebration comes to town for a special Valentine’s Day edition.

Weekend fun includes a Masquerade Ball on Saturday night, the big Nevada City Mardi Gras Parade through the downtown historic district at 2 p.m. Sunday and the Mardi Gras Street Faire from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Nevada City’s main drag, Broad Street, becomes a West Coast Bourbon Street as merry spectators fill the downtown historic district for the annual Mardi Gras parade.

The Sunday afternoon Valentine’s Day family parade features colorfully masked and costumed characters and societies as they ride, march, dance and strut through an appreciative crowd, handing out beads, trinkets, bangles and more. Everyone is encouraged to wear their own festive Mardi Gras attire.

Among the participants in this year’s event are the featured Lyman Gilmore School Band, the California Consolidated Drum Band and the ever popular Petting Zoo.

Also look for the Parrotheads of Northern California, the Merry Widows Society, Sons of Norway and the glamorous Marilyn Monroe (Nancy Brown).

Featured guests include radio executive Bob Breck as grand marshal, Nevada City perennial volunteers Gerry and Denise Anderson as king and queen, and Ray and Linda Pulizzi of the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club as duke and duchess. Parade announcers are retired radio personality Jim Kerr and former Nevada City mayor G. Patrick Dyer.

This year’s midwinter weekend celebration kicks off on Saturday night with the annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball in historic Miners Foundry at 325 Spring Street. The masquerade ball runs from 8 p.m. to midnight and features dancing to the live southern rock of the Holcomb Brothers Band as well as a Mardi Gras costume contest. An open bar and traditional Cajun food will be available. The menu includes Cajun sausage sandwiches, chicken and sausage gumbo, southern style cole slaw, red beans and rice and bread pudding.

Masquerade ball tickets are $10 in advance and (if available) $15 at the door. The event usually sells out, so advance tickets are recommended.

Activities surrounding Sunday’s free family parade include the Mardi Gras Street Faire from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with food, drink, craft and clothing vendors who will set up booths on North Pine and Commercial streets, with plenty of room for families with children and baby strollers.

Nevada City is known for its classic small town spirit and lively community events. With a population of 3,000, Nevada City swells to thousands more for the annual Mardi Gras celebration. Visitors should plan to arrive an hour early to find parking and get a good vantage point along the parade route.

Major corporate sponsors for the 2010 Mardi Gras Celebration are The Union newspaper, KNCO AM-830 News Talk Radio & Star 94 FM, The Boozefighters Motorcycle Club, Charter 6, Grass Valley; Waste Management, Nor Cal Beverage, Distributor of Budweiser & Bud Light; and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Brewer of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Sponsors include SPD Supermarkets of Grass Valley and Nevada City, Nevada City Winery, McGee’s Annex of Nevada City; and Larry and Glady Birdsong.

Underwriters include The National Hotel, Fur Traders, Bonanza Oriental Gifts, Northern Queen Inn, Best Western Gold Country Inn, Shaw’s Antiques, Fashion Sunglasses, Auburn Printers, Emily’s All Occasion Catering and Cakes, and The Nevada City Advocate Newspaper.

For more information, contact the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce at (530) 265-2692 or (800) 655-NJOY, or visit

With more than 30 years of combined production experience, Sierra Mountain Productions has been formed.

The company’s first event combines the excitement of Mardi Gras Season with the heartfelt loveliness of Valentines Day – both events colliding on the same weekend this year. The evening promises to be a fantastic experience featuring authentic New Orleans cuisine, great music from the performers and a beautiful atmosphere on the River Highland Ranch & Vineyard Estate. The menu includes homemade chicken and seafood jambalaya, buttermilk cornbread, orange and toasted almond salad and king cakes flown in from New Orleans for the occasion.

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