Summer Nights in Nevada City: How it all began |

Summer Nights in Nevada City: How it all began

When a committee of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce met on the morning of March 28, 1991, restaurateur and board member Greg Cook suggested that a new event be instituted – a summertime version of Victorian Christmas.

Cook proposed it be called “Summer Nights in Nevada City,” that it be held the final two Wednesday evenings that July, and that it feature food vendors, artists, musicians and classic cars.

Chamber president Pat Dyer doubled as chair of the Retail Merchants Committee, so he, Cook and others began working on the details. Then, in May, the concept was unveiled at the chamber’s monthly general membership meeting.

Everyone agreed it was a great idea.

Next Wednesday evening, Greg Cook’s “great idea” – with an enticing 2008 theme of Cool Music & Classic Cars – kicks off its 18th year as a major Nevada City special event, to be followed by similar nights of outdoor fun on July 23 and 30.

Special attractions will include the Growers’ Market on Lower Broad Street and “We Are Alive Dinosaurs” – a new ride and photo opportunity for youngsters.

Summer Nights in Nevada City takes place throughout the downtown business section. Beginning at 6 p.m., classic cars will be parked on Broad Street, musicians will perform at a half-dozen locations, artists will have their works on display, vendors will be in place, and most shops will remain open until at least 9 p.m.

The event has drawn large crowds since its inception, so parking is limited. Fortunately, the chamber of commerce has again arranged for a shuttle bus from the Eric Rood Government Center to the edge of the festivities, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and continuing until 9:30 p.m. each of the three Wednesdays. Round-trip fare is $5 for adults, free to children 12 and under.


Steve Cottrell, a longtime resident of Nevada City, has been teaching and lecturing on Nevada City history for nearly 20 years.


July 16: Masanga; Marimba; Jim Lowe; Troupe Al Ama

Holland/MacDonald; Joe Souza; David Ayala.

Also Grass Valley Taiko Festival at Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad St., Nevada City; 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets for $7 are available at The Book Seller; BriarPatch; NC Postal Company; and Harmony Books; also at the door;

July 23: Cool Heat; Women of Note; Troupe Al Ama; Ivan Najera; George Souza; David Ayala.

Hank Meals is signing his trail and history book, “The River,” at JJ Jackson’s, 6-9

July 30: Lorraine Gervais; Dylan Guitar Trio; Troupe Al Ama

John Girton; Ludi Hinrichs; David Ayala

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