Victorian Christmas coming Sunday to Nevada City |

Victorian Christmas coming Sunday to Nevada City

Victorian Christmas is celebrated annually in Nevada City. This year's event is taking place Sunday afternoon.
Submitted photo by Lex Matteini


What: Nevada City Victorian Christmas, 2019 kickoff event

When: 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Downtown Nevada City


In books and movies, “Gaslamp Fantasy” is a popular fictional genre combining history, fantasy and Victorian settings.

But at Victorian Christmas it’s real life in Nevada City as The Walking Christmas Tree, Toy Soldier, chimney sweep Cecil Snow, Father Christmas, and other actors descend upon downtown like time-travelers from a bygone era.

According to Cathy Whittlesey of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, costumed actors are a long-standing tradition at Victorian Christmas, and are increasingly popular thanks to mobile phone cameras and social media.

“The Walking Christmas Tree and Toy Soldier get stopped for so many photos, they can barely move,” said Whittlesey.

Recently, costumed visitors are drawing almost as much attention as the actors.

“We’ve started to see a trend of people showing up at Victorian Christmas dressed as characters from folklore,” said event coordinator Traci Hescock.

Such visitors have included moustached lawmen of the Wild West dressed in their holiday best, and Christmas elves of Norse mythology.

“They definitely add a quirky, festive touch,” said Hescock.

An old-fashioned lineup of street performers will be on hand, including the Thunderfoot and Tommyknocker cloggers, Scottish highland dancers, a magician, a juggler and raconteur, a handbell choir, an opera singer, and players of the accordion, cello, horn, mandolin and violin.

At a smoky cluster of tents in the food court, look for hearty and classic yuletide treats such as giant turkey drumsticks, fresh-baked sweet and savory pies, kettle corn, warm gingerbread and roasted chestnuts plucked from Cecil Snow’s open fire. Other comforts include hot cocoa, hot toddies and buttered rum, mulled wine and cider. For shoppers, artisans and craftsmen offer tents full of home and gift items like children’s art boxes, dried lavender, English toffee, lace shawls, lotions, mosaic skulls and goblets, sachets, scented oils, semi-precious stone jewelry and Windsor chairs.

Buses will run from the Eric Rood Administrative Center — 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City — to the festival on Sunday beginning around 12:30 p.m., said Nevada City Chamber volunteer Pam Head. Bus tickets are free for individuals 15 years of age or younger and are $5 for adults, said Head.

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