Victorian Christmas in Nevada City

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Victorian Christmas, the old-fashioned celebration held each year in this colorful California Gold Rush town, evokes holiday memories of an earlier era.

Nevada City's Victorian Christmas at Night

It’s a magical setting of winding streets, twinkling white lights, and wandering minstrels and carolers dressed in Victorian attire.

Victorian Christmas 2010 is featured Wednesday nights, Dec. 1, 8, and 15, from 5-9 p.m., and on two Sunday afternoons, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, from 1:30-6 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Welcome the holiday season in style at the 33rd annual Victorian Christmas in historic Nevada City, a quaint, Gold Rush town nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas.

Each year the town’s picturesque downtown transforms into a Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of winding streets outlined with twinkling white lights and authentic gas street lamps, artisan vendors hawking their one-of-a-kind treasures, wandering minstrels and carolers dressed in Victorian attire, and a myriad of visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings against a backdrop of 19th century shops, eating establishments and watering holes.

This annual, family tradition takes place three Wednesday evenings and two Sunday afternoons in December and features holiday activities for all ages: childrens’ pony rides, carriage rides, live entertainment, savory yuletide treats and libations, and of course, Father Christmas!

For over three decades it has been the holiday tradition of families all over Northern California to escape the commercialism of crowded, indoor shopping malls and take the short drive to festive Nevada City celebrating the best the holiday season has to offer, with family and friends, while rekindling fond memories and making new ones.        

This year’s highlights include
•Stroll through an illuminated Callanan Park, the gateway to Victorian Christmas and see the town's towering “Holiday Tree”.
•Find the perfect gift at one of the many downtown shops and/or street vendor booths offering fine art, handmade local jewelry, vintage and designer clothing, antiques, home and garden products, house wares, furniture and more.
•Enjoy the antics of wandering minstrels, and the sounds of professional and amateur entertainers filling the streets with song, dance and theatre.
•Take in the delicious aromas of mulled wine, hot chocolate, hot cider and roasting chestnuts.
Sample the hearty foods of vendors on the street, or dine inside at one of the gourmet restaurants or specialty shops - certain to satisfy every appetite.
•Stop by the two tasting rooms to sip the wines of Nevada County vintners, or visit the wine shop to sample the esoteric vintages of other regions.

Scenic and picturesque Nevada City has been featured in many films, television programs and commercials. Recently, you may have seen us in "The Christmas Card," broadcast nationally on the Hallmark Channel in 2006 and 2007.

Directions: Nevada City is located one hour northeast of Sacramento, via Interstate 80 and Highway 49 North. From Marysville and the north valley, take eastbound Highway 20. From Reno and Lake Tahoe, take westbound Interstate 80 and westbound scenic Highway 20.

Parking: A special $5 round-trip Holiday Shuttle service is offered from the parking lots at the Nevada County Government Center at Highway 49 and Maidu Drive. Shuttle hours are 5:30-9:0pm Wednesdays and noon-6:30pm Sunday. Parking is free.

Lodging: Overnight visitors are encouraged to book local accommodations early. A dozen historic and charming bed & breakfast inns and several comfortable hotels and motels are located within walking distance of downtown Nevada City, or a short drive from nearby Grass Valley.

For more information or hi-res photos, contact the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce at (530) 265-2692 or toll-free (800) 655-NJOY, online at http://www.nevadacitychamber.com.

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Cathy Whittlesey
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