Grass Valley: Winning Praise from Star Performers

HISTORIC GRASS VALLEY draws outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, food and wine lovers—and increasingly, huge stars in music and entertainment.

Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Judy Collins and others all have performed in our foothills town, thanks to The Center for the Arts, a regional hub for performing arts.

Audiences love the shows, but the feeling is mutual, according to the world-traveling celebrities. “Grass Valley is a cool little town in a great part of the country filled with cool little towns,” Cowboy Junkies songwriter and guitarist Michael Timmins wrote on the band’s blog after visiting this past fall.

“It is an old western gold mining town, and it still has that frontier feel, as well as a healthy scattering of funky locally owned coffee shops, bookstores, used record stores and all those little homegrown businesses that make up a thriving community.”

Timmins called the audience “amazing.” More recently, the Canadian alternative-country band has been touring Italy, Portugal and the UK, so his endorsement counts.

Grass Valley’s businesses also benefit from the celebrity visits, as well as the audiences.

During the Cowboy Junkies concert, vocalist Margo Timmins went out of her way to compliment the onstage floral displays of Foothill Flowers.

The celebrities stay at the Gold Miners Inn/Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Grass Valley, which has come up with a clever slogan—“Stay Where The Stars Stay.” The hotel is within walking distance to The Center and Veterans Memorial Building, where the stars perform.

The Center for the Arts and the Gold Miners Inn promote packages that include discounted hotel rates, along with tickets to the shows. This will include the upcoming Wynonna (Judd) & The Big Noise and Dana Carvey concerts on February 22 and March 15, respectively. See and

InConcert Sierra teams up with Grass Valley Courtyard Suites to host its performers, including the upcoming New York Polyphony, a male vocal quartet, on February 17. Martha Stewart’s nephew, Christopher Herbert, is one of the performers.

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(Photo credits: Tony Finnerty and Roger Lewis)

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