Winter food, wine, art and music festivals in the foothills and Sierra

Winter festivals include Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year in Nevada City, the Foothills Celebration food-and-wine pairing event in Grass Valley and, for the first time, WinterWonderGrass in Squaw Valley.

MARDI GRAS
NEVADA CITY, FEB. 14-15

A downtown parade, Masquerade Ball and Carnevale are featured, as this colorful foothills town again celebrates Mardi Gras. Weekend activities open Saturday night with a Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball from 8 p.m.-midnight, featuring a live band playing in historic Miners Foundry at 325 Spring Street. Cajun food is available for purchase throughout the evening.

On Sunday, the Mardi Gras Street Faire is held on N. Pine St., in downtown Nevada City, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There is food, drink, crafts and clothing. The Mardi Gras Parade begins at 2 p.m. Sunday and moves down Broad Street through the center of town. Merry spectators of all ages line the parade route while gaily masked societies parade through the historic district.

A festive after-the-parade Carnevale is at the Miners Foundry from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Enjoy New Orleans style food, hot dogs, ice cream and desserts, soft drinks and specialty coffees. Also featuring a full bar for the adults serving Hurricanes. Delight in Cajun music, Izzy the Juggler, drummers, belly dancers and a bounce house.
NevadaCityChamber.com

FOOTHILLS CELEBRATION
GRASS VALLEY, MARCH 7

Stroll through the streets of downtown Grass Valley and explore the city’s eclectic Gold Rush heritage. Sip from more than 30 wineries, while sampling delicious food from local eateries.

Visit shops from art galleries, chocolatiers, home design stores, clothing boutiques and antique emporiums throughout the historic downtown. Celebrate the foothills all weekend long. Tour the Empire Mine or experience some of Grass Valley’s nightlife while enjoying any one of the fantastic eateries.
Mention “SFWA15” to receive $5 off your ticket.
SierraVintners.com, HistoricGrassValley.com

CHINESE NEW YEAR
NEVADA CITY, MARCH 8

The Nevada City Chinese Lunar New Year Festival welcomes the Year of the Sheep, on Sunday, March 8, in Nevada City. The Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra is presenting the celebration for the fourth straight year.

The parade begins at noon at the Chinese Monument on Commercial St., the old Chinese Quarter, led by ceremonial Lion Dancers from Eastern Ways Martial Arts of Sacramento. The Lion Dancers will spearhead an afternoon of Asian culture and entertainment. Food is available.
CatsWeb.org

WINTERWONDERGRASS
SQUAW VALLEY, MARCH 20-22

Winter WonderGrass Tahoe, a bluegrass music and craft brew festival, is coming to Squaw Valley on March 20-22. WinterWonderGrass Tahoe is a world-class winter music and beer festival featuring three nights of bluegrass and acoustic roots artists, complemented by a variety of craft brews and local wines, spirits and foods.

Squaw Valley and the Sierra Nevada stand as a glowing back-drop for families and friends to dance from midday into nightfall beside crackling fire pits. The event is open to all ages, including a designated Kid Zone.
WinterWonderGrass.com

Here and some other events in our foothill towns:

GRASS VALLEY
DOWNTOWN CAR SHOW, APRIL 25
A spectacular variety of pre-1972 classics, hot rods, customs, domestics, imports and one-of-a kind vehicles on display on Mill and Main Streets.
HistoricGrassValley.com

SIERRA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, MAY 24
Held in historic downtown Grass Valley, the festival features fine arts and crafts by Northern California artists. HistoricGrassValley.com

TRUCKEE
FIRST FRIDAYS, FEB. 6, MARCH 6
A community celebration featuring free art, activities, music, food and drinks.
Truckee.com

THE GREAT SKI RACE, MARCH 1
The Great Ski Race covers 30 km starting at the Tahoe Cross Country Center in Tahoe City to the Cottonwood Restaurant in Truckee.
Truckee.com

TAHOE CITY
NORTH LAKE TAHOE SNOWFEST, FEB. 27-MARCH 8
North Lake Tahoe comes alive with 10 fun-filled days and nights, with events and activities for all ages.
TahoeSnowFestival.com

AUBURN
GOLD COUNTRY FAIR ANTIQUE SHOW, FEBRUARY 14-15
Collectors attending the Gold Country Fair Show will discover a wide selection of merchandise from the Victorian period through the 1980s.
VisitPlacer.com

(Photo: Dylan Langille)


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