Victorian Christmas: Yuletide cheer in Nevada City

THE AROMAS OF ROASTED CHESTNUTS and hearty holiday foods fill the air, along with cries of street vendors hawking their wares and lamp-lit streets filled to overflowing with Christmas treasures. It’s the 35th annual Victorian Christmas—full of shows, sights, sounds and attractions.

Welcome the holiday season in style in historic Nevada City, nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra, where each year the town’s picturesque downtown transforms into a Christmas card come to life.

It’s a magical setting of hilly streets outlined with twinkling white lights and authentic gaslamps, wandering minstrels and carolers dressed in Victorian attire, and a myriad of visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings.

This annual, family tradition takes place three Wednesday evenings (December 5, 12 and 19, from 5-9 p.m.) and two Sunday afternoons (December 16 and 23, from 1:30-6 p.m.) in December and features holiday activities for all ages: childrens’ pony rides, carriage rides, live entertainment, savory yuletide treats and libations, and Father Christmas.

A horse-drawn carriage often comes to town during Victorian Christmas, with Chuck Shea, owner of the Parsonage Bed and Breakfast, at the reigns in authentic attire. The ride is a must do. Chuck is a wonderful B&B host too.

For more information, contact the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce (530) 265-2692 or toll-free (800) 655-NJOY or online at

Find the Perfect Gift

Visit the shops of and stalls of Nevada City to find one-of-a-kind treasures, fine art, romantic clothing, and dazzling jewelry.

A video is here.

(photo: Thomas Thompson)

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