Grass Valley hosts Foothills Celebration for food and wine tasting on March 5

NOW IN ITS 15TH YEAR, the Foothills Celebration in downtown Grass Valley is one of the region’s premier wine and food tasting events.

Participants gather on Saturday, March 5, from 1-4 p.m., to sip wine from more than 20 foothills’ wineries while sampling delicacies from local restaurants, including favorite nibbles from their menus. One of the more decadent offerings has been strawberries dipped in chocolate from a fountain.

Attendees also can shop at the clothing boutiques, art galleries, chocolatiers, home design stores, and antique emporiums in the historic district.

For the first time, the Foothills Celebration also features a waiters’ race, where about 25 waiters from local restaurants compete for a cash prize. Each waiter carries a tray with a wine bottle and a full glass of wine, hoping to beat competitors to the finish line without spilling.

Local celebrities also are participating. Some people attend the Foothills Celebration as part of a weekend getaway.

Packages are available for out-of-town guests at the Gold Miners Inn/Holiday Inn Express & Suites and the Grass Valley Courtyard Suites. Visitors also can tour the historic Empire Mine, hike along the South Yuba River, dine out at a local restaurant, attend a concert at The Center for the Arts, or experience some of Grass Valley’s nightlife with talented local musicians.

The Grass Valley Downtown Association and Sierra Vintners hosts the Foothills Celebration, and our magazine is a sponsor. For tickets and more information visit Sierra Mention code “SFWA16” to receive an additional $5 off your ticket.

Waiters’ Races
A waiters’ race debuts at the Foothills Celebration this spring, but the culinary-focused footrace has a century-old tradition in Europe.

The origin of a waiters’ race, or the “La Course des Garçons de Café,” comes from Paris, dating back to the 1920s. The race has crossed continents. Now waiters’ races are held in dozens of cities, including London, Washington, Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Berlin, Hong Kong City, Antananarivo, and Buenos Aires.

For the seventh straight year, Sacramento hosts its own Bastille Day Waiters’ Race in July. It features up to 50 local restaurant servers dressed in starched white shirts, bow ties and aprons, just like a Parisian waiter.

(Photo: Rick Love,

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