Beyond the beautiful brick facades of its historic 19th Century downtown buildings, Nevada City is a destination that offers ample opportunities for shopping, live entertainment, dining, and more. Holiday shoppers will find abundant gift ideas at shops such as Nevada City Winery and J.J. Jacksons. Foodies will instantly fall in love with the city’s selection of excellent restaurants like South Pine Cafe and Kaliko’s Hawaiian Kitchen.
The Nevada City Victorian Christmas has been a holiday staple since it began four decades ago, and it will take place December 3, 10, 13, 17, and 20, in Downtown Nevada City. Attendees will encounter a Victorian Christmas extravaganza complete with gas lamp-lit streets, vendors, live entertainment, costumes, and more. Participating vendors will line the downtown streets to sell everything from handcrafted holiday candy to jewelry. Wandering minstrels, carolers, brass bands, and choirs will fill the air with Christmas music. Jugglers, dancers, and magicians will entertain the masses with live shows. Patrons can take horse-drawn carriage rides featuring the town's beautiful holiday decor and natural surroundings. The famous Walking Christmas Tree (costumed performer) will return this year and walk up and down Broad Street greeting attendees and spreading Christmas cheer. We interviewed Libby Bonomolo, an Event Representative, to learn more about this spectacular holiday event.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
LB: This is the 40th year of the Nevada City Victorian Christmas.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
LB: We expect around 10,000 visitors.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
LB: Victorian Christmas is a family-friendly event ideal for all ages.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
LB: Welcome the holiday season in style in historic Nevada City, a quaint, Gold Rush town nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada, where each year the town’s picturesque downtown transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of hilly streets outlined with twinkling white lights and authentic gas lamps, wandering minstrels, and carolers dressed in Victorian attire.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
LB: The 40th Victorian Christmas celebration features the return of The Walking Christmas Tree, horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, choirs, wandering minstrels, jugglers, Scottish Highland dancers, cloggers, brass bands, magicians, raconteurs, and more. Patrons love our costumed characters which include Father Christmas and Cecil Snow roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Over 100 vendors will sell jewelry, candles, pottery, dolls, perfume, exotic glass skulls, and more. All of the activities line the narrow streets of Historic Downtown Nevada City which is aglow with over 1,000 string lights and smelling faintly of sizzling meats, sweet and savory pies, and fresh-cut pine boughs!
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
LB: We have a lot of accommodations in downtown Nevada City: B&B’s, Airbnb units, Inns, and more. Check out our website for some great options.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
LB: Many locals come to enjoy their town's festivities along with their holiday guests, we also have many local volunteers that help to make Victorian Christmas a great success!
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
LB: Yes, our partons end up spending money all over town. The local businesses plan for and love this time of year.
RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?
LB: The money goes to support our visitor's center.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
LB: Attending our event is like stepping back in time to the Victorian Era. We offer an old-fashioned Christmas experience that's nostalgic, fun, and great for all ages. The only way to get the full scope is to see it for yourself.
For more information about the Nevada City Victorian Christmas, please visit the event website.