Recapture the spirit of Christmas past amid the charming surroundings of beautiful down-town Grass Valley, an historic mining town in Nevada County, California, USA that has a strong Cornish mining heritage. It is from time to time the venue of gatherings of the Cornish Cousins in California.
During the 44th Annual Cornish Christmas Celebration Mill and West Main Streets will be closed to motorised traffic and filled with the sights and sounds of an old-fashioned Christmas – carollers, gospel music, carriage rides, jugglers professional musicians, children musicians, the Grass Valley Cornish Choir, cloggers, tommyknockers, bell ringers, harp music and, of course, Santa Claus.
Handmade arts and crafts from artists throughout California are displayed on streets that become a strollers paradise, while down-town merchants do their part to turn a uniquely historic setting into a living, sparkling Christmas card.
Tiny white lights outline the tops of the historical building facades throughout down-town forming a continuous string of twinkles to compliment the clear and starry nights of the Sierra Nevada mountains foothills.
Delicious food and drink can be purchased from a number of fine eating establishments and from speciality food vendors who share the streets with the hand craft vendors and holiday shoppers. In keeping with the traditions of family and community, many of the vendors are local non-profit organisations. Chestnuts roasted over an open fire are offered, compliments of the down-town merchants.
The Cornish Christmas celebration is truly an overload of the senses. Stroll down the bustling historic down-town Grass Valley streets as Christmas music fills the air. Hear young and old alike play their rendition your favourite holiday tunes as buildings dressed in Christmas lights sparkle in the December night air. Smell the aroma of your favourite dish while you browse the multitude of gifts and decorations made by some of California’s best crafters and artisans.
Pause at the steps of the historic Union Building as the Cornish Carol Choir performs traditional homeland Christmas carols. A long-standing Cornish tradition, some members are actually descendants of original Grass Valley Cornish Miners.
Cornish Bard Gage McKinney wrote about the Choir in ‘When Miners Sang—The Grass Valley Carol Choir’. This choir, originally made up of Cornish gold miners, has a famous past.
Later, in the 1940s, the Grass Valley choir sang Cornish Christmas songs from 2,000 feet underground in the Idaho-Maryland gold mine for radio. Nowadays, the choir’s appearance is a highlight of Grass Valley’s Cornish Christmas celebration.
You’ll see kids and adults dressed in period costumes while you discover one of California’s best kept secrets as you shop the amazing collection of merchants that call downtown Grass Valley their home.
Enjoy the wide selection of holiday music offered by local Grass Valley musicians amongst the trappings of an historic gold rush town. Imagine life in another era where men and women worked hard, had little, but cherished the simple pleasures of hearty food and drink, a good song, and a warm fire with family and friends.
This is being held over four Friday evenings in 2011 – November 25, December 2, 9 & 16 – from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Sources and contacts:
Loaded to Cornwall24.net be-magazine by Kevrenor on 2 December, 2011