Red, white, and blue! Parades, BBQs, and fireworks! How are you going to celebrate the 240th birthday of our Nation? This year for Independence weekend many people will head to the big cities to ring in the holiday but some of the most patriotic and colorful celebrations take place in smaller towns. Our family will head for the hills this year (the Sierra foothills in Nevada County, California, that is) for one of best small town celebrations.
Nevada County lies midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. It’s a short 45 minute drive from my home. Nevada County is home to two of the Gold Country’s prettiest small towns—Nevada City and Grass Valley. These Gold Rush era towns offer a window into the past. We’ve always enjoyed weekend getaways here. There are lots of charming hotels and B & Bs to stay in while exploring Nevada County. We’re really looking forward to the old-fashioned Independence Day hometown celebration.
Nevada City features a well-preserved downtown of historic, Victorian-era buildings and tree-lined streets. Originally settled in 1849 as a mining camp, Nevada City is now home to restaurants, gift shops, wine-tasting rooms, and antiques shops.
Grass Valley is another one of the Sierra Foothills most popular Gold Rush towns. It’s an old mining town with historic landmarks such as the Holbrooke Hotel where Mark Twain once stayed. Once home to the Cornish Miners, Grass Valley has evolved into a shopping mecca in the foothills. Timber and gold mills made up the economic backbone of this area. The area still retains that flavor.
Each year, Nevada City and Grass Valley come together to plan and produce the 4th of July event. This charming event defines the meaning of community. The festivities have a decidedly retro feel and the color and pageantry highlight small town living in the USA.
The 114th Annual Independence Day Parade rolls down Broad Street in Historic Downtown Nevada City on July 4th.
We like to show up early to stake out a spot on the parade route and catch a pre-parade performance by the 65-piece Nevada County Concert Band. They’ll begin performing around 10 a.m.
The 65-piece Nevada County Concert Band performs a curbside concert for an hour before the Independence Day parade in Nevada City. This year’s theme is “Independence Way the Nevada County Way.” Over 70 local entries will highlight life in Nevada County.
The parade begins at 11 AM and is followed by a traditional family celebration under the pines at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Live music and entertainment, food and refreshments are offered. The Fireworks Spectacular blasts off at 9:30 PM
Come celebrate Independence Day the Nevada County Way!
For more 4th of July fun, check out our post – Top 10 Fourth of July Fireworks Displays.