From Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:
“PEOPLE BELIEVE THE CAROL TRADITION is old in Grass Valley, but few realize it’s as old as the city itself,” Gage McKinney writes in When Miners Sang—The Grass Valley Carol Choir. The choir, originally made up of Cornish gold miners, has a famous past. In the ’40s, the Grass Valley choir sang Cornish Christmas songs from 2,000 feet underground in the Idaho-Maryland gold mine.
Nowadays, the choir’s appearance is a highlight of Grass Valley’s Cornish Christmas celebration. It is a magical holiday getaway. Now in its 44th year, the family celebration in the streets of downtown Grass Valley is filled with the sights and sounds of Cornish-costumed street vendors, children entertainers and roasting chestnuts.
Handcrafted gift items and edibles are for sale, and all the stores are open. Children can go downtown to visit Santa Claus from Thanksgiving until Christmas. This year, Cornish Christmas is on Fridays from 6-9 p.m. on November 25, December 2, 9, 16 and 23. A Beale Air Force Appreciation Day, welcoming military families to the event, is on Dec. 2.
While walking downtown, one of our favorite holiday treats is a Cornish pasty (pronounced past-ee) at Marshall’s Pasties at 203 Mill St. They are prepared from scratch and rolled by hand, an edible reminder of the past. For more information, go to HistoricGrassValley.com.
This year, Hanukkah is from Dec. 20-28, when Jewish people light the menorah and exchange gifts. On December 20, Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley will celebrate Hanukkah with a cooking demonstration of Latkes, a popular treat during the eight-day Festival of Lights.
Called Latkes in Yiddish, the shallow-fried pan- cakes of grated potato, flour and egg, are often flavored with grated onion and topped with sour cream or apple sauce. The oil isn’t just for cooking. It’s a reminder of the oil that lit the menorahs in the Jewish Temple and miraculously lasted for eight days.
Tess’ Kitchen Store
153A Mill St.
THE FOOTHILLS ARE RICH IN HOLIDAY traditions. On Dec. 11 at 1 p.m., Foothill Flowers in Grass Valley will host its 24th annual Santa Lucia celebration.
The Scandinavian holiday consists of a pageant portraying Santa Lucia with court of Lucia brides and star boys. Legend has it that Santa Lucia’s apparition appeared to stop a famine in Sweden with gifts of food.
Santa Lucia Day has been celebrated in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Italy.
For more information, call
102 W. Main St., Grass Valley
(photo credit: Kial James)