Cornish Christmas shows off a revitalized downtown Grass Valley

We’ve been going to Cornish Christmas for years, dating back to the ’90s when my wife and I visited our in-laws who were raising their children in Grass Valley (and have since moved back; we tagged along this time).

While much of the focus has been on the event and vendors, I always liked how it helped showcase the town — the brick-and-mortar stores in historic buildings with colorful window displays and lights. That’s what makes the town unique and charming to visitors and locals.

This year, my wife and I remarked how you could see all the shops more clearly, because it wasn’t so jammed with vendor booths that blocked your view. Our magazine had a booth, to help promote tourism, and we took a short “dinner break” to eat at Taste of Thai and enjoy the window displays throughout town.

The wine tasting rooms have added a new dimension to downtown Grass Valley, Yuba Blue has expanded and there are new shops to see. Many of them reported strong sales at Cornish Christmas.

I like to think of Cornish Christmas as a “hook” that brings people into town, not just to see the vendor booths but to “rediscover” the downtown. It’s what the Downtown Association should be doing too: not generating revenue from vendor booths but helping the merchants succeed.

Tofanelli's at Xmas (credit: Adrian Schneider)

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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