Nevada County is the place to be for the 4th of July, Independence Day celebrations.
Grass Valley activities begin at 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. with the annual Family Pancake Breakfast on West Main Street between the clock tower and the Holbrooke Hotel.
The Twins Cities Church in Grass Valley will be hosting breakfast and carnival games for children under a large shaded tent for the cost of $5.
Between the pancakes and the parade, the Nevada County Concert Band will set up and play on the patio of Sergio’s Caffe’ at 109 Mill Street from 9 - 10 a.m.
“Throughout the parade, the band will play intermittently if there's a lull in activity,” Mary Ann Boyer from the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce and Grass Valley Downtown Association said.
At 10 a.m. the parade will begin on W. Main Street and Mill Street, turning right on Neal Street and continuing on S. Church Street ending at Condon Park, according to Boyer.
The reviewing stand is on Mill Street where Nevada County Supervisor Ed Scofield and his wife, Carol, will announce and introduce each community group or decorated float.
“We have about 55 entries to the parade,” Boyer said.
When the parade ends, probably around 12:30 p.m., W. Main and Mill Street will transition for evening events from 5 - 9 p.m.
The Mill Street independence Day party will include entertainment, food vendors and refreshments available for purchase.
On one stage Rewind Press Play is scheduled, playing rock music ranging from the 1950’s to modern hits with guest appearances from Jim Meyers as Elvis Presley.
Perfect Stranger, a second band will be in front of Gary’s Place at 158 Mill Street.
Tony Siquig and his all star band Perfect Stranger play classic rock, blues, Santana and more, according to the band’s Facebook.
The GVCC operates the beverage booth. Beer from BrewBilt Brewery, wine from Sierra Starr Vineyard & Winery and cider from Ponderosa Cider Company will be available.
Satellite Spirits, which is the Southfork Vodka Company, will have a pop-up booth selling specialty drinks named a ‘Southfork Sparkler.”
Budget Blinds of Grass Valley, featuring indoor and outdoor window coverings, is another sponsor who named a specialty Independence Day drink called ‘Shades of Freedom.”
A conglomerate from McKnight Crossing Shopping Center, Mesa Management in association with Levendi, a Napa Valley winery, will be providing mood-changing cups that turn red or blue when cold liquid is poured inside them.
The owners of Chevron McKnight and Main Street Chevron, the family of Kabul Singh, are also title sponsors providing free battery operated fans for participants, according to Boyer.
A free fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m. at the interchange of Dorsey Drive and can be viewed from various locations around Grass Valley.
Other sponsors include Mike Bratton from State Farm and Grass Valley Provisions along with 14 other businesses in Nevada County.
I don’t think I am alone in saying that, for every good friend, there’s a good nickname. If you think about it, how many people in your life do you refer to by some moniker that isn’t what’s on their birth certificate?
Nicknames run from the mundane to the obvious. Some are lifelong tags while others fizzle out like the flavor of the day. But those keepers? Boy, are they keepers.
My dad as a log truck driver used so many nicknames that it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I realized “Woodrat” wasn’t really his name. Not only that but he’s a talented violinist; would you ever deduce that from the name “Woodrat?” Of course they all had their CB handles, including my pops who will, without question, answer to “Shotgun.” Some of their handles bordered on ludicrous, but they all meant something. Joe Honey was “Sourdough,” while Randy Ayer was “Moonbeam.”
As they’d check out, they’d advise each other: take ‘er easy.
And think about all the people around town who we know solely by their nickname. Immediately I think of “Sparky” Parker, aka David Parker. There’s Buzzy Presser and for years Babe Childers eschewed his given name, Hobart. My parents remember Sharky Holbrooke, BabyDoll and Mama Sigourney, Buzz Kopp, and of course Jonesy (as do I).
Then there were the friends/strangers from high school to whom my friends and I all gave names. They don’t know it but there are people out there who we secretly called “The Woman,” The Judge,” and my favorite: “The Founder of the Clinic on the Hill.” (That was one of our weirder ones, and was named after a lyric from a Steely Dan song.)Don’t ask me why but we as teenagers—and younger—felt the need to assign people with names they knew nothing about. Further, we knew nothing about them either; we just had fun making up names.
There was also “Two Tone Crop Top” which is what we called our friend Shawn who was blonde on top and brown on his shaved underlayers. And don’t forget about “Davey Wonka” which our friend Dave Sindorf called himself in our high school yearbook. Our football buddy we called “Ray Finkle” after the misfortune kicker in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” even though Ryan Fellers (same initials) was a remarkable quarterback.
In my own family alone, we’ve had a MeaMa, a Gami, a Sooze, a Bubba, a Big Hunk, a Mutt, and a Big Al. Apparently my grandpa Harold Nobles was called “Geez” by family members and “Fuzzy” by others. One guy even called him Charlie.
This is where I admit that I have at least three solid nicknames: one my dad calls me (Babe), one select friends and I call me (Moondog), and then “the one”—the one that has stuck with me since I was nine. Anyone close to me knows my nickname which I am not going to share, simply because it is a little private to me. I know it’s anticlimactic, but some things shall remain private. (At least for me. My poor mom.) Even though so many I know use it, I want to keep it safe to me. It has been read multiple times on national television, but there’s that anonymity of relaying of it without anyone seeing my likeness. (And no, it wasn’t “America’s Most Wanted.”)
And if you think as a redhead I didn’t have involuntary nicknames growing up, you’re sorely mistaken, although in retrospect I think they were more jabs than nicknames. I can’t tell you how many times Jeff Hansen called me “Shortcake.” Or how many times Matt Struck called me “Copper Top.”
What is your nickname? How did you get it? I am genuinely curious, so feel free to write in and share your story.
Meanwhile, this week’s Very Important Pup is Jessie. I am confident she has a litany of nicknames. Don’t we all come up with the most ridiculous, inexplicable versions of our pets’ names? I mean, how do you go from Thelma to Vern? There’s really no sense in it at all.
Anyway, Jessie is a super important friend I met at the Madelyn Helling Library. Jessie has been a therapy dog for about six years and was on her way into the library so kids learning to read could read to her without judgment or fear; Jessie will always lend an ear. To say this dog is sweet is an understatement.
Jessie is nine years old and she has been visiting the library for about four years. She is a yellow lab, and her humans got her when she was just a pup.
“She is our only child dog,” her human mama said. “For her age she is really healthy, knock on wood. She’s getting a little white. The therapy dog program is really well organized here now. She likes people better than the dogs.”
And this week there is a bonus: welcome the first Very Important Puss. This is Tiger Booty. He is a very sweet cat who likes to roam around a little bit. Sometimes if I have my door open I will be working and something will catch my attention out of the corner of my eye. My heart has nearly stopped when I see old Tiger Booty walking in like he owns the place. Once he jumped on my lap and nearly deleted a huge story I had been working on. I never lure him in, never feed him, he is not allowed on my furniture, and I do have his mom’s number in case of an emergency. He’s just a sweet kitty with six toes, checking out the world.
As you read this, yesterday was my birthday. I turned 45. Halfway to 90! I am having a Dolly Parton themed birthday party. Like many, Dolly is my hero and I owe her a special debt of gratitude for the song “Jolene.”
Growing up a redhead, as aforementioned, I was mercilessly teased. When Dolly wrote and performed a song about being jealous of another woman with “flaming locks of auburn hair” I knew I must not be that bad off. Plus her commitment to childhood literacy through her Imagination Library is astounding; her organization has donated over 200 million books around the world. What an admirable lady, and one that deserves to be embossed on the cocktail napkins and plates I bought for the party (that I can hopefully avoid using). I think she and Jessie would make good friends.
Aloha, Nevada County. Enjoy this amazing weather while you can! I feel like these warm temps are the universe’s birthday gift to me; one last swim and we’ll call her a day. Be well, and take ‘er easy.
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