NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. – Harvest Festivals, Fairs, Family Day, Disco Inferno, all leading up to Halloween – there is much to do as the days get shorter. Here is a selection of events and a chat with Loot&Lore’s owner Cynthia Levesque about traditions and rituals of the season.

Did you know that every time you blow out a candle on a birthday cake and make a wish, you take part in a candle spell? Local witch Cyn Levesque shared this tidbit during a conversation on traditions linked to the thinning of the veil between realms.

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Ananda Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 21

Get ready for a harvest celebration like no other! Ananda Village, known for its popular spring tulip garden, is thrilled to invite you and your family to an October extravaganza filled with fun and festivities. The highlight of the season comes Sat., Oct. 21 with a Harvest Festival from 10am-6pm. The event will include live music, a hands-on blacksmith demonstration, apple cider pressing, local artisans selling jewelry, pottery, flower essences, meditation benches and more, and a chance to visit the village’s adorable goats. Children will be enthralled by the array of activities and games designed just for them. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children aged 3-12 (under 3 free). For tickets, go to

Sugar Skull Making Workshop at Loot & Lore on October 24

Sugar skulls represent a departed soul, to be placed on the home ofrenda, altar, or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments. In this workshop we will be making sugar skulls from scratch in the traditional way using sugar, meringue powder, and a mold. We will have all supplies needed, including colored icing, feathers, beads, etc (but if you have anything special to bring to adorn your sugar skull, you may). Your finished sugar skull will be ready to take home by the end of the class.  This class is offered for children ages 5-18, or adults 18+. Register here.

9th annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Mob and Costume Parade on Oct. 28

The City of Grass Valley and PAWS’itive Pals Dog Training are excited to announce the 9th annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Mob and Costume Parade happening Saturday, October 28, 2023 from 3pm-5pm in Historic Downtown Grass Valley. The Dog Mob will begin at El Barrio Mexican Market to begin its way through Historic Downtown making stops at various businesses and restaurants along the way.

Free Halloween Family Fun Day at The Center for the Arts on Oct. 28

The Center for the Arts is pleased to present another Family Fun Day for the community on October 28, 2023, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Offered two times a year, these are free all-day events geared toward families and introduces many young children in our community to their first-ever arts experience. We offer families the opportunity to participate in healthy, art-based activities together, such as face painting, crafts, a balloon artist, and other exciting entertainment.

Disco Inferno Halloween Ball at Miners Foundry on Oct. 28th

Lorraine Gervais and her Super Fly Orchestra return to Miners Foundry Saturday September 28th with a “Get Down Tonight” attitude fit for all things as shiny as the disco ball hanging from the Osborn/ Woods Hall dance floor. Joined by Kate Haight, along with Chris and Jon Kelly (the brothers that spell fun) on vocals, Gervais and her cohorts are excited to be back again with 70’s Disco tunes and moves. Ticket info and details here.

4th Annual Spooky Boooky at the Library on Halloween

SAVE THE DATE and mark your calendars for Tuesday October 31, 2023 – 3pm to 5pm at the Madelyn Helling Library. Join us for Candy, Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Spin Art, Fire Trucks, Free Books and lots of other Fun stuff!

Nevada City Halloween Spooktacular on October 31st from 3-5 pm

Nevada County’s Eric Rood Center, the City of Nevada City, and the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce are thrilled to welcome trick-or-treaters to the 2nd annual Nevada City Halloween Spooktacular event on Tuesday, October 31st, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Visitors are invited to park at the Eric Rood Center, trick-or-treat throughout the County building, head up to the Madelyn Helling Library, and then take the free Nevada County Connects shuttle to downtown Nevada City, where merchants will open their doors to trick-or-treaters. Shuttles will run between the Eric Rood Center, the library, and City Hall every 15 minutes until 7:00 pm.

Roam the Haunted Halls of the Eric Rood Center

Ghosts and ghouls of all ages are invited to roam the haunted halls of the County building, go on a Spooktacular Scavenger Hunt, and gather tasty treats from County departments, where they’ll find a different world behind every door. The annual event is a gift to the community from Nevada County’s employees, who donate the treats, decorations, and time to transform the Rood Center.

Head Downtown to Trick-or-Treat at Local Businesses

From the library, hop on the free shuttle to downtown Nevada City, where participating merchants will greet trick-or-treaters from 3 to 5 pm. Commercial Street will be closed to traffic and the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce will host games and music for attendees to enjoy. Downtown merchants will be adding to the festivities with their annual Halloween Window Decorating contest sponsored by the Nevada City Chamber. Nevada City City Hall will offer dog treats for four-legged friends.

Go Door to Door in Nevada City’s Historic Neighborhoods

For a big finish, head to East Broad Street, where residents go all out for trick-or-treaters. East Broad will be closed to traffic at the Y (East Broad and Cottage Street) beginning at 5:00 pm.

After you’ve filled your bag and your belly, catch the shuttle at City Hall to head back to your car in the Rood Center parking lot. The shuttle runs until 7 pm.

What are your traditions?

Share your traditions, costumes and rituals in the comments below.

One reply on “Halloween in Nevada County”

  1. I am a member of the Gold Country Celtic Society, and am of Irish Scottish and Danish descent. We celebrate Samhain (“sowan”), the Celtic new year at the same time as Halloween, a turning into the dark of the year, in order to grow the new one. In the old days, Jack o’ the lantern was a carved turnip! Our celebration has included themes (such as “your favorite Celt” -I was a Maire, O’Caerbhaill, a 15th century Irish chief.(I liked her because she built bridges and fed the poor). I have also appeared as the Irish potato famine, a Banshee (involved whisky and some shrieking), and a Celtic sacred spring (festooned with twists of cloth, which were left as offerings of appreciation and prayers, and pouring from a pitcher of good water to anyone who asked).
    Good fun! Thanks as always for bringing us the news

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