Downtown Holiday Markets/ Holiday Shopping & Strolling


Downtown Grass Valley is open for business.  Our businesses maintain safety and sanitation standards.

In keeping with public health and safety guidelines, there will be no street closures, large crowds, or street vendors. Instead we focus on featuring  our retail shops and restaurants, and festively decorated streets and buildings in the entire downtown.  Stroll on the Mill Street downtown promenade which is closed to motorized traffic.

View all the 240 businesses downtown here

Retail is open with 25% capacity and restaurants are dining outdoors.  Many merchants offer shopping appointments, in person or online, delivery and shipping and have websites so you can shop virtually and local.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic traditional Cornish Christmas holiday events will not be taking place this year.

Downtown Holiday Markets are what call our shopping weekends.


Shop Our “Downtown Promenade” with extended Holiday Hours.

Starting the Friday after Thanksgiving Downtown many stores and restaurants will be extending their hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays to 8:00 pm.

The promenade on Mill Street provides for a safe, socially distanced shopping and dining experience for all of our customers.  

So please join us this Holiday season in supporting our local businesses, enjoying food and libations, shopping and strolling Downtown in our festive holiday environment.

You’ll want to see the decorated areas of downtown.  Two large trees will be placed on Mill St along with a team of reindeer.

A variety of Cornish Pasties are for sale from local shops and vendors: Marshall’s Pasties and Grass Valley Pasty Company

Surprise activity by Stucki Jewelers

Letters to Santa that will receive a reply can be left at Tofanelli’s and Native Wren

Annual downtown merchant ornament at Foothill Mercantile

Holiday button coming soon at Foothill Mercantile

Cornish Choir playing on the downtown speakers and online appearances.

Random lone Cornish caroler appearances from afar

You can purchase Cornish history books at our bookstores The BookSeller and Booktown Books

Cornish Choir CD’s are sold out but a few are available through Eleanor Kenitzer: call 530-277-8025

Del Oro Theater will sell popcorn and snacks on 11/27 early afternoon

Public bathrooms will be at the Elizabeth Daniels Park-125 Neal Street   Our public restroom will be open as well a porta potty in the Church St parking lot behind Watershed at the Owl

GVDA is willing to assist with shopping- we can be hired to be your personal shopper

For more information please visit the GVDA website at or call the GVDA office at 530-272-8315.

Victorian Christmas in Nevada City information HERE

—Please note—

Nevada County now falls into the State’s most restrictive purple “widespread” tier.  Grass Valley Downtown Association is asking everyone to remain vigilant and adhere to the State and County’s public health and travel guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our small business owners and community:

  • Visitors outside of the County are being asked to please show their love and support of Grass Valley by shopping online. Many of your favorite shops have made the pivot to create an online retail store, while others are offering Facebook and Instagram stores, and even taking phone orders, personal appointment and deliveries.
  • Retail shops are now required to operate at 25% capacity. Signage will be posted outside businesses asking for your help in self-regulating this capacity limit. Masks should be worn anytime inside a business, public space, or public bathroom. Additional PPE will be offered including holiday themed masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Restaurants along with bars, breweries and tasting rooms offering food, will only be operating outside. Bring out the ski and snow gear and make it a fashion show to dine out.  Take a delicious holiday meal to-go! Almost all local restaurants are offering to-go options.
  • Continue to practice social distancing and stay at least six feet (two arms lengths) from other people who are not from the same household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Shop or go out to eat on midweek days or off hours when there are less people and more parking spots!
  • Many retailers are offering special early shopping hours- give them a call

Enjoy your time downtown.  We appreciate your support.  These merchants give back to the community.

#grassvalley #millarounddowntown


















2019 Cornish Christmas

Entertainment Schedule scroll down.

Visit us on Facebook at

For Parking Maps and Activity Map of Downtown Grass Valley during Cornish Christmas scroll towards the bottom of the page.  During the days of the event, if we are not in the office we are setting up the event: Call 530-798-9690 or 1-510-604-1164
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A Grass Valley Cornish Christmas view down Mill Street.

Celebrate our 52nd year with us, a Rain or Shine event!

Fridays, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm on Mill & Main Streets in Historic Downtown Grass Valley

November 29th, December 6th, 13th, and 2oth
Recapture the spirit of Christmas past amid the charming surroundings of historic downtown Grass Valley, California during the annual Cornish Christmas Celebration.  Started in 1967 as a way to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Cornish Christmas remains one of our most popular events. Mill and West Main Streets are closed to motorized traffic and filled with the sights and sounds of an old fashioned Christmas; carolers, jugglers, musicians, magicians, the Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir, Tommyknocker Cloggers and of course, Santa Claus. Handmade arts and craft from artists throughout California are displayed on our historic downtown Grass Valley streets. Delicious food and drink can be purchased from a number of Grass Valley restaurants and specialty food vendors.
Cornish Carol Choir performs at 6:00 & 7:00  every Friday              Photography by:   11: Eleven


Pause at the steps of the historic Union Building as the Cornish Carol Choir performs traditional homeland Christmas carols. A long-standing Cornish tradition, some members are actually descendants of original Grass Valley Cornish Miners.  Enjoy the wide selection of holiday music offered by local Grass Valley musicians amongst the trappings of an historic gold rush town. Imagine life in another era where men and women worked hard, had little, but cherished the simple pleasures of hearty food and drink, a good song, and a warm fire with family and friends.







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Young musicians perform amidst ladies in traditional garb.
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Cecil roasting chestnuts is an annual Grass Valley Cornish Christmas event!

At the Grass Valley Cornish Christmas you’ll see kids and adults dressed in period costumes while you discover one of California’s best kept secrets as you shop the amazing collection of merchants that call downtown Grass Valley their home.







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The Ingersols performing during the Grass Valley Cornish Christmas.


Dine in one of the many world-class restaurants found in downtown Grass Valley. Sample local wines at one of three wine tasting rooms in downtown Grass Valley or just enjoy the simple pleasures of chestnuts roasted on an open fire.








The Cornish Christmas celebration is truly an overload of the senses. Stroll down the bustling historic downtown Grass Valley streets as Christmas music fills the air. Hear young and old alike play their rendition your favorite holiday tunes as buildings dressed in Christmas lights sparkle in the December night air. Smell the aroma of your favorite dish while you browse the multitude of gifts and decorations made by some of California’s best crafters and artisans


The CHP Horses will be at Cornish Christmas on 11/29  ans 12/20. Time depends on horses, but is predicted between 6:30-7pm at the Clocktower on Main and Mill Streets.                                                Photo Courtesy Douglas Hooper
Santa will be at Three Lilies Photography at 140 Mill Street. Photo Courtesy 11: Eleven








Shops open!

Food vendors on the street below

India Oven
Zia G’s Candy
Sweeney’s Weenies
Jax Kettle Corn
An Honest Pie
Kenny Concessions
Mad Hatter Doughnuts
Cool Hollow 4H
Horn of the Bull Taqueria
Michelle’s Sundance Catering
Butterflies & Roses Cancer Support


Activities and spots to see:

Cornish Christmas Entertainment 12/20/19


 Location: South Auburn and Main Street near Foggy Mountain Music, 104 W Main St

6:00-8:00 Jody Sweet’s music students on piano at Foggy Mountain Music

6:00-9:00 Free Roasted Chestnuts with Cecil Snow

6:00-9:00 Kettle Corn


Location: the Clocktower at corner of Main and Mill Street 130 W Main

6:30-7:30 California Highway Patrol horses

7:00-8:00 Vicki Fortini singing

6:00-9:00 Toys For Tots taking toy donations

6:00-9:00 Grass Valley Downtown Association booth/ Raffle Prize Sheet/

Kano GVPD Police Dog Rüdiger Christmas Ornaments to benefit Rüdiger Foundation/ annual event information


Location: Holbrooke Hotel 212 W Main

6:00-7:00 Brandon Stubbs on trumpet

7:00-7:30 Lyman Gilmore Band

7:30-8:30 Jasmine Bailey

6:00-9:00 Fire Pit & S’Mores

6:00-9:00 Bounce House


Location: Tofanelli’s 302 W Main

6:00-9:00 and all the time during the week: Letters to Santa that receive a reply


Location: Tribal Weaver 105 Mill St

6:30-8:30 Izzi Toinski juggling

6:00-9:00 Face Painting and Balloons nearby


Location: Old Town Café

6:00-7:00 Don Baggett horn group

7:00-7:30 Sierra Capella

6:00-9:00 Magicians Guild

6:00-9:00 Fire Pit


Location: Foothill Mercantile 121 Mill St

Cornish Christmas Buttons and Annual Downtown Ornament

6:00-9:00 and all week during store hours


Location: Bank Building corner of Mill and Bank 131 Mill Street

 7:00-9:00 Jesse Strickman


 Location: Crystal Empire Gems 139 Mill Street

 6:00-7:00 Athena and Leander Giuliani


Location: The Union Building 151 Mill Street

6:00-6:30 Cornish Choir

7:00-7:30 Cornish Choir

6:00-9:00 Cornish History Booth


Location: Tao Te Café and Body Balance Academy 151 Mill Street

 6:30-6:40/ 7:30-7:40 Body Balance Kung Fu Team

7:40-8:10 Hula dancing


Location: 125 Neal Street

 Public Restrooms

Open all day until 9pm 125 Neal St


 Location: Three Lilies Photography 140 Mill St

6:30-9:00 Santa visits and photography


Location: M3 Mall 133 Neal St

6:00-9:00 Free gift wrapping, Cornish Trivia, Cornish King and Queen

photo opportunities & Salvation Army Red Kettle


Location: Stucki’s Jewelers 148 Mill St

6:00-9:00 Mrs. Clause on Mill and Main roaming


Locations for Mulled Wine and downtown drinks

Avanguardia Wines Winery 163 Mill will be serving mulled wine (Vin Brule) after Thanksgiving on weekends

Watershed at the Owl has two kinds of mulled wine, white sangria and red mulled wine

Cork 49 142 Mill will have holiday mimosas

Lucchesi Vineyards 128 Mill has a festive outdoor area serving mulled wine.  Will be closed for Thanksgiving but are open till 9PM Friday & Sat.

Sierra Starr is doing full bottle sales at 124 W Main St


Buskers will pepper open spots for your entertainment!

Extra event parking at Grass Valley Charter School to the right of Diego’s Chilean Inspired South American Restaurant open 5:30-9:30 for the event.



Kano ornaments for sale at Mill and Main cross at the GVDA booth (look for the Clocktower!)



Sierra Capella Choir Photo Courtesy 11: eleven




Bill Hawking on trumpet.


2019 Sponsors 

Thank you for your time and donations! We can only do this event with your help!

Click on their logos for links to their websites.  Help support these businesses who support us in producing free community events


Title Sponsor, the City of Grass Valley



















Cornish Christmas Sponsorship

You can help make Cornish Christmas great – one of our largest free community events of the year!

Every bit helps us with the costs of putting on the event and maintaining the lights and decorations

ccmas 2019 sponsor app Cornish Christmas










Insight with Capitol Public Radio interview

Listen online here for the interview with Cornish Bards from 2017

christmas events in nevada county california

Photo by Jackson Starr



Vendor applications currently closed.  You may inquire via email at or 530-272-8315

2019 Vendor INFO:

Dates: November 29th, December 6th, December 13th, & December 20th  Friday Evenings from 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Online Vendor Application HERE

Printable Vendor Application HERE: Cornish-Christmas-Vendor-Application 2019

Printable Entertainment Application HERE: Cornish Christmas Entertainment App 2019

Printable Food Vendor TFF Risk Assessment Guide HERE: TFF-Risk-Assessment-Guide for food vendors only 

Non Food Vendors Release Form to be signed and turned back into the GVDA if you are printing your application: WAIVER OF LIABILITY AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT-CC 2019

Vendor prices depend on the kind of vendor you are, must commit to all 4 weeks or be put on a waitlist for week to week placement.

  • Crafters/ Home Cottage Business/ Packaged Food is $128
  • Non-Profit Organizations are $104
  • Corporations are $244
  • Business Improvement District members $40
  • Food Vendors are $244
  • All food vendors need to have a current permit with Nevada County Environmental Health (high risk for food, low risk for hot chocolate and cider)
  • You must have a current permit by November 2nd to be considered for food vending.  Visit Nevada County Environmental Health at the Rood Center in Nevada City to get your permits current.

Mark any notes on your application and or in an email to

Power is not provided.  Vendors provide their own power with batteries or Quiet generators.  No kerosene lamps.

No pets and no smoking downtown per city ordinance