Spring into Summer 2005
photo by Joyce Miller
Fall has Sprung History
Fall has Sprung 2013
Saturday, November 2
Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building
A 12-hour contra dance festival in historic dowtown Grass Valley, a Gold-Rush-era town in the Sierra Nevada foothills, with three top bands and three great callers.
Contact Eric or Lisa for more information: 530-273-3934 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“Nobody in their right mind would miss such a good time!”
“That was such an amazing dance! I cannot wait until next year!!!”
“Thanks for helping put on such an awesome dance! It was the biggest and
most fun contra dance I've ever been to. Five sets! Wow.”
“We drive up from Southern CA for the 12 hour dance--and love it!”
“I have attended almost every year since I started contra dancing in summer of 2003.
This is one of my favorite dances ever!”
Dancing starts at NOON and continues, with breaks, until MIDNIGHT. Here's the rough schedule (subject to change): Starthistle and Hot Cider with Joyce Miller and Bob O'Brien from noon to 3:30, Joyride with Susan Petrick from 4 to 7:30, and The Stringrays with Erik Weberg from 8 to midnight. There will be a short break in the middle of every set. There's no formal dinner break.
Registration and Admission
Unlike most dance camps and weekends, there is no pre-registration. You just arrive and pay your admission, which is $40 per person or $10 to $40 (slding scale) if you are 30 or younger. We recognize that for some people over age 30, $40 is a big chunk of cash. So we offer two ways of enjoying Fall has Sprung for less. If you are a member of Foothill Country Dancers, you can apply your $5 members-only discount and pay only $35 at the door. If you have a limited income, you can apply in advance (and pay in advance) for one of a limited number of $25 reduced-price admissions.
The dance is at the Grass Valley Vet's Hall, 255 S. Auburn St. near downtown Grass Valley and just off the highway 49/20 freeway. The dance floor is huge, and there are bleacher seats at the back of the hall, providing plenty of space for stowing your stuff, resting, hanging out with friends, or even napping. The hall is within walking distance of many good restaurants, and there's a big parking lot in back and nearby street parking. (An historical note: the event is called "Fall has Sprung" because for the first seven years it took place at the Elks Lodge in Grass Valley, which has a wonderful--and no longer large enough--sprung floor. The Vet's Hall does not have a sprung floor, but the underlying joists do give a bit...). Local map and directions.
The first Fall has Sprung was an all-day finger-food potluck affair, and we've repeated that food format every year since. All dancers are encouraged to bring a dish that's easy to eat and will survive sitting out for a few hours. If you want a real meal, you can walk to one of more than a dozen local restaurants ranging from the inexpensive to the elegant. We will post a map showing the location of our favorites.
Getting to Grass Valley
Grass Valley is in the Sierra Foothills north of Interstate 80 on highway 49, about 60 miles northeast of Sacramento and 80 miles southeast of Chico. If you plan to fly to the area, the nearest airport is Sacramento International, which is served by Southwest and a number of other regional and national airlines. The drive from the airport to Grass Valley is about an hour and a quarter. Flying to Reno is also a possibility; the drive is a bit longer at about an hour and a half (beware, however, of the small possibility of a very early snowstorm snarling up traffic on I-80 over Donner Summit). Travel directions.
Where to stay
Many out-of-town dancers who have been coming to FHS for many years have established connections with local dancers with whom they stay every year. Since there aren't a lot of us who live near town and have guest space, these "regulars" fill up much of the available guest rooms and living room floors. Nevertheless, we will do all we can to match you up with a local dancer if that's your accommodation preference. Email us your request.
If staying in a hotel fits your budget, please consider one of Grass Valley's fine hotels or B&Bs. A few good possibilities, all within 1 mile: Elam Biggs B&B (530-477-0906); Courtyard Suites (530-272-7696); the historic Holbrooke Hotel (530-273-1353); Sierra Motel (273-8133); and Holiday Inn Express (530-477-1700). We don't recommend the Stagecoach Motel or the Coach 'n Four Motel, both of which are close to the dance hall. Call the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce for more ideas at 530-273-4667, or visit Nevada County Gold Online or the Grass Valley Downtown Association lodging page. It's a good idea to book a room soon if that's your plan.
There are also a number of campgrounds in the area. The closest, a very nice area under ponderosa pines, is at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Call 530-273-6217 for information and reservations.
Making a long weekend of it
The Stringrays and Erik Weberg will be playing at an evening dance in Sacramento the night before. It's a little less than an hour and a half drive from the Sacramento hall to Grass Valley. Details about this dance are on the Sacramento Country Dance Society's website www.sactocds.org.
On Sunday, many dancers go hiking or visit area attractions. There are a number of beautiful trails along the South Yuba River, in the American River canyon south and east of Auburn, near Downieville to the north, and elsewhere. Both Nevada City and Grass Valley are charming old Gold-Rush-era towns full of interesting shops and fine eateries. Just outside of Grass Valley is the Empire Mine State Historic Park, where you can walk miles of good trails, descend into the main shaft of the Empire (about 50 feet), tour the old mining buildings, and stroll around the manicured grounds surrounding the mine owner's "cottage."