Spring into Summer 2005
photo by Joyce Miller

Fall has Sprung History

1998Hillbillies from Mars
Hot Potatoes
Hot Cider
Erik Hoffman
Susan Murphy
Eric Curl
1999Hillbillies from Mars
Hot Potatoes
Hot Cider
Erik Hoffman
Andy Wilson
Eric Curl
Post Industrial String
Hot Cider
David Newitt
Andy Wilson
Eric Curl
Stumptail Dog
Hot Cider
Andy Wilson
Joyce Miller
Eric Curl
Wild Asparagus
Driving with Fergus
Hot Cider
George Marshall
Joyce Miller
Eric Curl
Bog an Lochan
Hot Cider
Susan Michaels
Joyce Miller
Eric Curl
2003Reckless Ramblers
Eric Anderson
  & Alan Roberts
Hot Cider
Andy Wilson
Joyce Miller
Eric Curl
Susan Petrick
Swing Farm
Hot Cider
Rick Mohr
Joyce Miller
Lynn Ackerson
2004Bag 'o Tricks
Chris Knepper
 & friends
Hot Cider
Laura Me Smith
Chuck Galt
Joyce Miller
Chopped Liver
Hot Cider
James Hutson
Joyce Miller
Charlie Fenton
2005Latter-day Lizards
Hot Cider
Seth Tepfer
Susan Petrick
Joyce Miller
Celtic Junket
Hot Cider
Cis Hinkle
Susan Michaels
Joyce Miller
2007Notorious (quartet)
Hillbillies from Mars
Hot Cider
Lynne Ackerson
Susan Petrick
Mavis McGaugh
2008Moving Violations
Hot Cider
Nils Fredland
Jeremy Korr
Joyce Miller
2009Great Bear Trio
Southwest Passage
Hot Cider
Erik Weberg
Joe Micheals
Joyce Miller
Contra Sutra
Hot Cider
Nils Fredland
Warren Blier
Joyce Miller
The Retrospectacles
Hot Cider
Lisa Greenleaf
Deb Comly
Joyce Miller
2012Tidal Wave
Hot Cider
Joyce Miller
Tina Fields
Frannie Marr

Fall has Sprung 2013

Saturday, November 2
noon to midnight

Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building
255 S. Auburn St.

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 info@foothilldancers.org

“Nobody in their right mind would miss such a good time!”
—past participant

“That was such an amazing dance! I cannot wait until next year!!!”
—past participant, on the 2012 event

“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.”
—2012 participant

“We drive up from Southern CA for the 12 hour dance--and love it!”
—2012 participant

“I have attended almost every year since I started contra dancing in summer of 2003. This is one of my favorite dances ever!”
—2012 participant


Hot Cider
FCD's own, much-loved band, a fixture at our
Nevada City dances.

Rudy Darling (fiddle)
Barry Angell (mandolin)
Ken Nilsson (guitar)

The stars of our dances in Newcastle (formerly Auburn), in demand throughout central California.
David Wright (fiddle)
Dave Kistler (guitar)
Lonna Whipple (fiddle)
Cheryl McKinney (fiddle)

"Joyride is a contra dance band of friends from Portland, Oregon, playing for contra dances, dance camps, weekends and festivals. Known for tight ensemble work, skilled play, fun energy, and inventively arranged tune sets, Joyride plays old and new dance tunes from New England, the British Isles, Appalachia, French Canada and right here at home."
George Penk (fiddle)
Erik Weberg (flute, bombard)
Jeff Kerssen-Griep (guitar, percussion)
Sue Songer (piano)

The Stringrays
FIVE of the best players in the business, each playing in several other nationally known bands. The closest thing to a contra all-star band you'll ever see in the West.
Rodney Miller (fiddle)
Stuart Kenney (bass)
Sam Bartlett (mandolin)
Owen Marshall (guitar)
Mark (Pokey) Hellenberg (percussion)


Bob O'Brien (Grass Valley)
Joyce Miller (Grass Valley)
Susan Petrick (Mountain View)
Erik Weberg (Portland)

Joyride. Left to right: George, Sue, Jeff, Erik

The Stringrays. Clockwise from top left: Rodney, Owen, Sam, Stuart. Center: Mark Hellenberg.


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.



Folks 30+Cash or check at the door 

$10 - $40

Folks 30 or youngerCash or check at the door 


Members of Foothill Country DancersCash or check at the door 


People with limited incomeAdvance purchase by mail. Number limited. Apply before October 15. Download application form 

The Hall

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."

Production credits

Booking & planning Dan Skeahan, Eric Engles, Joyce Miller, Lisa Frankel
Event coordination:Dan Skeahan, Bill Ewald, Bonnie Terry, Joyce Miller, Lisa Frankel, Eric Engles, Lonna Whipple, Thea Blair
Housing coordination:Bridget Priest
Sound:Andy Wilson
Publicity:Eric Engles
Button and flyer design:Eric Engles
FCD president:Lisa Frankel