TOASTIER DAYS... lead to warmer, or at least less chilly nights, and less chilly nights lead to more outside doings, like street fairs, concerts in the park, and First Friday-type events. Not every town in the state goes the get-outside-and-enjoy route come the middle of spring, but a number of towns rev up their night markets and plays under the stars. Nevada City is known as a pretty outdoorsy place -- it does, after all, have that Inn Town Campground headed its way, further cementing its spot in the hearts of nature people -- and it keeps a full calendar of special under-the-sky happenings throughout the summer, from the late June Soapbox Derby to the annual Halloween festivities at the end of October to Victorian Christmas (which, yes, isn't in or near summer at all, but further shows how much the citizens of Nevada City like going al fresco for the fun events).
THE GOLD RUSH BURG'S... big summertime get-out-and-stroll happening does indeed fall under the First Friday umbrella, but unlike a lot of other First Fridays elsewhere, each one is themed, from May to October. Of course, the themes are pretty dang N.C., too, in spirit: Think "Water" and "Circus" and "Gathering." Oh, Nevada City: You don't just wear the label of funky town, you live it, through and through.
BEFORE THE FIRST FRIDAYS... officially kick off in Downtown Nevada City on May 1 -- and best prepare for live tunes and performances and booths selling local crafts and eats and kid areas and such -- there are other happenings in the area, such as wildflower walks at Bridgeport along the South Yuba River. As for other summery nighttime to-dos around the colorful town? They happen. Here's proof.