Happy 39th, Victorian Christmas

Travel back to 1890-ish at Nevada City's venerable December lark.

THIS IS NOT A QUIZ, swearsies, but if we were to ask you when the true Victorian era kicked off, in terms of fashion and theater and society, what year would you cite? When Queen Vic herself was born? When the looks of London began reaching New York City and beyond? Or another year entirely? We'll guess that whatever time you suggest, you won't suggest 39 years ago, which happened to be, as of this typing, or just about, 1978. Top hats weren't really the look but disco outfits were, and while lace-up boots didn't make the scene, roller skates with glittery shoelaces very much did. Still, one must tip their aforementioned top hat to that particular year, and to Nevada City, for that's the moment when Victorian Christmas began. The jolly old street faire has evolved into a December staple around the Gold Country town, a multi-day and multi-night to-do that includings caroling, treats, and St. Nick himself in traditional 1800s regalia. Making your way to Victorian Christmas doesn't require a mysterious portal back to the era of carriages and muffs, though. You only need to get to Nevada City on...

DEC. 4, 11, 18... in the daytime or Dec. 14 and 21 at night. Those first three dates are Sundays, yes, while the latter two are Wednesday evenings. Do you need to wear a cape or fascinator or some other piece that's reminiscent of days of yore? No, though many people do. Do you need to arrive with some holiday shopping to get done, a love of chestnuts, an affection for carriage rides, and a desire to have an alfresco holiday experience with a charming, Dickens-like twist? They're all fine plans. It's an event that regularly makes the top ten lists around the close of the year, the lists that detail America's most Christmas-ready towns and their sparkly to-dos. Victorian Christmas, and Nevada City, both bring the charm, the holly, and the 1800s-ness to the party, a December must since that era of roller skates and mirrorballs back in (19)'78.

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