Victorian Christmas in Nevada City
(Pictures taken December 22, 2004, posted December 23, 2004)
2004  Herbert E. Lindberg
Updated May 18, 2018

This event is held every other year and includes daytime as well as evening celebrations on Broad Street. Click the photo below to see a video slide show of both, first daytime then evening.  Watch it in full screen! (Video resolution upgraded to 1080p on Dec 11, 2015.)

The Victorian Christmas street bazaar is one of the outstanding annual events in Nevada City. It is held every December on three Wednesday evenings and one Sunday afternoon before Christmas Day. Mary and I usually go in the evening because the street lighting is impressive in darkness, but last year we went Sunday afternoon. It was a nice change and had the advantage of letting us see all the activities on a gloriously beautiful day. This year we went in the evening again, but now with a Canon 10D camera which had a hope of getting some night shots. 

Aside for camera buffs: I set the camera to an equivalent film speed of 800 and used a 28- to 135-mm zoom, image stabilized lens (45- to 216-mm equivalent, because the CCD in the Canon 10D is smaller than the full 35 mm for which the lens was designed). Also, because the point-size lights of Christmas are extremely overexposed with the black night background in auto-exposure mode, for most of the pictures I set the exposure compensation a full f-stop negative. This also gave me a better chance to get only moderately blurred pictures.

I begin with a short series of Christmas lighting pictures taken from various spots along Broad Street. The first is the scene that greeted us as we began our walk down (toward the freeway) Broad Street from the church. I took this before reducing the exposure compensation one f-stop. You can see the crowd as well as the lights, which is best for the overall scene, but the lights are well overexposed. The remainder of this 4-picture series is with the exposure compensation.

Broad Street was filled with people from the moment the event began at 6 p.m.

Sales booth and building lights, taken looking back up toward the church.
The church is on the left and the old firehouse with its balcony and bell tower is on the right.

More lights, taken looking back from farther down the street.

Last and longest view. It would have been nice to have a 6-foot ladder!

Very young violinist.

Three of the five-person wind ensemble.

Two-man band.
These guys were great, and also sang a happy song to a young girl.

The Mine Shaft was going strong, as were the many food vendors.
I had a tasty steak sandwich and hot cider while taking the early pictures.

Typical dramatic lighting in a vendor stand (Joan Coker on the left).

The caroling group was at its usual spot in front of Friar Tuck's restaurant.

Next to them was a manger scene of human statues, very well done.

The violin and drum duo continued their peppy renditions.
(Click here to view the pair in daytime last year.)

A handsome couple in costume.

A vendor arranges her crystal display.

Mary and Joan examine polished-stone jewelry.
(This is typical of Mary's whirling dervish
activity compared with others, in focus!)

A trumpet ensemble, led by an armed policeman on right.


This, of course, is just a snippet of the activities and many articles for sale. The air was also filled with wonderful odors from the many food stands. We'll make sure to join the Victorian Christmas again next year -- we presume you will, too!