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Pat Lakey

Step lively into new Placerville shoe store

Don’t you hate it, ladies, when you see your brand-new pair of red shoes walking toward you on Main Street, snug on the feet of a well-dressed woman who you know you shouldn’t resent — but you do? Don’t stare, don’t glare: Avoid foots-ticuffs by making regular visits to Placerville’s newest women’s shoe store, Sole […]

Virtual Academy models ready to hit runway

What: Head to Toe Holiday Fashion Show Who: El Dorado Union High School District Virtual Academy Where: Virtual Academy’s Commons Building, 6540 Koki Lane next to Union Mine High School in El Dorado When: Saturday, Dec. 5, noon Cost: $3 Information: (530) 622-6212, ext. 7020 The second year of the El Dorado Union High School District Virtual Academy’s fashion […]

Wells Fargo Stagecoach adds history to parade

“The stagecoach is coming to town! The stage is coming!” From across the centuries, that shout will resound once again in Placerville as the famed Wells Fargo stagecoach is a featured part of this year’s Hangtown Christmas Parade. That excited call from the first person to spot the stage kicking up dust in the distance […]

Plenty of tree lighting fun in El Dorado County

Placerville’s Festival of Lights kicks off the official tree lighting season. Check out other upcoming community events. El Dorado Hills El Dorado Hills Town Center, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Community Services District, will host its Holiday Tree Lighting celebration on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. Santa will be pulling double […]

Hangtown Christmas Parade — a must-see, crowd-pleasing favorite

It wouldn’t be December without the Hangtown Christmas Parade, which this year marks the 37th time the festive, fun and entertaining event has wound its way from Broadway at the east end of Placerville to the intersection of Main and Pacific streets to the west. This year the parade will brighten up the town with […]

There’s something MORE to parade Grand Marshal Susie Davies

Choosing Susie Davies as this year’s Grand Marshal for the Hangtown Christmas Parade was an easy decision. For 32 years this fun-loving, down to earth and simply delightful lady has led one of the most respected and venerated programs for developmentally disabled adults in Northern California and beyond — Mother Lode Rehabilitation Enterprises. The program lovingly shaped by […]

The Christmas Tree Lane that Bob built

Ever wonder whose idea it was to put Christmas trees all along Highway 50 in downtown Placerville, a cheerful and uplifting sight that has warmed travelers’ hearts for almost 45 years? Robert Conrad. No, not the Hollywood actor — Bob Conrad of Placerville, who owned the Ford dealership that conducted business in the 1970s and […]

Local Thanksgiving holiday closures announced

Most offices throughout El Dorado County will be closed Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27, due to Thanksgiving, a state and federal holiday. Here’s a look at what local residents may expect: All schools in El Dorado County will be closed Thanksgiving week, resuming the regular school schedule Nov. 30; check with individual districts […]

Bakery among baker’s dozen buildings on Historic Holiday Houses tour

What: Third annual Historic Holiday Houses tour Who: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and the Gold Discovery Park Association Where: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Highway 49, Coloma When: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27 and 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost: Parking $8, event $5 Information: (530) 622-3470 It would have been wonderful to live in Coloma in […]

Hangtown Christmas Parade Grand Marshal is really tweet

What: 2015 Hangtown Christmas Parade — A McIntire Family Tradition Who: Mountain Democrat, city of Placerville Where: Broadway and Main Street, Placerville When: Sunday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. Information: (530) 344-5088 Showing up for a recent photo shoot to publicize the upcoming Hangtown Christmas Parade, the dozen or so cute little kids in their […]

Perfect recipe for ‘A Hometown Christmas’ brewing

All the phones are abuzz in Baxter Springs, Mo., this Christmas season because Bobby is coming back to town. That’s Bobby Turner — the same young man who left sweet Donna Winters behind, even though absolutely everyone in town knows the attractive young people are meant to be together. Just ask all the guys at […]

Let ‘Mary Poppins’ open your eyes at Imagination Theater

What: “Mary Poppins” Who: Imagination Theater Where: 100 Placerville Drive, El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville When: Nov. 27 to Dec. 22 Cost: $13 to $17 Information:, Brown Paper Tickets at or (800) 838-3006. Maggie Bush knew that if she was going to see her two daughters over the next few months, she […]

Scout’s Eagle project brings improvement to Wakamatsu

The hauntingly poignant story of Okei Ito, a young Japanese girl who lies buried on a knoll overlooking the Gold Hill area, intrigued Folsom Boy Scout Jake Snodgrass, whose love of history one day may find him teaching that very subject. For now, he contented himself with contributing to the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm […]

Pick a card, any card — and help Camino’s needy during holidays

  The baton that has been handed off in a worthy effort in Camino looks just like a Christmas tree, but 15-year-old Jessica Combrink is ready and willing to grab hold with both hands. Jessica is proudly leading the Camino Cares project this holiday season, helping to make sure children in the community who might […]

Teen goes to Thailand to help elephants

Hannah Garcia of Cameron Park began volunteering with Foothill Dog Rescue last March, but the 16-year-old wanted to do even more to make a difference in this world. Hannah can get a little carried away at times: The young lady went from pooches to pachyderms. Late in September Hannah went to Thailand to help at […]

Don’t miss the stage — catch the Hangtown Christmas Parade

“The stagecoach is coming to town! The stage is coming!” From across the centuries, that shout will resound once again in Placerville as the famed Wells Fargo stagecoach is a featured part of this year’s Hangtown Christmas Parade that sets a holiday mood for the entire town Sunday, Dec. 6, beginning at 1 p.m. That […]

Veterans’ support group offers help, understanding and health

There’s a quiet, spacious room inside the El Dorado County Veterans Memorial Building where those who have lived through the horror and rigors of war may gather, to speak with one another, to offer comfort in shared memories, to lend a hand of support. To understand. Since June of this year the space has been […]

Take a trip down the rabbit hole at Theatre at the Mine

What: “Alice in Wonderland” Who: Union Mine High School drama department Where: Theatre at the Mine, 6530 Koki Lane in El Dorado When: Nov. 10, 17, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 6 and 9 at 3:45 p.m. Cost: $10 general admission $5 for children 10 and under Information: (530) 264-0144 or visit [email protected]   Throughout a […]

Deal yourself a brighter future — play bridge

They say playing bridge keeps your brain active and sharp — that it keeps you young — and judging from a recent posting on the website of the Foothill Bridge Club in Shingle Springs, it appears to be true. Inviting club members to a special event celebrating players aged 90 and older, the item states: […]

Diamond Springs woman does well in Marine marathon

She did it! Maria Adams of Diamond Springs, determined to complete a marathon in memory of her late Marine dad, finished the course that wound past national monuments on Oct. 25, running 26.2 miles in his honor and that of other veteran family members. Adams finished the race in 3 hours 54 minutes and 2 […]

Shingle Springs Montessori school celebrates expansion

If you didn’t have a happy feeling at the California Montessori Project school in Shingle Springs during its recent open house, check to see if you still have a pulse. As the youngsters sang, “I Get a Happy Feeling Here at CMP” to welcome their guests, not a face was left unsmiling as visitors wound […]

Serious subjects explored in El Dorado fall play

What: “The Love of the Nightingale” Who: El Dorado High School drama department Where: Studio 81, on the El Dorado High campus, 561 Canal St. in Placerville When: Nov. 5 through Nov. 14 Cost: $12 adults, $10 students Information: (530) 333-7168 or visit   El Dorado High School senior Elizabeth Vaccaro couldn’t wait to see […]

Best Picture Framing: Pop Art Gallery & Custom Framing

If you wish to show just how wonderful that photo, poster or painting really is, Pop Art Gallery & Custom Framing is the place to go, where master framer Dan Anderson can’t wait to apply his skills. Anderson and wife Angela own the popular Pop Art Gallery and framing store, where vintage rock ‘n’ roll posters beckon fans to browse […]

Best Art Gallery: Gold Country Artists Gallery

With the works of 50 artists on display it’s no wonder that readers voted Gold Country Artists Gallery into the top spot. The gallery has been an anchor of downtown since 1992, attracting tourists and locals alike to wander inside the magical rooms upstairs and down and spend hours poring over wonderful paintings, watercolors, acrylics, jewelry and even artfully decorated […]

Best Antique Store: Placerville Antiques & Collectibles

It takes a collection of talented and inspired people to offer a tantalizing collection of antiques that will pique the interest of the collector in so many categories. Placerville Antiques & Collectibles since 1988 has been offering lovers of fine antiques a haven full of knowledgeable dealers and their favorite pieces. The collective, owned by Bev Fraga, prides itself on […]

Best Casino: Red Hawk Casino

Everyone is a winner at Red Hawk Casino! You’ll fi nd all your favorite games with more than 2,400 slots ranging from one penny to $25, including the best in video slots, reel slots and progressives. In addition to gaming, Red Hawk Casino welcomes top-notch entertainment, with everything from rock ‘n’ roll to country and blues. Situated on a hillside in Shingle Springs, […]

Best Car Wash: Splasherville

We all need rain, so why not tempt the fates and go get your car washed at Splasherville and see if there is a change in the weather. Even if it stays dry, you know it’s still high time for your ride to get a little TLC, since it has to put up with a lot of dusty roads […]

Best Assisted Living Facility: Gold Country Retirement Center

It’s one of the toughest choices we must make in life, figuring out where Mom and Dad — or for that matter, where we — will live out our final years in comfort and ease. Gold Country Retirement Center has it all handled, so rest easy knowing the 14-acre campus in Placerville provides the opportunity to enjoy the retirement years […]

Best Bank: El Dorado Savings

Since 1957 the smiles on the bank tellers at El Dorado Savings have been as bright as the savings and loan’s sterling record, leading to our readers choosing this stalwart institution as their favorite. Bauer Financial Reports of Coral Gables, Fla., this year for the 86th consecutive quarter awarded El Dorado Savings Bank its highest 5-star rating as one of […]

Best Carpet Cleaning: Hadley’s ProClean

Jim and Ian Hadley cleaned up in this category, and no wonder after more than 20 years serving El Dorado County with their customer-pleasing deep carpet cleaning. Hadley’s ProClean is happy to keep it clean in several communities, including Placerville, Cameron Park and El Dorado Hills. The family based business not only makes sure your carpets are pristine and fluffy but […]

Best Men’s Shop: Combellack’s

Become part of the family at Combellack’s clothing where the discerning gentleman has been outfitted for more than 125 years. Co-owners Gayle Combellack-Rohl and Janis Combellack are justifiably proud of the fact that their great-grandfather William Hill Combellack opened the store in 1888. The store still offers some of the same brands as their great-grandfather, including the venerable Levi’s blue jeans […]

Best Body Shop: Hangtown Body Shop

Oh, no! That screeching, tearing, crunching noise you heard when you backed up can’t be good … do you dare look? If you can’t take the pain, don’t take a peek — just head for Hangtown Body Shop in Placerville and put your baby into their capable arms. Owner Dan Dewater and his capable crew promise to coax your vehicle back to prime […]

Best Pest Control: Koby’s Pest Control

Everyone loves the giant metal ant out in front of Koby Pest Control — everyone, that is, except the ants… and the spiders, fleas, cockroaches, wasps — you get the itchy drift. Koby has more than 17 years experience in putting the bugs, weeds and even mammals in their proper place so that humans may enjoy their homes. In addition, […]

Best Auto Repair: Lightfoot Automotive

If you’ve just picked up a classic 1957 Ford Thunderbird that has pristine bodywork — but the engine just isn’t quite right — our readers know where to go: Lightfoot Automotive where Mike Lightfoot can get your baby going. In addition to conventional tuneups and repairs, Lightfoot Auto has a reputation for fi ne classic restorations that include the engine, […]

Scrooge and the ghosts set to fly

What: “A Christmas Carol, the Musical” Who: El Dorado Musical Theatre Where: Harris Center for the Arts, 10 College Parkway, Folsom When: Oct. 30 through Nov. 15 Cost: $14.75 to $37 Information: or (916) 608-6888 For the past five years, 17-year-old Kelly Maur of El Dorado Hills has been dying to be a ghost. When she […]

Christmas parade applications due soon

The time is now to get your entries in for the hottest cool-weather event of the season, the Hangtown Christmas Parade that celebrates the diverse and enchanting community with a theme this year of Cartoons and Christmas.

That leaves the imagination free to run wild as floats, animals and other entries wind from Broadway down Main Street, Placerville, in the much anticipated annual parade. Deadline for entries into the 37th Hangtown Christmas Parade is Nov. 16 — no late entries are accepted.

Trees For Troops needs names now

It’s time to think of Christmas trees — right now — if that El Dorado County service man or woman who is serving America from far away is to receive the traditional and joyful sign of the holidays in time. Geri Hyder of Indian Rock Tree Farm in Camino, which has been instrumental in the […]

Grow, preserve and craft — Masters offer knowledge

When Cheryl met Gerry almost 50 years ago, she was intrigued by a pressure cooker the bachelor had in his home. She’d been wanting to try her hand at fixin’ up a batch of beans … “We had beans on the ceiling and we were finding them in the strangest places for a long time […]

Lori Warden hangs up fishing pole (for a bit) after landing top Kiwanis post

Lori and Daryl Warden of Placerville won’t be taking their usual early autumn trip to West Yellowstone this year to go fishing for trophy rainbows and brown trout, something they’ve enjoyed doing for the past 20 years.

That’s because Lori has been getting her feet wet in an entirely different pool, having just been sworn in as lieutenant governor of the Kiwanis Club’s Division 44. And with 16 Kiwanis clubs that must be overseen and mentored by Lori over the next year, the fish will have to wait.

“As lieutenant governor I am required to visit all 16 clubs at least three times a year, so if you do the math …” said Lori, taking a rare moment of rest to sit on the Wardens’ patio that includes not only a swimming pool but a full outdoor fireplace. “But I knew what the commitment meant when I signed up.”

Francis and Joy Carpenter celebrate 60th wedding anniversary

Francis and Joy Carpenter of Rescue aren’t planning anything special for their 60th wedding anniversary Oct. 28. They’ll just stay home, sitting in their favorite chairs, maybe watch a little TV. It will be comfortable, content and satisfying, because there is nothing they enjoy more than the company of one another. Francis and Joy like […]

Gold Bug to christen new trail

A new path to ponder the wonders of nature and the remarkable history of the Gold Bug Park area will soon open to the public, a winding trail that will be inaugurated on Sunday, Oct. 25 with guided tours. The trail’s debut will be part of a Sunday that also sees the annual open house […]

Best Appliance Repair: Edwards A-1 Appliance

The expensive and beloved Kitchen Aid appliances you’ve been using every day just aren’t making your morning bright anymore, with their groans and clatters and outright refusal to function. Time to contact to Edwards A-1 Appliance, and let the experts have a look at the old favorites instead of kicking them to the curb to be recycled. Our readers’ favorite […]

October 02, 2015 | Posted in Readers Choice 2015 | Leave a reply

Local author pens a tale of romance with a twist

Between the covers Book: “Demons, Imps and Incubi” Short story: “Dromtsiirin at the Tiki Lounge” Author: Nicole Blackwood (Cary Vandever) Publisher: Red Moon Romance, 2015   It’s a story about demons, yes — but it is also a story that will spark the reader’s first memories of youthful romance, of that special feeling that steals over and takes […]

Vintage fashions to delight the ladies

What: “Down the Runway of Time” — a vintage fashion show Who: Placerville Shakespeare Club Where: 2940 Bedford, Ave. in Placerville When: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m. Cost: $25 Information: Eileen at (530) 391-2928 or Diane at (530) 621-1808   When it’s time to get all dolled up for a night on the town, ladies, do your […]

Names needed for Trees for Troops

Don’t delay The holidays are fast approaching, but deadlines for some really special gifts are advancing at breakneck speed: It’s time to get names in of U.S. military personnel stationed out of the country so that El Dorado County may send them a Christmas tree. An effort that began in the Vietnam era, started by […]

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