Welcome to November. The year has gone by fast, hasn’t it? But the calendar says November 1, so it’s time to report on what I’ve seen and heard in the month just ended.

Open for Business

The National Hotel opened for business on Wednesday, October 27, and accepted its first guests two days later. J.D. Singh, vice president of operations for hotel owner Global Capital Group, said that people can come visit the hotel during their regular business hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“We want the community to come visit us,” Singh said. “Our doors are open for the community to give us suggestions and feedback because we want the hotel to be successful for Main Street.” The hotel doesn’t have a website yet, so if you want to make reservations or ask questions, call the hotel at 209-223-0500.

Bigger Highway 88 Construction Planned

California Route 88Last Friday, Caltrans ended a public comment period for the environmental review of roadway improvements on Highway 88 from the junction of Highway 124 south of Ione to Highway 49 between Martell and Jackson. The updates include new pavement, new culverts and drains, and upgrading metal beam guardrails to modern standards.

Construction won’t happen for a while, though. The environmental review won’t be complete until January, construction won’t begin until December 2024, and Caltrans will finish the project in December 2027. If you missed the public comment period, visit the Caltrans District 10 website for more information and to contact branch manager Udaya Shankar or branch chief Scott Guidi with questions or comments.

WineFest

Amador Arts will be holding its annual WineFest event on Saturday, November 13 at the Sutter Creek Auditorium at 18 Main Street in Sutter Creek. WineFest was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

General admission costs $60 and each ticket includes a commemorative WineFest glass, over 20 wine tastings from local vintners, small bites and desserts, live music from several bands, live painters, and more. There will also be a mystery wine sale and a luxury auction. For $140, you can get both the general admission ticket and a four-course dinner from Bistro49 chef K.C. Brown with Terra d’Oro Winery wine pairings.

WineFest will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. You can get your WineFest admission and dinner tickets on the EventBrite website.

Soaps and Goats in Jackson

There is a new gift store on Main Street Jackson. Soaps, Goats, and More opened on October 2 at 162 Main Street and offers soaps, lotions, wreaths, dolls, doll dresses, and made-to-order gift baskets. This building most recently housed Jumping Frog Games, which has since moved to Sutter Creek.

Soaps Goats and More Pebley Farms 162 Main Street Jackson CAOwner Sherri Pebley is the co-owner of Pebley Farms in Mokelumne Hill. Pebley Farms is a 15-acre farm that was homesteaded by her husband’s family, and the farm raises Black Angus cattle and sells Boer goats. “I’ve been creating and selling soaps, lotions, and crafts for a year now,” Pebley explained. “I wanted to expand, I love the Jackson area, and I saw the for rent sign in the window at 162 Main Street. Now here I am, and it’s always been a dream of mine to own my own business.”

She added that she makes almost everything in the store, and she’s already received a lot of business. “I plan to get the business to grow,” Pebley said, “and hopefully pass it on to my kids.” You can visit the Soaps, Goats, and More Facebook profile page for the latest news and hours of operation. Call them with questions at 209-770-4286.

Christmas Delights Craft Fair

This year’s Christmas Delights on Main Street in Jackson will feature a craft fair with vendors of handcrafted items and gourmet food. The location of the craft fair hasn’t been confirmed as of this writing, but the two locations under consideration are the parking lot at the corner of Main and California streets and Petkovich Park at the corner of Water Street and Broadway.

A booth costs $20, is approximately 10 feet by 10 feet in size, and doesn’t come with electricity. Setup will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 27, which is the day Christmas Delights will be held. The event will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The craft fair is a rain-or-shine event, and there will be no refunds.

You need to fill out an online application to confirm that you sell handcrafted items and meet the requirements for selling gourmet foods. If you have questions, call event organizer Jeannette McDonald at 209-223-1558.

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