All good things are Made in Tahoe

If you find yourself strolling the lanes of the Village at Squaw Valley this Memorial Day weekend chatting with local makers, listening to local music, sampling local food and meeting local people, then you will be at the best place of the year to see what making a life in Tahoe is really all about: the fifth annual Made in Tahoe Festival.

Made in Tahoe Festival
May 27 & 28 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Village at Squaw Valley | Olympic Valley

 Check out the complete event schedule

Dawn Gaffney | Courtesy Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

This two-day community gathering of art and music brings together a diversity of inspiring artists and entrepreneurs who call the Tahoe Sierra home. It features more than 100 local companies, 16 pop-up restaurants and breweries, as well as 20 bands and performance artists performing throughout the weekend.

“We felt it was important to host an event that specifically showcases how incredibly talented our local community is,” says Caroline Ross, event organizer and executive director of Squaw Village Neighborhood Company. “People work very hard to do what they love and supporting them validates their efforts.”

“We felt it was important to host an event that specifically showcases how incredibly talented our local community is.”
-Caroline Ross

Participation is limited to those who create, live or work in the Tahoe Basin and Truckee area. Of the scores of local impresarios who will be sharing in the fun, there is a general consensus that this is the local event of the year to connect with all those who are making good on their creative dreams the Tahoe way.

Dan Gaube

Take Andy Blanchard of Tahoe Blue Pottery for example. He spins clay and up-cycles glass out of his single-car garage in Truckee.

“It’s a little tight and I sometimes wish I had more space, but I make do,” he says. “It barely feels like work since I’m doing something that I love to do anyway. It’s a self-fulfilling thing.”

Blanchard says that he likes how Made in Tahoe collects local makers into one place to celebrating what makes the region so exceptional.

Andy Blanchard

“I think there is a unique combination of positivity and supportiveness that the community brings forth that you don’t see anywhere else,” he says.

Dawn Gaffney of Dizzle makes cuff bracelets from recycled leather belts she finds at thrift stores and in friend’s closets. For many small business owners like her, Made in Tahoe is her most successful sales day of the year.

“Last year was my first time at Made in Tahoe and I loved it,” she says. “It’s more than just a market to run around and buy things. There are local bands, dancers and actors performing. I did very well — way better than expected — and that’s why I’m going back again.”

“I think people up here are open to new ideas and new anything, really,” she says. “It’s a good place to try things out on people who are wiling to give it a shot.”

Dan Gaube is the owner of Art Naturally Speaking where he sources and creates with local woods, such as manzanita and juniper, creating nature-inspired jewelry, furniture, modern woodworking and wall art out of his King’s Beach home studio.

“I think there is an energy about Tahoe that is pretty special and we all feel a strong connection to it,” says Gaube. “In my work, I try to connect into the roots of nature because that is our roots.”

Aimee Had

Although Gaube doesn’t participate in many showings throughout the year, he has not missed Made in Tahoe for the past three years.

“I think what’s so special about it is you feel like you’re at home in your own backyard,” he says. “So many people show up locally and from out of town and you feel like everybody is really proud to be living in Tahoe. It actually draws people to come here and see that there is a high caliber of art coming out of where we live.”

Similar to many Tahoe makers, Gaube sees his home as a place of quiet reflection where it is easier to get away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

“I think there is a lot of quiet time,” he says. “Even though we have these winters that are pretty extreme and the weather conditions can be hard to live in, we have an opportunity for self refection and inspiration. It’s the ability to quiet the noise from all the traffic and people constantly on their phones. I used to live in the Bay Area and the main reason I moved up here was to get away from all that.”

Aimee Had, who paints “freeform whimsy with undercurrent of gravitas” using oil on canvas, rusted steel and mixed media, just signed up for her first time. Like others who will visit Olympic Valley this holiday weekend, she is anticipating a memorable event indeed.

“Certainly if you’re an artist and skier like me, it’s a fine combination,” she says. “There will be a lot happening and it’s fun to spectate. If you love Tahoe, art and skiing, it’s the place to be.”

For more information, visit squawalpine.com.

Saturday Music & Performance Lineup

11am-1pm Coburn Station Main Stage
11-11:30am Tahoe Flow Arts Student Showcase Performance Community Stage
11:30am-1pm Jonathan Hennion First Street Stage
1-1:30pm Truckee Dance Factory Community Stage
1:30-2:30pm Tahoe Flow Arts Hula Hoop Workshop with Kelly Smiley Community Stage
1:30-3pm Bias & Dunn First Street Stage
2-4pm Forget the Roses Main Stage
2:30-4pm Tahoe Truckee School of Music Student Showcase Community Stage
3:30-5pm Eric Matlock First Street Stage
4-4:45pm Wizard of OZ Production with Tahoe Flow Artist Collaboration and The Creative Space Community Stage
5-6pm Tahoe Flow Arts Blues Fusion Dance Workshop Party with Leah Pivirotto, Joe Gray, & Truckee Dance Factory Community Stage
5-7pm Peter Joseph Burtt and the King Tide Main Stage
5:30-7pm Every Day Outlaws First Street Stage

Tahoe Truckee School of Music Band & Student Performances throughout the day on the Community Stage.

Sunday Music & Performance Lineup

Time Performance by

Location

11am-12:30pm Richard Blair’s Streets of Truckee Main Stage
11-11:30am Tahoe Flow Arts Student Showcase Performance Community Stage
11:30am-1pm Crawlers First Street Stage
11:30am-12:30pm Tahoe Flow Arts Hula-Hoop Workshop with Kelly Smiley Community Stage
12:30-1pm Tahoe Truckee School of Music Youth Vocal Group Community Stage
1-1:30pm Truckee Dance Factory Community Stage
1-2:30pm Wesley Orsolic Band Main Stage
1:30-2:30pm Tahoe Flow Arts Blues Fusion Dance Workshop Party with Leah Pivirotto, Joe Gray & Truckee Dance Factory Community Stage
1:30-3pm Joaquin & The Love Lights First Street Stage
2:30-3pm Wizard of OZ Production with Tahoe Flow Artist Collaboration and The Creative Space Community Stage
3-5pm Tahoe Truckee School of Music Student Showcase Community Stage
3-5pm Matty Reardon and the Red River Revival Main Stage
3:30-5pm Calling Ophelia First Street Stage

Tahoe Truckee School of Music Band & Student Performances throughout the day on the Community Stage

 

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Sean McAlindin
Sean McAlindin is a writer, musician and educator based in Truckee. When he's not drafting new story ideas, he can be found jamming with his Celtic bluegrass band, Lost Whiskey Engine, hiking for a local back-country powder stash or hanging out with his daughter, Penelope.