Bringing Back the 80s for SnowFest!


Rob Retting ·

SnowFest! returns with 10 days of winter celebrations with events for all ages starting with a kick off party at Gar Woods on Feb. 27. Since 1982, North Lake Tahoe communities have come together for parades, races, concerts, dining and enjoying the winter atmosphere. And, this year’s theme is Bringing Back the 80s, so dig out those clothes from the 1980s and done them for the SnowFest! festivities.

“The best part of SnowFest! is that there are events every single night; some crazy, and some mellow, there is always something going on,” said Pam Pokorny, executive director of SnowFest!

Head over to Squaw Valley on Feb. 28 for the coronation or the SnowFest! queen along with live music from the Space Cowboys, a torchlight parade and fireworks. Many favorite events return including the Tahoe City parade with parade-watching parties planned across town. After the parade, head over to Gar Woods to watch brave folk dive in to the lake in the Polar Bear Swim.

Celebrate Mardi Gras at Lakeside Pizza during the FAT Tu Tu Tuesday Party at Lakeside Pizza or watch local professionals create transform blocks of ice during the snow sculpture contest at Truckee River Winery on March 5.

The following weekend. King Beach hosts its own SnowFest! Parade complete with a Dog Dress Up Contest, an 80s party at The Grid with DJ Time Splitter and an after-party at Caliente where the winners of the SnowFest! Queen raffle will be announced.

Granlibakken joins the fun this year with the first Kids’ Ski Obstacle Course competition on March 2 for ages 5 to 12. Also new to SnowFest! this season, is the Godfather Pizza Competition at Zano’s and the ultimate competition to find the Tahoe Mountain Man at Homewood Resort.

“SnowFest! gives back to the community on so many levels,” Pokorny said. Proceeds from most of the events, including the SnowFest! Queen competition, benefit local nonprofits.

Check out the full line up of events below.


Thursday, Feb. 27

SnowFest! Kick Off Party  Carnelian Bay
Join the Kick Off Party at Gar Woods from 5 to 8 p.m. with a raffle, live music by Groove Foundry, 80s Photos, beads, auctions and more. $25 donation at the door includes two raffle tickets, beds, appetizers, drinks and more.


Friday, Feb. 28

Space Cowboys & the Unimog  1 p.m. | KT Base Bar Deck, Squaw
The ultimate celebration of sound and setting features The Space Cowboys and the Unimog playing at the KT Base Bar from 1-5 p.m.

SnowFest! Queen Coronation  6 p.m. | Village at Squaw Valley
Come on out and see the SnowFest! Queen candidates vie for the title. All of the candidates are running as a representative a nonprofit in the area. The Queen is chosen based upon raffle ticket sales, GPA, a resume, her community involvement and an interview.




Laser Show  6:30 p.m. | Squaw Valley
Come out and listen to the Space Cowboys while the lasers are flowing on the mountain.

Fireworks display  7 p.m. | KT Base Bar Deck
Watch as Squaw Valley lights up under the mountain stars with this incredible expression of fireworks. Always an incredible way to start the SnowFest! festivities.

Opening Ceremonies After Party  7:30 p.m. | Olympic House
Warm up inside after all of the on-mountain festivities, and continue to dance into the night with the Space Cowboys.

Tainted Love 80s Party  9 p.m. | Crystal Bay Casino
Dance the night away with the all-time favorite 80s band – Tainted Love. And, plan on staying for the After Party with Mr. Rooney & J Alva. Always a great time at the CBC, don’t forget to get a photo taken at photo kiosk. Show goes into the late night hours.


Saturday, March 1

Pancake Breakfast  7-11 a.m. | North Tahoe Fire Station
Bring the whole family and help support the North Tahoe Firefighters Association Annual pancake breakfast. Hot pancakes and sausages, served with fruit, milk, coffee and OJ. Cooked and served by local firefighters. All ages. Adults $8, children 4 to 12 $5, 3 and younger free.

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour  9 a.m. | Squaw Valley
The wildest race in the West. A ski and snowboard battle over natural terrain from top to bottom, four at a time. Great event to participate in and just as fun to watch. Come on out and see all these crazy skiers and snowboarders at their finest.

Blue Agave Parade Central  11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Blue Agave
Join in and watch as the Tahoe City SnowFest! parade goes by with the judges on hand at Blue Agave. This is the spot that the parade participants perform for the judges.

Rosie’s Parade Watching Party  11 a.m. | Rosie’s
Come in early to get a seat or a spot on the deck and watch the parade. Some of the most incredible floats, displays and silly ideas will float by. Some great announcers, as well, thanks to Blake and Eric T


Rob Retting

Tahoe City SnowFest! Parade  11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Downtown Tahoe City
Come into town early to enjoy this fun, crazy, eclectic mountain-town style parade. Make sure to find a good viewing spot. Grand Marshals of this year’s parade are Kay Williams and Beverly Bedard. Free public parking is available on Grove Street and Jackpine Street and at Commons Beach off Highway 28, and at the Transit Center off Highway 89 on the West Shore.

Paint the Bear  12:30 p.m. | Tahoe City
North Tahoe ARTS and the BEAR League invite children of all ages to stop by the North Lake Tahoe Arts Center after the SnowFest! Parade to paint a wooden bear. Refreshments will be provided. There will be a bear art exhibit in the upstairs gallery in conjunction with the event. Children can see what a bear den looks like and learn about the bears around Lake Tahoe. Ages 5 to 12. Free.

Pete N Peters Post Parade Party  12:30-4 p.m. | Tahoe City
Immediately after the parade, join in all the fun at Pete’s for drink specials. This is where the prizes are awarded for the parade. Fun to be had by all with Those Guys from Wisconsin, as well as the music of the Air Force Rock Band.

Space Cowboys & the Unimog  1-5 p.m. | KT Base Bar Deck, Squaw Valley
Come out and spend the day dancing to our favorite SnowFest! DJ’s. Enjoy the fun of some thumping beats, and don’t forget to dress in your fun, festive, furs and frills.

Stohlgren Bros Ice Cream Eating Contest  1 p.m. | Tahoe City Fire Station
Great fun to watch or to join the eating.


Rob Retting

Polar Bear Swim  2:30 p.m. | Gar Woods, Carnelian Bay
The 25th Annual Polar Bear Swim is North Lake Tahoe’s coolest event. Hundreds of spectators will line the pier to watch hardy souls brave the frigid waters of Lake Tahoe. Complementary appetizers are provided for all, and following the event is the popular raffle in the bar at Gar Woods. Swim participants also can enjoy the hot tubs provided by Pomin’s Hot Tubs. Swimmers may register at

Diego’s Umbrella concert  9 p.m. | Crystal Bay Casino
Show tickets available at for 21 and older only. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 on the day of show. Booths also are available.

Mardi Squaw Party  9 p.m. | Olympic House, Squaw Valley
The pinnacle event of opening weekend the Mardi Squaw in the Olympic House. Squaw Valley and Heckler Magazine present the 2nd annual Mardi Squaw extravaganza from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. $20 at the door.


Sunday, March 2

Squaw Valley KT-22 Rahlves’ Banzai Tour  9 a.m. | Squaw Valley
The wildest race in the West. A ski and snowboard battle over natural terrain from top to bottom, four at a time. Great event to participate in and just as fun to watch. Come on out and see all these crazy skiers and snowboarders at their finest.



Homewood Mountain Resort Dog Pull  Noon | Homewood Ski Area
Calling all dogs. Enjoy friendly racing for dogs of all ages and sizes. There will be treats for all competitors and prizes for winners. Register at 11 a.m.

Gone Bonkers Kids’ Ski Race  1 p.m. | Granlibakken Resort
Granlibakken hosts the first kids’ ski obstacle course competition. It’s an all-out, top-to-bottom race over natural terrain, complete with gates, obstacles, bumps and more. Activities and fun for all ages.

Tahoe Mountain Man  3 p.m. | Homewood Ski Area
How Tahoe are you? Put yourself to the test in this obstacle course of Tahoe-specific activities that include everything from scaring away a bear, to putting chains on, to shoveling, and climbing a giant berm; all in ski boots. The event will have eight challenges, and the person with the fastest time completing the course wins with prizes awarded. For ages 15 and older. Entry fee is $5. Visit

Sunnyside Luau  4-9 p.m. | Sunnyside
Come enjoy Hawaiian-inspired cuisine and cocktails in Sunnyside’s Mountain Grill. Make sure to bring the Aloha spirit and dress like the Islands.


Monday, March 3

Godfather Pizza Challenge  4-6 p.m. | Zano’s Family Italian & Pizzeria, Truckee
The Godfather Challenge is for an individual, with no help from others, to consume (and keep down) Zano’s famous Godfather Pizza. The Godfather is a true 12-inch Chicago, deep-dish pizza weighing in at more than 4 lbs. There will be cash prizes awarded for first, second and third place. Visit Ages 18+. Entry fee is $10.

Margarita Races & 80s Onesie DJ Party  8 p.m. | Hacienda Del Lago, Tahoe City
Join in the head-to-head margarita races, and then get your onesie movin’ with the DJ’s tonight. Team entry is $20 for a four-person team. 21+ only for registrants. Visit


Tuesday, March 4

Meet the Squaw Rescue Dogs  5:30 p.m. | Tahoe City Visitors Center
The North Lake Tahoe Visitor Center is looking forward to a woofing and tail-wagging good time as the Squaw Rescue Dogs visit. From the handlers, learn how the dogs are trained. Get pictures taken with these furry friends. Proceeds go to the Squaw Dogs Foundation. Beer and wine will be provided.

Bar Game Olympics  7-10 p.m. | Pete ‘N Peter’s, Tahoe City
Enjoy a fun evening of competition of pool, shuffleboard, Foosball and dice. The games continue and the competitors go head-to-head until the end. Great prizes for the top three teams.


Rob Retting

Fat Tutu Tuesday (Mardi Gras)  9 p.m. | Lakeside Pizza, Tahoe City
Lakeside is putting on the best Mardi Gras Party in North Lake Tahoe. DJ’s Chango & Gurbtron will be slaying the hottest Fat Tuesday dance tunes. Put on your best gold, green and purple tutus, and Mardi Gras masks, and compete for the best costume. Cash prizes of $75, $50 and $25 will be awarded.


Wednesday, March 5

Wine & Ice Competition  1-7 p.m. | Truckee River Winery
Truckee River Winery’s 3rd Annual Ice Carving Competition. The only one in SnowFest! Come to Truckee’s local winery and watch talented, local professionals transform large blocks of ice into works of art while listening to the amazing stylings of DJ Chango. Food on site with Mamasake, and the proceeds will benefit the High Fives Foundation. Visit All ages welcome. $10 includes wine glass, Mardi Gras beads and a donation.

Bunco Bash-Girls Night Out  6-9 p.m. | North Tahoe Event Center, Kings Beach
Great night to share with your friends while supporting a great cause. Lots of fun to be had by all the ladies. No experience required. There will be appetizers, wine and beer on hand, not to mention the raffle and silent auction with lots of prizes. Tickets $25 at in advance or cash only at Truckee Visitor Center, The Store in Tahoe City, Bar Bar Bar in Incline Village, and Rockwood Tree Services in Kings Beach. Limited tickets. Proceeds benefit the Tahoe Forest Cancer Center patient programs.

Purple Tour  9 p.m. | Crystal Bay Casino
Enjoy the sounds of Purple Tour with Marty Party & Joker, Helicopter Showdown and others. Tickets available at for $20 in advance or $23 on the day of the show; booths also available.


Thursday, March 6

Unofficial Thursday Grand Prize Giveaway  6 p.m. | Hacienda Del Lago, Tahoe City
There will be a surprise guest athlete at Hacienda to sign autographs for all the kids, so come on down and join the fun. There will be food and drink specials, and tons of great giveaways including skis, boards, jackets, helmets, goggles, sunglasses and more.

Rosie’s BINGO Night  9 p.m. | Rosie’s Cafe, Tahoe City
Come join in the B-I-N-G-O Fun as Rosie’s takes on a different feel tonight. There are prizes for each round, and its goes on for hours. Get there early for a good seat. $5 per card to play; can play more than one at a time. (530) 583-8504.

Glow in the Snow 80s Black Light Party  9 p.m. | The Grid Grill & Bar, Kings Beach
Get your 80s on with DJ Time Splitter at this great flash back. Come dressed with fun 80s attire that will show colors in the black light. Guest bartenders, too, so come have some crazy fun. 21+. Visit


Friday, March 7

Rib Fest  4-7 p.m. | Bridgetender Bar & Grill, Tahoe City
Enjoy the great Ribs at the BT, for the 6th Annual Rib Fest. An outdoor extravaganza of barbecue ribs on the outside patio and bar.

Greensky Bluegrass  9 p.m. | Crystal Bay Casino
Enjoy the sounds of Greensky Bluegrass with Tumbleweed Wanderers. Tickets available at for $20 in advance or $23 on the day of the show; booths also available.


Saturday, March 8

Uphill Downhill Dash  7 a.m. | Diamond Peak Ski Area, Incline Village
Earn your turns at the Diamond Peak Uphill/Downhill Dash sponsored by Tahoe Mountain Sports. Race to the top of the mountain using whatever human-powered method you prefer. Skin, snowshoe or run to the top; ski, snowboard or snowshoe down; then head back up to the mid-mountain Snowflake Lodge for awards and prizes. A recreational course also will be available from the base area to Snowflake Lodge. Participants may purchase a discounted lift ticket to ski for the day for $35. Receive half-prices at/tele set-ups at Tahoe Mountain Sports in Kings Beach. Visit

Pancake Breakfast  8:30-10:30 a.m. | North Tahoe Event Center, Kings Beach
Are you a dog lover with an affinity for pancakes? Come enjoy hot pancakes and sausages served by the North Tahoe Public Utility District and stay to enter your pup in the Dress Up Your Dog Contest. All ages. Adults $8, children $3, 3 and younger free. All proceeds benefit nonprofit Dog Day in the Park, the primary fundraiser of the Tahoe Unleashed Dog Park planned for a site at the North Tahoe Regional Park.


Banzai Tour

Rahlves Banzai Tour  9 a.m. | Alpine Meadows Ski Area
The wildest race in the West. A ski and snowboard battle over natural terrain from top to bottom, four at a time. Great event to participate in and just as fun to watch. Come on out and see all these crazy skiers and snowboarders at their finest.

Dress Up Your Dog Contest  10 a.m. | North Tahoe Event Center, Kings Beach
Dress up your dogs. Prizes for different categories and free entrance into the Kings Beach Parade to follow.

Sam Adams 30th Birthday Bash  10:30 a.m. | Diamond Peak Ski Area
Cheers to 30 years. Celebrate Sam Adams 30th Anniversary at Diamond Peak’s Loft Bar. Dress in the best 80s attire and join in on the games, drink specials, best 80s costume contest, 80s tunes and more. Take a photo with Sam Adams on the mountain and share on social media to receive coupons for discounts and free Sam Adams at the Loft Bar. Visit



Kings Beach SnowFest! Parade  11:30 a.m. | Downtown Kings Beach
The Kings Beach SnowFest! Parade brings joy to downtown Kings Beach. North Tahoe Business Association hosts this annual, fun-filled event featuring entertaining entries from 30 to 40 local community and nonprofit organizations and businesses. Spectators are invited to watch the parade, which travels east along Highway 28 in downtown KB and are encouraged to spend the day in Kings Beach for abundant, SnowFest! activities and events. Free and paid public parking is available at the Kings Beach State Recreation Area, North Tahoe Beach, Coon Street and Brook Street.

Floating 80s parade & 80s DJ Time Splitter  Noon | The Grid Grill & Bar, Kings Beach
Come watch the Kings Beach SnowFest! parade or come after for a fun 80s dance party. Follow the Floating 80s Party into the lot from the parade, and dance, dance, dance the day evening away with DJ Time Splitter. Party goes till sundown.

Caliente After Parade Party & SnowFest! Queen Raffle  12:30 p.m. | Caliente Tahoe, Kings Beach
Watch the Kings Beach parade. Big raffle, tons of prizes including the grand prize for the SnowFest! Queen Raffle. Great food and drinks, and fun for all.

Snow What? Snow Building Contest  1-3 p.m. | Kings Beach Library
Come to the library after the Kings Beach SnowFest! Parade for a snow-sculpting contest. Fun, Great event for the entire family. Free. All ages and abilities are welcome with prizes and awards.

Hacienda’s Tortilla Toss  2-3 p.m. | Hacienda Del Lago, Tahoe City
Come see who can defy the tortilla today. You may want to practice this one at home as tortillas have a mind of their own. Fun for all ages, with plenty of laughs included. Food and bar open. All ages.

LUNAFest Film, Food & Wine  6-10 p.m. | Olympic Village Lodge, Olympic Valley
Tickets include wine tasting, sampling of local cuisine, silent auction and award-winning films. The short films will compel discussion, make you laugh, tug at your heartstrings and motivate you to make a difference in your community. All proceeds benefit Girls on the Run-Sierras and the Breast Cancer Fund. Admission is $35 advance or $45 on the day of the event. Ages 21+. Visit

Lakeside’s PINK Party  9 p.m. | Lakeside, Tahoe City
Dress in your best and funniest PINK, and be prepared to shake it into the wee hours. All female DJ’s tonight in the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness: Silhouette, Li’l Miss Mixer, and Crispylicious will be mixin’ it up female style. Crazy, great drink specials, too.

Elephant Revival  9 p.m. | Crystal Bay Casino
Crystal Bay Casino hosts Elephant Revival with Nat Keefe Duo and an After Party with a special guest. Tickets at Tickets $15 in advance and $18 on the day of the show; booths available.


Sunday, March 9

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour  9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Alpine Meadows Ski Area
The wildest race in the West. A ski and snowboard battle over natural terrain from top to bottom, four at a time. Great event to participate in and just as fun to watch. Come on out and see all these crazy skiers and snowboarders at their finest.

River Ranch Snow Sculpture Contest  Noon | River Ranch Restaurant & Lodge
Three-person teams design and build snow sculptures on the River Ranch Patio. This is a competition against other teams for prizes and teams come up with some wacky and innovative ideas. There will be live music, food and drink specials, and a charity raffle with proceeds benefiting Disabled Sports. Entry is $25 per team.

Tahoe Donner Ididarun  1 p.m. | Tahoe Donner Lodge
Dogs pull covered wagon sleds across a snow-covered course against the clock. This is a great event for spectator from the trackside or on the Lodge deck. Event sign-ups start at noon, and the race begins at 1. Food and drinks are available for purchase at The Lodge, so come on out and join in all the fun with the whole family today. Raffle proceeds to benefit the Truckee-Tahoe Humane Society. All ages. $20 entry.

Fine ‘N Funky Fashion Show  8 p.m. | Hacienda Del Lago, Tahoe City
Watch the most incredible fashion show at Hacienda tonight. The Fine ‘N Funky Fashion Show is an all-time favorite with the latest of fashions on the runway, along with the most gorgeous girls of Tahoe. Visit


Highway 28, also known as North Lake Blvd., will be closed on March 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm for the Tahoe City SnowFest! Parade from the Lighthouse Center parking lot to the junction with Highway 89 at the wye in Tahoe City.

Highway 28 in Kings Beach will be close during the parade on March 8. Detour routes will be available from Highway 267 at Dolly Varden Street (eastbound Highway 28 also use this route) and from Highway 28 westbound at Chipmunk. Follow posted detour signs and traffic management personnel. No parking on Chipmunk Street, Salmon Avenue and Brockway Vista Avenue during the parade.



SnowFest! Queen candidates

The 2014 SnowFest! Queen Coronation will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28 in the Village at Squaw Valley. Queen candidates run as a representative to a nonprofit organization in the area. The Queen is chosen upon raffle ticket sales, GPA, a resume, community involvement and an interview.



Sarah Conradson
North Tahoe Firefighters Ladies Auxiliary
The North Tahoe Fire Ladies Auxiliary is a nonprofit comprised of a small group of volunteers whose objective is to support the needs of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and its families. Members have used the funds raised to provide plush, stuffed animals for the ambulances to be available for children who may need comfort in an emergency. The funds also are used to offer scholarship money for fire department member’s children who are college bound and to purchase many other non-budgeted items for the department. Past purchases have included ice rescue gear, avalanche beacons, chain saws and high-pressure air bag sets.



Leslie Gonzalez
SOS Outreac
SOS Outreach is a youth development nonprofit that fosters self-confidence, leadership skills and positive decision making in underserved youth. SOS programs are unique in its use of adventure sports to engage participants for future success. Visit



McKenna Hoff
Tahoe SAFE Alliance
“Tahoe SAFE Alliance is a nonprofit agency that works to end violence and abuse in our families and communities. We save lives every single day and have been doing this for more than 25 years. We provide intervention, safety, advocacy, support and education to women, men, teens and children in an effort to keep our families and communities safe. We believe that violence is preventable. We envision a world where no person is abused, no child harmed, no teen bullied, and no friend assaulted,” according to the organization. Visit



Haley Perkins
North Tahoe Boosters Club
North Tahoe Booster Club is dedicated to the continual growth and development of rewarding and successful athletic programs for the North Tahoe middle and high schools. Through its fundraising and volunteer efforts by parents, coaches and community members, the club helps support school athletics and works to make athletics a valuable experience for all students. Visit



Bozhie Pokorny
AAUW & Tahoe League for Charity
American Association of University Women is a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors. For 130 years, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic and political. Visit

Founded in 1999, community-based Tahoe League for Charity, is a nonprofit serving the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee area. “ Together, we share community awareness and an effort to inspire action, opportunity and focus on local issues and endeavors,” according to the charity. Visit



Ingrid Roske
Far West Nordic Ski Education Association
“We believe competitive cross-country skiing offers great benefits to the community and to individuals of all ages and abilities. As a division of the United States Ski Association, our mission is to promote, develop, and expand cross-country skiing within the USSA Far West Region (California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii). We accomplish this by working with ski clubs, ski areas, and directly with our membership of individuals and families,” according to the organization. Visit



Bridget Schroepfer
Tahoe City Rotary Club
Tahoe City Rotary Club Foundation is a 501c(3) fund with the purpose of providing financial support to the West and North Shore communities, including Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. This is accomplished by providing scholarships and grant funds to other 501c(3) nonprofit organizations through the Rotary Club’s grant process. Visit

Jenn Sheridan
Jenn is a freelance writer using words, photos and digital media to connect people to the outdoors.