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A Mountain Mardi-Gras for All-Ages on the Shores of Lake Tahoe

Serving as a haven for Winter adventure seekers for more than 50 years, North Lake Tahoe's outdoor activities, mountain vistas, and apres ski scene make it an unforgettable California destination. The area is home to a variety of significant skiing areas including Alpine Meadows, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, and Sugar Bowl, each offering different terrain and activities. Looking to unwind after a long day on the slopes? Stop by The Blue Agave or Fat Cat Bar & Grill for a spectrum of food and drink options.


The North Lake Tahoe SnowFest! has been the area’s top winter celebration for nearly 40 years, and it will take place March 1-11 across the North Lake Tahoe area. Attendees will encounter a family-friendly festival complete with a variety of activities ranging from a fireworks display to a polar plunge. The Kick-Off Party and Queen Coordination will take place at the Gar Woods Restaurant, and will include libations, food, and live music by Groove Foundry. People will flock to the Tahoe City Parade, which features colorful floats, live entertainment, and more. Families should make sure to stop by the Paint the Snowman event where kids can paint and decorate wooden cutouts of snowmen. At the Gar Woods Annual Polar Bear Swim participants will swim almost 250 yards in 39℉ water, with a celebration at Gar Woods Restaurant following the event. Those looking for a different type of challenge should try their hand at the Fat Cat's Hot Wing Eating Contest. Foodies will also love the Bridgetender's 10th Annual Ribfest, which includes delicious smoked ribs and a variety of beverages. These events are only a small taste of what SnowFest! has to offer -- check out the event schedule for a full breakdown. We interviewed SnowFest! Board Member Dana Tanner Powell to learn more about this all-ages celebration of the season.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

DTP: SnowFest! is an annual 10-day winter carnival held in the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee regions.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

DTP: 2018 will mark the 37th annual SnowFest! event.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

DTP: There are many different events, each drawing a different demographic. For example, the Tahoe City parade draws close to 2,000 people of all ages, while the River Ranch snow sculpture contest draws a smaller crowd of mostly adults, and the Polar Bear swim draws a few hundred adults, while the Paint the Snowman event is geared towards kids.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?  

DTP: The event attracts all of the above!


RAL: What makes this event unique?  

DTP: What makes SnowFest unique is its longevity and how it has evolved, plus the fact that it is a 10-day festival filled with events of all kinds, including pancake breakfasts, fireworks, parades, parties, and more!


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?

DTP: For a full breakdown of the activities, please follow the link.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

DTP: Here are a couple of excellent links to help find local lodging. and   


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?  

DTP: SnowFest! is a long time North Tahoe community tradition and a favorite event for locals and visitors alike. SnowFest! brings the community together and also draws people from around the lake, Reno, Sacramento, and many other areas. The longevity of SnowFest! is a tribute to its founder, Bob Everson.


The mission of SnowFest! was to promote Tahoe’s incredible weather and skiing early in March, to encourage tourism to the area at a traditional off-season time of the year, and to provide an opportunity for the locals to get out and enjoy Tahoe at its winter’s finest.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?  

DTP: Absolutely! People dine in our many incredible restaurants, drink in our wide variety of fun watering holes and some make a vacation out of SnowFest! and stay in our fabulous lodging facilities, in addition to enjoying all of the outdoor winter activities our amazing region has to offer, such as visiting local ski resorts, skating and sliding at our Tahoe City Winter Sports Park and more!


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

DTP: Yes, many of the events are fundraisers for local organizations and specifically, our queen contest raises funds for up to eight local nonprofits, depending upon how many girls enter.  If you take a look at the event calendar, you will see who the beneficiaries are for many of these events.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

DTP: The variety of events and the spectacular location make SnowFest! a memorable experience for all... dogs included!

For more information about the North Lake Tahoe SnowFest, please visit the event website.