SnowFest is Right Around the Corner!

By Shanie Matthews | Tuesday, February 25, 2020

One of the biggest celebrations in Lake Tahoe is about to begin.

Snowfest, a weeklong, Mardi Gras-style festival, is a celebratory event that has excitement happening all around the lake. From parties to fireworks, concerts to parades, Paint The Snowman to the annual Polar Bear Swim, this is an event that is not to be missed.

The Kickoff Party is this Thursday, February 27, beginning at 5 p.m., and will offer unlimited appetizers, beer, wine and Wet Woodies as well as the opportunity to enjoy great live music by Blues Monsters. You will also get the chance to meet Alex Mourelatos, one of the locals in our community who is making a difference. Owner and creator of the outstanding Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort, he has assisted the Lake Tahoe basin in becoming a world-class destination for the last 40 years. As the Parade Grand Marshall, Alex will be hosting the event, showcasing his collaborative reputation and fun wit. In an offering of friendship, Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort is also offering 15% off any room reservation to help people enjoy this festive occasion. 

So, what will you see and do at this year's SnowFest celebration?

Here are a few upcoming events that I am particularly excited about.

Friday, February 28

Pioneer Cocktail Club Block Party: Join the Pioneer Cocktail Club and surrounding business on Friday from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. for an afternoon of outside live music and activities. A $15 entry fee for adults and $8 entry fee for kids younger than 16 gets you entry to the music as well as one free drink. All proceeds go to the High Fives Foundation. 

Tahoe City Fireworks: Like last year, the SnowFest Fireworks will be held at the Tahoe City Golf Course. They're happening on Friday starting at 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 29

Firefighters Pancake Breakfast: Join North Tahoe Firefighters on Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. for the annual pancake breakfast. Pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and orange juice will be served. All proceed benefit the North Tahoe Firefighters Association.
SnowFest Tahoe City Parade: The SnowFest Tahoe City Parade is back! This is a family-friendly event that features local organizations with floats, bands, beads and more! The SnowFest Parade draws spectators from near and far and is not to be missed! Top entry prizes are awarded, and new this year is a $1,000 cash prize to the winning float. The parade starts at 11:30 a.m. Parade announcing, viewing and judging will be at the Blue Agave.
Pete 'N Peters Post Parade Party: Join Pete 'N Peters for the after-parade party from 12 to 4 p.m. Meet the Vulcans from Minnesota and Tahoe City's own Miners.
Haus Brewfest: The second annual Haus Brewfest will be held in the Cobblestone Center Parking Lot from 12 to 6 p.m. They'll be celebrating with five local breweries, three bands and food trucks! Proceeds benefit the Shane McConkey Foundation.
Paint the Snowman: Directly after the parade, head over to North Tahoe Arts for the Paint the Snowman party from 12:30 to 2 p.m. All materials provided for this family-friendly event.
TCNS Winter Party & Fundraiser: Moe's Original BBQ will offer good food, a silent auction, music and fun from 1 to 3 p.m.! Proceeds benefit Tahoe Community Nursery School.
Gar Woods 31st Annual Polar Bear Swim: The last event for Saturday is the most exciting. Hundreds of spectators line the pier and deck at Gar Woods to watch hardy souls brave the frigid waters of Lake Tahoe. Participants swim approximately 250 yards in 39-degree, bone-chilling water before returning to Gar Woods Bar to "minimize the pain." Free appetizers are provided following the event, and everyone is encouraged to stick around for the hugely popular raffle after the swim. The swim begins at 2:30 p.m., and "warmups" start at 11 a.m. The entry fee is $35 per swimmer.

Sunday, March 1

Dog Pull hosted by Alpine Power Equipment: The popular Dog Pull returns on Sunday from 12 to 2 p.m. Register your dog, no matter what size, to pull weighted sandbags according to their size and weight.
Fat Cat's Hot Wing Eating Contest: Join Fat Cat for their annual Hot Wing Eating Contest from 3 to 5 p.m. Entry fee is $30, and all proceeds go toward Keep Squaw True.
Sunnyside Annual Luau: Sunnyside's Annual Luau from 4 to 8:30 p.m. will feature Hawaiian-style pupus and entrees. They'll have $10 MaiTais, Shaken Pina Coladas, Coconut Mojitos and a Hula Pie Eating Contest. Wear your Hawaiian shirts and bring your Aloha spirit!  

Monday, March 2

Ice Carving Competition: The Ice Carving Competition, on Monday from 12 to 6 p.m., is sponsored by Leo's Electric Automations and Truckee River Winery. It will be held at Gatekeeper's Museum, and drinks will be sold on site!
Za's 6th Annual Clam Bake: Za's Lakefront's popular Clam Bake from 5 to 8 p.m. features 1 lb. of clams, half a chicken, potatoes, and corn.

Tuesday, March 3

Pete 'n Peters Bar Olympics: This event, happening on Tuesday from 7 to 11:30 p.m., is limited to 16, two-person teams. Entry fee is $20 per team. Test your skills in pool, shuffleboard, darts and bar dice.

Wednesday, March 4

Ice Cream Speed Eating Contest at Mountain Slice: On Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m., there's the stupendous Ice Cream Speed Eating Contest. Participants get one pint of their choice of flavor, and the first to finish gets a t-shirt and a gift certificate. There are two age groups: 8 to 14 and 15 and older. All participants get a free drink as well. Sign up on the Mountain Slice website or at Mountain Slice. Entry fee is $10.

Thursday, March 5

Meet the Avalanche Rescue Dogs of Squaw Valley: On Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Avalanche Rescue Dogs of Squaw Valley are ready to have a tail-wagging good time with you. Learn about the dogs and their jobs while enjoying complimentary snacks and child beverages. Get your picture with a furry friend for just $5. This event is free and open to the public. All proceeds go to the Squaw Valley Avalanche Rescue Dog and Education Fund.

Friday, March 6

Bridgetender's 11th Annual Ribfest: Head to the Bridge Tender Patio on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. for a fun night of smoked ribs, cocktails and laughs. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Chris Parks Scholarship Fund. Entry fee is $20.

Saturday, March 7

NTPUD's Pancake Breakfast: On Saturday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., start your SnowFest Day in Kings Beach with delicious pancakes, sausage, fresh strawberries, coffee, milk and orange juice prepared by North Tahoe Public Utility District. All proceeds benefit North Tahoe Public Utility District's Friends of the Park Fund, which helps fund park improvements or amenities. Adult tickets are $10, and children's are $5.
Dress Up Your Dog: On Saturday, get your dog ready to strut its stuff at the North Tahoe Public Utility District's Dress Up Your Dog Contest. This year's themes are Best in Show, Looks Most Like the Owner and Best Recreation & Parks Dog, in which your dog shows off its favorite recreational activity. Registration opens at 9:30 a.m. on the deck at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach, with the contest beginning at 10 a.m. Cost is $10 per dog, and proceeds benefit Friends of the Park.
SnowFest Kings Beach Parade hosted by NTBA: Enjoy a “Big Time, Small Town” parade Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You'll see one-of-a-kind floats, live music, community spirit and more throughout downtown Kings Beach.
Snow Ball Drop Fundraiser: On Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m., North Tahoe High School and North Tahoe School PTO will host their fourth annual Snow Ball Drop Fundraiser. Raffle ticket holders have a chance to win $1,000. It directly follows the Snowfest Parade in Kings Beach at D’Lish Catering — look for the snow globe. Local kids will be selling raffle tickets. All proceeds help fund field trips, assemblies, the student newspaper and much more.

Sunday, March 8

Family Fun Day: On Sunday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., it's Family Fun Day at the Winter Sports Park. There will be live music from Truckee School of Music and events such as Human Bowling, Family Seal Curling, Snow Ball Launch, s'mores and much more.
Tahoe Donner Ididarun: This may be the event that I am most excited about. On Sunday, March 8, from 12 to 3 p.m., dogs pull covered-wagon sleds down a snow-covered chute, racing against the clock. Entry is $20, and raffle proceeds benefit the Tahoe Truckee Humane Society. Registration is day of and limited to 40 contestants.
River Ranch Snow Sculpture Contest: This contest weelcomes teams of one to four people to mold, shape, carve, color, and decorate their mound of snow into a masterpiece. Local celebrity judges, patio shenanigans, a BBQ lunch and shotskis are part of the fun. It's a wild winter SnowFest tradition for all ages. This event is on Sunday, March 8, from 12 to 4 p.m.
SnowFest Closing CeremoniesThe SnowFest closing ceremonies are held in the Cobblestone parking lot. They will wrap up the 39th annual SnowFest with the King/Queen raffle prizes, live music by Home and more!
Please visit our Daytime and Nightlife sections to learn about other fun events to pair with your SnowFest celebrations.

We'll see you at SnowFest!

Photos: SnowFest
About the Author Shanie Matthews
A longtime Lake Tahoe local, Shanie is a freelance writer, Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher and positivity warrior. A true lover of the the gorgeous Tahoe region, she connects with the serenity of the mountains via skiing, biking and backpacking. She also believes in the gift of yoga and its way of allowing one to become his or her true best self, a passion she shares with the world with her online yoga studio.