Tahoe SnowFest! torchlight parade axed; dog pull changes venues
Ryan Summerlin February 28, 2014
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — For the first time ever, there will be no torchlight parade as part of the opening ceremonies for North Tahoe’s SnowFest! winter carnival.
After several meetings and discussions this week, a decision was made to ax the parade, originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, at Squaw Valley, resort spokeswoman Amelia Richmond confirmed Thursday morning.
“The 2014 SnowFest! Opening Ceremonies will not include a Torchlight Parade … the team at SnowFest! understands and is aware of this decision,” Richmond said.
The rest of the opening ceremonies will go on as planned at Squaw, Richmond and SnowFest! officials said, including the 2014 Queen Coronation at 6 p.m., laser show at 6:30 p.m., fireworks at 7 p.m. and after party at 7:30 p.m. at the Olympic House.
A reason for the torchlight cancellation was not known. SnowFest! officials deferred comment to Squaw. Numerous emails and phone messages seeking additional comment from Richmond and Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth went unreturned for this story.
SnowFest! has taken place every spring since 1982. For each of the last 33 years, the opening ceremony at Squaw featured a torchlight parade, historically put on by Squaw, SnowFest! Executive Manager Ruth Schnabel said Thursday.
The SnowFest!-conducted fireworks show at Squaw has happened annually since 1982, Schnabel said. The organization also puts on the laser show, which became an annual event several years ago.
“The rest of the opening ceremonies will go on as planned,” 2014 SnowFest! Executive Director Pam Pokorny said Thursday.
Despite the loss of a tradition this year, the crew at SnowFest! is excited for the 34th annual event — an effort given extra incentive with Wednesday night’s storm that dropped roughly a foot of snow at higher elevations.
“We’re really excited that it’s snowing … once again, SnowFest! brings snow,” Schnabel said.
A second storm is expected to bring another foot or more of snow by Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Another change involves Sunday’s Tahoe City Golf Course Dog Pull. The event is being relocated to Homewood Mountain Resort, Pokorny said, due to poor snow conditions at the golf course.
The event still starts at noon Sunday, March 1, with registration beginning at 11 a.m., followed by the popular Tahoe Mountain Man competition at 3 p.m. at Homewood.
Further, the Arctic Paddle Race, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at Waterman’s Landing in Carnelian Bay, has been canceled due to permitting issues, Pokorny said.
The annual SnowFest! Kick-Off Party at Gar Woods Grill & Pier is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27, 5-8 p.m., featuring live music by Groove Foundry, a raffle and more. A $25 donation includes heavy appetizers and drinks.
To learn more about SnowFest! and its events, visit, www.tahoesnowfestival.com.
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