Wanderlust Festival returns to its roots at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows | SierraSun.com

Wanderlust Festival returns to its roots at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Thousands of people flow in and out of different areas of Squaw Valley's mountain for four days at the annual Wanderlust event, making connections, improving their perspective and working on bettering themselves.
Courtesy of Wanderlust Festival

One of the largest yoga and lifestyle events on the planet will return to its roots this weekend in the Truckee-Tahoe area.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will roll out the yoga mats for the 11th annual Wanderlust Festival, which features yoga and meditation teachers, workshops, live music, food, and outdoor recreation as part of dozens of activities offered during the four-day event.

The stop at Squaw Valley, according to organizers, is the highlight of the summer season for the festival, which also touches down at major cities around the U.S., as well as in Canada and Mexico.

“Tahoe is home for us,” said Wanderlust Vice President of Marketing Elliot Jeffords. “It’s where the festival was born. All of our festivals are special but there’s just something extra magical about what happens at Tahoe. It is our largest so that’s always exciting. The energy — you can just feel it as you walk around the village.”

This year’s festival, according to organizers, is expected to bring between 4,000 and 5,000 visitors to the North Tahoe area.

“We’ve been a longtime sponsor of the event,” said North Lake Tahoe Resort Association Director of Marketing Amber Burke. “For us, it’s really great in terms of visitation to the region, because people are coming from Wednesday or Thursday through Sunday or Monday, so they are staying for long periods of time, which is certainly one of our goals in the organization — to partner with events that do that.

“This is just such a great event,” Burke added. “It’s been a part of our community for so long, so we’d really like to support it and keep it in the region. It really helps to promote the health and wellness and outdoor activities that are in North Lake Tahoe, and I think it really embodies what we’re trying to put out there. It’s a natural fit for us in terms of aligning messaging.”

The lineup for the weekend in North Tahoe and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is among the deepest in festival history, featuring world-renowned instructors Seane Corn, Elena Brower, Ana Forrest, MC Yogi, Jose Calarco, and many others.

“Internally, we took it upon ourselves to raise our programming up a level,” said Jeffords on this year’s lineup. “In years past we’d have one or two of these instructors with us, but this is a star-studded lineup for a our tenth anniversary year here at Squaw. It’s real special to have them all here at one place at one time doing classes together.”

This year, the Wanderlust Festival will introduce a new dedicated fitness studio featuring high intensity interval training and Pilates led by top instructors, along with full-day immersion sessions, and a silent disco.

The Wanderlust Festival begins on Thursday with daylong immersion experiences, designed to focus and promote hands-on learning with world-renowned practitioners.

From there, the opening ceremony will get underway at 7:15 p.m. at the festival’s main stage at The Village at Squaw Valley. Pixie Lighthouse will be the featured speaker, Toronto-based singing group Choir! Choir! Choir! will perform, and yoga and tantric instructor Tracee Stanley will be the opening night’s featured teacher.

Classes begin the following morning, and feature a packed lineup during the three days with hikes, runs, meditations, yoga, stand-up paddleboarding yoga, talks, food, tours, music and other activities.

Several of this weekend’s classes are drop-in only, while others require registration ahead of time. Tickets for this year’s festival range from $416.08 for three days and three activities per day to one-day tickets, which are $121.08 up to $176.08, depending on day. There are also options for the immersion classes, and music only tickets. Locals can receive a 20% discount on festival tickets. There are also military discounts, student discounts, and youth discounts.

For the second straight year the festival’s charity partner is (RED), which is an organization dedicated to fighting to end AIDS in Africa.

“They are the nonprofit partner for Wanderlust. A portion of everyone’s ticket across the (U.S.) and Canadian festivals and events goes to (RED),” said Jeffords. “It’s a really cool partnership, and it’s a great way for Wanderlust to be out there and support (RED) in the global fight against AIDS, and give back to the communities that have given us so much.”

For a full list of Wanderlust Festival activities, tickets, or to sign up for events, visit Wanderlust.com.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com.