Annual Downtown Truckee Wine Walk celebrates 20 years; Funds support new library

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Embrace Truckee’s welcoming ambiance and history by indulging in your desires for wine, shopping, food, and music at the 20th Anniversary of the Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk, and Shop on Saturday, Oct. 7, from noon-4 p.m.

Participants will receive an exclusive wine glass to savor fine wines at over 30 venues, along with delectable bites from various local eateries and shops, all with a handy map for guidance. Thanks to Chase, attendees also receive special shopping tags. Insider tip: Arrive early and explore the farther reaches of town for a wider array of food and wine options.

Provided / Switchback Studio PR + Marketing

The Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk, and Shop has been a cherished annual affair in the historic heart of Truckee, California for two decades. Founded in 2004 by Brinn Talbot through her PR firm Switchback Studio, the event quickly gained traction.

Originally part of the Autumn Food & Wine Festival, it shifted to focus solely on Truckee. The event’s success led to its annual tradition, drawing hundreds each year. It now stands as a vital part of Truckee’s cultural scene, showcasing local arts and music alongside wine tasting and shopping.

By hosting all wine and food offerings within local shops and restaurants, the event actively encourages community involvement and significantly bolsters support for these businesses. In fact, the event’s inception was aimed at boosting business for downtown merchants and restaurants.

“The event boosts local business and attracts tourists, drawing in both locals and visitors for a successful all-around experience. Some attendees even travel from Hawaii to join,” Talbot said.

The planning of the annual Wine, Walk, and Shop event, however, is no small undertaking. Talbot personally funds the event, supplemented by sponsorships, and underscores the vital role of Jen Eastwood and a dedicated team of volunteers in orchestrating the event.

Planning begins as early as January, providing only a brief two-month break after the annual event. Coordinating with wineries, merchants, and food stops is a demanding task, and advertising introduces further intricacies to the process.

On top of all that, Talbot ensures the event benefits both local businesses and the community at large. After covering expenses, a portion of proceeds is annually donated to a local non-profit.

This commitment has resulted in over $44,000 donated in the past 20 years. Previous beneficiaries include Truckee Donner Horsemen Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County and North Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Food Hub, Tahoe Safe Alliance, Girls on the Run, The Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, and Sierra Senior Services. This year, proceeds will support the “Library Up” Campaign by Friends of the Truckee Library.

The Friends of the Truckee Library advocate for a larger, modern facility to enhance community well-being. They’re championing the LibraryUP campaign, emphasizing the vital role libraries play in caring for a community.

Libraries offer more than just books; they provide essential services like story time, literacy programs, and technological access. Unfortunately, the current 4,500 sq ft space, built in 1975, has become inadequate.

The vision is a 20,000 sq. ft. modern library, a hub for community connection, creativity, and collaboration. This expanded space will provide broader access to resources, technology, and services for the entire community. The community is ready for this lasting legacy, expected to benefit the region for decades to come.

April Cole, LibraryUP Campaign Director, is leading the initiative to build the vital space, drawing from her personal belief in the transformative impact of libraries. Cole has lived in Truckee for 15 years and “feels lucky to raise her kids here.” 

Prompted by a Nevada County Grand Jury report highlighting the Truckee library’s insufficiency for the community, the Friends of the Truckee Library, along with Nevada County and the Town of Truckee, have been committed to creating a new space for the past 15 years. 

Over the last year, the Friends of the Truckee Library, Nevada County, and the Town of Truckee have allocated over 2 million towards the project. “Collaboration has developed into an incredibly strong powerhouse of people who are committed to making this project happen,” Cole said. 

The project is now advancing into pre-development, with final steps underway for procuring an architect and obtaining land permits. The library’s future site, situated in Truckee River Regional Park, promises exceptional accessibility for the community. Construction is hopefully set to start in 2026.

“This is a legacy project. And it does take decades to get done,” said Cole. “You have to be patient and you have to have the right people working on the project.” 

Conceptual drawing of new library entry view.
Provided / Friends of the Truckee Library

The Truckee Wine Walk exemplifies the extensive backing behind the new library initiative. Cole and the Friends of Truckee Library acknowledge the event’s contributions to the community over the years. And they are incredibly grateful to the event for affording them the opportunity to be beneficiaries and advance their project. 

Cole’s unwavering dedication to this project stems from her strong belief that it will provide a secure space for community bonding. While the area is home to numerous beautiful outdoor spaces, there’s a scarcity of viable indoor options.

“This is a civic institution that’ll bring people together. I hope for it to become a cornerstone of the community–a space built for neutrality and connection,” Cole said. In honor of Cole’s favorite movie, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”

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