First-ever Wooden Boat Challenge set for Sunday at Donner Lake |

First-ever Wooden Boat Challenge set for Sunday at Donner Lake

Wood will be the name of the boating game this Sunday at Donner Lake.
Getty Images | iStockphoto

If you go

What: Wooden Boat Challenge

When: Sunday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: West End Beach, Donner Lake

Cost: General admission is $5

Why: Proceeds benefit Arts For The Schools; visit to learn more

This weekend marks the first-ever Wooden Boat Challenge for the Tahoe-Truckee region — and rest-assured, this is no ordinary event.

As a day festival, there will be the usual live music, activities for children, food vendors, local artisans, drinks and a beer garden — but the main event is the Challenge itself.

Pre-registered teams of four will be provided with the materials to build a wooden boat (here’s the catch!) without power tools, except for one battery-operated drill.

After three hours of building time, the teams then have to race their hand-made boats in an attempt to win 1st place. Other awards, such as funniest boat and best craftsmanship, will also be awarded.

This is the first year Arts For The Schools is putting on this festival and fundraiser, and the nonprofit hopes it will become an annual event that will provide locals with a new way to experience the outdoors.

The event, combining a unique challenge with the festival culture of our lively region, will provide entertainment for all ages, and types, of people.

“There are so many amazing events in our region, and we wanted to provide something new and exciting to our area,” says Arts For The Schools’ Executive Director, Eve McEneaney.

The event will feature the mini-boat challenge for kids, as well as other family-friendly activities, and all viewers can participate in voting for the alternative boat awards.

Because of Arts For The Schools’ recent participation with many local festivals (WinterWonderGrass, Made in Tahoe, etc.), the nonprofit feels well-equipped to provide the community with a fun and family-friendly day on the beach.

Not only will the event provide entertainment, all funds generated from ticket, drink and team fees will directly fund Arts For The Schools educational programming.

For 32 years, Arts For The Schools has been providing curriculum-based visual and performing arts education to 23 schools in the region, increasing numbers served every school year.

Arts For The Schools fill the gaps in arts education and ensures all children, regardless of ability or socio-economic status, receive the education they need and deserve.

Arts For The Schools also presents public performances through their onSTAGE Series, bringing acclaimed performing artists from all over the world at an affordable ticket price.

Although onSTAGE and other small fundraisers supplement the nonprofit’s funds, it is Arts For The Schools’ hope the annual Wooden Boat Challenge will provide monetary support needed to maintain and grow the nonprofit’s important programming for our region and beyond.

Want to participate in the Wooden Boat Challenge? The festival will be held Sunday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at West End Beach on Donner Lake.

General admission will be $5 each, and tickets, as well as team registration, can be found on or

Volunteers are also sough to help with events; volunteer your time and receive free admission, lunch, an Arts For The Schools T-shirt and our eternal thanks.

Hannah Behmaram is administrative assistant with Arts For The Schools.

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