Snowfest kicks off tonight with Truckee, Tahoe City events planned |

Snowfest kicks off tonight with Truckee, Tahoe City events planned

Snowfest – the locals’ excuse to go out and play – comes around again this week, starting with the Queen Coronation tonight and Opening Ceremonies Friday.

Dress up your dog, jump into Lake Tahoe, dance the night away, ski to Truckee, eat ice cream as fast as you can, and cheer at a parade. The 10-day winter carnival is in its 18th year of providing fun events and contests for residents and visitors to participate in and enjoy.

Truckee’s Wild West Fest, a Snowfest event, kicks off Sunday, March 7, downtown.

The downtown depot parking lot will be center stage from noon to 4 p.m. for a variety of events, including country-western music, cakewalk, gold panning, kids’ jumping room, child identification services, the Jeep Grand Cherokee raffle giveaway and food and refreshments for the whole family.

“With the positive changes we made last year, people feel good about Snowfest,” said Trudy Stevenson, the executive director.

She said the Snowfest board and staff added interesting events and concerts last year and worked on the Snowfest Parade in Tahoe City to offer better entries and a smoother operation.

“We’ve done all that and then some this year,” Stevenson said.

From seven candidates, a queen will be chosen at 6:30 tonight at the Resort at Squaw Creek. The queen and two princesses are judged on Snowfest raffle ticket sales, scholastic achievement, community service and interview skills. Half of the raffle ticket proceeds go to the sponsoring nonprofit organization and half go to Snowfest.

“This year we’re doing the teen party afterward,” Stevenson said.

In good weather, there can be up to 10,000 people who attend the Opening Night Ceremonies at Squaw Valley USA. This year, the show will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and include a torchlight parade, live music, fireworks, laser show and a bonfire.

“We expanded the fireworks this year,” she said.

The celebration continues Saturday with the annual Snowfest Parade in Tahoe City.

The parade will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Highway 28 will be closed between Jackpine Street and the wye.

Stevenson said the number of parade entries greatly increased this year.

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