Teens organize this weekend’s Winterfest
There isn’t going to be much snow downtown this weekend, but that’s not enough to stop the organizers of Winterfest from throwing a party to celebrate the season.”That’s what our major problem is. We don’t have any snow,” said Michael O’Connor, the 16-year-old Truckee resident who came up with the idea for Winterfest. “We’re going Friday up to [Donner] Summit to get snow.”The students will truck snow down from the summit for the Snowman Building Contest and a Human Sled Dog Race, scheduled as part of Winterfest, which will be held on Commercial Row Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be a Build Your Gingerbread Dream Home contest, with prizes from downtown merchants. There will be hot cocoa, fresh-baked goods and caroling. Proceeds from the event will benefit Tahoe Truckee High School programs and the Truckee Railroad Foundation.O’Connor and a handful of his Truckee High classmates have been planning Winterfest since mid-November.”We all thought it would be fun to try to get away from the pop culture you see (during Christmas) and get back to the small-town feel,” he said. “You can’t really replace that family and community feeling.”Twenty to 30 students from Truckee High’s leadership class will help out during the event, which will raise money for events at the school.The Truckee Railroad Foundation came on board with the event at the suggestion of O’Connor, who is a board member for the organization. The foundation will sell train-themed Christmas ornaments to help raise money for a permanent railroad museum in Truckee.Carolyn Wallace Dee, president of the Truckee Railroad Foundation, said local families should come out to Winterfest to bolster Truckee’s teens.”The most important thing is to support the junior class of Truckee High School because they’ve really worked hard on this,” she said.CHECK IT OUTWinterfest• Dec. 17, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.• Downtown Commercial RowSnowman Building Contest: noonHuman Sled Dog Race: 2 p.m.Build Your Gingerbread Dream Home: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.There will be a small entry fee for activities
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