Bringing heart and solstice to Tahoe City |

Bringing heart and solstice to Tahoe City

The first-ever Tahoe City Heart and Solstice Festival, starting Sunday, will provide North Lake Tahoe with another new event to kick off summer, featuring live music, restaurant and retail specials, and fun family activities.

“It’s to bring the community together to see what a great place they live in and see their opportunities ” and to show the visitor to the area what a great destination resort this is,” said Executive Director Kelly Atchley of the Tahoe City Downtown Association.

The week-long festival will be hosted by the association in cooperation with Tahoe City Public Utility District, Xterra and local businesses.

Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, arrives on June 21 and, with the Fourth of July, begins Tahoe’s summer season. The downtown association wanted to bring to town an event that captures the spirit of the coming summer.

On Thursday, the sun will set at 8:30 p.m. and “civil twilight” ends at 9:03 p.m., when the sky is no longer lit by the sun, Atchley said. Enough events are planned to offer entertainment through the end of the longest day.

“The intent is to attend the dedication of a new community plaza, stroll through town and see what’s new, look at the cars, participate in the king and queen coronation, drop the kids off at the movies, and go out to dinner as there are all kinds of dinner specials that night,” Atchley said.

The utility district will unveil the fourth phase of the Lakeside Trail connecting Commons Beach to Grove Street on the first day of summer, and also on Thursday the dedication of Heritage Plaza will take place.

“It was designed with a group of community citizens … what they said they wanted was to bring some activity up to the streetfront,” said utility district assistant General Manager Cindy Gustafson. “Basically it’s seating walls and picnic tables for people just to relax and enjoy the vista.”

The new festival is just one element of a larger effort on the part of the business association to bring four or five events to Tahoe City, including the Harvest Festival, OctoberFest and one in the works during the winter renewing an old tradition commemorating the erstwhile Big Tree in town.

“I know we’re getting a lot of positive feedback,” Atchley said. “I have people who’ve been members of the TCDA that aren’t interested in family events for their business … so different kinds of events appeal to different kinds of people, [we’re] trying to fill as many niches as people need.”

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