Olympic Heritage Week to conclude with Native American dance | SierraSun.com

Olympic Heritage Week to conclude with Native American dance

Special to the Sun
Courtesy Lois Kane, Reno-Sparks Indian ColonyThe Eagle Wings Dance group will perform traditional songs and dances at the Olympic Hertitage week's closing ceremonies.
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TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; History repeats itself Sunday, Jan. 15 at Ed Zand#8217;berg Sugar Pine Point State Park as the Eagle Wings Dance Group, descendants of the Paiute, Shoshone and Washo tribes offer traditional, sacred songs and dances to the Creator-God in thanks as part of the Closing Ceremonies for Olympic Heritage Celebration week, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

An absence of January Sierra snow posed similar planning concerns for organizers of the week-long Olympic Heritage Celebration as for the VIII Winter Olympic Games, Nordic events planners on Lake Tahoeand#8217;s West Shore. The nervous organizers of those 1960 Olympics brought in Great Basin dancers to encourage snowfall.

and#8220;No snow coverage has presented problems, but has also opened a door to history,and#8221; said Heidi Doyle, volunteer and interpretation program manager for Lake Tahoe area California State Parks. and#8220;Sugar Pine Point State Park was the summer home of the Washo peoples and we are thrilled their traditions will return to the West Shore of Lake Tahoe this winter.and#8221;

and#8220;The lack of rain and snow has been a concern in the Native community, as well,and#8221; said Lois Kane, language and culture coordinator of the Reno Sparks Indian Colony. The Eagle Wing Dance group performance will conclude with a round dance in which all are invited to participate. and#8220;We could end up with one large round dance with all of the people dancing and praying for snow.and#8221;

Athletes from around the world came to Lake Tahoe to participate in the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. The biathlon and cross country events of the VIII Winter Games were held in what is now Ed Zand#8217;Berg Sugar Pine Point State Park. Portions of the marked Nordic trails, found within the State park, follow the route of the biathlon and menand#8217;s events. Olympic Heritage Celebration week celebrates the spirit of athleticism and highlights the unique cultural heritage found within the park and region.

Past Olympians, officials, and dignitaries from the 1960 Nordic events will also be on hand to commemorate the end of a week celebrating Olympic Heritage. The ceremony will take place in front of a Tower of Nations scaled replica at the entrance to Squaw Valley. The park is located on Highway 89 just south of Tahoma. The Closing Ceremonies begin at 2:30 p.m. and there is a $8 per vehicle parking fee.

For more information, call Doyle at 530-583-3074 or visit http://www.tahoewestshoreassoc.com and click on the calendar.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com