Truckee Winter Carnival kicks off this week
Truckee history plus homegrown goodness combine for a good time at the second Truckee Winter Carnival since 1930, which will kick off Friday night.The Truckee Winter Festival Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit umbrella group that serves to raise money for local volunteer organizations, will host 10 days of events and activities to benefit programs such as Project M.A.N.A. and the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. “This is a really great community event,” said carnival coordinator Kandie Linegar. “I need people to see the vision of it all and grab ahold – all you have to do is take the history and make it happen.”The event’s history is a unique one, dating all the way back to 1909 when then-resident Charles Fayette McGlashan followed through with a vision to sustain Truckee’s winter economy with tourism and sports.”He wanted to bring people to town to enjoy the snow,” Linegar said. “So he started the Winter Ice Carnival, and it drew people from all over.”Those original annual carnivals, from 1909 until 1930, entertained crowds with dogsled races, sleigh rides, tobogganing, and a three-story ice palace made from blocks of ice harvested from Donner Lake and other local ponds.”They were huge,” said Truckee architect Craig Threshie, who is building this year’s model palace. “They were stadium-size things that were three stories tall that you could actually toboggan down on shoots inside.”Threshie’s demonstration ice palace, which stands about 20 feet tall and was constructed of ice frozen-over scaffolding and chicken-wire, is at Truckee River Regional Park and will be lit up on evenings during the carnival. “I’m excited to get people around town interested in getting back into this tradition,” Threshie said. “And maybe someday we will build one big enough to be able to ice skate inside of again.”Other carnival activities will include face painting, a laser light show at the ice palace, ice carving competitions, broomball tournament, and a fashion show.Kandie Linegar is looking for volunteers to help organize a community breakfast, plan events, and assist with setup and takedown throughout the week. Those who are interested should contact her at 587-1982.