Winter solstice celebrated at Squaw | SierraSun.com
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Winter solstice celebrated at Squaw

Christine Stanley

No one wants to be the first to say it, but plenty of locals are surely thinking it: Without much snow, the last few weeks in Tahoe have been a bit, well, boring. But never fear, Squaw Valley’s first-ever week-long Winter Solstice Celebration will kick off this weekend with more action and activities than you can shake a ski pole at. Six months and thousands of dollars in the making, the solstice festival is packing an entire season’s worth of entertainment into seven days. There will be live music, films, snowshoeing, clinics, parties, ski races, discounts, and tons more. “We wanted to bring people here when it isn’t as crowded to enjoy what the locals enjoy,” said Andy Mond, event manager for the Village at Squaw Valley. “We encouraged all of our [merchants] to step up and do something. The businesses have taken it upon themselves to do some awesome things; the hotels are offering ridiculous rates.”Kicking it all off is a valley-wide Hurricane Relief Day, an event set in motion by Wildflour Baking Company owner Susan Lopez and Olympic Plaza Food and Beverage owner Tom O’Neill.More than 40 valley businesses and organizations will be donating portions or all of their Saturday earnings to hurricane relief charities of their choice, including the Squaw Valley Ski Corp, which will be donating a slice of lift ticket sales, according to Mond.”We want to donate a lot and let the people in [the Gulf] know that out here in the California mountains, we haven’t forgotten about them,” said O’Neill, whose own family was affected by the storms. “We have a great opportunity to help. Even though we are coming in late, there is still much need.”Many restaurants, hotels, and shops will be offering discounts and other promotions to coincide with the festival and relief effort, some of which have already donated thousands of dollars in previous relief fundraisers.For more information on the Winter Solstice festival or Hurricane Relief Day, check out http://www.squawsolstice.com.


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