Polar Bear Swim returns to North Tahoe SnowFest! for 33rd year

Tahoe City, CA…Thousands of skiers and boarders flock to the North Shore of Lake Tahoe this week to take part in the 33rd annual North Lake Tahoe SnowFest!. Beginning Thursday, Feb. 27, day-glo glasses, spandex ski pants and Polar Bear plungers take to the streets (and hillsides) of the Sierra Nevada to take part in parades, races, parties, concerts and other performances, not to mention great food specials and lodging deals, through Sunday, March 9.

SnowFest! kicks off with a fundraising event at famed lakeside restaurant, Gar Woods Grill & Pier in Carnelian Bay, Thursday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. A $25 donation at the door gets attendees beer, wine, Wet Woody’s, heavy appetizers and live entertainment. Friday gets started with music from the Space Cowboys & Unimog from 1 – 5 p.m. at Squaw Valley before the crowning the SnowFest! Queen at 6 p.m. A 7:30 p.m. fireworks display presented by Coors Light is the kick-off to the opening night after party which takes place at the Plaza Bar. At 9 p.m., celebrated 80’s cover band Tainted Love takes the stage at the Crystal Bay Club.

Saturday’s activities start with a pancake breakfast followed by the annual Tahoe City SnowFest! Parade, which can be viewed from parties at venues throughout the town. Kids are invited to Paint the Bear at the North Tahoe Arts Center from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. and the Stohlgren Bros. Ice Cream Eating Contest challenges dessert lovers at the Tahoe City Fire Station at 1 p.m. The infamous Gar Woods Polar Bear Swim invites visitors out for a swim in the frigid waters of Lake Tahoe starting at 2:30 p.m. (swimmer check-in begins at 1:30 p.m.) and Diego’s Umbrella entertains audiences at the Crystal Bay Club at 9 p.m. In addition, the second annual Mardi Squaw Party takes place at the Olympic House at 10 p.m.

Sunday invites kids take part in Granlibakken’s Gone Bonkers Kids Ski Race. The Tahoe Mountain Man Contest challenges participants to eight different obstacles, all while wearing ski boots, including putting on chains, scaring away bears and shoveling snow, at Homewood Mountain Resort starting at 3 p.m. Sunnyside’s annual Luau warms up the remainder of the day with Hawaiian-inspired food and cocktails.

Week days invite locals and visitors alike to enjoy activities including the Margarita Races and 80’s Onsie DJ Party, a meet and greet with the Squaw Valley rescue dogs, Pete ‘N Peter’s Bar Game Olympics, a girls night out Bunco Bash, Bingo night, and the sixth annual Bridgetender Rib Fest.

Saturday, March 8 brings the Diamond Peak Uphill Downhill Dash at 7 a.m. followed by a Pancake Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and the Rahlves Banzai Tour – Alpine Meadows “Face Banzai” full-mountain race beginning at 9 a.m. Dress up the family dog for a chance at prizes including free entry into the Kings Beach SnowFest! Parade at 11:30 a.m. Parties take place throughout the day and the Snow What? Snow Building Contest takes place at the Kings Beach Library at 1 p.m. Try to defy the tempting tortilla during the Hacienda Tortilla Toss at 2 p.m. or head over to the LUNAFEST Film, Food and Wine event at 6 p.m. at Squaw Valley, benefitting Girls on the Run-Sierra and the Breast Cancer Fund. Lakeside Pizza’s Pink Party also benefits a great cause, Relay for Life, starting at 9 p.m.

SnowFest! wraps things up Sunday, March 9 with a second go-round for the “Face Banzai” at Alpine Meadows and the Arctic Paddle Race at 9 a.m. at Waterman’s Landing. River Ranch hosts a snow sculpture contest at noon and the Tahoe Donner Ididarun begins at 1 p.m. with proceeds benefitting the Tahoe Truckee Humane Society. SnowFest! concludes at 8 p.m. with a fashion show from Fine ‘n Funky at Hacienda del Lago in the Boatworks Mall in Tahoe City.

With so many options, the 33rd annual SnowFest! is sure to entertain all members of the family. From sports enthusiasts to artistic types, there is truly something for everyone.

For lodging and housing packages visit www.TahoeSnowFest.com or www.GoTahoeNorth.com/cool-deals.

For the most updated schedule of events visit www.TahoeSnowFest.com.

A link to photos of SnowFest! 2013 (photo credit: rettingphotography.com) : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pg8lk8kehksd81a/EnkTlHAwZ8


About North Lake Tahoe
For more information about North Lake Tahoe, visit www.gotahoenorth.com. And for the best bargains, including lodging, check out the “Cool Deals” tab, which is updated daily. North Lake Tahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. Visitor information centers are located at 100 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village.