Festivals and Events
Each year Lake Tahoe hosts a number of big festivals in both summer and wintertime, though undoubtedly summer is high festival season.
One of the biggest of these is the Lake Tahoe Music Festival (www.tahoemusic.org). Players like Kenny Loggins and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy perform alongside symphony orchestras over a three-week stretch in late July and early August. Concerts are held at a number of venues—often ski resorts such as Homewood, Alpine Meadows, and Tahoe Donner. Check the festival website for this year’s concert dates, times, venues, and ticket prices.
If you enjoy costumes and want to dive into the living history of the early 20th-century wealth and privilege that surrounded Lake Tahoe, hit the Great Gatsby Festival (http://tahoeheritage.org, Aug.) at the Tallac Historic Site . In the heat of August each year, actors and volunteers dress in period attire and stroll the grounds of the estates, mimicking 1920s vacationers.
The most popular event of this two-day festival is the Gatsby Tea on Saturday afternoon. For $30, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous afternoon high tea spiced up by entertainment that culminates in a vintage fashion show. On both days, additional entertainments, tours, and vendors selling early 1900s-styled items draw folks onto the estates.
California theater-lovers have been known to drive for hours to see the shows of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival (www.laketahoeshakespeare.com, July–Aug.). In 1995, a new stage facility was built at the classic Sand Harbor State Park beach location (three miles south of Incline Village on SR-28). Festival-goers can still flop onto a towel in the sand, but the play they’ll watch will be a world-class Shakespearean production. (In truth, you’ll be much comfier if you bring a low beach chair to sit in for the show.)
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition