Festival of Winter Lights comes to South Lake Tahoe

Miranda Jacobson
The city of South Lake Tahoe and Lake Tahoe Historical Society partnered to produce the event.

The holidays are coming in hot at Lake Tahoe this year, and the city of South Lake Tahoe is presenting this year’s Festival of Winter Lights.

The multi-day event will last the entire weekend from Friday, Dec. 10 to Sunday, Dec. 12, at the South Lake Tahoe Museum located at 3058 Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

The city partnered with the Lake Tahoe Historical Society to put on the family-friendly event to kick off the winter season.

“We will be celebrating all weekend long,” said the city’s Special Events Coordinator Emily Abernathy. “It’s a winter celebration designed to bring our community back together during the holiday season.”

From 4-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10-11, the city and the historical society will be hosting an variety of events and activities, including an outdoor lighted holiday market with 20 local vendors sponsored by Winters Electric, photos with Santa Claus, carriage rides with Borges Slay Rides, and holiday performances from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District choir. There will also be food trucks, hot drinks, and live music from Bread and Butter.

On Friday night, guests can bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit Live Violence Free.

On Sunday, Dec. 12, the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena will be hosting a holiday Watch n’ Skate, with a special showing of the holiday favorite Elf. Those who bring a new toy to donate to Toys for Tots will receive a free skate rental.

Many businesses and organizations will be participating in this years festival, including Cold Water Brewery, who will be serving hot wine and donating their proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club. Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association will have a beer booth.

“So there’s several nonprofits involved in the event in different ways, which is pretty cool,” Abernathy said.

Another event that will be coming back to the basin during the festival is the Holiday in History at the Museum, which has been hosted by the historical society for the last 14 years.

“We will have our museum open and will be giving free tours and have some wonderful deals,” said Historical Chair Diane Johnson.

Additionally, Santa will be hanging out on the porch of the Osgood Toll House, which is normally not open to guests. There will also be a fun history hunt for kids.

Although the city and historical society normally do their events separately, they thought this year would be a great time to combine the fun.

“They’re [the City] doing their thing and we’re doing ours, but we’re doing it together,” Johnson said “It’s just a nice blend of things for people to do in the area, and it’s a good way to get in the Christmas spirit.”

Parking for the event will be at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center, located at 1180 Rufus Allen Boulevard. There is no charge to attend the event, but donations of gifts are appreciated.

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