More crafts shows OK’d for summer |

More crafts shows OK’d for summer

Come summer, South Lake Tahoe visitors and residents may expand their taste in art.

That’s essentially the business the City Council is now addressing that allows for more arts and crafts shows through the busy season for tourism. It runs from Memorial Day weekend through September.

Reacting to nonprofit groups complaining the city code is too limiting and a community saying special events are in short supply, the City Attorney’s office will return to the council with a change in local law that approves a dozen shows on three sites around town.

The code prohibits more than eight shows, but the local government received 15 applications from interested groups vying for a spot this year. A screening committee consisting of three community members evaluated criteria, including the amount of sales tax generated from the events.

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Making the case that items for sale must be handmade, Tahoe Arts Project Executive Director Peggy Thompson reminded the council that her fine-arts vendors have the potential to take in about $40,000 in revenue. Proceeds stay in the community, she added.

Thompson wants to be able to count on having TAP’s Fourth of July holiday show. At one point, TAP and the Kiwanis Club competed for the same weekend because doubling up on events is not allowed under the code.

“We have artists at the end of the event asking whether they can come next year,” she said. “We have to make this work for everybody.”

Tahoe Arts Project and Tahoe Art League have been approved for one show and two for the Kiwanis Club, Christmas Cheer and American Legion.

The American Legion brought its attorney, Dale Sare, to make the case that it wants to have double the number of shows.

“Eighty percent of their revenue over the past 10 years has come from crafts fairs,” Sare wrote in a letter to the city. Legion members crowded the council chambers.

Citing a possible Brown Act violation that prohibits closed-door city decisions, Sare even took issue with having an unnamed screening committee make these decisions. Those names have been requested by the Tahoe Daily Tribune. The council, in turn, decided to eliminate that method of selection and asked property owners to decide what shows will be on display.

The expansion of the arts and crafts shows was approved Tuesday on a 4-0 vote, with Councilwoman Judy Brown absent.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at

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