Paddlefest a local celebration of ecotourism |

Paddlefest a local celebration of ecotourism

Ben Pignatelli
Special to the Tribune

A few weeks ago, a special event occurred on Regan Beach: Paddlefest. It was an event marking Tahoe’s growing transition to market the ecotourism/geotoursim the region offers. A few local businesses were on-site to join in the locally organized event.

Event organizer John Dayberry has been involved in bringing Tahoe’s outdoor potential to fruition for years. I remember in 2006 when he attended multiple public meetings surrounding Heavenly’s Master Plan Amendment. He wanted what was best for the town and the lake, no matter the politics involved.

Paddlefest brought hundreds of locals and tourists down to the beach to mark the true beginning of summer. Children and adults alike took free paddleboard demos just off the beach, kayaking was kicking, sunscreen everywhere and a local DJ joined the new businesses in town: The Freebird Cafe (which is starting to host bike-to outdoor movie nights behind their organic spot) and Sierra Pizza, serving the largest pizza in the Sierra.

A locally sourced beer garden and hula dancers capped the event. Tahoe does have to continually develop its potential, and local efforts like these, although they might go unnoticed, are the roots of what’s to come.

– This article was emailed to the Tribune via