WinterWonderGrass music festival hits Squaw Valley |

WinterWonderGrass music festival hits Squaw Valley

Cassandra Walker

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — The highly anticipated music and brew festival, WinterWonderGrass, returns to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows this weekend and is sure to be a knee-slapping good time.

The third annual festival brings performances from 25 bluegrass bands spread across four stages and welcomes guests to celebrate the mountain lifestyle.

“Returning to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and North Lake Tahoe each winter has quickly become a long-anticipated tradition for the WinterWonderGrass family,” said Scotty Stoughton, who founded the festival.

The festival’s mission is, “to create simple and authentic community gatherings for the adventurous spirit, concentrating on quality of the experience over quantity of attendees with a focus on dedicated artists, sustainability, locally sourced products and support of non-profits.”

“Planting and growing the seeds of the festival in a community so richly immersed and protective of the stunning natural beauty and world renowned features fuels our inspiration,” Stoughton said. “It’s the people of Lake Tahoe we yearn to revisit each winter; to catch up on stories, create new memories and continue to build the foundation of an authentic, locally focused and sustainable musical gathering.”

Doors open at 1:45 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and headlining artists include Greensky Bluegrass, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, The Sam Bush Band and The Infamous Stringdusters.

Meanwhile, a common theme of WinterWonderGrass is sustainability and environmental awareness. To date, the music festival has donated more than $40,000 to local charitable organizations focusing on music and arts education, environmental protection and disaster relief.

Local partners for this year’s festival include The Shane McConkey Foundation, Tahoe Food Hub and Arts for the Schools.

Of note, Thursday evening’s “Tram-to-Table” dinner kicks off the weekend festivities with a tram ride delivering guests to a private show by bluegrass legend Peter Rowan and the band Fruition — hosted at 8,200 feet in Squaw’s High Camp.

The evening includes a cocktail hour, beer, wine and spirit tastings and a family-style dinner from Tahoe Food Hub.

Plan your weekend around various performances on four separate stages and sip craft brews from 2-5 p.m., poured by California and Nevada brew masters in three heated brew tents.

And don’t worry about missing out on the tunes while filling your cup, as each of the brew tents features stages surrounded by hay bales, patio lights, barn wood décor and whiskey barrels.

A family friendly event, WinterWonderGrass also invites the youngest audience members to get their faces painted, twirl hula hoops, create crafts and try acro yoga in the Kids’ Zone.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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