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Exciting “Must Do” Holiday Events Around Town

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The holidays are here, and our area has tons of winter activities for you to participate in to keep you and your family happy and full of holiday cheer. This season is always a busy one, so to make things easy we’ve made a list of events going on around town and put a few of them here for you. All you have to do is have fun!

The Reno Ice Rink is always a favorite for this month. This year it will be hosted at the Reno Aces ballpark and will be open all the way through February. It’s definitely cold out on the ice, but skating is always fun regardless of your skill level. People and children of all ages head to the rink for some holiday fun, so be sure to join them! For more information visit our blog post dedicated to the Ice Rink.

The Eldorado is ringing in the holiday season with “Christmas Wonderland”, one of London’s biggest Christmas shows. The Eldorado is calling it “a holiday extravaganza of pure Christmas magic”. The show will be filled with dancing and singing of traditional Christmas carols, such as “Winter Wonderland” and “O Holy Night”, and the audience is encouraged to sing along. There will be beautiful costumes, a gorgeous set, a skilled and entertaining cast, and “the highest kicking chorus girls this side of the North Pole.” Performances will take place Tuesday through Sunday until December 27. Tickets are on sale now.

For some grown-up fun, the Santa Crawl will be taking place on Saturday, December 13. T’is the season to dress up in your best Santa costume and crawl to over 50 local bars with your friends! This crawl is expected to draw in a whopping 15,000 festive crawlers who will take over the streets of Reno for a night. Santa, reindeer, elves, and Ms. Claus will all come together for one giant holiday party! Be sure to buy your official Santa Crawl cup at participating retailers around town and get ready to have some fun!

Reno’s Wine Walk is holiday themed this month and is encouraging walkers to dress in their ugliest Christmas sweaters for the event. Head down to the Riverwalk District on Saturday, December 20 and enjoy wine from nearly 30 local businesses in the downtown area. For $20 you will get a wine glass and access to some delicious wines and a great time, and on the 20th a portion of the proceeds will benefit Cancer Awareness of Nevada.

For some holiday fun up in Tahoe, visit the Resort at Squaw Creek for A Star Spangled Christmas where the Truckee Tahoe Community Chrous will be singing for all to hear. They will be commemorating the bicentennial of our national anthem by performing the Star Spangled Banner, a Star Medley and Star Carol. The Chorus will also perform Schubert’s Mass in G, Gaudete!, a Jolly Jingle Christmas Medley and a sing along to get in the holiday spirit. They will be performing December 13 at 7:00 pm and December 14 at 2:00 pm. Get your tickets now!

December 20 through January 3 Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows will be hosting Holiday Celebrations up on the slopes! Santa will be skiing along with Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley throughout the month, so keep an eye out for them! In the Village carolers will be singing your favorite holiday songs, so cozy up to the fire and listen while you sip on some hot chocolate. Sqauw’s Olympic Ice Pavilion and SnoVentures Activity Zone are also great spots for some family holiday fun. There will also be a kids scavenger hunt during the month-long celebration to go along with the other holiday festivities. Head up to the mountain to be a part of this winter celebration!

WHERE ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR 4TH OF JULY?

Sparks Fireworks tower crowdThis year Reno Tahoe USA is hosting some of the top Independence Day events and pyrotechnic displays in the nation. It’s a tough call deciding which of these parties to crash but we’ve tried to make it easy for you to see what each event has to offer.

LAKE TAHOE

July 1-4, the fifth annual Red, White and Tahoe Blue celebration in Incline Village offers the perfect getaway for families. They’ve got a patriotic chalk drawing contest, beer tastings, firecracker trail trek, and even a doggie dress up contest for your pup. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a jam-packed weekend with the fam, look no further – after you finish reading this post, of course.

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We can’t forget about the 70 feet of snowfall last winter quite yet. Both Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley USA are reopening for the weekend offering discounted tickets and wrapping up the season with huge 4th of July parties. Squaw will also host the famed 21st annual Lake Cushing Crossing on July 3. No one does pond-skimming quite like Squaw Valley. Perhaps it is because men and women in Reno Tahoe are a little more daring, a little more agile and a little better on sticks. Or maybe, it’s because the Cushing Crossing is held on a real pond, rather than a tarp-lined ditch or kiddie pool. We don’t really need a reason; we do it the way we want.

Other local Lake Tahoe events include Tahoe City celebrating 65 years of fireworks at Commons Beach, July 4, and Kings Beach hosting their annual firework display and deck party at the North Tahoe Event Center on July 3.

SPARKS

Experience the biggest 4th of July party in the region, Star Spangled Sparks, at the Sparks Marina. Join thousands to celebrate our freedom at this FREE all day event. Rise bright and early for free hot air balloon rides at 6am and a three dollar all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. The excitement continues during the day with a fun-run around the Sparks Marina, bounce houses and a ride area for the kids. Later that evening, witness a military flyover moments before the longest and most spectacular pyrotechnic display in the region, you won’t want to miss this 11th annual celebration.

VIRGINIA CITY

Virginia City made the list for the “Top 10 Fourth of July Fireworks 2011.” For us this comes as no surprise as every year thousands journey to the famous, historical city. The event begins with a parade downtown around noon and ends with the Comstock Cowboys performing at dusk along with an extensive fireworks show. The last time Virginia City had this many explosives was back when the city was first discovered as a gold mining jackpot.

PYRAMID LAKE

Do you want to be the party planner? The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe welcomes all those who want to throw their own 4th of July party. Summer season fireworks are now on sale for use on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation in designated areas. Create your own fireworks show over North America’s most beautiful desert lake!

Reno Tahoe Flash Mob at Alpine Meadows

In the midst of a blizzard that brought 54 inches of snow to Alpine Meadows, Microsoft Licensing, GP and Microsoft Student partnered with Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Moment Skis and Sentury Snowboards on Saturday, March 19, creating the biggest flash mob this area has ever seen in an effort to promote Reno Tahoe and the products of local companies.  

“It was touch and go that we’d even be able to pull this off, but with employees and videographers that flew in for the weekend, we forged onward,” said Amy Strande, director of Microsoft Student Outreach.

On Saturday, more than 125 people braved the blizzard conditions to gather at the Alpine Meadows Take the Lake Rail Jam Competition, kicking off the event with a surprise flash mob. 

“We went with an 80’s theme, because we were looking to go big and relate to everyone,” said Max Lanman, creative director of the flash mob. “We wanted it to be over the top and fun to watch.”

The goal of the flash mob was to create a viral video to showcase Reno Tahoe and Alpine Meadows, and to promote Microsoft products and locally produced Sentury Snowboards and Moment Skis. The event brought together a community of people; including, Microsoft employees, interns, vendors and family; UNR Dance Co-Op members; dance students from Reno to South Lake Tahoe; and Alpine Meadows’ ski team skiers, families and coaches.  The flash mob video can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/flashmob.

The idea stemmed from a challenge issued by Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft, when he visited the Reno office in 2010. Holland’s challenge was to think of creative ways to grow awareness and market share of Microsoft products in the community.

“I started thinking that we could partner with local tourism officials and our existing partners at Sentury Snowboards and Moment Skis to showcase the area and local products using each partners’ social networks,” said Lynnette Bellin, instigator of the flash mob. “The blizzard made this a herculean feat!”

 “The flash mob was a fun addition to the existing college spring break week at Alpine,” according to Deanna Gescheider, executive director of marketing for JMA Ventures, which manages Alpine Meadows and Homewood resorts. Unfortunately, the competition was cancelled due to weather conditions, but the rail jam proceeded as planned.  Take The Lake Jump Line Competition draws college students from the San Francisco Bay area during spring break.

Over the past year, Sentury Snowboards has created Bing and Windows Live branded snowboards for Microsoft.  Microsoft also partnered with Moment Skis to create a Windows-branded ski.  “The branded equipment  is mainly sold to Microsoft employees, serving as a conversation starter with people on the mountain, so that we can evangelize Microsoft products,” said Ken Skogerson, project manager of the MSLI Marketing and PR committee.

-Lynette Bellin

Video: Sierra ski and board conditions are ideal

What started as a meager ski season with a couple good early season storms and then a long, warm lull, has evolved into a powder-seekers dream in the Sierra Nevada. The last week has brought several feet of new snow to area ski resorts, and another storm system is expected through Christmas Day to add a couple more feet to the total.

What does all this mean? It means it is time to take advantage of discounted rates and book a ski trip to Reno-Tahoe. You’ll be glad you did …

Helmet cam view of Alpine Meadows on Sunday:


It’s snowing in Tahoe …

Now that the ghouls and ghosts are going into hibernation until next year, it’s time to start thinking about ski season. Lake Tahoe has been getting snow for a couple days. Here’s the first video “snow report” from Alpine’s Errol Kerr (also a member of the Jamaican National Ski Team):