Arts & Culture
Please note: Most Events have been canceled for 2020 due to the current health and safety guidelines. Please check the Tahoe South Events page for updated information.
Back in the day, Native American tribes journeyed to Lake Tahoe to collect medicinal plans, fish the cool blue water, hunt, and gather materials for tools. By the late 19th century, Lake Tahoe mesmerized the wealthy San Franciscans who built large summer estates along the shores, entertaining the rich and famous. Gold and silver were discovered in Virginia City, Nevada, and lumber from the Sierra Nevada was hauled away to support the burgeoning mining town. The cultural fabric of Lake Tahoe is rich and western and our historic sites and gallery events will bring it all to life.
Sunday in June, Tahoe Arts Alliance presents the inaugural ArtFest, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. In partnership with the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Tahoe Brewfest and the Ski Run Business Association, the free all-ages event features a specified genre of art (i.e. visual art at Black Bear Lodge, film at Tech Gear Lab) with businesses along Ski Run Blvd.
The Valhalla Art, Music & Theatre Festival
Tickets are on sale now for concerts, plays, comedy improv shows, fine art shows, movement and rhythm workshops, art camps and more starting mid-June and running through October.
Valhalla is a unique paradise that combines rich heritage, rustic elegance and stunning Lake Tahoe views to offer an enchanting setting for the area’s most eclectic seasonal art festival. The site is hidden among the pines, fir, and cedar on the southwest shore next to Camp Richardson. The vantage from the plush vintage seats in the historic Boathouse Theatre offers the illusion that the stage and performers actually float on the lake. Expansive shaded lawns blending into beach and shoreline provide the perfect setting for performance and art workshops, concerts, and picnics. The Grand Hall, summer home for the family of timber baron Walter Heller in the early 20th century with its enormous stone fireplace and numerous French doors opening onto the deep wrap-around porch houses the Viking Gallery and is the setting for more intimate festival events.
Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
July 2 – August 22, 2021, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Much Ado About Nothing and Mamma Mia! Enjoy extraordinary entertainment in an exceptional setting! Imagine your toes in the sand, a fantastic bottle of wine nearby, a gourmet meal in hand and first-class entertainment before you… all while basking in a perfect Lake Tahoe sunset with your friends and family. You’re not dreaming, you’re experiencing the enchantment of Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor at Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park.
Wa She Shu It’ Deh Native American Arts Festival
Normally the last weekend in July, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Wa She Shu It’ Deh Native American Arts Festival – Valhalla Arts, Music and Theatre Festival.
Lake Tahoe was and is sacred ground for the Washoe Tribe. This culture and heritage celebration on its shore is hosted by the Washoe Tribe of Nevada. Representatives from tribes across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America gather to celebrate native traditions. This longstanding festival, open to the public, features Native American dancing, master basket weaving display, food, crafts, and music.
Great Gatsby Living History Festival
The Gatsby Festival is a two-day event at the Tallac Historic Site held each year the second weekend in August. Throughout the weekend a variety of activities take place on the Pope and Baldwin Estates—vintage car shows, musicians, children’s games from the 1920s, vendors of period clothing, jewelry and other items plus the sale of the annual Gatsby poster. Food and fun will be plentiful! Feel free to come in costume and spend the day in Lake Tahoe! Tickets are available at www.tahoeheritage.org or by calling 530-544-7383.
Join in the celebration of the Rip Roaring 20’s with events including, Guided Tours, Vintage Automobiles, Historical Talks, Games & Activities, Food & Drink, Silent Auction & Raffle and so much more!
Tour the Baldwin Museum at the Tallac Historic Site
Baldwin Museum, The Place to Start: Come explore our free museum and learn about the area’s history! A short introductory video acquaints visitors with the history of life at Tahoe, and exhibits include a 1920s kitchen, information about the infamous Lucky Baldwin and his family, and a room about the Washoe people. The Museum Store sells merchandise interpretive of the period and tickets to regular programs, tours, and events. Free! May 26 through September 16 – 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
The Tallac Historic Site is comprised of the Baldwin Estate, the Pope Estate, and Valhalla. The entire site is open daily during the summer months. (530) 541-5227. GPS latitude 38.9378 longitude -120.0471
Pope-Baldwin Historic Estates
The historically registered Pope-Baldwin Estates at the Tallac Historic Site in South Lake Tahoe is a must-see for locals and visitors to the area. The summer estates are open daily during the summer month’s, the public is free to wander throughout the estates; stroll through the gardens, visit the Museum, view the Vintage Clothing Exhibit, view inside outbuildings used to house servants and guests, watch the Blacksmith in action. The Baldwin Museum Gift Shop is filled with cheerful Lake Tahoe seasonal and period-inspired merchandise, clothing, unique gifts and books. The friendly staff and volunteers in the Gift Shop are happy to help you with your purchases and while you are shopping, and be sure to visit with Museum Docents. These specially-trained volunteers can help you with questions about the historic estates, programs, tours, demonstrations, upcoming special events, and area information.
Tahoe Heritage Foundation, non-profit partners with the USFS, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit to offer programs, tours, and special events. For more information please explore this year’s Lake of the Sky Journal.
Fall Fish Fest
First weekend in October. Celebrate the annual fall migration of the Kokanee salmon during the Fall Fish Fest at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Lake Tahoe. The Visitor Center is located three miles north of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89. Join the fun and participate in this free family event which has become one of the most fascinating educational and wildlife viewing events in Northern California.
Valhalla Renaissance Faire
The sights, sounds, tastes, and beauty of the 16th Century return to South Lake Tahoe’s Camp Richardson with the Valhalla Renaissance Faire, to be held the first part of June at Camp Richardson Resort.
Let loose, come in costume (if you want a more immersive experience) and participate in Scavenger Hunts, Costume contests and Talk Like a Pirate Contests! And, take in some of the most intense armored fighting competitions!