Granlibakken’s hometown of Tahoe City is known for throwing some pretty spectacular parties. But there will never again be a birthday bash like the one planned for Thursday, Aug. 8. The best part is — everyone is invited.
Tahoe City 150, aka ‘TC150′ the Sesquicentennial, culminates this week with a parade on the Tahoe City Lakeside Trail followed by a big town birthday bash at the Tahoe City Golf Course.
Parade-goers are encouraged to come in costume for this parade, which will celebrate Tahoe City past and present. Beginning at 5 p.m. the community and visitors are welcome to walk, skate, ride or paddle among locals along the parade route, which begins at the Lighthouse Shopping Center and runs to Commons Beach along the lakeside trail.
The party continues from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with the Tahoe City Town Party at the Tahoe City Golf Course. Partygoers can feast an old fashioned hamburger and hotdog barbecue and enjoy beverages on the patio while listening to live music by the Groove Foundary.
By the late 19th century, Lake Tahoe had become a popular vacation spot for wealthy San Francisco residents. Beginning in 1887, Robert M. Watson, who later became Tahoe’s first constable, ran an inn called the Tahoe House with his wife and five children. In 1901, the original Tahoe Tavern was constructed by Walter Danforth Bliss. Over the next several decades, the Tavern was expanded to include such amenities as a casino with a bowling alley, ballroom (which was later converted to a movie theater), physician’s office, laundry, steam plant and water system. Both the Tahoe House and Tahoe Tavern were located in Tahoe City on the West Shore.
In 1904, when Tahoe House owner Watson returned from trying his luck at gold mining, the west and north shores of Lake Tahoe were so well populated that the citizens decided a full-time constable was necessary, and they elected Watson to the position. Watson, who was known to local youth as “Grandpa,” is famous for having declared the Tahoe City jail unsuitable even for miscreants and allowing prisoners to sleep on his kitchen floor.
Early guests to the lake could take a South Pacific train from San Francisco all the way to Truckee. The Lake Tahoe Railway would then take them into Tahoe City, where they either settled down into one of the nearby lodging options, or climbed aboard a steamship that could deliver them to several spots around the Lake.
Granlibakken’s own history involves the evolution of skiing in the Sierra. The Lake Tahoe Ski Club had already put the Tahoe on the map for winter recreation, having hosted the 1931 Winter Olympic Tryouts, as well as the 1932 National Jumping and Cross-Country competitions. This all took place at present-day Granlibakken, then known as Olympic Hill, which was owned by the Tahoe Tavern.
In 1960, Tahoe’s reputation for winter sports gained international recognition when Squaw Valley hosted the Winter Olympics. For interesting facts about Tahoe City you can visit the Gatekeepers Museum or the Watson Cabin.
Either way don’t miss the celebrations for Tahoe City Day!