SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. – April 19, 2010 – Zephyr Cove Resort and Lake Tahoe Cruises, operated by ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, are honoring the life and influence of Mark Twain with a Wild West Weekend to kick off the summer season at Lake Tahoe. Inspired by Mark Twain’s life and work, the western-themed festivities are scheduled June 12-13, 2010 and begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday with a line-up of family-friendly activities at the Zephyr Cove special events site.
The Pie Eating Competition starts at 11 a.m., whereby pie-loving contestants will have 20 minutes to finish as many cherry pies as they can eat. The winners will be determined by an event manager and McAvoy Layne, the popular Mark Twain impressionist. The contest prizes include cabin stays at Zephyr Cove, snowmobile sleds, scenic day cruises and a dinner cruise. Participants must pay a $5 entry fee and be at the competition at the 11 a.m. start time. Registration opens at 10 a.m.
From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Chili Cook-Off will showcase the best of Tahoe’s amateur chefs as they compete for first, second and third place prizes, as well as an award for “Best Booth.” The top three prizes, which include cash and lodging at Zephyr Cove Resort, will be granted based on texture, flavor, consistency, spice and taste, aroma, color and people’s choice. The “Best Booth” award will be determined by popular vote and judged on the basis of its compliance with the festival’s overall western theme. Participants must pay a $15 fee per each chili dish entered.
At 1:30 p.m., fibbers, truth stretchers, and bold-faced liars alike can participate in Mark Twain’s Wild West Bold-Faced Liars Contest. The contest prizes include cabin stays at Zephyr Cove, snowmobile sleds, scenic day cruises and a dinner cruise.
On the evening of June 12, Zephyr Cove Resort will host a Mark Twain Lecture Dinner at the special events site at 6 p.m. Priced at $100 per person, the dinner includes a four-course meal and features guest speakers Robert Stewart, author of Aurora, Nevada’s Ghost City of Dawn, and Robert Hirst, general editor and official curator of the Mark Twain Project and Papers. Stewart will address Mark Twain’s route through Lake Tahoe and announce the arrival of Clemens Cove and Hirst will discuss the release of Mark Twain’s autobiography that had been withheld for the past 100 years. All proceeds from the two-and-a-half-hour event will benefit the preservation of Mark Twain’s history.
Other featured activities on Saturday include the High Noon Western Shoot Out, cowboy poetry reading, skits featuring a cast of vibrant characters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and music from the Old West. Kids can enjoy the Kid’s Zone at the special events site, which will include a bounce house, a 22-foot slide and booths with jugglers, face painters, story-tellers and more. On Sunday, June 13, guests can cheer on either the M.S. Dixie II or Tahoe Queen in the annual Great Lake Tahoe Paddlewheeler Race, which begins at 10:15 a.m. on the lake. Zephyr Cove Resort will also host a kids’ triathlon to wrap up the weekend festivities.
“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Mark Twain, who significantly influenced the public’s perception of Lake Tahoe as the jewel of the Sierras in Northern California,” said Austin Sass, director of sales and marketing, Zephyr Cove Resort and Lake Tahoe Cruises. “The Wild West Weekend will be a fun, family-friendly event that takes our guests back to the days of the American Old West, while preserving the history of Mark Twain and the early years of Lake Tahoe among the younger generations.”
The event is free for the general public to attend, with the exception of the Mark Twain Lecture Dinner. Competitions require a minimal participation fee. For more information, please visit www.zephyrcove.com or call (866) 761-6240.
About Lake Tahoe Cruises
Operating out of Ski Run Marina in the heart of the South Shore, Lake Tahoe Cruises (www.laketahoecruises.com) offers daily cruises on the authentic paddlewheeler Tahoe Queen ranging from the “Voyages through the Big Water,” with singer/storyteller, Darin Talbot and “Tales of Tahoe by Mark Twain,” to the “Ports of Call” midweek sunset dinner/dance cruise, weekend dinner/dance and sightseeing cruises. In addition to the Queen, the Tahoe Cruises fleet comprises the M.S. Dixie II, offering daily sightseeing dinner and brunch cruises, the 80-foot luxury liner Tahoe Paradise and the smaller Tahoe Princess, both of which can be chartered for special events and groups.
About Zephyr Cove Resort
Located on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe just four miles from Stateline, Nevada, Zephyr Cove Resort & Marina (www.zephyrcove.com) has been a historic recreational destination for more than a century, and today offers everything from camping and lakeside cabins to snowmobiling, boating and cruises to Emerald Bay. The Zephyr Cove Marina, which offers a host of boat and watercraft rentals, also serves as the departure point for the M.S. Dixie II, voted “Best of Tahoe,” and offering daily cruises ranging from the historic breakfast buffet, champagne brunch, sightseeing and dinner/dance cruise.
About ARAMARK Parks and Destinations
ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, a division of ARAMARK, delivers authentic and memorable experiences at national and state parks, national forests, specialty hotels, museums, and other tourist destinations throughout the United States. In partnership with its clients, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations seeks to enhance the guest experience by offering industry-leading hospitality, environmental stewardship, recreational, and interpretive programs. For more information on ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and each of its properties, visit www.aramarkparksanddestinations.com
Allison & Partners