‘Dawg’ Grisman picks Peaks and Paws Festival

Village dogs
The dog days of August include the Peaks and Paws Festival at Squaw Valley.

A most appropriate band headlines Squaw Valley’s fourth annual Peaks and Paws Festival.

The “Dawg” himself will be in the village as David Grisman’s Bluegrass Experience plays from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday’s event features two stages with live bluegrass, 15 wine venders, Lagunitas beer, pet-themed art and events and outings for human’s best friends. The venue is always pet-friendly, All festival proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

Jerry Garcia gave the nickname “Dawg” to Grisman, who calls his mixture of bluegrass and Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli-influenced jazz “Dawd music.” He had an album in 1981 called “Dawg,” and his website is named “Dawgnet.” A 2001 documentary about the friendship between Garcia and Grisman is titled “Grateful Dawg.”

A son of a trombone player, Grisman began playing mandolin as a teenager, despite being admonished by his piano instructor that it “wasn’t a real instrument,” according to Dawgnet. He played in the style of “the father of bluegrass,” Bill Monroe. Grisman, who went to college in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, was part of the growing folk music scene.

While he has a well-chronicled history with Garcia and the Greatful Dead, Grisman also recorded with Doc Watson, James Taylor, Earl Scruggs, Bonnie Rait, Linda Ronstadt, John Hartford and Del McCoury.

The Dead Winter Carpenters, probably Lake Tahoe’s most popular band, headline the festival on Sunday. The band fronted by fiddler Jenny Charles and guitarist Jessie Dunn plays Americana but with a heavy bluegrass influence, although it does have a drummer, Justin Kruger. Kruger and guitarist Bryan Daines joined the group last winter.

David Grisman
Daivd “Dawg” Grisman plays at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The festival’s music  lineup also includes more roots and bluegrass acts including Paige Anderson & the Fearless Kin, The Brothers Comatose, Low Flying Birds, The Silent Comedy, the Sierra Drifters and Bison,
The festival’s pet-partner events will kick off early Saturday with the first competitive trail run from Alpine Meadows to Squaw Valley. The Alpine 2 Squaw 10K Challenge is open to runners and walkers, as well as to dogs for those who register in the “Pets and People” category. All proceeds from the race will benefit young athletes through the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Foundation as well as the Humane Society of Truckee Tahoe. To sign up, participants can visit www.svamf.org.

Later in the day, Peaks and Paws has the Fetch Fest at Cushing Pond, which has been expanded to both days of the festival. Starting at 3 p.m., the Fetch Fest will be a timed ball retrieval contest to see which dog can retrieve the most tennis balls from Cushing Pond before time runs out. Fetch Fest has a $5 entry.
People and pets can also join dog-friendly guided hikes at High Camp and explore the flora and fauna that lives at elevation 8,200 feet. Hikes are free with a tram ticket or season pass and begin at 12:30 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m. each day, leaving from High Camp.

Festival goers can also enjoy wine tasting on First Street in The Village from 3-6 p.m. on both Saturday, August 24 and Sunday, August 25 – featuring savory and unique wines from 15 vineyards including Charlyn Zin, White Hart and McIntyre Vineyards.

Music by Lonesome Locomotive, The Sierra Drifters, and Bison will accompany the wine tasting. Wine tasting is $25 per day, and the price includes a festival wine glass, with a $5 discount available with entry donation. Lagunitas beer will be available for $4 from 2-8 p.m. All proceeds from wine tasting and beer sales benefit the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

Peaks and Paws Festival

Saturday, Aug. 24

MAIN STAGE
Paige Anderson & The Fearless Kin (12-2 p.m.)
The Brothers Comatose (2-4 p.m.)
Headliner: David Grisman Bluegrass Experience (4-6 p.m.)

FIRST STREET STAGE
Lonesome Locomotive (12-2pm)
The Sierra Drifters (3-6 p.m.)

FESTIVAL HOURS

Activities, Vendors & Artists (12-6 p.m.)
Wine Tasting (3-6 p.m.) on First Street
Beer Available (12-6 p.m.)

Sunday, August 25

MAIN STAGE
Low Flying Birds (12-2 p.m.)
The Silent Comedy (2-4 p.m.)
Headliner: Dead Winter Carpenters (4-6 p.m.)

FIRST STREET STAGE

Bison (3-6 p.m.)

FESTIVAL HOURS

Activities, Vendors & Artists (11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Beer Available (2-8 p.m.)
Wine Tasting (3-6 p.m.) on First Street in The Village at Squaw Valley

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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