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Upcoming adventures: Get swimming at Tahoe celebration of snow

When the word "snow" is in the name of a festival, there's a good chance there will be some outdoor activities. That's certainly true of the North Lake Tahoe Snow Festival, which kicks off Friday and continues through March 13.

Whether you plan to be a participant or an observer, there will be action in the water, up on the mountains and even in the streets. The events are held at various venues, so consult a schedule to prevent showing up on the wrong side of the lake.

Many events will be held along Highway 28 between Tahoe City, which is sort of Snow Festival Central, and the Nevada border.

Just remember: The outdoor nature of the annual festival might mean you should pack the wet suit with the swim suit - especially if you plan to do the Polar Bear Swim on Saturday at Gar Woods in Carnelian Bay.

But otherwise, dress for outdoor fun - including parades at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Tahoe City and 11:30 a.m. March 12 at Kings Beach.

Here are some of the outdoor recreation highlights:

* Friday, 7 a.m.: 30th annual Rotary Ski Challenge, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort.

* Saturday, 2:30 p.m.: Gar Woods Polar Bear Swim, Gar Woods Grill and Pier, Carnelian Bay. Must register.

* Sunday, 9 a.m.: Great Ski Race, Tahoe Nordic Center, Tahoe City.

* Sunday, noon: Pierce Street Annex/Naughty Dawg 12th annual Monster Dawg Pull, Pierce Street Annex, Tahoe City.

* Sunday through March 12: 2005 Cross Country Junior Olympics, Auburn Ski Club Training Center, Norden.

* March 12, 1 p.m.: Agate Bay Animal Hospital/Dog Gone Crazy Dog Wilderness Games, Blue Onion, Kings Beach.

* March 13, 10 a.m.: Tahoe Donner Party "I Dida Run" Match Race, Tahoe Donner Association Bar and Grill, Tahoe Donner.

* March 13, 1 p.m. River Ranch Snow Sculpture Contest, River Ranch Lodge, Alpine Meadows.

For more information: (530) 583-7167 or