Column: Plan to have some fun at North Lake Tahoe this Friday

Wanna have some fun at North Lake Tahoe this Friday afternoon and evening?

If you do, Friday is the 23rd edition of a very special outdoor event and you should plan to attend.

That event begins at 5 p.m. and it lasts until it's too dark to see.

If you are interested, the cost to attend is $12 (prepaid) or $15 at the gate, per person. The cost for children, ages 6-15, is $5 and youngsters under the age of 6 are admitted free.

That special event will be held just outside of the clubhouse of the Tahoe City Golf Course.

The golf course is located on the northwest side of Lake Tahoe at Tahoe City, Calif. It is about a 50 minute drive from Carson City, via U.S. 50 to Spooner Summit and a combination of Nevada and California S.R. 28 to Tahoe City.

What in the heck is this very special outdoor event?

Well, the correct answer is the 22nd annual Big Mack Feed.

Now, you're probably asking, "What in the heck is the Big Mack Feed?" Well, it is an unusual fund raiser consisting of a combination of a beautiful location, a tasty barbecued pig and wild game stew dinner, a large number of raffle prizes and about 500 attendees.

The Big Mack Feed is a special fund raiser that generates funds for worthwhile causes in the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee area. Through the past 22 years, recipients have included the North Lake Tahoe high school football team, the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee Search and Rescue Unit, the Senior Citizens Center and Safe Graduation Night for North Lake Tahoe High School.

This year the proceeds will be donated to North Lake Tahoe Young Life and Safe Graduation Night for North Lake Tahoe High School.

The Big Mack Feed is the offshoot of the first attempt by Mickey Daniels of Carnelian Bay to run for public office. He was running for the position of Constable at Tahoe City. That first fund raiser was originally designed to raise monies for his election campaign. However, Daniels was so successful in raising funds that he had a considerable amount of money left over following his election. He donated that money to a local charitable organization and the idea took root. Since then, the annual fund raiser has become one of the summer highlights at Tahoe City.

The Big Mack Feed is always held on the first Friday evening in August and it is traditionally highlighted by a very unique outdoor dinner.

That dinner consists of French rolls and butter, various types of fresh fruits, tossed salads, a Mackinaw trout salad, pork roasts, ear corn, wild game stew complete with deer, duck, goose, pheasant, etc. and a peach dessert. And, you can go back for seconds, thirds, etc., until you are absolutely stuffed to the ears.

Also included on the evening's menu is an entire roasted pig. That's right, a roasted pig. That "porker" is slowly cooked for hours on a rotating spit over a bed of hot coals, right in front of the clubhouse. While it's cooking, it is carefully watched by Head Chef Arnold ("Big Arnold") Huf of Escalon, Calif. Huf also presides over the concurrent cooking of a huge number of pork roasts.

One of the more intriguing features of this fund raiser is that when it ends for the evening, there are usually a number of the pork roasts left over.

You can purchase them for a very reasonable price and then have a number of tasty pork meals for several days following the fund raiser.

Through the years, yours truly has attended more Big Mack Feeds than I care to admit, but unfortunately, this year, I will be unable to attend. That is due to the broken tailbone that I suffered when my horse bolted on July 8 and I got thrown off. I landed on a rock with my tailbone. The tailbone broke, the rock did not. My rear end still has not healed enough for me to sit for any appreciable length of time. To be very blunt, my butt still hurts, big time!

In those past years, the Big Mack Feed weekend has consisted of a very ritualistic group of highly enjoyable events for "little Donnie Q."

During that weekend, I have been a special house guest of Mick and Nora Daniels at their very comfortable home at Carnelian Bay. I usually arrive late on Wednesday afternoon. Then that evening, Mick and Nora are my guests for dinner at Garwood's restaurant on the beach at Carnelian Bay.

Mick and I get up very early on Thursday morning and spend the morning fishing for Mackinaw trout on his charter fishing boat, The Big Mack II. Anything we catch is taken home to be used for the Big Mack Feed. Following the fishing trip, we have a leisurely lunch at The Post Office restaurant. Lunch is followed by a very well deserved nap. After the nap, we get cleaned up and then wander over to the Tahoe City Golf Course to join a group of volunteers preparing the food items for the Friday night function. Those volunteers will be cutting up big red onions (and doing a lot of crying), slicing fresh peaches, shucking corn, cutting up all types of wild game such as deer, antelope, elk, duck, geese, pheasant, etc., Once they are finished, everyone kicks back and enjoys a huge barbecue with all of the usual trimmings, including lots of Manhattans for little Donnie Q. Then it's time to go to bed to get up early the next morning to go fishing.

On Friday morning, we are joined by my son Jim and Greg Petersen of Carson City for another Mackinaw fishing trip just in front of the King's Beach-Carnelian Bay area. Then when we are done fishing, it's time for lunch, again, at the Post Office and that well-deserved nap. After the nap, we all go to the golf course to do whatever needs to be done to get ready for that night's activities.

How's that for a tough schedule!

So, even though I won't be there this year, be sure to mark Friday afternoon and evening on your calendar to enjoy a fund raiser with a totally different twist.

The Big Mack Feed - a great way to have a ton of fun at North Lake Tahoe.

For tickets or information about the Big Mack Feed or fishing at North Lake Tahoe, call Daniels at (800) 877-1462.


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