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Fact Sheet: North Lake Tahoe’s Local Luminaries

Last updated: February 2022

Fact Sheet: North Lake Tahoe’s Local Luminaries

The destination introduces local characters that exemplify the culture and spirit of North Tahoe in an original six-episode docuseries debuting on www.GoTahoeNorth.com

 Media Note: please utilize the following local resources for expert knowledge on varied subjects, including: music/entertainment, history/culture, food/festivals, adventure/high altitude training. Talent is available for interviews upon request.


Local Luminaries: An original docuseries that examines the lives and passions of North Lake Tahoe locals will launch July 25 on www.GoTahoeNorth.com/luminaries; the six-episode series features short-film documentaries and corresponding blog content from Local Luminaries who embody the character, flavor and eclectic culture of North Lake Tahoe. Viewers can access local tips and lifestyle perspective while also engaging on a deeper level to understand why these individuals purposely choose to call Lake Tahoe home and how the common thread of community keeps them here permanently.

When: Episode Air Dates

Jenni Charles: July 25, 2017

Bill Watson: August 4, 2017

Douglas Dale: August 18, 2017

Adrian Ballinger & Emily Harrington: September 1, 2017

Two additional episodes will air this fall


To explore local tips from each Luminary and learn more about their story, visit www.gotahoenorth.com/luminaries.

Local Luminaries

Jenni Charles (episode air date: July 25, 2017)
Fiddle Player & Vocalist for Dead Winter Carpenters, Music Teacher, Wife & Mother

Episode One: Jenni Charles started playing north shore venues with her family band in the mid-nineties. Her father, veteran ski patroller at Squaw Valley, accompanied Jenni on the guitar, while her mother played bass and her brother played everything from drums to mandolin. Immersed in a family life that fostered musical creativity, she consumed a wide variety of sounds that continue to influence her soulful mountain string vibe today. Jenni met Jesse Dunn, a guitarist and vocalist, at a northern California music festival in the summer of 2009, and three weeks later they found themselves together again in Tahoe City for a joint gig at Commons Beach. In spring of 2010 Dead Winter Carpenters was born and the pair have been making sweet melodies together ever since. Music runs deep through Jenni’s artful spirit and in Local Luminaries, she offers insight on what it means to be a touring musician and new mom to Mabel Juniper, her seven-month-old daughter. Learn how she creates balance by way of the outdoors and what it’s like to go on stage and see a sold-out crowd beaming with familiar faces.

Bill Watson (episode air date: August 4, 2017)
Historian, Chief Executive & Curator of Thunderbird Lake Tahoe

Episode Two: Bill Watson began what was supposed to be a 90-day stint working at Thunderbird Lake Tahoe close to 10 years ago. George Whittell Jr.’s famed east shore estate was about to be torn down due to a lack of funding. But instead of overseeing demolition of the property, Watson instead focused on saving it. He succeeded in raising close to $10 million and today, Thunderbird is one of Lake Tahoe’s largest art and history museums, referred to often as a “castle in the sky.” It is because of Watson that visitors can explore secret tunnels, and private gardens, and learn how technology and exotic animals played a key role in the Thunderbird’s 80-year history. The property reflects the eccentricities and environmental preservation wishes of Mr. Whittell, perhaps the most colorful personality Tahoe has ever seen. The Thunderbird Yacht takes to Lake Tahoe for the first time in four years this summer and at the helm is Bill Watson, whose historic knowledge of the region is robust and told with explicit detail and conviction.

Douglas Dale (episode air date: August 18, 2017)
Chef-owner of Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique

Episode Three: When Chef Douglas Dale moved to the west shore of Lake Tahoe on a whim 30 years ago, he didn’t anticipate the personal growth and business success that would follow. Starting with a restaurant, he infused techniques learned at Mineji Temple in southern Japan and an apprenticeship with Hiroshi Hayashi in Boston to disrupt a food scene that was accustom to burgers and pizza. Dale established a dedicated following and soon thereafter met wife of 36 years, Kathleen. Somewhere in between — in a North Tahoe community and a kitchen that brought him so much joy — he learned how to laugh. Dale’s appreciation for the outdoors ranges from skate skiing to aikido and his menu philosophy is driven by food that is simple, fresh and artfully prepared. His north shore restaurant, Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique, continues to be an acclaimed gem across Northern California dining, and Dale’s contributions toward local education and chef camaraderie are rooted in his community affection.

Adrian Ballinger & Emily Harrington (episode air date: September 1)
World-class Mountaineers and Global Adventurers

Episode Four: Adrian Ballinger and Emily Harrington are on the road close to seven months per year, summiting peaks across the planet and exploring remote mountain terrain known to very few. While their outdoor exploits are nearly unmatched, like many they take comfort in the simplicities of home: a familiar trail run, window view and recognizable barista. Based in Squaw Valley, their community is tight-knit and supportive, comprised of legendary local athletes and fellow adventurers. Their combined love of elevation returns home with them as they train, play and explore in their own beautiful backyard. Nothing is off-limits to this extremely likeable, down-to-earth couple. In one perfect Tahoe day, Ballinger and Harrington will discover an unknown swimming hole, scale granite cliffs, run across waterfalls and rock paths, and typically end with a dive in the refreshing water of an alpine lake.

 Get Involved

Are you a North Lake Tahoe resident? Join other Luminaries by posting photos that describe your perfect Tahoe day on social media with the tag #TahoeLuminaries and #TahoeNorth.


“One of the most challenging aspects in creating this series was to narrow our list of locals. The range of talent was pages long, each with a compelling connection to North Lake Tahoe,” explained Andy Chapman, President/CEO of the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau. “That speaks to the vibrant cultural fabric of our north shore community—full of texture, color and the notion that someone can experience this environment in vastly different ways.”

Press Contact:

Liz Bowling, Account Director
The Abbi Agency for North Lake Tahoe
(303) 726-7104
[email protected]