4th of July in the Sierra


Red, white and blue for Independence Day takes on added dimension in the Tahoe-Truckee area with celebrations set against the mountains and lakes of the Sierra. And, visitors and locals won’t lack from firework displays to choose from, with fireworks shows on July 3 in Kings Beach and July 4 displays in Incline Village, Truckee, North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe on July 4, not to mention the show in downtown Reno.

Wherever you decide to go, pack a picnic and get there early to grab the best spots and don’t forget your blankets and chairs. The same goes if you’re planning on arriving by boat or kayak, plan on staking out your spot early and plan to stay late. To avoid the traffic, take local transportation to any of the shows. For a schedule, visit tahoetruckeetransit.com

Wednesday, July 3

Kings Beach steps it up this year with its annual 3rd of July fireworks show and a new Beach Party celebration.

The North Tahoe Business Association will host a Beach Party starting at 2 p.m. open to all ages featuring DJ Chango , live music by local One Track Mind, a dunk tank, beer garden, food vendors, Big Top Tahoe performance, face painting and balloon art, and contests that include sand castle building, watermelon eating and patriotic costumes. This fun, community celebration will take place outside of the North Tahoe Event Center and at the Kings Beach State Recreation Area, with proceeds benefiting the Kings Beach July 3 Fireworks.

The National Anthem will be said at 9:20 p.m., followed by the fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. Attendees are invited to bring a beach chair or blanket to enjoy the fireworks. For details, visit northtahoebusiness.org or call (530) 546-9000.

July 3-6

The 7th annual Red White and Tahoe Blue festival in Incline Village features more than 30 events through July 6 from old-fashioned parades, carnivals and fine dining events to military rescue demos and fireworks. See the feature in this issue for all of the details.

As well, “Sierra Cloud” will be offering a more than three-hour fireworks cruise from the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village starting at 7:30 p.m. for $150 per person. The cruise includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, dessert and beverages, including champagne. Call (775) 831-4386. Both cruises usually sell out, so make your reservations early.

July 4

South Lake Tahoe

Festivities on the South Shore start at 10 a.m. with a Fourth of July Parade from the wye to the American Legion Post, followed by a Celebration of Independence at the Legion from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with music, food, vendors and more.

South Lake Tahoe hosts the annual Lights on the Lake Fireworks at 9:45 p.m., with the display visible from nearly anywhere in town. The simultaneous music broadcast can be heard on local stations KRLT-FM 93.9 and KOWL-AM 1490. The best beach locations are Nevada, Regan, Bijou and El Dorado Beaches, as well as Tallac Historic Site and Edgewood-Tahoe.

As well, the “Tahoe Queen,” “M.S. Dixie II” and “Tahoe Paradise” will be offering firework cruises at 7:30 p.m. Call (775) 589-4906 or visit laketahoecruises.com for tickets. And, there will be firework cruises onboard the “Woodwind II” and “Safari Rose.” Call (888) 867-6394 or visit tahoeboatcruises.com.

Tahoe City

Start the day with Cakes on the Lake pancake breakfast in Kings Beach at the North Tahoe Event Center from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Join Tahoe Maritime Museum’s Boat Parade at noon off Commons Beach. The parade will start at Commons Beach and then cruise to Obexer’s Marina in Homewood.

Tahoe City puts on its 67th Annual Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. off Commons Beach. Arrive early to get the best spot for viewing. Only low back chairs are allowed on Commons Beach, and no dogs are allowed. Or, pick a spot at a number of viewing spots from the decks at local restaurants to the Tahoe City Golf Course. For details, visit www.visittahoecity.com.

Tahoe City Kayak will be offering a Fireworks Kayak Tour, with Willard’s Sport Shop offering a Fireworks Kayak and SUP tour. “Tahoe Gal” will be offering a fireworks cruise departing from Tahoe City at 7 p.m. with food and drinks available for purchase on board. See Events for details on the tours and cruise.


For Goodness Sake will host a Fourth of July potluck starting at 9 a.m. on the patio in downtown Truckee. Bring a dish to share while watching the parade. Visit goodnesssake.org.

The Truckee Firecracker Mile fun run and walk for all ages is at 9:45 a.m. Runners, joggers, adults, kids and moms and dads with strollers, gather in front of US Bank on Donner Pass Road to run the mile to The Depot in downtown Truckee. The course is 1 mile and is a pleasant, gradual downhill past crowds of cheering fans waiting for the parade to begin. Visit truckeefunrun.com.

Following the run is the annual Truckee Parade in historic downtown at 10 a.m. Truckee Donner Parks & Rec hosts the Annual Fireworks and Barbecue at West End Beach on Donner Lake. The day features games for all ages including live music, tug of war, three-legged races, egg toss, sack races, pie eating contest and more. The beach opens at 9 a.m. Fireworks are at 9:30 p.m. The party at West End Beach is open to residents and homeowners with advance tickets only. Call (530) 582-8808.

However, there are many great viewing spots from the beach at Donner Memorial State Park or along the north shore with many public piers and parks.

Northstar hosts an 4th of July Kids’ Bike Parade at 2 p.m. in the Village. Children are invited to display their most colorful creations by decorating their bikes, scooters, clothing, pets or themselves. A craft workshop will be at Mine from 12:30 to 2 p.m. for free to help kids get ready for the parade. There will be fire engine tours from noon to 3 p.m., face painting and balloon twisting from noon to 3 p.m., as well. Visit www.northstarcalifornia.com.

Out of the area shows

Sparks hosts one of the biggest celebrations around with a 4th of July celebration and fireworks during Star Spangled Sparks. The festivities start at Victorian Square starting at 4 p.m. with kids’ events, food vendors and live music, balloons animals, face painters and more. Live music is from 5 to 9:30 p.m. There will be a performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” at 9:30 p.m., topped off by a 20-minute fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. There will be shuttle service from the Legends from 6 to 11 p.m. For details, call (775) 353-2291 or visit www.sparksrec.com.

In Carson City, celebration at Mills Park with carnival rides and games, arts and crafts, food and drink vendors and more. The fireworks start at dusk (about 9 p.m.). Call (775) 687-4680, ext. 4.

In Virginia City, enjoy a traditional parade at 11 a.m. with face painters, historical figures, clown and great free kids’ activities on the wooden sidewalks. Fireworks at dusk (about 9 p.m.) cap off the day. Call (775) 847-4386.

Photograph courtesy Richard Doyle  |  Original by Design Photography

Alcohol banned on Truckee, area beaches
County and state laws ban the possession or consumption of alcohol on the Truckee River from Tahoe City to Alpine Meadows, and on Chamber’s Landing Beach on the West Shore through July 6.

As well, the alcohol ban will be in effect on Nevada Beach and within Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals (the former Dreyfus Estate) from 6 a.m. to midnight on July 4 in South Lake Tahoe.

Fireworks shows

July 3
9:30 p.m. | Kings Beach

July 4
9 p.m. | Virginia City

9 p.m. | Carson City

9:30 p.m. | Incline Village

9:30 p.m. | Tahoe City

9:30 p.m. | Truckee

9:45 p.m. | Sparks

9:45 p.m. | South Lake Tahoe