Lantis: July 4 fireworks show to be like never before
Ryan Summerlin July 9, 2013
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Rain or shine, Thursday evening’s Red, White and Tahoe Blue fireworks display figures to be the most dynamic ever for Incline Village.
The show’s value this year is in excess of $100,000, said Ken Lantis, owner of Lantis Fireworks & Lasers, and includes 2,200 water-shot effects among thousands of features that will rocket from four barges off Lake Tahoe’s North Shore starting at about 9:30 p.m.
“With us, it’s not the bigness of the show — it’s the difference of it. A lot of this material, no one’s ever seen before in the United States,” said Lantis, while perched on one of the show’s barges Tuesday morning off Ski Beach. “We’re going to have things that come out of the water — every year I bring something different. We’ve got water shells that dance in the water, and ones that will shoot 1,000 shells up at once.
“There’s literally a hundred different things that people have never seen before.”
This year marks the sixth time Lantis has conducted the Red, White and Tahoe Blue Independence Day show.
The company has developed a unique kinship with Incline Village and RWTB, Lantis said, which has allowed larger shows to be put on at lesser costs.
“If I was selling this to someone else, it’d be pretty close to that,” the 68-year-old said, regarding the six-figure value of Thursday’s show.
By buying its own barges and training and insuring volunteers to staff them, among other techniques, RWTB has reduced the show’s cost to the nonprofit’s bottom line by more than 40 percent, said RWTB Chairman Jim Smith.
“The show may be more than $100K, but we’re spending far less,” Smith said.
Locally, the North Tahoe Business Association had a $26,000 goal this year for Wednesday’s fireworks show and beach party in Kings Beach. The Tahoe City Downtown Association has a $20,000 goal for Thursday fireworks display in Tahoe City.
Lantis, headquartered at Draper, Utah, puts on more than 100 Independence Day fireworks shows a year,. The company has produced displays in the Nevada communities of Virginia City, Hawthorne, Yerington, Fallon, Battle Mountain, Henderson and Las Vegas, among others, along with the annual Star Spangled Sparks fireworks show atop John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks.
Lantis said he’s conducted shows from the Mexican border to Anchorage, Alaska — and nothing compares to Incline Village.
“The thing that’s unique about Tahoe — like Alaska, it’s nice and pretty,” Lantis said. “But I’ve traveled the world, and when people ask me ‘where’s the most beautiful spot in the world,” I tell them there’s no better spot in the world than Tahoe for beauty. There’s not a show in the Unites States like this.”
Thursday’s show will feature many of the company’s new premium pattern shells, Lantis said, including chrysanthemums, large willows, multi-break shells, double hearts, cat faces, mushrooms and dollar shells.
The fireworks are expected to last about 30 minutes and will be synchronized to music, reaching from the east end of Ski Beach to the west end of Incline Beach, Smith said.
Residents can download the music track at www.redwhitetahoeblue.org.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms on July 4 — but that won’t impact the fireworks, Lantis said.
“We’re preparing for the bad weather, and we’ll be here,” he said. “And honestly, if it rains, it’s even prettier when the light shines off the rain.”
While residents can best view the show from Incline and Ski beaches, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office deputies will enforce a no-parking rule along Lakeshore Boulevard between Country Club and Village boulevards all day Thursday.
Further, the road will be closed to traffic from 8 p.m. until well after the fireworks crowds vacate the beaches.
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