July 4 Weekend: Free Truckee shuttle; North Tahoe fireworks donations sought
Donner lake fireworks, festivities
In addition to the Fourth of July Parade downtown, family activities will take place all day July 4 at Donner Lake’s West End Beach starting at 9 a.m. The day will include games, live music and a fireworks display, visible from all around the lake, beginning at 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the all day celebration are $6 apiece. Visit tdrpd.org for more information.
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Every year, thousands of people flood the streets of downtown Truckee to witness an annual Fourth of July tradition: the Truckee Hometown Parade.
Some are there at sun-up, with armfuls of lawn chairs in tow, carving out their surveying spot. Others will make their way downtown in the late morning, just as the red, white and blue floats start to mosey down Donner Pass Road.
“It amazes me every year the number of people who come out and line the streets to watch this parade, and how much they look forward to it and enjoy it,” said Lynn Saunders, president/CEO of the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, which is producing the parade in partnership with the town of Truckee, with support from Big Blue Adventure. “Kids who’ve moved up from here and gone off to college come back and come down to the parade. It’s really heartwarming to see.”
This year, in an effort to ease traffic and parking congestion, Truckee is offering a free Fourth of July shuttle to and from the parade on Monday, July 4. The town partnered with Northstar California and Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association for the service.
The free shuttles will travel to and from downtown Truckee between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to the following destinations: Tahoe Donner, Donner Lake, Sierra Meadows, Brockway, Prosser and Glenshire. Visit tahoetruckeetransit.com for schedules and additional information.
‘TRULY A SLICE OF AMERICANA’
The parade, meanwhile, will start at 10 a.m. at the west end of town and meander one and a half miles down Donner Pass Road into downtown Truckee, ending around noon.
This year’s parade theme is “Truckee — Base Camp for a Big Life,” in recognition of Truckee’s new brand, according to the chamber.
The deadline to enter the parade is Thursday, June 30, at 5 p.m. Entries, which are $70 apiece, are being done online at truckeechamber.com. Trophies will be given to the top-voted entries in five different classes: commercial (representing a business), youth group (18 and under), classic auto, non-profit, and open (doesn’t fit into a category). A “Best of Show” winner will also be crowned.
“Truckee’s parade is truly a slice of Americana — it’s your quintessential small town parade,” said Saunders, noting that fire trucks, Smokey Bear, bag pipers, the Truckee River Drill Team, among others, will be involved in the parade.
Grand Marshal of the parade will be Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Superintendent Rob Leri, who was recently named superintendent of the year by the 2016 Association of California School Administrators Region 2.
“He has made significant contributions to education, and by extension, our community, over the years,” Saunders said. “It is an honor to recognize Dr. Leri for his contributions by having him participate in this year’s parade as grand marshal.”
Kings Beach, Tahoe City celebrations
Meanwhile, two of the North Shore’s Lake Tahoe fireworks shows are still in need of donations before they can light up the night sky.
The North Tahoe Business Association will host its annual fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 3, in Kings Beach, while the Tahoe City Downtown Association will host its show at 9:30 p.m. Monday, July 4, in Tahoe City.
“We’re always fundraising to the last minute in order to raise the money for all of the events and the fireworks,” said Stacie Lyans, executive director of TCDA. “We heavily rely on the day-of fundraising.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Lyans said, roughly $22,000 out of a $50,000 goal has been raised for the Tahoe City fireworks display and the all-day Funky Beach Bash at Commons Beach, which starts at 10 a.m. July 4 and will feature a beer and wine garden, food vendors, live music and more.
“We are hopeful to reach our goal with our big push on the Fourth of July,” said Lyans, adding that all beer, wine and merchandise sales on Commons Beach, as well as donations on the street, go toward the fundraising effort.
For Kings Beach, the NTBA was just $950 shy as of Tuesday of reaching its $30,000 goal for its July 3 fireworks show and beach party, said Joy Doyle, NTBA executive director.
“NTBA is grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received to date,” said Doyle, “and ask everyone who enjoys and/or profits from the fireworks to donate to help NTBA reach the goal and keep this Kings Beach tradition alive.”
The beach party, which will run from 4-10 p.m. at the North Tahoe Event Center, will include a beer/wine and mixed drink garden, food vendors, watermelon eating contests and more.
To donate to the Kings Beach fireworks show and beach party, visit northtahoebusiness.org. To donate to the Tahoe City fireworks show, visit visittahoecity.org.
In terms of parking for both Kings Beach and Tahoe City celebrations, beachgoers are encouraged to plan ample time for traveling and parking, and are urged to walk, bike or take public transportation. For public transportation options, visit lakethaoetransit.com.
Notably, Lyans said, the TCDA and NTBA also work hand-in-hand with many volunteers who do everything from shuttle the pyrotechnic crew on and off the barges on Lake Tahoe to clean up debris and garbage on the shore and in the lake immediately following the show and in the days after.
Volunteers also make up a safety and boat crew that hovers just outside of the safety perimeter in case the pyrotechnic crews need to evacuate the barge.