Ski, swim, watch fireworks this Fourth of July |

Ski, swim, watch fireworks this Fourth of July

Guests packed every inch of Kings Beach State Recreaton Area last year to watch the annual July 3rd celebration.
Hannah Jones/

When it comes to Independence Day, there’s nowhere that celebrates quite like Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

From races, parades and beach parties to skiing, music and spectacular fireworks displays high above alpine lakes, the area’s Fourth of July festivities are second to none.

40th annual July 3 fireworks at Kings Beach

Independence Day celebrations begin a day early each year in Kings Beach with the annual July 3rd Fireworks & Beach Party.

The 40th annual beach party on Tahoe’s North Shore will run from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Kings Beach State Recreation Area. Fireworks will be launched from floating barges on the lake beginning at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free and the event is open to all ages. There will also be food vendors, and a beer and wine garden.

New this year will be free bus rides to and from the Tahoe City Transit Center and Northstar California Resort’s lower parking area.

Truckee Firecracker Mile

Before floats come rolling through Historic Downtown Truckee, a throng of runners dressed in Patriotic attire will race along the parade route to help raise funds for Auburn Ski Club’s youth and junior programs.

The annual Firecracker Mile is held on Donner Pass Road, beginning at U.S. Bank and ending at the train depot.

“This event is a Truckee tradition,” said event organizer Meg Siefert from The Auburn Ski Club. “It’s exciting to see the numbers grow back to the race’s former glory & with such a rich mix of fast runners, kids of all ages running and strollers too.”

Last year, Connor Fischer broke the course record, finishing the mile in 4 minutes, 15 seconds. Leigh Moffat won the women’s race with a time of 4:49.

Runners can preregister for the race by going to or at Tahoe Mountain Sports. Children cost $20 and adults are $25. Registration will also be available on race day at the parking lot across from U.S. Bank, and is open from 8 to 9:30 a.m. for an additional $15. The race begins at 9:45.

The run is organized by Auburn Ski Club as a fundraiser to help support scholarships for Nordic, biathlon, snowboard and alpine programs.

Auburn Ski Club will also host the Squaw Mountain Run on Saturday, July 27, which benefits the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center and the ski club’s training center scholarship fund.

Fourth of July Parade

The annual Truckee Fourth of July parade will get underway immediately following the Firecracker Mile.

This year’s parade celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad in Truckee.

The section of Donner Pass Road (Truckee High School to Bridge Street) the parade follows will be closed from 10 a.m. until roughly 12:30 p.m.

Fireworks at Donner Lake

Exclusive to residents and homeowners within the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District, the Independence Day celebration at West End Beach will begin at 1:30 p.m. with family-friendly competitions like egg tosses, sack races, and pie eating contests. Live music will also be performed through the day and into the evening.

The fireworks show above Donner Lake will begin at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at the district’s Community Recreation Center for $7. To purchase tickets a photo ID is required along with proof of residence within the district. For more information, visit

Tahoe City Fireworks Display

The 74th annual Tahoe City 4th of July Fireworks show is set to go off at 9:30 p.m. at Commons Beach.

The event is organized by the Tahoe City Downtown Association and is full funded by grants, sponsorships, and donations from organizations and individuals.

Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue Beach Cleanup

Each year after Tahoe has finished celebrating Fourth of July, hundreds of residents and visitors turn out to help cleanup sites around the lake as part of the Keep Tahoe Red, White and Blue Beach Cleanup.

The event is the League to Save Lake Tahoe’s largest cleanup of the year. Cleanup materials and refreshments will be provided, and prizes will be raffled off. The league recommends volunteers bring a reusable water bottle, sunscreen, gloves, and snacks.

The event will run from 8 to 11:30 a.m. July 5 at Commons Beach, Kings Beach, Kiva Beach, Nevada Beach, and Regan Beach.

Volunteers should RSVP and fill out waiver forms at

Freedom Fest at Squaw

A historic season of skiing at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is finally coming to an end with Squaw’s Freedom Fest.

The mountain will spin lifts next week from July 3-7, bringing hundreds of skiers and riders in Patriotic gear to the slopes for the final turns of the season. There will be live music at Gold Coast and the KT Base Bar as well as music and a hot tub party at High Camp.

The first 1,000 guests to upload on the Funitel on July 4 will receive a free T-shirt.

For more information, visit

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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