Holiday big on business, small on debauchery
Maybe it’s because it landed on a Monday this year. Maybe it’s just chance. But whatever the reason, the festive mid-summer holiday associated with drunken rowdiness, unusual occurrences of all sorts and, too often, tragedy, turned out to be a rather mellow celebration of our nation’s independence.”It was a very quiet Fourth of July,” Truckee police Lt. Dan Johnston said. “It was much quieter than normal.”Gearing for the norm, the Truckee Police Department beefed up its force with four additional California Highway Patrol officers from out of the area and two personal watercrafts to accompany the boat that patrols the Donner Lake.”With the amount of people present with alcohol, it’s always a concern that the alcohol will get ahold of people in a negative way,” Johnston said. But outside of calls regarding fireworks, parties and minors in possession of alcohol, there wasn’t as much lawless activity as there was concern. There weren’t even any fights, Johnston said, and that’s unusual.And despite warning at least 50 boaters about lake rules – such as speeding too close to shore and traveling the wrong direction – the only major incidents came in the form of two capsized sailboats, with no injuries, Johnston said.In total, there were 11 alcohol-related arrests, with six of them on Donner Lake, he said, and two minor car accidents. Truckee area CHP reported eight drunken driving arrests over the weekend.”That is a lot less than usual,” he said. “Nobody got too crazy out there. Well, not too many.”Of course, there were a few.One intoxicated man attracted police by firing off Roman candles – a flaming firework – from atop Truckee Motel, police said. Officers climbed up to the roof of the building and arrested him. A man and a woman were also arrested after running down Commercial Row, tossing traffic cones aside. And a 19-year-old man found unconscious on a beach had to be taken away by ambulance, according to police reports.”Outside of that, everyone was extremely well behaved,” Johnston said. “[The Fourth of July] is certainly one of the most hectic weekends, but it is good for business in town because of all the people.”Bill Kenny, the bar manager at the Bar of America in downtown Truckee, which closed its doors at 5:30 p.m. Monday because of the Donner Lake fireworks show, confirmed the police reports.”We were slammed during the day,” Kenny said, “but it was a very well-behaved crowd.”Roger Gannam, owner of Donner Pines Market near Donner Lake, said the big weekend is always the best of the year for business. The primary item sold: beer, which Gannam knows to stock up on. Although sales on the Fourth were down slightly from last year, Gannam said, business was still booming on Monday, and even more so Saturday and Sunday.”It was absolutely phenomenal out here,” he said. “It certainly was huge for me. It always is.”Linda Perron, the general manager at Donner Lake Village Resort, hired parking lot attendants Monday in anticipation of the crowd.”People were constantly trying to park here,” Perron said. “I should have done it all weekend … We were extremely busy. More than normal. But it actually ran smoothly.”
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