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No fireworks at Donner Lake beach this year

ANNE GROGAN, Sierra Sun

Holiday activities abound in Truckee throughout the July Fourth weekend – however, for the first time in more than a decade, there will be no fireworks display this year at Donner Lake.

Unlike previous years, there will be no Fourth of July special events planned by the Truckee-Donner Chamber of Commerce at West End Beach. There will be no fireworks display and the holiday will be treated as a normal operating day, said Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District Recreation Supervisor Doug Mullens.

Although a new open container alcohol ordinance was recently adopted by the Town of Truckee, rec and park facilities are exempted.

“We will not be eliminating people from bringing in alcoholic beverages for the day,” Mullens said. “Changes will occur from the standpoint that the beach will be clear and closed by 7 p.m.”

So, if there are no fireworks in Truckee for the holiday, what are people supposed to do?

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For starters, Renegade Productions brings the David Grisman Quintet back to the Truckee River Regional Park on Saturday, July 3, for an evening of acoustic jazz and bluegrass blends. Cool Water Canyon opens at 4:30 p.m. with the David Grisman Quintet expected to begin around 6:30 p.m.

Advance tickets cost $23 through New Moon Natural Foods and Musaic CDs and Tapes in Truckee. The price increases to $25 day of show. No cans or bottles may be brought into the venue but beer and wine will be sold on site, as will food and other beverages, Renegade Productions Promoter Robbie Polomsky said.

On the following day, sponsored by the Truckee-Donner Chamber of Commerce, Truckee’s Fourth of July parade, consisting of about 50 entries, begins at 10 a.m. at Sierra Mountain Middle School and proceeds down Donner Pass Road to Bridge Street.

Skydiver Charles Bryant will take a plunge from the sky and land near the train depot carrying an American flag to kick off the parade. Former Mayor Ron Florian will be this year’s grand marshal, and Harry Gordon will drive him in a red convertible 1957 Porsche Speedster.

Other parade highlights include appearances by Chief Truckee, Sierra West Burmese Mountain Dog Club, Northern California Alaskan Malamute Association, San Francisco Bike and Ski Club, Tahoe Forest Children’s Center, Smokey Bear, fire engines, Rocky the Mouse, Truckee Drill Team, Jewels of the Lake Belly Dancers, a time capsule by the Truckee Family Connection, Reno Corvettes and the Truckee Model A Club.

Parade organizers Pattie and Hartley Lesser have also planned for a parade appearance by the Sierra Highlanders Pipe Band, a non-profit, Reno-based Scottish piper band. The band is being sponsored by the Lessers, Sunrise Rotary and the Sierra Business Group.

Parade volunteers are still needed and those interested should contact Pattie Lesser at 582-0999.

In keeping with a 12-year tradition, the parade begins simultaneously with the Firecracker Mile, a Fourth of July celebration run/walk.

The Firecracker Mile run/walk is a benefit for the Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation teen and children’s programs and offers categories for all age groups of stroller and wheelchair users, walkers and runners.

The slightly downhill, one-mile race begins at 10 a.m. sharp, in front of the Tahoe Forest Physical Therapy offices in Gateway on Donner Pass Road and ends at the bandstand downtown near the depot. A pre-race stretching and warm-up session begins at 9:30 a.m., sponsored by the Tahoe Forest Hospital Physical Therapy Services.

Sponsors of the Firecracker Mile recommend preregistering for the race to avoid delays on the day of the event. After July 1, the registration fee is $10 for participants 6 to 12 years and $15 for ages 13 and over. Fees received by July 1 are slightly reduced.

Entry forms and information are available at Tahoe Forest Hospital or by phoning Tahoe Forest Hospital Health Promotions at 530-582-3483.

Also on the Fourth, the Vans Warped Tour ’99 takes the party to Boreal Mountain Playground, where the longest-running international rock festival will settle for a day.

Bands on this year’s Vans Warped Tour include Suicidal Tendencies, Ice T, Lit, Cypress Hill, Blink-182, Pennywise, Sevendust, Molotov, Less Than Jake, The Living End, Dropkick Murphys, Riverfenix, Grinspoon, Black Eyed Peas and Bouncing Souls.

In addition to a whole lot of music ranging from ska and hard rock to punk and hip-hop and rock en espanol, the Vans Warped Tour ’99 features extreme sports demonstrations by professional skaters and bikers, including the Observed Bike Trials in which two top riders – Jeff Lenosky and Ryan Leech – perform on a man-made course with jumps.

The Ladies Lounge is an ongoing portion of the Vans Warped Tour where female professional skaters, snowboarders and band members come together. The tent features sports screenings, information on women’s health issues, guest speakers and music video screenings.

New to the tour this year is the ModArt and Groove Tent, displaying work by artists from within the culture of skateboarding, snowboarding and music, and presenting a daily fashion show in which audience members participate. Also new this year is the Fiend North American Yo-Yo Tour, providing yo-yo demonstrations and lessons by professional yo-yo users.

For information regarding the Vans Warped Tour at Boreal Mountain Playground, call 426-3663.

Also at the west end of town this holiday weekend, the Donner Summit 15th Annual Barbecue and Picnic will be held Saturday, July 3, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Donner Summit Lodge in Soda Springs.

The barbecue is hosted by the Donner Summit Volunteer Firefighters’ Association to raise funds for firefighting equipment, safety gear and training of volunteers. Tickets for the barbecue will be available at the door and are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12.

For more information, call Donner Summit Fire Department at 426-3000.

A quilt show, presented by the Truckee Quilters, will be held at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort Village Mall on July 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature the work of quilter Donna Wolf.

Additional quilts of all shapes, sizes and styles will also be on display, as will a quilt made by Truckee Quilters to be raffled off to raise funds for quilt guild community service projects.

For more information, call 587-6708.

Throughout the weekend, a craft fair and music festival will be held at Truckee High School on Donner Pass Road from July 3 through July 5.

Between 20 and 30 craft and food vendors will present their wares from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day and the Hyde Street Swing Section will perform Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, call (775) 787-6083.

Despite their abundance, Fourth of July celebrations are likely to be more subdued than in years past as a result of Truckee’s new open-container ordinance, which restricts alcohol consumption in public places not governed by agencies requesting an exemption from the ordinance.

“The reason for the [alcohol] ordinance really came from last year’s activities on the Fourth of July,” Town Manager Steve Wright said.

The new alcohol ordinance will give sheriff’s deputies an important tool with which they can approach a situation where alcohol is a factor, Wright said.

Last year’s Fourth of July celebrations ended with a near-riot at Donner Lake’s west end following the fireworks display. A sheriff’s deputy was injured and had to be air-lifted from the scene because an unruly mob obstructed rescue vehicle access. Private parties and a concert crowd were implicated in the tumult.

Due to safety concerns, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and the Truckee Fire Protection District rejected the West End Beach as a site for fireworks this year. Negotiations to hold the event on Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District property also fell through, postponing the fireworks indefinitely.

“We will be enforcing the new open-container ordinance,” Nevada County Sheriff’s Captain Gary Jacobson said. “But we will not specifically dedicate officers to its enforcement.

“Our officers will do everything possible to keep this holiday safe for residents and visitors.”

The entire sheriff’s office staff will be on 12-hour shifts over the holiday, Jacobson said, which will increase local coverage by about 300 percent. In addition, local enforcement will be bolstered by reserves from Nevada City and by trained volunteer personnel.

For those who simply cannot celebrate the Fourth of July without the colors, boom and bang of fireworks, fireworks displays will be held near Truckee throughout the weekend, beginning on July 3 in Kings Beach, then on July 4 in Tahoe City, Squaw Valley and Incline Village. On July 5, Homewood hosts a fireworks display. All fireworks events are scheduled to begin at dark, sometime around 9 p.m.

For those attending the Squaw Valley fireworks, to be discharged from High Camp at the top of the Cable Car, Squaw Valley will be open for skiing July 4 and expects crowds of nearly 8,000 over the course of the holiday. Because the tram transports only 150 people at a time, Brent McLean of Squaw Valley’s marketing department anticipates that many will opt to walk down from High Camp after the event. He recommends warm clothing and sturdy shoes for the hike down the well-lit, three-mile trail called Mountain Run.


 

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