Guest Column: History, importance of Fourth of July in Incline/Crystal Bay |

Guest Column: History, importance of Fourth of July in Incline/Crystal Bay

For many years the celebration of the Fourth in our community was relatively low key.

We were fortunate to have the Optimist and the Lions Club have their annual events of fun, games and entertainment by the Optimist and the unsurpassed Lions breakfast on the Fourth. We would all experience the local fire department solicit for funds in front of Incline Beach, stashing money in footless fire boots.

In 1996, things started to change. A local resident, Michael Milken, turned 50 on July 4, 1996. That year, the fireworks were spectacular. For 10 Fourth of Julys, he provided the Incline Village/Crystal Bay residents with an excellent display.

In 2006, the Visitors’ Bureau requested additional funding in June for the fireworks from IVGID, which was granted. If not granted, there would have been no fireworks.

Due to the uncertainty for future fireworks and some additional thoughts to make the Fourth better, a committee of eight was formed and named Red, White and Tahoe Blue. The initial committee left their egos at the door, brought their work ethics, and worked hard and efficiently.

The underlying principle of the organization was to honor our veterans, celebrate our nation’s birthday, benefit our local merchants, and contribute to the nonprofit organizations of our community. RWTB has been staunchly against any political statements or representatives of any political organization.

RWTB has been greatly improved by the current board of directors. The event has grown tremendously and the events have gotten only better. The nonprofits and local merchants are reaping greatly from the celebration.

Last year, our fireworks were ranked sixth in the nation by AOL Travel, behind Macy’s NYC; Atlantic City, N.J.; Addison Texas; Boston, and Washington, D.C.

We can do better! You can greatly help in our local celebration by donating. Go online to or send a check to RWTB, P.O. Box 3789, Incline Village, NV 89451.

Tom Bruno is an Incline Village resident and founding board member of Red, White and Tahoe Blue.

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