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South Shore summer goes out with a bang

Lake Tahoe Cruises Passengers aboard the Tahoe Queen look at the trailing M.S. Dixie II during the annual paddleboat race. The M.S. Dixie II leads the series, 11-8. Saturday's race starts at 10:30 a.m.

Lake Tahoe Cruises Passengers aboard the Tahoe Queen look at the trailing M.S. Dixie II during the annual paddleboat race. The M.S. Dixie II leads the series, 11-8. Saturday's race starts at 10:30 a.m.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A sternwheeler race, fireworks show and street fair highlight South Shore’s Labor Day weekend.

Here’s a look:

– The 20th Great Lake Tahoe Sternwheeler Race churns through the lake’s clear blue waters as the South Shore’s two paddlewheelers, California’s Tahoe Queen and Nevada’s M.S. Dixie II, are pitted against each other at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1.

This “battle of the paddle,” sponsored by Korbel California Champagne, is a four-mile race along the shoreline. Whistles toot while spectators on the beach and boats cheer the victor across the finish line and to a year’s worth of bragging rights.

The M.S. Dixie II holds an 11-8 lead over the Tahoe Queen.

The “Ghost of Mark Twain,” McAvoy Layne will be aboard the M.S. Dixie II. He described the race: “Two red hot steamboats racing along neck-and-neck, straining every nerve, that is to say, every rivet in the boilers quaking, shaking and groaning from stem to stern, spouting white steam from the pipes, pouring black smoke from the chimneys, raining down sparks, parting the river into long breaks of hissing foam,this is sport that will make a body’s very liver curl with enjoyment.”

This distinctly Tahoe experience invites passengers to celebrate on either boat while enjoying brunch and drink specials. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. Website: http://www.zephyrcove.com/play/cruises.aspx

– Sample the Sierra heralds the best of regional food, wine and the arts.

Held on Ski Run Boulevard, between Highway 50 and Pioneer Trail and reserved for booths and pedestrian traffic instead, the annual farm to fork event is from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2. Award-winning wineries from Tahoe South’s El Dorado County will pair vintages, ranging from bold Barberas to zesty Zinfandels with prepared delicacies of Sierra Nevada chefs and restaurants.

The emphasis on local riches also includes artisans, crafters, live entertainment from storytellers, bands and acoustical musicians. Admission for food and wine tasting is $30 for adults and includes a commemorative glass. Website: http://samplethesierra.com

– As dusk arrives Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m., the sky will explode with colors during the Labor Day Weekend Fireworks Extravaganza. The 20-minute pyrotechnic show is handled by Pyro Spectaculars – the same company that thrilled onlookers at the recent 75th birthday of the Golden Gate Bridge and New York City’s annual Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular.

The exhibition features a simultaneous musical broadcast on local radio stations KRLT-FM 93.9 and KOWL-AM 1490. Prime viewing seating is available on Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, M.S. Dixie II and Tahoe Queen.

– The Heavenly Mountain Run will challenge trail runners with a 5.8-mile run ascending from the 6,565-foot California Base Lodge to the Tamarack Lodge at 9,150-feet, Sunday, Sept. 2. Runners can register online www.TahoeTrail

Running.com

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