Kickoff at Tahoe begins next weekend |

Kickoff at Tahoe begins next weekend

Staff reports

Lake Tahoe in summer. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere. Cool blue water, boating, biking and night time entertainment.

Next weekend has been designated the opening of summer at the lake and activities planned for June 15 to 17 offer just a flavor of what’s in store throughout the season.

Opening Day at Lake Tahoe is a multi-faceted party on June 16 and 17 that kicks off the summer with an entire lineup of activities over the weekend, including a “Blue Avenue” Block Party along Highway 50. Two stages with live music highlight the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Northern Nevada State Finals, motocross jumping, a Mardi Gras-type boat parade, Harley and other hot rod displays, food and music.

The Great Sternwheeler Race: Saturday’s festivities kick off with adventurous water activities. Tradition begins with the Great Lake Tahoe Paddlewheeler Race from 9 a.m. to noon. The area’s two largest vessels grace the waters to battle for Lake Supremacy. The M.S. Dixie II departs Zephyr Cove at 9 a.m., followed by the Tahoe Queen at 9:30 a.m. from Ski Run Marina. VIP guests on the losing vessel will plunge into the sub-55 degree lake. The public is invited to cruise with tickets available at $30 for adults and $18 for kids 11 and under to include the race, breakfast, live music and champagne or mimosas.

Parasailing competition: Look to the sky as the World’s Highest Parasailing competition takes flight at 9 a.m. Watch parasailers tackle an obstacle course high above the frigid waters of Lake Tahoe. In a harness with a rope connected to a speed boat and a parachute overhead, participants will soar to new heights.

Action-filled lake activities continue to make a splash on Saturday with the Mardi Gras Boat Parade beginning at 11 a.m. and annual boat christenings, welcoming the opening of summer boat season. Onlookers will see decorative vessels such as sailboats, yachts, cigarette boats, and parasail boats as they ply the azure, Tahoe waters. The best places to watch include Regan Beach, which would be a good viewpoint for watching them cross the finish line.

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Geocaching: From its start as a subculture of techno-users to its celebrated and growing status as the ultimate scavenger hunt, geocachers have welcomed the popularity of the sport and the mounting challenges that come along with it. With the use of global positioning system devices, techno-savvy players are carving out their own kind of virtual treasure hunts and inviting people to play along. The popularity of the gizmo game will be showcased at Lake Tahoe’s South Shore June 16 and 17.

The two-day geocaching treasure hunt and Lake Tahoe’s Inaugural Blue Avenue Block Party is from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 – a party of this scale requires Highway 50 to be closed at Stateline spanning across four blocks. The geocaching treasure hunt that welcomed more than 400 treasure hunters last year will set out in search of 50 valuable prizes hidden all over South Shore Lake Tahoe.

“X” marks the spot as the hunt begins on Saturday June 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. GPS devices are available both days with free rental to the first 100 teams each day. Teams are also encouraged to use personal GPS devices. The search continues Sunday at 9 a.m. and will conclude at 3 p.m. The final raffle and celebration party will be held at 5 p.m. at Embassy Suites. At the celebration/awards party, geocachers turn in their treasure maps and receive a raffle entry for every correct stamp.

Billed as the world’s largest free geocaching hunt, prizes include show tickets, rounds of golf, dinners, overnight accommodations, outdoor activities and area attractions. The easy-to-play family event for beginners and veterans combines technology with a traditional treasure hunt via a hand-held global positioning device which utilizes coordinates to decipher directional clues.

“Geocaching is a craze throughout the world, as these treasure hunts allow for people of all ages to participate while exploring new territory. An event of this magnitude, not only offers great prizes, but also allows one to get a local flavor of the South Shore Lake Tahoe community Ð all while enjoying the great outdoors,” explained Jon Bachmeier, geocaching expert.

Geocachers can register online at or the day of the event at Embassy Suites. Registration is required in order to receive the Passport containing clue information along with special offers for visiting geocachers. GPS rentals are available from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Geocaching utilizes free Global Positioning Systems, and the Tahoe event, specifically, is known to award 50 of the most valuable prizes given at geocaching events throughout the world.

Swimsuit competition: On the Hawaiian Tropic Stage, festivities begin Saturday with reggae sounds of Zion Roots from noon to 2 p.m. The Silver Boom Box Thief’s B Boy Exhibitions will continue rocking the streets from 2 to 3 p.m. Concluding the activities on the Hawaiian Tropic Stage is none other than the first round of bronzed beauties tanned like no other, heating up the stage in the preliminary round of the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Northern Nevada State Finals from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Extreme Motorcross: Down the highway on the Xtremely Amped Stage, motorcross stunt jumping daredevils will show off their tricks during any one of the three performances of the Xtremely Amped Freestyle Moto-X Rock Show from 12:30 to 1 p.m., 1:30 to 2 p.m., and 2:30 to 3 p.m. In between the stunts, live music and variety acts will keep the audience on its feet. Concluding the Blue Avenue Block Party on Saturday is the surprise concert on the rooftop of the Horizon Casino Resort.

Lake Tahoe’s Blue Avenue Block Party will also feature custom Harley and hot rod displays, food vendors representing some of Tahoe’s finest restaurants, street performers and the Robo-Surf where participants can Hang 10 on a robotic surf machine. Those interested in entering the Harley/Hot Rod competition should contact Tom Argo at (530) 541-7300.

Headliners and top acts: Headliner entertainment for the weekend includes Jewel’s special performance on Saturday, June 16, at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. Jewel, a three-time Grammy nominee in rock, pop, country, blues and jazz, to date has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. Lindsey Buckingham, legendary artist for over 30 years both with his solo career and as one of the driving forces behind Fleetwood Mac, will perform on Saturday, June 16, in the South Shore Room at Harrah’s. Last but not least, Sammy Hagar & The Wabos, rock and roll band and Cabo Wabo’s night club owner, will heat up the night with the first show of the Harveys Outdoor Summer Concert Series on Sunday, June 17. Tickets for these shows are available at

Additionally, at the Heavenly Village from noon to 5 p.m. the Step Into The Blue Recreational Expo will offer an afternoon of entertainment, food, shopping, miniature golf, and much more. The expo will provide information on the best places to hike, swim, kayak, fish, and enjoy other activities around Lake Tahoe.

Other activities throughout the summer

* Lights on the Lake – Billed as the largest pyrotechnic show in the West by Americas Online’s City Guide and the American Pyrotechnics Association, the Fourth of July fire-dancing show headlines summer’s biggest holiday. The display is synchronized to music broadcast over local radio KRLT-FM 93.9 and KOWL-AM 1490.

* Lake Tahoe Festival of Fine Arts – The Tahoe Arts Project headliner event brings out a multitude of artists and their works, ranging from photography and ceramics to watercolor and glass.

The event, which benefits the arts programs of local schools and others recipients, is scheduled for July 7 and 8 at the South Tahoe Middle School off Highway 50. Visit for details.

* American Century Championship – The nationally televised event draws more than 75 celebrity, professional athletes and entertainers to the South Shore, including: Michael Jordan, John Elway and Charles Barkley. Last year, cycling great and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong joined the lineup with much fanfare.

The event scheduled from July 10 through 15 invites them to compete for a $600,000 purse at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Interested parties may get more information from

* Relay for Life – The South Shore’s first American Cancer Society-sponsored fundraiser last year more than doubled the local organizer’s goal and turned out to be a moving tribute to those surviving and lost to cancer.

The event set for Kahle Community Park on July 28 and 29 features teams walking through the night to raise money to fight the disease.

* Lake Tahoe Air Fest – The aerial displays make up one of the South Shore’s longest running events. Stunt pilots and sky divers take to the skies of the Lake Tahoe Airport Aug. 25.

On the ground, aviation displays, field events and entertainment will be on hand, along with a 5-kilometer kids fun run and Kiwanis pancake breakfast.

* Labor Day Lake Tahoe – The Fourth of July show isn’t the only event that lights up the sky. Another pyro display can be seen on Sept. 3.

* Harveys Summer Outdoor Concert Series – The musical acts of the summer feature the big names of country, jazz, hip-hop, and rhythm and blues. Bands and solo performers such as Earth Wind & Fire, Incubus, Fergie, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, Diana Krall with Chris Botti, Beyonce and Toby Keith will take the stage through the summer months.

* MontBleu Resort Casino will also bring Jewel’s melodic tunes and the rock styles of Creedence Clearwater Revisited.