North Tahoe officials cancel Fourth of July events

Staff Report


TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Summer holiday celebrations have been canceled in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee in hopes it will reduce crowds during an already busy time as the state tries to escape the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual July 3 fireworks at Kings Beach, the Fourth of July fireworks at Donner Lake, Truckee and Tahoe City have all been canceled, Placer County announced Tuesday in a press release.

Canceled events also include the Fourth of July parade, which encompasses the Firecracker Mile in Historic Downtown Truckee, and any other events that take place through July 4 in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

The decision was made in consultation with area partners and acknowledges that, although Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced the aim to move beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy as soon as June 15, he has also suggested that public health policies will need to be in place.

The annual firework demonstrations bring thousands of visitors to the region in the days leading up to and during the holiday weekend. Officials hope these cancelations will reduce crowd concerns during an already busy time for the region.

The Fourth of July parade is produced by the Truckee Chamber of Commerce. Lynn Saunders, president and CEO Truckee Chamber of Commerce said in the release that, “While the board understands how important this community celebration is to all that enjoy it, at this point in time we felt it was premature to produce an event that historically draws a very large crowd and felt it was more responsible to err on the side of caution by canceling the parade this year.”

“Placer County acknowledges the many long-standing partners, supporters and sponsors who participate in our annual Fourth of July and seasonal events,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “There is no denying the pandemic has brought forward new challenges and opportunities for our region. As we navigate these challenges, we are taking a step back to allow our new mitigation programs to go into effect, as well as recommitting ourselves to being good stewards of the region.”

Challenges to outdoor destinations across the country have been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. The region has been working on short-term and long-term solutions while coordinating with local agencies, organizations and community members to discuss strategies and implement solutions. Partners have been seeking solution-driven policies that will help increase stewardship of the North Tahoe-Truckee region for visitors and residents.

In response to these challenges, jurisdictions have funded several solution-driven approaches. Taking a triage approach to increasing stewardship in the region, Placer County is working to address all areas of regional needs including implementing a new microtransit program in Placer County, road mobility, pedestrian crossing support, public transit incentives, trash mitigation, short-term rental ordinance updates and educational campaigns. This decision is in support of those broader efforts.

Truckee has also been mindful of these challenges in provisional and future planning within all levels of the organization and throughout every department, including increased staffing, new litter mitigation and stewardship positions and programs, reporting processes, trash capacity of compactors and services, parking and fire mitigation, preparedness and education.

“The town is expecting and preparing for high visitation this summer, particularly as we expect to move along the blueprint to reopening, and while we are looking forward to reopening, we must be mindful of and continue to prioritize public health and community safety,” said Mayor Klovstad. “It is through this lens and with the importance of our community’s health at the forefront, that we acknowledge the difficult decisions our community partners have made to cancel the Fourth of July celebrations.”

Klovstad further added that, “We want to encourage our visitors to enjoy the adventure of being in Truckee and the surrounding area, with all of the natural beauty and opportunities to recreate, but along with the enjoyment, we our visitors have a responsibility to be good champions of our natural environment, to cherish and help us protect the very thing that brings people to our area – the natural land. The town is working on programs and initiatives to help educate and support our visitors in being champions for our environment. What we do today will impact the future, from protecting Donner Lake to litter control and abatement, to wildfire education and preparedness, we all play a role in being good representatives of our land, of Truckee and the Tahoe region.”

Source: Placer County

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