Parade, parties and fireworks for Lake Tahoe’s Fourth of July |

Parade, parties and fireworks for Lake Tahoe’s Fourth of July

Adam Jensen
Fireworks explode over Lake Tahoe during a previous Lights on the Lake display. This year's Monday, July 4, fireworks will kick off on the South Shore at 9:45 p.m.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

The 35th annual Lights on the Lake fireworks display is the centerpiece of Fourth of July celebrations at Lake Tahoe, but a morning parade and parties throughout the day add to the schedule of Independence Day celebrations at the South Shore. The 25-minute fireworks display off Lake Tahoe’s South Shore is scheduled to begin at 9:45 p.m. Monday, July 4.

“‘Lights on the Lake’ has been recognized in leading travel publications Travel + Leisure, CNN, USA Today 10 Best, Budget Travel, and NBC’s Today Show as one of the country’s top displays, and best July 4 fireworks show west of the Mississippi,” according to a press release from Weidinger Public Relations. “The show offers eye-popping light arrays that transform Tahoe’s night sky into 25 minutes of dazzling technicolor bursts of multi-colored orbs, exploding stars, butterflies and smiley faces.”

Nevada Beach, Edgewood Tahoe, Timber Cove Marina and Lakeview Commons are among the recommended viewing locations for the display. Several companies also offer on-the-water viewing experiences. Day-use parking fees for July 4 at Pope, Baldwin and Nevada beaches will be $20 and $25 at Zephyr Cove Beach, according to a press release from the U.S. Forest Service.

The fireworks display’s musical program is broadcast on KRLT-FM 93.9, KOWL-AM 1490 and

“Lights on the Lake is more than a holiday custom for us, it’s a family tradition,” said Nancy McDermid, chairwoman of sponsor Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, in the release. “Every year we meet families whose parents brought them to Tahoe for the July 4 holiday and they are continuing the tradition, bringing their own kids, and grandchildren. It’s a show that brings memories that carry on and last a lifetime across multiple generations.”

Donner Lake’s West End Beach and Tahoe City will also host fireworks displays at 9:30 p.m. for the Fourth of July. Kings Beach is scheduled to hold a display at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 3.

On the morning of July 4, the City of South Lake Tahoe will also host a Fourth of July parade through town.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the “Y” and proceed east on U.S. Highway 50, ending in the Rite Aid parking lot on Al Tahoe Boulevard.

Temporary bleachers will be erected at American Legion Post 795 for parade viewing and the Legion will hold a free afterparty featuring barbecue, music and a beer garden following the parade, according to an announcement from the city. Both eastbound lanes of Highway 50 will be closed from the “Y” from 9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. for the parade, with a rolling lane opening beginning around 10:20 a.m. Motorists should except slow traffic, and the city encourages people to use Pioneer Trail during and immediately following the parade.

Tahoe Beach Retreat & Lodge will celebrate Independence Day with a South Lake Tahoe Red, White and Blue 4th of July Celebration featuring DJs, bands, a tiki bar and a special performance by magician Alex Ramon. All of the entertainment is free and open to the public. Barbecue and private pier access can be purchased at

An annual alcohol ban will be in effect at Nevada Beach, Zephyr Cove Resort and Zephyr Shoals from 6 a.m. to midnight on July 4, according to the Forest Service release. County and state laws also ban the possession or consumption of alcohol on the Truckee River from Tahoe City to Alpine Meadows and Chamber’s Landing Beach on the West Shore beginning July 1 and continuing through July 6, according to the agency.

Possession of fireworks of any kind is illegal in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Campfires and portable charcoal grills are also not permitted on National Forest beaches or in the general forest.

Fire restrictions on National Forest System land in the Lake Tahoe Basin begin July 1.

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