South Lake Tahoe celebrates 50th with parade |

South Lake Tahoe celebrates 50th with parade

Sebastian Foltz

The South Shore community was out in full force last Saturday morning, Sept. 19, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the city’s incorporation — and the opening of the new Bijou Bike Park.

“The participation and support for the parade and grand opening of the park was overwhelming,” city spokeswoman Tracy Franklin said of the festivities. “It was inspiring to see so much enthusiasm and people really enjoying themselves.”

Ninety-six vehicles and close to 450 walkers registered for the Saturday morning parade that started at the “Y” and proceeded down U.S. Highway 50 to Bijou Community Park.

While the parade was a big draw, the new bike park easily stole the show. Hundreds gathered for the park’s ribbon-cutting ceremony that included speeches from city Mayor Hal Cole, Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association president Ben Fish and a number of other city officials. Ted Wendell gave a moving dedication as part of the celebration. The park was named after his brother, Tom, a prominent member of the community and ardent outdoor enthusiast. Tom Wendell passed away in 2013.

The park opened to the public following the ceremony at 1 p.m. Festivities continued into the afternoon with free barbecue and BMX racing, along with an inaugural slopestyle jam session on the park’s jump lines.

“I don’t know how people do that,” city mayor Hal Cole said of the bikers showcasing their talents.

He also emphasized the importance of the new park as part of the community’s parks and recreation master plan.

“This is just the one piece of the puzzle,” he said.

The new park is expected to be a strong regional draw for mountain biking, and it also has potential for national and international interest in the area.

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