Wanted: mini events for Labor Day celebration | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Wanted: mini events for Labor Day celebration

Sally J. Taylor

The more activities the merrier, say organizers of the newly formed Labor Day Lake Tahoe celebration.

“We’re hoping merchants’ associations in high-traffic areas (such as Ski Run, Zephyr Cove and Camp Richardson) will do events to tie-in” to the major shows, said event organizer Bob Anderson.

Anderson is under contract with the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority to work out the details of the three-day festival to celebrate Lake Tahoe history and kickoff the fall schedule of Tahoe events.

A revival of the Great American Sternwheeler Race between the Tahoe Queen and the M.S. Dixie II on Saturday of the holiday weekend is expected to draw crowds of tourists to the lake. A Sunday evening fireworks display, expected to rival the Fourth of July show, should hold them here until Monday.

Over the years, Labor Day has developed into an end of summer, stay home and barbecue-event before the children start school, Anderson said. Fewer and fewer tourists celebrate the holiday at Tahoe.

The Labor Day Lake Tahoe is designed “to make the three-day weekend back into a three-day weekend,” he said.

In keeping with the historical theme, the six-mile sternwheeler race commemorates Tahoe’s maritime history. The fireworks show, choreographed to songs of past and present, is a celebration of Lake Tahoe’s casino and entertainment industry.

A variety of secondary events are planned including “Taste of Tahoe” food fair, hosted by the casinos on Sunday and daily performances of the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show to commemorate of the Tahoe lumber industry that helped build Virginia City silver mines.

Tie-in events already planned are an old-fashioned picnic at Kahle Park and an historical rendezvous Tahoe-style at Zephyr Cove.

Anderson is hoping for more.

All events are expected to fit in to the broad, historical theme to tie them together.

On Monday, distribution of 200,000 Labor Day Lake Tahoe brochures began. Half are destined for rack displays along the U.S. Highway 50 corridor. The other half will go to lodging owners and organizations to include in their mailings throughout the summer.

Promotions will be in high gear all summer long especially during the Isuzu Celebrity Golf Championship and the Fourth of July.

Summer promotions is the key to making this event set itself apart from the parade of previous, failed attempts to create new events.

The timing is right, Anderson said, and it fits the Tahoe summer pattern. “We have the summer’s-worth of visitors to appeal to,” he said.

“The problem with Memorial Day (which was considered for this event) is we don’t have the base of business to draw from. The winter visitor is not necessarily the summer visitor.”

“We’re pretty sure we’ve got the ingredients for a great event.”

Merchants wanting to develop a tie-in event are asked to call Anderson as soon as possible at (702) 588-6142.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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