Independence Day in Northern Nevada always finds the emphasis squarely on fireworks.
Start at the South Shore of Lake Tahoe on Saturday with “Lights on the Lake,” now in its 34th year and billed as “the largest Fourth of July fireworks display in the West.” There may be a few competitors, but there is no doubt this is always impressive, a 25-minute spectacle fired to a synchronized soundtrack and visible from several spots around the South end of the lake – Lakeview Commons/El Dorado Beach, Nevada Beach, Edgewood Tahoe, Timber Cove Marina, or on public (M.S. Dixie and Tahoe Queen Paddlewheelers) or private boats. Fireworks at 9:45 p.m.
In that area, is the Rolling Chrome and Tahoe Thunder Car Show at Heavenly Village Friday-Sunday with sidewalk sales and ’50s music (free) or Aerosmith at the Harveys Outdoor Arena on Friday. (7 p.m.; $89.50-$235.50; Ticketmaster).
On the North End of the lake one of the most fun of several celebrations is Friday’s early party at Kings Beach. Viewers can party on the beach and at the North Tahoe Events Center from 4-10 p.m. (vendors, beer garden, free watermelon eating, sand-castle building) and then take in the fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Incline Village and Crystal Bay’s “Red, White, and Tahoe Blue” celebration ends with fireworks set off on barges off Incline’s beach at 9:30 p.m. A warning: the INcline Village General Improvement District is restricting access to SKi Beat and Incline Beach on Saturday. For tips on other places to view the fireworks display, go to redwhitetahoeblue.com.
Tahoe City lights up the sky on the West Shore at dusk off Commons Beach after a street fair; and Truckee has its annual parade at 10 a.m. and fireworks off Donner Lake’s West End at 9 p.m.
Reno has rarely done itself proud with fireworks, but the Nugget Casino and Resort in Sparks 16 years ago started Star-Spangled Sparks with displays fired from the Nugget’s two towers and the adjacent railroad yard, an event that has become immensely popular and impressive. Victorian Square in front of the Nugget will be open with vendors and free music from 4 p.m. and a kids area until the fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Wind delays are always a possibility with this one as the fireworks are set off at major heights in the well-populated area.
Reno prefers to put the focus on food with the third annual Biggest Little City Wing Fest Friday-Sunday. Many cookers and other vendors will be on hand on Virginia Street outside the Silver Legacy Resort Casino. The music will be free Friday noon-6 p.m. with the Buck Ford Band and Jackson Michelson; Saturday noon-8 p.m. with Michelson and Chad Bushnell, and Sunday noon-4 p.m. with Cripple Creek.