Guide to Fourth of July at Lake Tahoe: Events and Fireworks

Fireworks, South Shore, Lake Tahoe, NV. / Getty Images

Many of these events have been altered or canceled in 2020. Check details below and event websites for updated information.

When visiting Lake Tahoe on the Fourth of July, you'll find fireworks shows and celebrations scheduled on both the California and Nevada sides of the lake during the holiday week.

At South Lake Tahoe, California, the Lights of the Lake fireworks show rates as one of the top displays in the country, and there are plenty of activities and festivities to enjoy all around the area. Lake Tahoe's north shore hosts a full range of special holiday events throughout the Independence Day week. Since personal fireworks are either illegal or discouraged all around Lake Tahoe, these major public events are a great draw for vacationers.

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Lights of the Lake Fireworks

This event has been canceled for 2020.

Lights of the Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California, is synchronized to music and billed as one of the largest and best Independence Day fireworks shows in the country.

The free show usually starts at 9:45 p.m. For an excellent view, schedule a ride on one of Lake Tahoe's paddle wheelers and watch from the water. More great viewing spots include Nevada Beach, Timber Cove Marina, Bijou Community Park, and Tallac Historic Site. The beach at Edgewood-Tahoe golf course has a nice view, and the resort offers packages that bring together luxury lodging, a gourmet buffet, hosted drinks, party favors, and more.

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Red, White and Tahoe Blue Festival

The Red, White and Tahoe Blue festival for 2020 has been canceled.

Festivities take place at Incline Village and Crystal Bay on Lake Tahoe's north shore on the Nevada side. Typically more than 45 special holiday events are scheduled over three or four days, including a pancake breakfast, a parade, kids' activities, a tribute to veterans, and rubber duck races. On July 4, the big fireworks show launches from barges off Incline Beach at 9:30 p.m.

Note that Incline Beach is private property belonging to the local homeowners' association. Access is restricted to residents and their guests, but after 8 p.m., the public can visit the beach and watch the fireworks.

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July 3 Fireworks and Beach Party

This July 3, 2020, event has been canceled.

At North Lake Tahoe's Kings Beach State Recreation Area (on the California side of the lake just west of Incline Village), the party generally starts at 7 p.m. Expect food vendors and a beer/wine garden, along with a fireworks show launched from barges at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available online for preferred fireworks seating outside the North Tahoe Event Center.

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Tahoe City Fourth of July Fireworks Show

This event has been canceled for 2020.

The annual Tahoe City Fourth of July Fireworks Show takes place at Commons Beach on the north shore of Lake Tahoe (California side). Normally, Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que has an outdoor patio party from 5:30 to 9 p.m., featuring live music. Bring a picnic and enjoy the free fireworks starting at dusk on the holiday; donations to support the pyrotechnics are appreciated.

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Truckee Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks

The Truckee Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks event is canceled for 2020.

Visitors enjoy an old-fashioned, family-friendly hometown Fourth of July parade a roughly 15-minute drive from Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe. The event usually starts at 10 a.m. at the Truckee High School and marches down Donner Pass Road, ending up in historic downtown Truckee, California. A free shuttle service takes attendees from Truckee neighborhoods to downtown and back.

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Donner Lake Fireworks Show

This residents-only event is canceled for 2020.

The festivities at West End Beach on Donner Lake in Truckee typically start at 9 a.m. on July 4 and feature games and music beginning at 1:30 p.m. Guests pay a small admission fee and must show proof of Truckee residency or homeownership. After a barbecue dinner, there are fireworks at 9:30 p.m., which are visible from many spots around the lake.

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Run to the Beach Lake Tahoe 5K and 10K

This event has been canceled for 2020, but you can usually start Independence Day with a run, walk, or stroll along a 5K or 10K course.

The gathering starts at 8:30 a.m. at the North Tahoe Regional Park, where you'll pay a parking fee. After the race, which ends on the beach at the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area, you can go for a swim or walk the short distance back to your car.

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Handcrafted Designs Under the Pines

This 2020 event has been canceled.

Held at Homewood Mountain Resort on Highway 89 in California, the gathering makes for an enjoyable Independence Day in which guests peruse handmade art and goods made by about 50 vendors. The show typically takes place July 3–5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Tahoe City Farmer's Market

Have fun while shopping for your Fourth of July picnic goods at Commons Beach. The Tahoe City Farmers Market is open Thursday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. from mid-May through early October. Enjoy fresh local produce and delicious food from crepes to chocolate and Pakistani food.

It is recommended that one person per household visits the market for 30 minutes or less and that shoppers wear a face mask, keep 6 feet apart, and consume all food off the premises.

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Live at Lakeview Concert Series

These 2020 concerts have been canceled or postponed; check the website for updates.

The City of South Lake Tahoe ordinarily hosts the Live at Lakeview Free Summer Concert Series on Thursday evenings. Guests take in lovely lake vistas from the beer garden and enjoy live music and art on the beach, along with vendors and food options.

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Rolling Chrome Car Show

On July 3 through July 6, 2020, the Rolling Chrome and Tahoe Thunder car and motorcycle show takes place at the Heavenly Village gondola in South Lake Tahoe. This free event features trophies, a poker walk, and prizes. The show benefits the Good Sam Safe Ride program, which saves lives by taking intoxicated people safely home rather than letting them drive. 

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South Lake Tahoe Fourth of July Parade

This old-fashioned Fourth of July Parade is canceled for 2020, but regularly involves local businesses, school groups, and decorated floats. 

The free parade, which begins at 10 a.m., spans from Ski Run Boulevard to Bijou Community Park off Al Tahoe Boulevard. Premium viewing locations are along Highway 50 between Ski Run Boulevard and Al Tahoe Boulevard. Look for a Food Truck Park, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bijou Community Park.

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