Guide to New Year's Eve in Lake Tahoe: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

Fireworks Lake Tahoe / Getty Images

From fireworks over downtown Reno to slope-side celebrations on one of the area's many ski resorts, the Lake Tahoe region of Nevada and California offers up plenty of ways to celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Ring in the start of the new decade in Lake Tahoe with the whole gamut of holiday activities, events, shows, and fireworks. Many of these are kid-friendly, so bring the whole family to Lake Tahoe for New Year's fun.

01 of 07

New Year's Ski Party and Fireworks at Mt. Rose

22222 Mt Rose Hwy, Reno, NV 89511, USA
Phone +1 775-849-0704

Spend the last day of the year on the powdery slopes of the Mt. Rose resort, with specially planned activities like the Poker Run, where participants must ski or snowboard to five different checkpoints on the mountain and draw a card at each one. Whoever reaches the bottom with the best poker hand, wins.

In the evening, either watch or be a part of the parade down the mountain. The procession is made up of snowcats (the vehicles that push snow), followed by a human torchlight parade. Participants ski down the slope in a line, each person holding onto a lit sparkler. The effect to spectators is a dramatic moving chain of fire sliding down the snow.

The outdoor festivities conclude with a fireworks display over the snowcapped mountain at 5:50 p.m. and then continue inside the lodge with a live DJ and drinks.

02 of 07

Squaw Valley Family Celebration

1960 Squaw Valley Rd, Olympic Valley, CA 96146, USA
Phone +1 530-452-4331

Squaw Valley will celebrate the New Year with a family-friendly party that is fun for all ages. The event includes a fireworks show, glow stick carnival games, live music, drinks, and an East Coast-style New Year's Eve ball drop celebration at the Olympic House.

Central to the whole shebang is the world's largest torchlight parade. Over the course of one and a half hours, skiers and snowboarders will carry colorful LED torches down the 3.2-mile Mountain Run. The parade, which hopes to draw 3,000 participants, will start at 5 p.m. at the top of the Gold Coast Funitel. Afterwards there is a fireworks show over the mountain, followed by a rock concert at Olympic Valley Lodge.

03 of 07

Snowglobe Music Festival

1300 Al Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA
Phone +1 530-542-6056

The annual Snowglobe Music Fest will take place on the Community Playfields at The Lake Tahoe Community College campus in South Lake Tahoe. Guests will enjoy electronic music among mountain vistas, with Skrillex headlining the festival this year. This three-day event begins on December 29 and ends December 31, and tickets start at $99.

04 of 07

Fireworks and Torchlight Parade at Kirkwood

1501 Kirkwood Meadows Dr, Kirkwood, CA 95646, USA
Phone +1 209-258-6000

Welcome in the new year with an evening at Kirkwood Mountain Resort. This mountain destination will be hosting its famous Kirkwood Torchlight Parade, where participants ski down the mountain in a line while holding lit sparklers. The procession is followed by a spectacular fireworks display viewable from the Village Plaza area.

There will be a New Year's Eve party at Cornice bar from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., complete with happy hour prices throughout the night and a complimentary champagne toast. An end-of-the-year bonfire will be lit early in the evening to keep you warm while you enjoy the festivities.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Fireworks in Downtown Reno

Just across the state border in Nevada, Reno also offers dazzling New Year's Eve events. Head to Virginia Street by the Reno Arch to get the best view of the 13-minute-long fireworks show, which is said to be bigger than the one in Las Vegas. Although the display starts at midnight, the street will be closed to traffic beginning at 9 p.m.

06 of 07

New Year's Eve at the Crystal Bay Casino

14 State Hwy 28, Crystal Bay, NV 89402, USA
Phone +1 775-833-6333

The California Honeydrops and special guest Sal's Greenhouse will rock out 2019 and welcome in 2020. The show will be followed by an after-party with The Sextones in the Crystal Bay Club Casino Crown Room. The Crystal Bay Casino is at 14 Nevada State Highway 28 in Crystal Bay, west of Incline Village, near the California state line. The party starts at 9 p.m. and tickets cost $50 plus fees.

07 of 07

Heavenly Holidays New Year Celebration

US-50, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA

The whole family can enjoy New Year's Eve at Heavenly Village in South Lake Tahoe. In the days leading up to 2020, you'll discover an array of kid-friendly activities, including holiday face painting, a carnival, an ice sculpting contest, and virtual snowboarding. December 30 will see a pre-NYE party, but the main event comes the following day. Starting at 2 p.m. on December 31, you can start ringing in the new year with live music, a drone light show, and the world's only Gondola Ball Drop. The party will continue into the night at one of the many casino nightclubs.

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Best Things to Do for New Year's Eve in Lake Tahoe