By Kathryn Reed
STATELINE – Fireworks are out, lasers are in. A single event on one night has been traded for multiple activities on four days.
Labor Day Lake Tahoe is being reinvented.
Earlier this year the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority decided to scrap the annual fireworks show on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. This is because lodging establishments said it had become a non-starter.
While plenty of locals are disappointed the sky won’t be lighting up in a couple weeks, the TDVA is about driving tourism, not entertaining locals.
At the board’s meeting this week it was revealed that the TDVA is allocating almost $58,000 on a four-day carnival, art, and music festival at Heavenly Village, along with an event at Lakeview Commons that Sunday afternoon and evening.
This expenditure is less than 50 percent of what the 20-minute fireworks show cost.
Mike Frye, who handles events for TDVA, gave the board an overview of what to expect. The goal is to provide easy, fun, free events for people.
The fun will start that Friday at Heavenly Village. The carnival will go from 6-9:30pm. It will include all the usual rides except for a Ferris wheel. Games, stilt walkers, jugglers, caricaturists and the standard fair food will be offered.
On that Saturday and Sunday the events go from 1-9:30pm. The headliner music acts start at 6pm both days, though there will be music in the afternoon. Bands include Hit Parade, Steele Breeze, 3 Musicole, Failure Machine, Merry Gold, Dead Winter Carpenters, Jelly Bread, Shanda and the Howlers, Cameron Calloway, and Grace Hayes.
Art and classic car exhibits will be part of the mix.
Over at Lakeview Commons on Sept. 3 the activities go from 4:30-9pm. A disc jockey will be spinning tunes, while various vendors peddle their wares, people imbibe at the beer garden, get something to eat from the food trucks, and hang out in the hammock lounge.
UV99, the same group that does the laser events for Burning Man, will be coming to put on a show from 8:30-9pm. This will be something boaters will be able to see from the water.
TDVA has some “extra” cash to devote to luring people to the South Shore for these events.
“We paused some of our summer advertising in Northern California,” TDVA Executive Director Carol Chaplin told the board. She said the weather combined with July 4 and the celebrity golf tournament were bringing people without any sales pitch. “We put some of that into Labor Day specific advertising; about $40,000 was shifted.”
This isn’t all that will be going on that weekend. There’s always the Heavenly tent sale, Eric Church has two shows slated to wrap up the Harveys Outdoor Concert Series, Tahoe Beach Retreat is having a luau on Sept. 1 and the usual outdoor fun Tahoe has to offer including TAMBA’s Rose to Toads bike ride on Sept. 2.