Inaugural parade drives by like a firecracker flash


By Anne Knowles

If you arrived for the start of the holiday parade at Stateline past 10:15am, you were in for a letdown.

The Cowley-Crawford family from Sacramento watching the 4th of July parade.

South Lake Tahoe’s inaugural Fourth of July parade started on time and ended quickly.

The parade began promptly at 10am and the 30 or so participating vehicles traveled a two-mile stretch of Highway 50 in the right-hand westbound lane at near-normal speed. In fact, if you planted yourself at the end of the route, at Rufus Allen Boulevard, at 11am, you were probably out of luck, too.

But a smattering of parade watchers lining the highway seemed to enjoy the hour of holiday fanfare.

“Want to see the fire truck come,” yelled young Will Cowley-Crawford, sitting on the shoulders of his father, Brett, to get a bird’s eye view of the parade. “It’s coming, girls!”

A decorated parade vehicle being passed by ongoing traffic.

The “girls” were Will’s mother Millie and infant sister Claire, all visiting from Sacramento for the 4th.

The fire truck and several cars carrying waving members of the South Lake Tahoe City Council were the first parade vehicles to breeze by. They were followed by cars festooned with flags, a military truck and colorful garbage truck among others.

And also flying by was plenty of other Highway 50 traffic, coming and going, for other Independence Day festivities.

An orange garbage truck added color to the parade.

“It was a wonderful first parade,” said a woman from Stoneham, Mass., visiting with her granddaughter from San Francisco. “Hopefully, the fireworks will be better.”

“The parade was a little short but nice,” chimed in her granddaughter.

Lori Rhinebeck, visiting from Visalia, Calif., had high hopes for the parade before it started.

“I hope the casinos have floats and throw chips at the adults,” said Rhinebeck.

No such luck.





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Comments (14)
  1. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: July 4, 2012

    Maybe lack of participation from the casinos is due to the parade ending in South Lake Tahoe? Maybe they weren’t invited?

    Maybe it’s something for the community of South Lake Tahoe, and doesn’t have anything to do with Stateline, kind of like the Loop Road…

  2. MAP says - Posted: July 4, 2012

    Maybe it was the fact that the first I heard about this was today.

  3. JoAnn Conner says - Posted: July 4, 2012

    Careabout: The entire community was invited. Golden Bear Events does not have any licenses or permits for Nevada yet, but we did start it AT Stateline so some Nevada residents and visitors could enjoy, and actually got a number of calls about best place to watch at Stateline if you were coming from the casino corridor.
    MAP: I’m sorry, but I just don’t know what else we could have done to get the word out. There were articles, event postings, and even ads placed in some media. It was in Lake Tahoe News as an article and an event post.It has been on for about a month, and also had at least one article. It was in the Business Monitor this past week. It was in the Mountain News in two places.It was posted in events in the Tribune for about a month, two articles were done this past week in the Trib, and two quarter page ads were placed. It has been mentioned on KRLT radio and RSN TV. Ads were run on K-Tahoe radio. Chamber email blasts were sent several times and flyers were posted in key spots about town.It has been all over Face Book in several places. First year events always have the problem of awareness.
    Hang Ups: Nothing is free these days. The $50 certainly did not go into my pocket. Permits had to be filed with CalTrans, Environmental Health, and the City and a business license is key as well, plus a County DBA.Insurance for an event is astronomical, yet necessary. There are printing and advertising costs,decorations, and signs to be made or printed.We won’t even talk about any pay for staff, but I usually try to at least feed them. The end site had to be kept open and secure before and then until we arrrived. Maybe it would help to know that if there IS any profit, 50% goes to Veteran’s and active duty military care packages. 25% goes to the South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, and 25% will go to Golden Bear. Also, NO veteran’s groups were charged, and the groups that provided the vehicles for the Council and Supervisor (some of whom drove veteran’s) were also not charged.
    As to the speed of the parade, I know we can’t make everyone happy there either. Our first parade was the Holiday Parade last December. The walkers held the parade to a slower pace, but we decided walkers would be too dangerous in a longer parade on a holiday. We really didn’t know how long it would take 40 vehicles to travel two and a half miles on a holiday. We capped it at 40 entries and we kept it to vehicles and tried to move slow enough to be seen, but fast enough not to impede traffic or business on a holiday. If you think closing one lane on a highway is a process, try closing the entire highway for a parade (so all could easily see) on ANY day in our town!
    I start my events on time. Spectators and participants all have other things to do and they deserve to be able to plan. It is necessary to have police involved in any traffic issues, and this was one of the busiest days of the year. I wanted them free on time as well.
    Please know I am not complaining, I am explaining. I chose to do special events and attempt to bring a little more to this community. The parade was free for spectators – cheap entertainment. The celebration after also had a lot of free family entertainment. Good for locals and tourists alike. We hope to do more and grow these events. I hope it somehow helps a little in our town.

  4. Careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: July 4, 2012

    Overall a good first go, something to build on, hope it keeps growing :)

  5. Hang Ups From Way Back says - Posted: July 5, 2012

    Be honest no cares about a parade!Times have changed,bad timing,not well thought out,probably cost some business cash just because traffic was trying to get to more important hot spots of real interest.
    The Clubs,the beach, the store or to a private party.
    Fireworks were not as good last year but unlike San Diego they lasted more than a few seconds.
    Sure the police are totally swamped with so many calls,nothing but sirens 15 minutes apart blasting the water sound barrier.
    Ther’s alway next year if you’er still around.

  6. Biggerpicture says - Posted: July 5, 2012

    Hang ups, what show were you watching? Lights On The Lake last night were THE BEST EVER! And the parade was fun! And I’m guessing that neither cost you a dime. There is always someone in the crowd that ******* about things like parades and fireworks. They tend to live with a half empty cup!

  7. JoAnn Conner says - Posted: July 5, 2012

    Careabout and Bigger Picture: THANK YOU! The people watching were roughly two to three hundred, which was a lot more than the Holiday Parade.They were all smiling,waving flags, yelling “Happy 4th of July,” and “thank you!” The entries in this parade were also double what we had in the Holiday Parade.The businesses along the route, in the parade, and at the celebration were thankful of the exposure.Look at the pictures on this site, on the Face Book site for the City of South Lake Tahoe, and read the articles written about this. One business woman said “I couldn’t afford pay for this kind of advertising!”
    I’ve been here for over thirty years and I look forward to continuing to bring smiles to most faces. Google Golden Bear Events – we already have more coming to our town!

  8. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: July 5, 2012

    Biggerpicutre: Thanks for your comment. I’ve never seen Hang Ups/Poorly Hung post a positive comment or suggestion about anything. And and that track record remains intact.

  9. Biggerpicture says - Posted: July 5, 2012

    JoAnn, thanks for putting in the effort! Any event that attempts to unite the community is okay in my book! Lucky we live South Lake Tahoe!

  10. Ginger Nicolay-Davis says - Posted: July 5, 2012

    Small towns all over the country have 4th of July parades. Yes times have changed but it is fun to be reminded of simpler times when communities came out for the big 4th of July parade. Great effort JoAnn! I hope to see the parade continue to grow for years to come. Spectators really enjoyed :)

  11. Les Wright says - Posted: July 5, 2012

    From my vantage point last night, I could see 4 fireworks displays. First across the lake from Kings Beach. When that ended our Lights on the Lake off Lakeside Beach took over and at the same time an excellent private Firework show off Jamison Beach and another off Glenbrook (I think). We travel a lot but always, are in Tahoe for the 4th of July fire work shows.

    I didn’t know about the parade either. But glad to know someone is organizing a parade. I would suggest for next year, get it off H50 and use Ski Run Blvd. Start and finish in Heavenly Parking lot. Invite antique car organizations and other car clubs to parade up and down Ski Run.

    Maybe you could talk me into putting on a race down Ski Run that morning at well.

    Ski Run Blvd is a beautiful location for local activities that doesn’t entail a Cal Trans permit.

    Happy Summer

  12. Hang Ups From Way Back says - Posted: July 5, 2012


    JESUS 300 PEOPLE, hey there were 1000’s pulling their pants off while you were sipping a milk shake.

    Take a real close look at who comes here,it’s thrill seekers,not grandma baking cookies.Do you get it?I hate to see you old reruns at the beach,you are taking up valuable room for the future.
    Please sat in the back of the bus please.
    They are going to sin city in nevada not a ballon fair.
    Ok fire back make me

  13. JoAnn Conner says - Posted: July 5, 2012

    Hang Ups – OBVIOUSLY you did not WATCH the parade, you are just complaining about something you did not even see. The participants AND the spectators were largely comprised of the very age group you suggest we seek.My driver to the parade was a college student driving a vintage vehicle.
    Just curious – what do you do to make things better here – or anywhere for that matter?