Uncertainty and safety concerns
NORTH LAKE TAHOE – TRUCKEE, Calif. – Truckee and North Lake Tahoe regional officials announced that they have made the tough decision to cancel the annual Fourth of July fireworks shows in Donner Lake, Truckee, and the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.
Canceled events include the Fourth of July parade, which encompasses the Firecracker Mile in Historic Downtown Truckee, and any other events that take place through July 4 in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. Concerts at Commons in Tahoe City and Kings Beach will also be canceled through the Fourth of July. Events later in the summer are still being planned for at this time.
Dearly held traditions
“We know these events are traditions in our area that many hold dearly and inspire our community to come together, and we want to assure you that this was a difficult decision that was made after extensive and careful deliberation,” stated Truckee Mayor David Polivy. “The health and well-being of our residents, visitors, staff, and volunteers is paramount. We want to look to the future and hope to come together to celebrate with our community when it is safe and appropriate.”
“Placer County acknowledges the many long-standing partners, supporters and sponsors that participate in our annual Fourth of July and seasonal events,” stated District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “While this was an extremely difficult decision, with our current environment of uncertainty, safety is our top priority. We are actively working toward the day that we can celebrate these events with our community again.”
The decision was made in consultation with area partners including the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, Truckee Chamber of Commerce, the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District, North Tahoe Business Association, Tahoe City Downtown Association, North Tahoe Public Utility District and Tahoe City Public Utility District. Uncertainty around the state’s timeline to allow large public gatherings contributed to the decision. The need to implement appropriate safety measures for large-scale events while also ensuring physical distancing options for participants were also contributing factors.
Truckee and Placer County officials also recognize that large events take significant planning and safety checks, and without certainty the events will be allowed in July, officials determined it was best to proceed cautiously during this time.
Future events under discussion
Event organizers continue to discuss hosting community events in late summer or early fall, should the path to reopen be on a viable timeline.
“At the end of the day, events are about our community and people who love North Lake Tahoe-Truckee coming together to celebrate, not only about the events themselves,” stated North Tahoe Business Association executive director Alyssa Reilly. “We are happy to discuss hosting community events later in the year, due to these unprecedented circumstances.”
Kylee Bigelow, Tahoe City Downtown Association executive director, also added, “if the timeline to reopen gives us enough lead time to safely host events in August or September, we would be happy to provide people an opportunity to join together later in the year. We are all open to thinking outside of the box as we move forward in this process together.”
The Fourth of July parade is produced by Truckee Chambers of Commerce in partnership with the Town. Lynn Saunders, President and CEO Truckee Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that, “We know these events are a long-standing tradition and are important to celebrate. They impact our local businesses and support our tourism economy through the many people that visit our area over the Fourth of July weekend. This decision was not easy. We look forward to the day when we will be able to safely come together for these fun community events.”
The annual firework demonstrations bring thousands of visitors to the region in the days leading up to, and during the holiday weekend. Officials hope these cancellations will reduce crowd concerns, and minimize the possible spread of COVID-19.
Governor Newsom outlined a phased reopening plan for the state based on trends in case data and other key indicators. The reopening process includes a four stage plan with mass gatherings being the final phase.