HEAVENLY/ LAKE TAHOE

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Officially coined "Red, White and Tahoe Blue", Heavenly's Fourth of July has more to offer than your average backyard bonanza. The community gathers in the morning at Incline Beach for the Optimist Club carnival and barbecue. After food and games, there’s a veterans tribute followed by a National Guard air show, which features an MC-130 helicopter demonstration of a training mission, complete with parachute jumpers. The air show is followed by the Fourth of July Freedom Concert, also hosted by the Optimist Club.

Because the Lake Tahoe region goes above and beyond the traditional sparklers and firecrackers, the American Pyrotechnics Association deemed the area’s fireworks display among the best in the nation. Its shows are also recognized by USA Today, Travel & Leisure, and Forbes Traveler. Over 100,000 spectators gather to watch the lights over the lake, all done from barges on the water. The barges are usually rented, but this year Tahoe locals collectively chipped in to purchase their own. Now that’s patriotic.

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