South Tahoe Highlights Hottest Summer Events

The lake level is at the natural rim for the first time in five years. Water enthusiasts can splash, paddle, SUP, kayak, float, boat, relax, revive and tan this spectacular lake summer. South Lake Tahoe’s summer event season is action packed with iconic special events combined with world class outdoor recreation.


  • The nationally recognized “Lights on the Lake” fireworks extravaganza entails 20 minutes of bright lights and colors that illuminate the night sky to celebrate a traditional Independence Day by pairing musical sounds of American classics and today’s top hits to perfectly executed pyrotechnics broadcasted live from KRLT-FM.
  • The 35th annual American Century Championship, celebrity golf’s most prominent tournament of sports and entertainment superstars will take to the fairways of Edgewood Tahoe, July 10-14 and will be aired on NBC. Player commitments for the wildly popular event include newcomers Alex Rodriguez, Trevor Lawerence, and Albert Pujols, Rob McElhenney and longtime favorites Charles Barkley, Tony Romo, Colin Jost, Miles Teller, Larry the Cable Guy, Joe Pavelski, Ray Romano and Northern California sports stars Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, Charles Woodson, and Robbie Gould.

It’s an Olympic year and high-altitude training helps many athletes prep for a big race. In addition, cold water plunges/swims are a trend that continues to grow and with the lake full it makes swimming more accessible this summer at South Shore’s stunning beaches. Here’s recommendations for safe open water swimming: stick to the shoreline, wear bright colors, know one’s ability/limitations, swim with a friend or a kayak/SUP, and plan for a place to warm up afterward. For competitions, various triathlons, marathons and bike rides this season.

  • The 60th annual DeCelle Memorial Lake Tahoe Relay tests athletes as teams of seven people each run approximately 8-12 miles counterclockwise around Lake Tahoe, June 8, starting/finishing from Lakeview Commons, two miles from the state line. There are options for running solo or as a pair in a 72-mile ultra marathon.
  • The Rock Tahoe Half Marathon, June 15, is a 13.1-mile course which starts at the top of Spooner Summit, elevation 7,146-feet and drops more than 1,000 feet as runners wind down U.S. Highway 50 to the finish line at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe followed by a pool party for racers and their guests.
  • The Tahoe Mountain Bike Festival is a staple of the area with support from Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association with bike demos, brews and live music, June 23-24
  • The Lake Tahoe Triathlon includes sprint, half, and Olympic distances as well as a duathlon (run/bike/run) and aquabike (swim/bike) all starting from Ed’ZBerg Sugar Pine State Park, Aug. 24-25


  • The 75th annual Hwy 50 Wagon Train welcomes travellers to join the trek from Round Hill, Nev. to Placerville, Calif., June 1-8 along with evening campfires, storytelling and entertainment
  • This season the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, July 28 – Aug. 25 brings the Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare’s uproarious battle of the sexes, along with Always Patsy Cline, a musical celebration of the country music legend
  • The 28th annual Valhalla Renaissance Faire transports guests back to the spectacle and grandeur of 16th-century England with jousting, swordplay, pageantry, ale, food, music and crafts at its new location Tahoe Valley Campground, Aug. 24-25
  • The Tahoe Blue Event Center offers Monster Truck Nitro Tours, June 7-8; Lake Tahoe Documentary Film Festival, Oct. 4-6, and country artist Parker McCollum, Oct. 26.


  • Live at Lakeview Summer Music Series returns with free live music, art, local merchants, food vendors, every Thursday night, June 20 through Aug. 29 at Lakeview Commons, 1.5 miles from the Nevada state line
  • Showroom entertainment at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe includes Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular, June 1; Craig Ferguson, June 8; Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Aug. 17; and Pretty Lights, Sept. 6-7


  • Lake Tahoe Brewfest, also in its 7th year, features dozens of regional craft brewers throughout California and Nevada with tastings, live music, arts and craft vendors along Ski Run Boulevard, Aug. 24, to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe.
  • The 12th annual Tahoe Blue Vodka Bloody Mary Competition will host 15 of the best and creative bartenders in the region for guests to sample and vote on their exquisite creations, Aug. 11 at Tahoe Beach Retreat. Tickets include unlimited tastings paired with lakefront live music/DJ; contestants/bartenders will be available soon.

Hydration is key, especially at higher elevation and tourism officials encourage guests to Drink Tahoe Tap, 99% pure, with reusable water bottles. This is one example of what Visit Lake Tahoe along with 19 other partners are implementing with a Destination Stewardship Plan that identifies 32 actions across four strategic pillars: foster a tourism economy that gives back; turn a shared vision into shared action; advance a culture of caring for the greater Lake Tahoe region; and improve the Tahoe experience for all. In fact, the plan was recently recognized by the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals for its outstanding contributions to outdoor recreation. Key travel information is also available at “Know Before You Go” as well as Rules to Lake By with five tips to practic

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