Light show at replaces Tahoe’s Labor Day fireworks
If you go ...
What: “Laser Day”
When: 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Lakeview Commons
While fireworks aren’t returning to the South Shore this Labor Day, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, city of South Lake Tahoe and On Course Events have something else in store: an all-new laser show. Labor Day Lasers at Lakeview, also known as “Laser Day,” takes over Lakeview Commons on Sunday, Sept. 3.
The 30-minute laser show, which begins at 8:30 p.m., will be projected across the lake with the trees surrounding Lakeview Commons as a backdrop.
“It’s hard to say in words — it’s a visual thing, for sure,” said Leslie Schultz, marketing director at On Course Events. “The best way for me to describe it is that it’s very similar to a laser show you’d see at a music festival.”
The show is presented by UV99, the laser light company behind events like Burning Man and SnowGlobe Music Festival.
“There will be a stage with lasers and a DJ on the upper section of Lakeview Commons. Basically lasers will be dancing in the trees, shooting onto the lake and across to the mountain range,” Schultz continued, noting that one of the best views to watch the show will be from the lake itself.
“It’s similar to a fireworks show, where you want to be out on the lake underneath it. For this, you’ll want to be on the lake just outside of Lakeview Commons looking back on the venue and seeing the lasers dance.”
Prior to the show, “Laser Day” kicks off at 4:30 p.m. with a vibe that resembles that of Live at Lakeview. Local vendors, food trucks, a beer and wine garden, live music provided by a DJ and more will take over the venue (which also offers a free bike valet for easy traveling).
Reason for the transition
According to Mike Frye, events and international media relations manager at LTVA, there has been discussion to end the Labor Day fireworks for several years.
“If you think of fireworks over Labor Day — where’s the tradition for that? It’s an incredible American tradition for Fourth of July because it replicates the Star Spangled Banner in some respects, and the nation’s history.
“Labor Day is a long weekend for people to enjoy their families and friends and have fun,” Frye said.
He noted that a recent survey showed only 18 percent of responding lodging properties said Labor Day fireworks made a difference in occupancy throughout the holiday weekend.
“When you only have 18 percent saying, ‘Yes, it’s meaningful,’ we were spending community money for something that wasn’t driving visitors,” Frye explained.
So the search began for an alternative way to bring holiday entertainment to South Shore.
“We wanted something family-oriented, and we wanted it to be fun, free and casual. We wanted people to be able to walk to it,” said Frye.
Expense was not the only factor that played into the organizations’ decision to move away from Labor Day fireworks. According to Schultz, the move toward a “green” event was also important.
“After it was decided to no longer have fireworks for Labor Day, we wanted to come up with something new and fresh, and we’d seen cities be successful with a more environmentally friendly approach to celebrations.
“After talking with the city, [lasers] made sense and aligned with their vision to protect our treasure,” Schultz said.
Both Schultz and Frye noted there is a possibility for Laser Day to return in the future pending the success of this year’s event, which is free to attend for all ages. Learn more online at http://www.tahoesouth.com.