Valley celebrates the Fourth of July |

Valley celebrates the Fourth of July

Shannon Litz

While a heat advisory is expected to expire tonight, that doesn’t mean it will be chilly on the Fourth of July.

Between high temperatures in the upper 90s and the chance that Mother Nature will be launching her own fireworks, part of the fun on Thursday will be dodging the weather.

Carson Valley’s parks will be busy with concerts, sporting events, and the arts during the day, while fireworks will be limited to big shows at Lake Tahoe and Carson City.

Kicking off the events on Thursday, will be the Freedom 5K Fun Run/Walk and Yankee Doodle Chalk Artfest at 7 a.m.- noon at Heritage Park in Gardnerville. Cost to register for the Fun Run/Walk is $30 the day of event. Families with children under 12 can visit the Family Chalk Doodle Fun Zone” free from 8 a.m.-noon. The Carson Valley Lions Club will host a pancake breakfast 7-11 a.m. The $6 breakfast includes pancakes, eggs, sausage and beverage. Information, 782-8027.

The first big concert is the Hometown Celebration Fourth of July 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in Minden Park. Bike decorating at 10:30 a.m. for the Patriotic Park parade at 11:30 a.m. The Carson Valley Pops Orchestra, conducted by Elizabeth Eubanks, performs 12:30 p.m. Bounce house, water games, free apple pie and ice cream. Food and drinks available for purchase. Information, 782-5976 or

Carson Valley’s only hometown parade celebrating the Fourth of July kicks off 11 a.m. in the Gardnerville Ranchos. Consisting of every form of vehicle handy to the neighbors on mile-long Glenwood Drive, staging for the eighth annual parade is 10:30 a.m. Information,

Nevada’s oldest town will celebrate the 30th and last Pops in the Park at Mormon Station State Historic Park, featuring the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra with Jason Altiereri conducting. The festivities begin at 1 p.m. with Carson Chamber Singers, Reno Philharmonic Chorus, roving violinist John O’Neill, the percussion petting zoo, Doc-O and Squeeky the Clown, a silent auction. The concert starts at 4:15 p.m. and culminates in the closest thing to official fireworks in Carson Valley, the firing of live cannons by the National Guard for the 1812 Overture. The concert is sponsored by the Sierra Philharmonic League.

Across the way, the Genoa Volunteer Fire Department will be barbecuing $12 chicken dinners noon to 6 p.m. or until they run out.

Lake Tahoe will be home of the big fireworks, which will be launched 9:45 p.m. from offshore barges. They will be visible from Stateline and South Lake Tahoe, as well as out on the Lake.

Carson City will be hosting fireworks at Mills Park as part of the annual Retired Seniors Volunteer Program carnival. The carnival kicks off 5 p.m. today and will continue through the weekend.

Virginia City also hosts a fireworks show at dusk on Thursday, after the noon parade and the 5 p.m. Comstock Cowboys concert.

Other than the big licensed shows, fireworks are illegal in the Sierra Front due to fire danger on all private, county, state and federal land.

According to the National Weather Service, a heat wave is supposed to break tonight, but temperatures will remain warm for the Fourth of July, with the forecast high of 98 degrees. There is also a chance of thunderstorms on Thursday.

With hot weather expected to continue in the 90s, Douglas County Emergency Management recommended steps residents can take to protect themselves from the effects of extreme heat.

Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition.

Pets are also at-risk for heat-related illness, if left unattended.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to:

■ Remain inside during the hottest hours of the day, if possible.

■ Dress in loose, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.

■ Avoid strenuous work during the hottest part of the day.

■ Stay hydrated; do not wait until thirsty.

■ Avoid leaving pets in vehicles or in unprotected outdoor spaces. Provide plenty of water.

■ Curtail outdoor activities for vulnerable populations.

■ Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice per day.

■ Know what to do in a heat emergency to recognize signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

■ Check your local television broadcasts or radio stations for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.