Initially started by the organized labor movement in recognition of U.S. workers, Labor Day has become the de facto end of summer (also known in Tahoe as the official start of locals’ summer).
And with the end of summer comes and influx of visitors and plenty of events and activities for everyone to enjoy.
From live entertainment, to shopping, to a freaking laser light show, here are some of our top suggestions for blowing out summer at the lake.
LIGHT UP THE SKY
Last summer the folks behind the Labor Day fireworks on South Shore decided to head in a more affordable and environmentally friendly direction. We’re talking about lasers, people.
Dubbed Labor Day Lasers at Lakeview, the event returns to South Lake Tahoe’s Lakeview Commons Sunday, Sept. 2. Presented by the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, city of South Lake Tahoe and On Course Events, the free (and family friendly) festivities start at 4:30 p.m. with music provided by a DJ and over a dozen local vendors. Shop, eat, drink (a beer/wine garden will be present for those 21 and older) and relax.
The laser show will run from 8:30-9 p.m. Big Blue and the trees surrounding Lakeview Commons will serve as the backdrop.
“This 30-minute spectacular light show is provided by UVLasers 99, who’s responsible for some of the lasers and fire shows featured at Burning Man, Snowglobe Music Festival and more,” states a description by Tahoe South.
Those hoping to see some fireworks can try to book a table at Gar Woods Grill & Pier in Carnelian Bay. The business hosts the sixth annual Fireworks Spectacular on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 8:30 p.m. For more information visit http://www.garwoods.com.
HIT THE BEACH
The number of beach-appropriate days (i.e. a sweatshirt isn’t necessary to be comfortable) is dwindling. Take advantage of what is shaping up to be a near-perfect weekend — the National Weather Service says clear skies and high temps ranging from the mid-70s to low 80s — and hit the beach.
Few experiences rival a lazy day spent lounging in the sand while enjoying a couple cold ones. And Tahoe’s cool waters provide the perfect break from the brutal sun. Note: You may think you’re immune to the sun’s rays … but you’re not. Bring sunscreen.
Nevada Beach and the beach at D.L. Bliss State Park are a few of our favorites. If you’re looking for a hike to go along with your mellow day, try Chimney Beach, although be aware that parking is severely limited and the steep hike down is not conducive for lugging a bunch of crap — travel lightly.
Want to avoid the massive crowds? Try Baldwin Beach. And for those who aren’t big on preparation (you know, things like packing lunch or bringing an umbrella or really doing anything prior to stumbling out the door like a bear awakening from hibernation) hit Round Hill Pines. The place has food, drinks (try the Pain Killer) and just about everything else you need to enjoy a day at the beach.
Regardless of where you go, be sure to have cash, as most of the public beaches around the lake charge for parking. Follow the rules and PACK OUT YOUR TRASH.
Visit bit.ly/TahoeDogBeaches for some dog-friendly beaches.
SEE SUMMER SHOWS BEFORE THEY’RE GONE
Summer is the season when performers and companies settle in for a string of shows, and many of those are closing out their runs in the coming weeks.
The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival wrapped up its two signature performances for the season earlier this week, however, there are two remaining shows in the festival’s 2018 Showcase Series. The first is Saturday, Sept. 1. The 17-piece Reno Jazz Orchestra will share the stage with Tierney Sutton, a Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist. Together they will perform the best of the “Great American Songbook from Cole Porter to Joni Mitchell.”
The final performance for the 2018 Showcase Series will be Sept. 8. For more information about the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, shows, tickets and more, visit laketahoeshakespeare.com.
On South Shore, two performances that have been present throughout summer are winding down.
Solid Gold Soul, a tribute to America’s greatest soul music, finishes its summer-long residency at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe on Monday, Sept. 3. Twelve performers in all bring the show to life, recreating the sounds of artists including Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Sam Cooke and more. Visit bit.ly/HarrahsTicks for performance and ticket information.
Across U.S. 50 in Stateline, VOLUME finishes its run at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Saturday, Sept. 8. The show is billed as “an upbeat, action-packed adventure through rock history that combines sexy dance numbers with tight-knit choreography, amazing costumes, live music, specialty acts and comedy.” Get more information at bit.ly/VolumeTahoe.
Aside from the three-day weekend, Labor Day also is known for its sales.
Labor Day at Lake Tahoe is no different.
Heavenly Mountain Resort hosts a sale that any skier or rider will want to hit up ahead of the upcoming season. The annual tent sale returns Saturday, Sept. 1, and runs through Labor Day.
The sale, hosted at Heavenly’s California Main Lodge, will have plenty of gear available for the winter adrenaline junkie. Visit skiheavenly.com for more information.
Across the lake, Tahoe City will host a Labor Day weekend sidewalk sale. Businesses throughout the city will be offering deals from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 31-Sept. 3. Visit bit.ly/SidewalkSaleTahoe for information.