Remember summer camp? Intense and fleeting, full of traditions, camp was the bright beacon in the depths of winter.
Tahoe South offers its own rituals of the season: sun-drenched beaches, Grammy winning artists on outdoor stages, family events and outdoor recreation, the country’s biggest celebrity golf tournament, fireworks, and enough nightlife to put the wild side into summer.
Sports and entertainment stars
A powerhouse lineup of sports legends including Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Oscar de la Hoya, and Bodie Miller will join entertainers Ray Romano and Jack Wagner for the 24th annual American Century Championship, July 16 to 21.
More than 80 of the brightest sports and entertainment stars and celebrities will tee it up at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, vying for the $125,000 winner’s share of the $600,000 purse.
First-timers this year include NFL Hall of Famer John Randle; former NFL Pro-Bowl wide receiver Andre Reed; former NBA All-Star Detlef Schrempf and former MLB All-Star Tim Wakefield.
Harrah’s Outdoor Concert Series, an annual South Shore favorite, features a star-studded lineup: Steve Miller Band, June 22; Tim McGraw, July 16; Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry, July 19; Phish, July 30 to 31; FUN with Tegan and Sara, Aug. 27; Brad Paisley, Aug. 30 and Dave Matthews Band, Sept. 4. Shows are anticipated to sell out.
MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa’s Summer Concert Series second annual Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival returns on Saturday, June 29. Tahoe’s taste of island irie at the 4,000-seat outdoor amphitheater will feature breezy Jamaica rhythms and reggae ska beats from headliners SOJA and Alpha Blondy, along with special guests Passafire, Stickfigure, Tomorrow’s Bad Seed and Island of Black & White. Also added to the outdoor concert lineup are Slightly Stoopid and Atmosphere with Tribal Seeds, The Grouch and Eligh, July 18. Additional acts will be finalized soon but expect a variety of rock, reggae, hip-hop, punk, etc.
The Valhalla Arts & Music Festival celebrates music and visual arts from June through fall. In its 33rd year, this event series is set against a backdrop of Lake Tahoe and the Tallac Historic Site. It features performances and comedy at the Boathouse Theater, outdoor concerts, festivals, and cultural events.
Recognized by NBC’s Today Show as one of the country’s top Fourth of July weekend celebrations, “Lights on the Lake” fireworks show is a Tahoe South ritual that packs the shoreline with spectators. The best viewing spots are South Shore’s sandy beaches or aboard the M.S. Dixie II or Tahoe Queen paddlewheelers. An end-of-summer fireworks display will grip the skies over Tahoe South again Labor Day weekend. Both displays feature simultaneous music set to sky rockets on local radio stations KRLT-FM 93.9 and KOWL-AM 1490.
“Hot August Nights South Lake Tahoe Experience” returns for its fourth year, Aug. 2 to 3, at MontBleu. Car lovers can slide behind the wheel and cruise through four straight days and nights of show-n-shines, car exhibits, exclusive car auctions, and an outdoor pavilion with food, beverages and great oldies music.
The 24th annual ” Lake in the Sky Air Show” takes flight, Aug. 23 to 25, and features some of the world’s top aircraft performers, radio-controlled demonstrations and military aircraft.
Labor Day weekend also features the fourth annual “Sample the Sierra,” a farm-to-fork festival, Sept. 1. This event offers regional products such as honey, jams, olive oil and soaps along with pottery, painting, photography and handmade crafts by regional artists. The festival brings live entertainment, storytellers and acoustic music as well as tastings of local produce paired with beverages from Sierra Nevada wineries and breweries.
Festival and competitions
Rounding out summer will be the Tour de Tahoe — Bike Big Blue Ride to Cure Diabetes, Sept. 8.
World class paddlers strike out from El Dorado Beach, June 29 to 30, for the nation’s premier flat-water standup paddleboard competition, “Race the Lake of the Sky.” Multiple races are offered including short course, long distance, team relay, grom races plus a new SUP Cross Sprint course. Vendors, food booths and music are available throughout the weekend.
Runners will take to the woods around Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort this summer for the Ragnar Trail Relays, July 26 to 27. This overnight running and camping race pits eight- and four-person teams as contestants charge around three loops that range from four to eight miles long.
One of the largest gatherings of unique boats in Northern California is the South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic, July 26 to 27, at Tahoe Keys Marina and Yacht Club. Enthusiasts can get an up close look at the vessels, talk with their owners and hear the powerful roar behind straight V6, V8 and V12 engines. From the early 1900s to the fiberglass vessels of the 1960s, enthusiasts can see more than 65 wooden antique and classic boats in the water and eight race boats on their trailers.
The Valhalla Grand Lawn is also the site of the annual “Wa She Shu It Deh Native American Arts Festival,” July 27-28, a cultural gathering that features traditional American Indian dancers and drummers, basket weaving displays, art and great food.
The third Tahoe Show Body Building and Sculpting Competition at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa is set for Aug. 24, and will bring hundreds of the area’s fittest to compete for cash prizes in a judged competition featuring bodybuilding, figure and physique, fitness and bikini.
Return to the 1920s and enjoy the 28th annual Great Gatsby Festival on the Pope Estate at the Tallac Historic Site, Aug. 10 to 11. Visitors will find antiques, Roaring ’20s era costumes, live music, interactive historic house tours, vintage auto rides, ice cream, cotton candy and vintage kid’s games.
Run, walk, swim, paddle, peddle or golf, Sept. 27-29, during one of the many Lake Tahoe Marathon events. Both the half and full marathons are along the west shore of Lake Tahoe and feature challenging hills around Emerald Bay.
For real-time updates on events, promotions, packages, conditions and events in Tahoe South, The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is on Facebook at facebook.com/TahoeSouth, Twitter at twitter.com/TahoeSouth, YouTube at youtube.com/LTVA.
For Tahoe South information call 1-800-288-2463 or visit tahoesouth.com.