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The Local Lens – Veterans and Volunteers

July 9, 2024 | Linda Offerdahl

Wow! What a Celebration! For a town that has become somewhat infamous for its divisive politics (and I hate to admit that), everyone came together to celebrate the 4th of July. At the risk of leaving something out, here’s my rundown of the Local Heroes Celebration organized and promoted by IVCBA on its website and local media. 

I give a big shout-out to Jim Smith and Tahoe Red White & Blue II  for bringing back fireworks, the biggest single unifying event. It took a Village….IVGID played a big role, so did Kern Schumacher and other big (and small) donors, as well as the volunteers, especially the clean-up the morning after. And for those who couldn’t get on the beach for one reason or another, the fireworks were fantastic from the decks with a panoramic view. 

All of the Vets organizations kept us aware of the “reason for the season: the Incline Village Veterans Club, Military Officers of America, Onwards Ops, and PTSD Now! with founders Craig and Julie Rauchle as the 2024 Local Heroes Parade Marshals. IMO, the most moving patriotic events were the Flag Retirement Ceremony and TOCCATA’s Red, White, and Tahoe Blue concert.  

For the sheer number of organizations involved, the Local Heroes Parade, sponsored by IVCBA and the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline, and the Community Fair were very inclusive.  There might have been at least as many people IN the parade as watching the parade!  I give a big shout-out to the Vets Club and the IVGID grounds crew for setting up and taking down those tents at the community fair. Lettie Miller, we missed you! Other highlights were the WCSO vehicles on display, the famous TK and IVGID field games, and the Susie Scoops ice cream eating contest.

Not sure who wins the contest for the most volunteers, but the Vets Club and the North Lake Tahoe Fire Prevention District are in a close race. I guess what we should be counting, is the number of pancakes served. Both were enthusiastically attended, but arguably more fun was had waiting in the line for the 4th of July Vets Club pancake breakfast because they were serving mimosas while we waited! 

Speaking of volunteers behind the scenes, Tiffany Clements from the Substation, Josh and Paul from the NLTFPD, realtors, Jonathon Gardner and other IVCBA volunteers decorated the parade route and Tahoe Blvd….and took it all down on Monday.  Decorating is very important to making the town look festive and my own personal mission since the years I owned Dress The Party costume and party store. 

Behind the scenes at IVCBA, Julie Malkin-Manning and Kristin Derrin worked tirelessly to make sure everyone knew the schedule. Ask them how many times they STILL got asked “When is the parade?”!

We were really happy to see Incline Tahoe Foundation bring back Beer and Brats, now called Summerfest on the campus of UNR@Lake Tahoe.  This was a very laid-back family event, think kids playing on beautiful lawns, brats and watermelon, and music that wasn’t too loud to be enoyed. Thank you UNR for keeping that campus a popular place for local events.

I’m sure I left someone out, so IVCBA’S Kristin Derrin, the boss of the Weekly SnapShot, has written a version of acknowledgements complete with links in this edition.

Fiinally, questions I often get asked:

Why don’t we have the parade on the 4th

This is a good question. Tradition?? I do know that most people just want to be on the beach on the 4th. The parade and community fair are a lot of work, and the people involved want to be with family on the 4th

Why are there so many people in town? 

Incline Village has ALWAYS been a second home community, and those part-time residents are all in town for the month of July. Please welcome those people back, and be nice to the other visitors that keep our local economy afloat.

Aren’t the fireworks bad for the Lake? 

Oh dear. This is a bit of a conundrum because our community has to be laser-focused on Lake clarity and protecting the environment. What I’ve been told, and believe, is that the fireworks are far better for the environment than they used to be. I also believe that the organizers and enthusiastic clean-up volunteers are committed to removing all traces afterwards.  Thanks to Travel North Tahoe Nevada for its ongoing commitment to sustainability and educating visitors on how to  be responsible during their stay. 

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