What to do in Truckee on Fourth of July vacation

Visit Truckee on the Fourth of July weekend. You’ll be treated to festivals, music, parades, delicious food — and all the brilliant fireworks displays you could ever wish for.

One of California’s quintessential mountain towns, Truckee whoops it up, all-American style, in and around its historic downtown district. Leading up to our nation’s birth is a week’s worth of hometown happenings.

Red strawberries, white goat cheese,and blueberries at the farmers market: stock upon fresh, local, healthful foods for your picnic or pantry Tuesday, July 1 at the Truckee Farmers Market located at Truckee River Regional Park from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Retro Skate Night at Northstar: Get your groove on in the Village at Northstar from 5-8 p.m., where skating to 70’s and 80’s tunes will fill you with all-American pride. Tuesday’s beneficiary of Retro Skate Night is the Truckee Tahoe Humane Society.

Americana Music at its Finest: Blurring the lines between Americana-Alternative Country, Folk, and Blues is The David Luning Band at Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats. Playing July 1 – July 3, this artist prompted Keith Urban to quote: “Staunch originality, no one’s doing what you do…good singer songwriter, story-telling guy.”

Truckee’s free concerts each Wednesday evening bring you a celebrated slice of hometown fun. Summer Music in the Park at the Truckee River Regional Park Ampitheater every Wednesday throughout the summer. July 2 features Moonalice, serving up ‘60s electric folk music.

Truckee Thursdays: It’s back and it’s better than ever – enjoy the closed-to-cars streets, open shops, booths, food, music, crafts and more.

This Truckee favorite brings locals, visitors, young and old out to play. A great lead-up to the 4th. After dark when Peter Burtt is finished at the train depot, live music continues at several bars in town, including Coffeebar, Cottonwood, Bar of America and Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats.

Accoustic Thursdays and Fridays at Cottonwood: “Acoustic Thursdays” feature the best in free live acoustic musical entertainment coupled with discounts on libations and select menu items all night long in the Bar, Fireplace Rooms and deck overlooking town.


With its traditional morning parade, evening music, and dazzling fireworks, July 4th isn’t your everyday holiday – it’s the nation’s birthday, and everyone’s invited to Truckee’s party.

Whether you’re into paying tribute to American history or just enjoying traditional summer pastimes, Truckee does a beautiful job of blending ‘ole time celebration and history with millennial panache.

Grab a spot along main street (Donner Pass Road) and soak up Americana at its finest. Kicking things off, the annual Firecracker Mile leads out the festivities with a one milerace along the parade route down Donner Pass Road from US Bank to the Train Station.

The parade offers up close views of the legendary Wells Fargo horse-drawn stagecoach, and the famous Truckee River Precision Drill Team, a real crowd pleaser with their hilarious “ski” maneuvers.

Top Olympic athletes will ride in parade

As one of America’s top Olympian-producing communities, don’t miss several of the nation’s top Olympic athletes including Julia Mancuso, Tamara McKinney and Travis Ganong, who will be riding on the floats and sharing in the celebrations.

This year’s parade theme was inspired by the blend of traditional and contemporary spirit in #TruckeeMoments, a hashtag movement that has harnessed visitor and local energy into a fun, vibrant experience that everyone can enjoy.

Attendees and participants are encouraged to take part in the day’s event by sharing their love of Truckee with pictures taken along the parade route and posting them to their favorite social media outlet and tagging them with #TruckeeMoments.

If you’ve purchased a ticket ($6) from Truckee Donner Recreation & Parks beforehand, make your way down to Donner Lake Beach with all your Truckee Farmers Market eats, roll out a blanket, enjoy the town BBQ and wait for dusk to roll in.

Fireworks start at dark over Donner Lake where the town throws out a brilliant display of pyrotechnic beauty over the backdrop of the Sierra. If you don’t have a ticket, just make sure to find an open dock, or glide your kayak or canoe (carefully) onto Donner Lake, park yourself and wait for the lightshow.


Want to keep that great American spirit going? What better way than with Super Diamond at Tahoe Donner on July 5th. The Surreal Neil in all his glory will be waxing poetic with your favorite Neil Diamond songs.

Bar of America: The name sums it up and so do the great views both inside and out. A Truckee landmark for over 40 years, July 5th features musical guest Rustlers Moon. Stop in for one of their food and drink specials – always served with a hometown smile.

(Photo of fireworks by Elizabeth Carmel)

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