[heavenly village]That means this 4th of July, there will be fireworks lighting up the South Shore skies.
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – For the second year in a row, the ‘Lights on the Lake’ 4th of July fireworks show has been canceled. That news didn’t sit will with a local Douglas County man who decided to take matters into his own hands.
“The setting, the water when it lights up red, white, and blue, what’s more American than a firework show on Tahoe?,” Jonathan Ruppel said.
The City of South Lake Tahoe cited COVID concerns and public safety for the cancellation. In a statement, Carol Chaplin, president and CEO of the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority said, “Although restrictions have been lifted, we feel that this past year of uncertainty has taught us that caution and preparedness is paramount to keeping our residents and visitors safe.”
For Ruppel, that didn’t make sense, especially as things return to normal around the area.
“I really just saw no reason for us not to get together and do something so special after so much time in like isolation,” he said.
That ignited a fire in Ruppel. He started a Go Fund Me to raise money to privately fund a 4th of July show. So far it has raised just over $2,200. But he also caught the attention of The Shops at Heavenly Village which agreed to fund the show.
“You know, from an economic standpoint, from a celebratory standpoint, and from just a morale standpoint coming out of COVID, it was so important that we step up and do something,” Dreu Murin, spokesperson for The Shops at Heavenly Village said.
The Shops were already planning a 4th of July fireworks show, but there was one problem; Murin says the City of South Lake Tahoe denied their permit.
“If COVID taught us anything, it’s not to give up and not to let down,” he said.
So they jumped the county line and went to Douglas leaders for approval, and they got it. The Sheriff Dan Coverley and the fire chief both signed off on the event.
“We’re going to put on the biggest show we can possibly put on in our area safely and cleanly,” Murin said.
The show has the support of not only the Shops at Heavenly Village, but other local businesses and the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association which says it will give local businesses much needed support.
The fireworks will be set off from the Michael Laub Building in Stateline around 9:20 P.M. on July 4th. The event will also feature music and is free to attend.
“The Michael Laub Building is honored to host the 4th of July fireworks display from the top of our building. It’s a tradition and important piece of the celebration of our country. My late father would be proud to have witnessed this great celebration,” said Jordan Laub, Esq., owner of the building.
For Ruppel, this win was about more than just enjoying a party at the lake. He says it’s about maintaining tradition.
“The price of these fireworks are really minimal compared to the cost,” he said. “You know that we paid to make this country independent and free.”
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