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Now that summer has officially started, it's time to start making those Fourth of July plans. There is certainly plenty to do in Reno and Tahoe to stay cool and enjoy the fireworks that celebrate our nation's birth.

Kick off the long weekend with The Biggest Little City Wing Fest, July 3-5, at the Silver Legacy. Now in its third year, the event just keeps growing, even bringing on an international competitor this year. Come try dozens of tasty wings, ribs, and more while enjoying some great country music.

If you can't handle the heat, escape to Lake Tahoe. Both the North and South shores offer serene landscapes and cool water. There are plenty of places on South Shore to watch the fireworks, which will begin at 9:45 p.m., but the best place is either the MS Dixie II or the Tahoe Queen. Both paddle wheelers are offering dinner cruise specials on July 4. North Lake Tahoe is kicking off the festivities a day early with a big show at the Kings Beach State Recreation Area — there will be food trucks, music, a drink garden, and more.

If you're looking to stay local, head on over to the Nugget in Sparks. They'll be hosting their 15th annual Star Spangled Sparks. Victorian Square will have a kids area, live entertainment, and plenty of food vendors on hand. West Bay Rhythm will get the party started and keep it going until around 9:45, when Emily Hammer will kick off the fireworks show by singing the National Anthem.

It doesn't get any more patriotic than attending a Reno Aces baseball game on the Fourth of July. They'll be playing a four game set against the Sacramento Rivercats, starting July 4 and running through July 7. Be sure to stay after the game for the biggest and only fireworks show in Reno, sponsored by the Atlantis Hotel and Casino. It's also "Kids Run the Bases" weekend — kids can run the bases after every weekend home game.

The Hard Rock Lake Tahoe will be celebrating Independence Day with their Splash Day Club Weekend. DJ Loczi will be performing July 3-4 and DJ Silver will be performing on July 5. This is going to be a can't miss party!

Head back in time with Virginia City's Fourth of July celebration. The fun starts at noon with a parade. At 6 p.m., the Comstock Cowboys Second Amendment will be performing near the Bucket of Blood Saloon. Once the sun goes down, head over to Miner's Park for a spectacular fireworks display.

Have a tapping good time at Tap Factory at the Eldorado. People of all ages will love this adrenaline boosting show that combines hip-hop, percussion instruments, tap dancing, acrobatics, and more. Tap Factory is making its first stop in the U.S., after seeing the world — Paris, London, Munich, and beyond. Don't miss the once in a lifetime opportunity that uses ordinary objects, such as trash cans, ladders, and brooms, to perform amazing feats. Show times are 7 and 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $26.95. Click here to purchase tickets.

If you're just looking to get off the beaten path for the three day weekend, Lake Tahoe has some great hidden beaches that are a little off the beaten path and require some effort to get to, but it's worth the trek. These secret coves are perfect for a romantic getaway or celebrating the day with friends. The crystal clear waters and soft sand make for the perfect place to curl up with a good book and a cold drink.

Rose's Pawn Shop will be performing July 3-5 at the Terrace Lounge at the Peppermill. You won't want to miss this great Los Angeles-based country and bluegrass band. Their most recent album, Gravity Well, was released last September and has a perfect summer sound. Check out the video for their single, What Were You Waiting For.

No matter what you decide to do, enjoy the long weekend.

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