By Douglas W. Motley
Sponsored by the Arrowhead Lake Association (ALA), Lake Arrowhead’s annual Fourth of July fireworks spectacular will once again display the spirit of patriotism as a procession of classic and current-day military aircraft take to the sky above the lake.
Beginning at around 5:30 p.m., a giant C-17 Globemaster III from March Air Reserve Base will make a pass over the lake, followed by a breathtaking formation of four T-34 Mentor trainer aircraft. This will be followed with flyovers featuring a World War II era P-51 Mustang, T-28B Trojan, C- 47/DC-3 Skytrain and a rare Bell P-63 King Cobra.
Adding to the aerial extravaganza will be Lake Arrowhead local Rob Harrison – nicknamed “Tumbling Bear” – flying his red, white and blue Zlin 142-C military trainer, which will circle over the lake emitting lots of smoke. Up next will be another Lake Arrowhead resident, Bruce Thielbar, flying his Mooney. Concluding this year’s Freedom Flyover at 6:30 p.m. will be a formation of five RVs (Van’s home-built aircraft). According to the ALA, some of these same aircraft will be on display at the Big Bear Airport Air Fair on Saturday, July 6.
Spectators can view the ALA-sponsored fireworks spectacular at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 4 dockside or anywhere in Lake Arrowhead Village for free. Noting that parking in the village is limited, ALA reminds viewers that there will be free parking at Rim of the World High School, where RIDECALI will be making trips all day and night to and from the village for $5 per person. Reservations can be made in advance. Carpooling or car services such Mountain Transit or RIDECALI are strongly suggested.
While the fireworks will last approximately 20 to 25 minutes, ALA reminds that everyone will be leaving at the same time afterward and to be patient since it could take over an hour for traffic to move out of the village.
ALA encourages viewers to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets. They also remind that seating is first-come, first-served, that no alcohol, popups or large umbrellas are permitted, and that all bags, baskets and coolers are subject to search.
Those arriving earlier in the day will be able to enjoy a free concert featuring Adrianna Marie and her Groovecutters from 2 to 3:45 p.m. at the village’s Center Stage concert venue. Beach Boys tribute band High Tide will also be appearing at Center Stage from 7 to 8:45 p.m.
In addition to the village’s afternoon concerts, flyover and fireworks spectacular events, Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa will be hosting an evening of live music and a dinner buffet on Thursday, July 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. Attendees will be able to view the patriotic flyover and fireworks extravaganza. Lawn seating is $95, while VIP deck seating is available for $125. Since seating is limited, the Resort recommends reserving in advance by calling (909) 744-3020.