By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The three days of Jamboree Days weekend, celebrating America’s Independence Day, will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July, 5, 6 and 7. The Crestline-Lake Gregory Chamber of Commerce invites everyone to come have fun in “Crestline, The Swingingest Town in America.”
The weekend is jam packed with activities – many of which are free – for residents and visitors.
Friday night is the small-town block party in Top Town Crestline. Crest Forest Drive west of Highway 138 will be closed for a family-fun festival from 5 to 9 p.m. Magician Zac Swan will delight children of all ages, performing amazing magical illusions. There will be chalk drawing on the streets, a bounce house for the kids and live music for dancing by the Little Bear Valley Blues Band, with food from Fast Eddies and The Bear House, an ice cream and food truck and children’s carnival-style games. Plus, meet the firefighters who protect the mountain communities and see their fire trucks.
Also that Friday evening at Lake Gregory’s North Shore is the weekly Farmers Fresh Market and Artisan Faire, from 5 to 9 p.m., with painting classes offered on the lake’s shore. On the Lake Gregory Beach Club patio Sixty Grit will be playing a free concert from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday morning, July 6, will be the Jamboree Days parade Grand Marshal Russ Keller will be riding in the historic Crestline bus, which the Rim of the World Historical Society restored under his stewardship. For the past 15 years, through his newspaper column, Russ has spotlighted and shared the history of the mountain communities.
The parade will begin in Top Town on Crest Forest Drive and go down Fern to Lake Drive and continue through Lake Gregory Village to Lake Gregory Drive, where it disbands. There will be a rolling road closure for the parade. This year’s parade is expected to have over 50 entries, including bands, clubs, floats, antique cars and fire engines, and there will be “interesting facts about Crestline” banners carried in the parade.
This year, the number of announcing booths has expanded to five locations so more parade watchers will know about the float entries. DJ Frank will announce in Top Town, in front of Mystwood Gallery; Pastor Joseph will be at Knapp’s Cutoff and Old Mill Road at The Savior’s Realm Church; Bill Mellinger will be announcing from in front of Higher Grounds Coffee House at the corner of Manzanita; zany news anchors will be again announcing the parade from the old Quonset hut theater; and, from the patio of The Treasure Box & Company, Gary Lopez and historian Rhea-Frances Tetley will describe the parade entries and floats.
One of the honored entries is Citizen of the Year Rick Dinon, who is a member of the Crest Forest Municipal Advisory Council and who headed the Lake Gregory Improvement Committee.
After the parade, at approximately 11 a.m., Lake Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic from Wild Rose to Forest Shade for the Artisan Faire, which will be set up along Lake Drive, allowing everyone to walk between the stores and booths in safety. There will be a food court with tacos, barbecued meats, gourmet hot dogs, mountain shave ice, kettle corn, ice cream and so much more. The beer garden will feature beers, ciders and seltzers.
The kids fun zone with bounce houses and carnival games is hosted by Woodlands Church in the Rim Bowling Alley parking lot, with more fun for all ages inside. There will be bands playing at the Arrowhead Credit Union, including the John Taylor Band, Whiskey Sunday, Juliet Roberts and Two Way Light, plus there will be other bands on numerous bandstands throughout Crestline. Akasha will be hosting a vegetarian barbecue from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and most local stores will be offering sales and demonstrating their products.
Saturday is also a California free fishing day at Lake Gregory, so no license is required and fishing is only $8 to the Lake Gregory Recreation Company to help pay for the fish caught that day. Kayaks and fishing boats are available for rent from the North Shore beach area. Fishing regulations, such as size and daily limits and fishing hours, remain in effect on the California free fishing days.
At 6 p.m., Lake Gregory Drive, from San Moritz Drive to Lake Drive, will be closed so folks can set up chairs to watch the 9 p.m. fireworks shot above the lake. At 7 p.m., there will be a drum circle at Akasha on Lake Drive at Forest Shade Road. The Friends of the Library are offering 60 seats for watching the fireworks on their balcony overlooking the lake. Get tickets at the Crestline Library for $35 each.
A free pre-fireworks show is scheduled on the North Shore beach of Lake Gregory. The Mountain Fifes & Drums will perform, the Scouts will present a flag ceremony, bands will play and a Neil Diamond impersonator will entertain the crowd before the fireworks show, which is scheduled for 9 p.m., weather permitting.
The Lake Gregory Recreation Company is hosting a VIP BBQ from 7 to 10 p.m. on their Beach Club patio overlooking the lake, with reserved seating, premium parking and a bar for $65.
The free fireworks aerial display is co-sponsored by the Lake Gregory Recreation Company and the Crestline-Lake Gregory Chamber of Commerce. “Last year’s fireworks show was spectacular and this year’s show is promised to be 50 percent better,” said Louis Boehle, Crestline Chamber president. Seating is available along the shore and streets surrounding the lake. However, be sure no streets are blocked by cars or people, so the fire department has access to all areas surrounding the lake in case of an errant spark.
Sunday, July 7 features a discount for entry to Lake Gregory Regional Park so all can relax. There is also a hike around Camp Mozumdar at 11 a.m. Call (909) 589-0775 to RSVP, and take a picnic lunch with you to enjoy the grounds, afterwards.
All weekend long, Mountain Transit is offering their routes for getting to events. The $5 weekend trolley runs from 1:40 p.m. from Top Town until 10:30 p.m., returning to Top Town, with stops at Lake Gregory, Twin Peaks, Agua Fria/Blue Jay, Lake Arrowhead Village, Cedar Glen and SkyPark, returning on a loop to Top Town.
Route 2 goes from VOE to Lake Arrowhead Village and back, beginning at 8:20 a.m. at the 7-Eleven stop and continues every 1-1/2 hours until 6:30 pm. See the schedules at www.MountainTransit.org.
For more information on any Jamboree Days weekend event, call the Crestline Chamber at (909) 338-2706, or see their website: www.CrestlineChamber.org.