By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The Crestline-Lake Gregory Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Lake Gregory Company, will be offering a scaled-down but fun-filled Jamboree Days celebration this year, focusing on the community and celebrating its successful recovery from the pandemic.
The theme for the parade is still being imagined and refined. If you have a suggestion for the theme, call it in to (909) 338-2706 or bring it into the chamber office. The theme last time was “Crestline – The Swingingest Town in America.”
Kathy Creighton, the chamber’s office manager, is currently securing the permits and doing much of the major activity coordination. The office is located on Chamber Point at 24385 Lake Drive, located on the north shore of Lake Gregory, between the boat house and the dam. They will need many volunteers to make the parade and fireworks a successful event. You may sign up to volunteer at the chamber office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, except Sundays.
Kimberly Rodgers and Gary Lopez, who are coordinating the parade, would like residents, clubs, sports teams and others to register their cars, bikes, boats, floats and marching or equestrian units to participate in the parade.
“If you have an idea for a parade float or performance group or you want to be in the parade, this is the year to do it,” Lopez said. There will be “best of” trophies presented in several categories, such as best float, best car and in other categories to be decided by the committee, which they need volunteers for as well.
Rodgers has coordinated the parade for the past several years and asks all who wish to be in the parade this year to go to www.Jamboreedays.com as it is the only way to register your parade entry this year. The cost is only $25 and, armed with the description of your businesses or float, the announcers, who will be located along the parade route, will let everyone know all about it as you pass by. The parade will start at 10 a.m. in Top Town and go east across Crest Forest Drive, then down Fern to Lake Drive and on through Lake Gregory Village to Lake Gregory Drive, where it will disperse.
It is currently anticipated there will be parade announcers in Top Town and on Lake Drive at Old Mill, Bill Mellinger at Manzanita, the NIEWS team broadcasting from around the Alpine Mall, and a team from The Alpine Mountaineer at Akasha. As usual, it is encouraged for parade goers to arrive a little early for the parade and to bring chairs and sun screen.
“We want this event to be something we all need after a year of quarantine. This parade is to be the kick-off of the summer we all deserve. Of course, we’re going to be doing it safely and be COVID compliant, but we want to bring back our wonderful tradition with a bang. We are encouraging businesses and locals to enter the parade and encouraging them to get into it and go big; enjoy it fully,” added Lopez.
They’ll need volunteers to measure and mark out the spots on the street for the parade to line up in Top Town. They’ll need announcers, judges, “morning of” coordinators, street closers and trucks to deliver and pick up the street closure barriers, and they’ll need much more. There are many volunteer jobs that need to be performed, so if you are interested in helping for a few hours, let the chamber know at (909) 338-2706 as soon as possible.
They also hope to be able to allow some local businesses to have booths along the street and in front of their own stores. If you own a local business or are a local nonprofit and are interested in having a booth, let Kathy at the chamber know and find out more about the details and locations. The office is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Unlike previous years, Lake Drive will not be closed to traffic in the Lake Gregory Village area throughout the day, as that is very expensive for the sheriff to enforce the road closure,” said Louis Boehle, Crestline’s chamber president. “There will be a rolling closure for the parade only.
“We are encouraging local businesses that want to, to have a pop-up in front of their own store or host a pop-up from a local businesses or nonprofit that is not located on Crest Forest or Lake Drive,” Boehle said. “This year, we are not encouraging those from off the mountain to have booths, since the road will not be closed. This is a year for us to encourage local businesses to thrive. Our chamber motto has been ‘We’re Better Together’ and that has never been truer than now. We need to work together to promote success after all we’ve been through this last year.”
There will be fireworks Saturday night, July 3 at 9 p.m. over Lake Gregory, weather permitting. They are very expensive, so there will be some community cans set out at various merchants to collect for the fireworks show. Usually, the Duck Derby raises the funds in advance to pay for the permits, sheriff and fire protection and fireworks show, but that event has not happened for the past two years due to COVID, so it is most important this year to donate to the fireworks fund. The donation cans will be found at Goodwin’s Market and other stores in town, or larger donations may be made at the chamber office itself. Companies can become sponsors of the event and get their names on some of the banners around town.
Details are still being sorted out with the Lake Gregory Company, but the fireworks show has been ordered and the announcement is being made now so weekend homeowners and residents can plan in advance for that weekend.
“The beach will be opened for the fireworks, so bring a blanket or sit in the sand. Lake Gregory Drive will not be closed before, during or after the 9 p.m. show, so that viewing location will not be available this year. The shoot-off location will be in the usual spot. Remember, for safety reasons, to not to block roads with cars, while viewing the fireworks,” Boehle added.
This year is so much more condensed in time for coordinating this event because of the closures and recent re-openings, so more than ever help is being solicited for community members to help get this event, the first after the pandemic, off and running.
Lopez added, “We want to make this year extra-special and for the town to notice, so there will be more banners, more flags and we hope more stores putting up red, white and blue buntings all over their store fronts to make everyone in town feel festive and join in our annual home-town jamboree celebration!”