By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The community of Running Springs invites everyone to come up and celebrate their Mountain Top Days on Friday, Aug. 5 and Saturday, Aug. 6. The theme for this year is “Ride the Rim,” a nod to their unique location at the intersection of Highways 330 and 18 on the way up the mountain to Big Bear.
Historically Running Springs has been the gateway to the San Bernardino Mountains from the valley below – a wonderful place to stop and relax after the long drive up the mountain. In celebration of the theme “Ride the Rim,” the grand marshal is Sandy Benson, general manager of Mountain Transit.
Mountain Top Days will begin at about 5 p.m. on Aug. 5 with a hula hoop contest in front of Sugar Mountain on Hilltop Blvd. Then, parade participants will line up on City Creek Road for the 6:30 p.m. parade step-off. The floats, trucks, fire trucks, Caltrans vehicles, Scott Richardson on his big wheel bicycle, bicycle club members and the line dancers will march to the shouts of the parade attendees, across Hilltop Blvd. to Holiday Lane, where it will disband.
So far, there are at least 24 parade entries, but there is still room for more. Contact Steve Peter through the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce office to register for the parade. There is a $15 fee for nonprofits and $20 for commercial entries. The community is encouraged to come out and cheer for our first responders, our clubs and various kids’ teams and groups.
After the parade, at around 7 p.m., the Mountaintop Band will begin to play to dance the night away, thanks to the sponsorship of A Cut Above. Dancing is open to all ages. The band will be playing until 9 p.m., with refreshments available for purchase.
The next morning, the farmers market in the field between the county library and First Foundation Bank will be the center of activities for Mountain Top Days, beginning at 9 a.m. The entertainment begins at 10 a.m. with music by the Highlanders, and there will be many activities to entertain children, coordinated by Aaron Scullin, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At noon, the bicycle races will begin; register at the chamber booth at the farmers market. Adults will be riding little children’s bikes around the track for bragging rights. At 1 p.m., more music will begin, and the egg toss competition will take place, followed by the watermelon eating contest. These participant events are always very popular, encouraging lots of audience excitement, and are full of fun for those who compete or just observe.
The highlight of the afternoon is the water bucket brigade competition between the Arrowbear Fire Department and Running Springs Fire personnel. In olden times, often to get water onto a fire without long hoses, the water would be transported by buckets from a well to the source of the fire. Come watch our modern personnel attempt to fill a water barrel by transporting water in a bucket along a line of firemen. It is sloppy, wet and a fun time to watch, as these competitive men and women try to overflow the barrel. The trophy will be either retained or transferred between the stations, for another year of bragging rights. (If they are called out to fight a fire, they will be unable to attend, like last year.)
By 4 p.m., the weekend of events is only a memory for this year but, in a few weeks, plans for next year’s event will begin again. If any resident wants to become a part of the committee planning next year’s Mountain Top Days, let the chamber know at (909) 867-2411.
Mountain Top Days is a community event put together by volunteers and local businesses, coordinated by the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce. They are still seeking sponsors to help pay for the various permits and expenses of the event. If you want to donate, contact Mike Lee at (949)-859-3108, call the chamber office at (909) 867-2411 or email them at [email protected].
The Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce is designed to help the local businesses and the community at large in the areas from Green Valley Lake, Arrowbear and Running Springs. Because these mountaintop communities are unincorporated, rural areas of San Bernardino County with no local government, the chamber is the advocate for the communities at the county level. They put on the weekly farmers markets, Mountain Top Days, the Easter egg hunts and much more throughout the year. If you are a business in the area, please join the chamber and help the Running Springs community thrive.