By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
The beach at Lake Gregory opens for the summer this Saturday, May 27.
This month is when the inflatable water park is installed in the lake and when professional skin divers in wet suits will be arriving to do the underwater connections for the inflatables. They inflate the floating islands and attach them to the anchors placed at the bottom of the lake, which are located by the floating buoys in the lake.
The divers who inflate the waterplay equipment say that Lake Gregory is one of the coldest lakes where they install this type of waterplay equipment, which is the reason for the wetsuits. This inflatable waterpark is the cheapest of its type of fun in Southern California; the prices are set by the county since it is a regional park, said Lake Gregory manager Nathan Godwin.
The lake is full, and the “boards” have been installed to keep the water in the lake at this high level for as much of the summer as possible. After the water stops flowing out over the spillway boards, the lake level will be stable and will only lower throughout the summer season by evaporation.
Memorial Day weekend itself will be filled with fun activities. The Friday Market Night and concert series will operate on the north shore of the lake through Friday, June 2. The lake will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning; those who want to reserve a cabana, since it is predicted to be a busy weekend, may buy their tickets at www.LakeGregory.com and also avoid the long entrance lines. The beach area closes at 5 p.m.
On Saturday at 6 p.m., the north shore parking lot and patio will reopen for Tacos and Tunes on the north shore patio with free live music and alcoholic refreshments sold by the Bear Claw, with tacos from Tony’s. Sunday will repeat Saturday’s schedule with another day of fun under the sun and an evening of free music and tacos from Tony’s.
The beach will reopen on Memorial Day Monday for another day of waterslides, inflatables, aqua cycles, kayaks, fishing boats and Duffy boat rides. The beach will be open weekends only until Monday, June 5 when it will be open daily, weather permitting.
If you have your own kayak or other non-motorized vessel, you may buy a lake launching permit and enjoy any day at the lake. A year-long launch pass is $89.
The fishing at Lake Gregory Regional Park is currently attracting many fishermen and lots of catches. Since the lake missed its fish stocking dates in March due to closed roads and snow, it has received two stockings of 3,000 pounds each this month. Lake Gregory mostly stocks rainbow trout, which are trucked down from the Mount Lassen area, so it takes two days to reach Lake Gregory. Since they are very hungry, they will bite on almost anything for a week or so after stocking.
Godwin said he hopes to also be stocking large-mouth bass and, hopefully, some blue gill. There already are carp, bullhead catfish and crappy in the lake. “There is a five fish per day catch limit, but some people who have their $89 yearly fishing permit come and fish almost every day and catch fish,” said Godwin. “So, for less than 22 cents per day, they can fish year-round and many of those folks catch lots of fish.” The daily fishing fee will remain $10.
A farmers market has opened at Lake Gregory in conjunction with the Friday night concert series. With Goodwin’s Market being closed, the community is having a difficult time getting fresh produce, so Goodwin’s has decided to offer fresh fruits and veggies at the concert and make it into a real farmers market. There will also be several other growers at the marketplace with microgreens and other items. Goodwin’s will get its produce from the organic store they operate in Redlands. At the marketplace will also be many artisans, some cottage food vendors of prepackaged food items and a couple of food trucks each week for dinner.
On Friday, June 9, another 10 vendors will be added as the market moves to the larger south shore pavilion area where it will stay open every Friday night until after Labor Day weekend. Weather permitting, the concerts and marketplace should continue to operate until the end of October.
At the Friday Market Night and concert, they will be selling the Firework Haze IPA, which will be raising funds for the fireworks that will be shot off over Lake Gregory on July 1 for the Independence Day holiday in conjunction with Jamboree Days. SoCal. Beers invites all to support the fundraiser by experiencing this delicious IPA, with all the profits going to the 2023 fireworks fund as the previous fundraisers were canceled due to the winter storms and resulting damage.
There are numerous free community events upcoming at Lake Gregory. Lake Gregory has more free amenities for the local community than any other regional park in the county, such as the tennis, basketball and horseshoe courts, a free children’s playground, two free dog parks and a skateboard park, along with the two walking trails around the lake and free picnic areas.
For more information about Lake Gregory Regional Park, owned by the County of San Bernardino, visit www.lakegregory.com or call their office at (909) 338-2233. Lake Gregory is located in Crestline at the corner of Lake Gregory Drive and Lake Drive.