Crestline can point to a long history of celebrating Independence Day in the mountains. Jamboree Days is a continuation of Crestline Days, which began in the 1950s with a patriotic parade and beauty pageant, and Mountaineer Days, which began in 1975 featuring a logging theme with contests such as log splitting, hatchet throwing, fishing derbies and a school carnival.
The celebration was renamed Jamboree Days, becoming a three-day festival, in 1978, with additional fun, including chili cookoffs, dances, golf tournaments and runs around the lake, with the community groups raising the funds for the fireworks over Lake Gregory.
Each year had a theme, often reflecting recent community events. In 1981, the theme was “Crestline Thanks Firefighters” for saving the town from the 1980 Panorama Fire; in 1996, the theme was “Crestline Celebrates 90 years of Freedom,” since Crestline was named in a 1906 contest.
Some years, during extreme fire danger, the fireworks were canceled and one year (only) a laser-light show was held. Also, in 2003, a lakeside picnic and dance were held instead of fireworks. COVID did cancel some Jamboree Days, but Crestline, as a community, has thrived and grown, as has Jamboree Days.
This year’s theme again reflects community realities, as “The Unsung Hero” is being honored as the parade’s Grand Marshal and the 2023 Jamboree Days weekend theme is “Mountain Strong,” reflecting the strength of the community after last winter’s blizzard which, unfortunately, destroyed many businesses and homes in Crestline.
Once again this year, Crestline will celebrate its endurance and positive outlook for the future with a parade, a Fun Zone on the tennis courts with KOLA Radio and numerous giveaways, the beer garden and concert with the By-Products in the Arrowhead Credit Union’s parking lot, with many vendors, all overseen by the Citizens of the Year: Mike Johnstone, the Goodwin family and their market staff. The 9 p.m. fireworks spectacular on Saturday night above the overflowing Lake Gregory will highlight the first day of festivities.
Jamboree Days continues with a family-fun “Picnic on the Meadow” at San Moritz Lodge’s beautiful green grassy meadow on Lake Gregory’s eastern shore all day Monday with relay races, bounce houses, food trucks and good family fun. Bring your own picnic lunch and a blanket or buy something from a food truck and enjoy the day with your friends and neighbors.
Remember to celebrate safely the Independence Day holiday with no personal fireworks allowed on the mountain.
Happy 2023 Jamboree Days!