By falling on Friday, the Fourth of July creates an extended holiday weekend that begins Thursday with the inaugural Idyllwild Summer Concert Series and the annual Pipes in the Pines, and extends through Sunday.
Two events on Thursday, July 3 herald holiday celebrations. The University of California, Riverside Pipe Band will present a the Pipes in the Pines concert at Gary Parton’s Alpenglow Lilac Gardens. Seating opens at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance (www.pipeband.ucr.edu or the Idyllwild Pharmacy) and $30 at the door. Tickets for under age 12 are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
Ken Dahleen and his big band, featuring Las Vegas crooner Rick Michel, kick off the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series festivities at 6:30 p.m. on the Idyllwild Community Center site.
The highlight of the Fourth is always the archetypically small-town Rotary International Fourth of July parade down North Circle that starts promptly at 10 a.m. Friday and lasts about an hour. Stake out parade-route seats early.
After the parade, four-legged celebrants take over the Idyllwild Community Center site, when Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild and Living Free Animal Sanctuary host a Fourth of July Festival and Adoption Fair. Highlights for the two-legged attendees include a pie-eating contest, a chili cook-off, and music and dancing — presumably either with two- or four-legged partners — from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
What is sure to delight, especially in pet-friendly Idyllwild, is the four-legged festivities. Headlining the day, according to ARF’s Janice Murasko, is the “Strut Your Mutt” event, a takeoff on the Westminster Dog Show but one celebrating mutts. Murasko stresses no recognized American Kennel Club breeds are allowed. Just as at Westminster, dog handlers will parade their mutts in a circle before a panel of judges. See either the ARF or Living Free websites for details. Purebred dogs also will have a chance with a Crazy Dog Tricks competition and a Mr. and Mrs. Idyllwild contest, also before a panel of judges. Murasko points out that with the dog-trick contest, given the affection for Idyllwild pets, and a generally forgiving nature as a community, dog contestants may be allowed “do overs.”
It’s all in good fun and all fees and money raised benefit the two rescue and shelter facilities.
Saturday holds a full menu of events, beginning with the Idyllwild Community Church Arts and Crafts Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the church grounds on North Circle.
Then, in the back of Rainbow Inn on South Circle, outdoors under the stars, the Idyllwild Community Fund Advisory Committee presents its first “Wine in the Pines” party. The centerpiece of the Wine in the Pines event is an Auction with a Twist, at which attendees bring items to be placed for silent auction (see story page 11). Only those over age 21 are permitted.
The American Legion Post 800 hosts its annual deep pit barbeque from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday. From 6 to 10 p.m. Mark Huston and the Workin’ Men provide dance music.
On Sunday, the Idyllwild Community Church continues its celebration with a Gospel Music Concert and Potluck Picnic at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. Buchanan, 54650 S. Circle Drive, beginning with a service at 9:30 a.m. Famed gospel singer Ms. Lillie Knauls will raise the spirits of those attending. For information, call 659-2935.