The winter storms severely damaged two local highways, both of which remain partially or fully closed. Highway 74 between Mountain Center and Valle Vista is open daily from 4 to 8 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to midnight. Highway 243 to Banning is totally closed from Lake Fulmor north to Poppet Flats.
The result of this travel and commuting disruption has affected local businesses, which derive revenue from visitors and tourists.
The closures also have caused the postponement of several popular local events — the Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild beer festival, the 5K and 10K race, and the Plein Air Show.
ARF was the first to recognize that the road closures would make it difficult for off-the-Hill visitors to attend the annual Paws for Rhythm and Brews Festival. Many guests do come from the Hemet and Riverside areas, thus they would have limited access. Also, not all the brewers are from San Diego and the desert from where access is easier.
While the annual homebrew contest was not postponed, the beer fest was postponed a year until June 6, 2020.
Ian and Mark Graham won the Strong Beer competition with a Belgian Golden Strong Ale, that was also award Best of Show. Steve O’Brien’s Light American lager won the Light Beer competition and was judged second in Best of Show.
In April, as walkers and runners began preparing for the annual 5K walk and 10K run, Idyllwild School officials announced that this traditional early June event, which does attract dozens of participants from off the Hill, would be postponed until Aug. 24.
Then last week, as artists and devotees of outdoor art competition were wondering about the Art Alliance of Idyllwild’s annual Plein Art and Juried Show, AAI announced this event has been moved to Saturday, Sept. 7, one month before its annual Art Walk and Wine Tasting on Oct. 12.

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