The Rotary Club’s 53rd-annual Idyllwild parade will kick off festivities in town on the morning of Thursday, the Fourth of July. Cathy Lopez, organizer of the parade activities, along with Nacho Garcia, relates that the parade will begin at Four Corners in Fern Valley at its usual 10 a.m. starting time.
The parade will include floats and entries from the Idyllwild Garden Club, the Idyllwild Community Center, Mayor Max and his deputies, Idyllwild Fire Department (which will feature a 1954 Packard ambulance), and 10 to 20 bicyclists from the Bike Route.
Doug Austin was chosen as this year’s grand marshal.
A special feature this year is expected to be the horse-drawn Butterfield Stage, which at last word is looking for a qualified stage-coach driver.
Caltrans and Ames Construction, its contractor, will have entries, and so will Animal Rescue Friends and the U.S. Forest Service, which will feature its Smokey Bear flag. LifeStream will be showing off a Bloodmobile, and Idyllwild Vacation Cabins will have its colorful entry, as well.
There will be plenty of music this year, including the University of California, Riverside Highlanders Bagpipe Band, as well as Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program’s Euphoria Brass Band, and even a Fiddling Uncle Sam.
As usual, vintage motor vehicles will abound with entries from the Palm Springs Corvette Club, the Hemet Cruisin’ A’s, Idyllwild Library, the Idyllwild Area Historical Society, and Thousand Trails — and there will be several unique individual entries, as well.
Dr. Chip Shelley will be stilting high above all, and parade route announcers at three locations will keep parade fans informed throughout the event.
Lopez indicated that street closures will be from 9 a.m. to noon and will include the length of North Circle Drive beginning at Highway 243, Jameson beginning at Fir Street, Pinecrest at Alderwood, Tahquitz at South Circle, South Circle at Fern Valley Road, and Park Lane and Village Center Drive where the parade ends.
Idyllwild businesses are advised that deliveries will need to be completed either before 8 a.m. or after noon. And please inform your staffs that access to your businesses will be by foot only during the 8 a.m. to noon window, and there will be absolutely no parking on North Circle Drive.
For further parade information and/or to request an entry into the parade, contact Lopez at [email protected] or 714-322-8541.
Fourth of July evening also provides a festivity. Fireworks are not allowed anywhere on our Hill ever, but two Hill residents are aiming to provide brilliant skies in Idyllwild that night anyway.
Gary Kuscher and Chic Fojtik have arranged with Daystar Lasers International to provide Hill residents with a family- and dog-friendly, safe and colorful laser-light show in the center of town with their inaugural Idyllwild Laser-light Show, which they hope will become an annual event. Fojtik and Kuscher related that Daystar has obtained all the permits necessary for the production, including those needed from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Road closures are expected to be only Park Lane and the section of Village Center Drive between North Circle Drive and Ridgeview. It was originally anticipated that these two blocks would be closed all day from the parade onward, but Kuscher informs the Town Crier that traffic will be allowed through, with those two blocks being actually closed only from about 7 p.m. They anticipate that Ridgeview itself will remain open.
The show will include laser-lighted skies in addition to an approximate 20-foot-by-30-foot screen accompanied by choreographed and patriotic music provided by audio engineer Chris Mitchell. The elevated, “back-shoot” screen will be set up on Park Lane and will be viewed from Village Center Drive and thereabouts beginning at about 9 p.m. Kuscher and Fojtik anticipate the show lasting a half-hour to 45 minutes, so that it will be concluded before the noise curfew at 10 p.m.
Fojtik and Kuscher emphasize that they are not advertising this event off the Hill since is not designed with tourists in mind. The show is being created for, and they hope supported by, the residents of the community. It is their hope that, as a substitute for dangerous fireworks, the laser show will discourage the illegal use of fireworks by anybody on the Hill.
The show is “sponsored” by the Idyllwild Fire Department in the sense that all proceeds will go to the Idyllwild Volunteer Fire Company. These proceeds will come from Hill residents who make contributions from “$1 on up,” and a table will be set up at the Idyllwild Post Office to collect donations. They say they are not relying on business sponsorship because the road closures have hit Hill businesses so hard. Donations also can be made directly to the Idyllwild Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 53, Mountain Center, CA 92561.