May 22, 2014

Runs, Rods, `Ratt' Singer Mark Memorial Day

There’s plenty happening to get summer2015  off to a roaring start in Big Bear over Memorial Day weekend.

Big Bear Historical Museum opens for the season on May 23. Explore the Valley’s colorful history with not just exhibits and artifacts but also hands-on experiences the whole family loves. Working blacksmith shop, gold panning for kids and a five-stamp mill that actually works are just a few highlights. The museum, on Greenway next to Big Bear City Park, is open Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and holiday Mondays.  (909) 585-8100.

Big Bear Alpine Zoo is hosting Bear Awareness Day on Saturday, May 23 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy bruin-related activities while seeing the only grizzlies south of Fresno, all for regular zoo admission of $12, over 60/ages 3-12 $9, under 3 free.

Longtime lead vocalist of Ratt Stephen Pearcy headlines The Cave Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 23. The mega-Platinum heavy metal band with hits like “Round and Round,” “Lay it Down,” “Wanted Man” and “You’re in Love.”

Pearcy has also had a successful solo career in between stints with Ratt, and the 2015 release of Smash already features two hits, “I Can’t Take  It” “Dance,” “Wanted Man” and “Just One More Time.”

BulletBoys from Los Angeles opens making for a powerful double header. The signature song is “Smooth Up in Ya” but the band has also had other hits including “For the Love of Money” and “Kissin’ Kitty.” Tickets start at $28.50.

Big Bear Lake Memorial Day 5K Fun Run is Sunday, May 24 in the Village. A sacenic and challenging course departs from the Village at 9 a.m. and follows the National Forest before returning to the Village where there’s music and lifestyle expo with free spectating.

Opening festivities include color guard ceremony and singing of the national anthem. Those finishing the 5K Fun Run get replicated military dog tags as a commemorative finish line memento. A portion of every entry goes to the Wounded Warrior Project. Register at www.openairbigbear.com or day of the event at 7 a.m.

The Antique Car Club Show on Sunday, May 24 returns to Big Bear Snow Play (42825 Big Bear Blvd.) The show is a preview of the group’s huge Fun Run in August. Catch the cars of yesterday for free, from wood panel trucks to rods and roadsters, from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. There’s also a pinewood derby for fifth graders.

Honor America’s fallen heroes on Monday, May 25 during Memorial Day Service at Veteran’s Park at 10 a.m. There will be a Marine Corps League color detail, bagpipe tribute  by Major Nelson Reynolds, USAF retired, and wreath presentation by Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion. Caskets represent fallen heroes from the two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf and Iraq wars, and attendees are given a flower to remember their own soldiers.

Keynote speaker for the solemn event in Lieutenant Colonel Gregory Thomas, USMC retired. The event is held by Marine Corps League Detachment 1038 and American Legion Post 584. Veteran’s Park is on the boulevard just east of Pine Knot.

May 12, 2015

All Diabetic Cycling Team Wins Just by Riding

At just seven months old Phil Southerland became the youngest person ever diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Not exactly the way most of us want to make our mark on the world.

Doctors told his mother that by age 25 he would most likely be dead, or at least blind. Now 33, Southerland is very much alive and still has his eyesight. More importantly he also  has vision, seeing his way to creating the world’s first all-diabetic professional cycling team, set to roll into town May 15 as part of the Amgen Tour of California Stage 6 time trials.

When Scott Ambrose, Kevin De Mesmaeker, Joonas Henttala, David Lozano, Javier Megias, Andrea Peron, Charles Planet and Martijn Verschoor take the starting line for Team Novo Nordisk, they represent the only team in any pro sport where its members all have the same disease. Before forging a relationship with Novo Nordisk, a leading force in diabetes, the group was known as Team Type 1. Now it fields nearly 100 runners, triathletes and cyclists, who this year will compete in some 500 sporting events around the world.

Compete successfully, too. At last year’s Tour of California Planet earned the Most Courageous jersey at the opening stage and De Mesmaeker sprinted to a third place finish on Stage 4. Team Novo Nordisk is about more than just feel-good stories, though there’s obviously an element of that at play. With a roster of only diabetics Team Novo Nordisk won’t win the Tour, but Southerland as cofounder and CEO wants to show that those with this disease can compete at that level.

“We show up at the race, people see us and get inspired, and that’s a moral victory,” Southerland said. “Then the race starts and our riders are competitors who want to win. Results matter and are proof we belong.”

Especially because the ultimate goal is for the team to...

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May 9, 2015

Time Trials Bring Amgen Tour Riders Up Close

Cycling fans are in for a treat will put when the nation’s largest and most prestigious road race returns to Big Bear for the third time in five years on May 15.

Amgen Tour of CaliforniaThe 10th annual Amgen Tour of California’s Stage 6 event features individual time trials that start and finish in Big Bear Village. Unlike past years where the race started down the mountain and only concluded at Snow Summit with brief riding in the Valley, Big Bear Lake Time Trial is a very spectator-friendly event as riders compete against the clock.

Both pro men’s and women’s races feature start and finish lines just a short walk apart, offering a unique viewing experience. There’s twice the excitement as fans catch the world’s top riders as they head out on the 15-mile course and again when they return for the exciting spring to the finish line. The course doesn’t feature a lot of elevation gain, only about 750 feet, but an altitude of nearly 7,000 feet will challenge even the strongest riders.

Women’s invitational time trial starts at 11 a.m. with the men heading out at 12:47 p.m. After departing from Village Dr. and Bartlett riders head east down Big Bear Blvd., then through neighborhoods to Stanfield Cuttoff. There the peloton crosses to the north shore to ride past beautiful lake views to Fawnskin, returning essentially along the same route to finish at Pine Knot Marina down a thousand-foot jetty.

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May 7, 2015

Bike Park, Skychair Open for Season May 8

With three top-to-bottom trails and another one close to approval, mountain biking at Snow Summit continues to roll.

The season’s first fat tire riders will hit the Adventure Park on Friday, May 8 when it opens for the season, the earliest opening of any park in the country. Next day on Saturday, May 9 the resort is hosting a kickoff party with music, vendor booths and giveaways to usher in its first season under the ownership of Mammoth Mountain, itself a longtime leader in mountain biking.

Snow Summit Adventure Park opens 2015 season for mountain bikingThe only lift-served mountain bike park in Southern California offers  freshly-cut berms, snakes and jumps. Plus non-dirt features like bridges, paver-lined turns and drops, long straights and switchbacks cutting across resort slopes.

Adventure Park took the mountain bike community by storm since its 2013 opening with professional design by Gravity Logic. Snow Summit has a long history in the sport with lift-served access to not just downhill runs on its permit area but also the entire south shore network of trails.

Which includes spurs that tie into Skyline Trail, new worldclass singletrack cut by Bear Valley Trails Foundation at the top of the mountain alongside 2N10 that has long offered terrific cross-country riding. From there an entire network of trails and Forest Service roads unfold with terrific cross-country rides to panoramic Grandview Point, biker favorite Pine Knot Trail, and more.

Adventure Park’s three top to bottom trails include many variations, all sporting paver-lined turns, steep drops, step ups, banked turns and switchbacks. Miracle Mile challenges the best riders with an array of sweeping S-turns plus berms, rollers, jumps and wood features including a dramatic 30-foot bridge, diving board and berm. Westridge winds through the forest with challenging terrain as it cuts through the woods and across ski runs. Cruiser has been renamed Party Wave since the challenging run is hardly a cruise.

The Green Trail, a long winding low intermediate traverse through the forest from the top of the mountain to Towne Trail in the base area, is expected to be approved with a targeted July Fourth holiday weekend opening. The four foot wide, 1.75 mile route will be open to downhill traffic when the lifts are running, and open to both directions after hours for those who want to hump uphill a thousand vertical feet.

“We have had a basic beginner loop in the base area with gentle rollers, but it’s basically Biking 101,” said Snow Summit’s Chris Riddle. “You don’t even need a lift ticket to ride it and it accesses Town Trail and Bristlecone, great beginner riding. The new section is wider than the other trails with no singletrack and is gentle with no jumps or features. We marked it with Gravity Logic. You still need some skills but it’s a great low intermediate ride.”

So many riders are showing up to ride the Southland’s only bike park, decked out in body armor and helmets, that both of the resort’s high-speed lifts often run. Of course Skychair isn’t reserved for just bikers; it’s long been a family favorite  as guests enjoy a leisurely 20-minute chairlift ride through the forest to the top of the mountain.

Panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains unfold including San Gorgonio Wilderness and 11,502 ft. Mt. San Gorgonio, Southern California’s highest peak.
Lunch on the mountaintop View Haus restaurant’s outdoor sun deck is always a treat with tantalizing barbecue and what has to be the Southland’s highest horseshoe pit. Snow Summit also operates barbecue at the base area, where it rents bikes including high end demos and full suspension bikes. The resort has a fleet of 3,500 high-end Trek demo bikes including cross-country and children’s rides.

Look for expanded offerings at Adventure Park as summer continues. Three zip lines are expected to be installed in the base area, which also is slated to be home to a climbing wall.

Adventure Park is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., till 5 p.m. Saturdays through June 19, then daily.  Roundtrip sightseeing rides are $19, one way $16, one way with bike $20 ($24 peak), all day pass $39 ($43 peak).

Call Snow Summit at (909) 866-5766.

May 6, 2015

Get in Fiesta `Spirit' at Tequila Dinner

Get in the fiesta “spirit” with a five-course gourmet dinner paired with drinks crafted from Herradura and Maestro Dobel tequilas on Friday, May 8 at the Wine Room at Wolf Creek Resort.

The intimate venue at Wolf Creek Resort in Big Bear is the perfect setting to celebrate Cinco de May with delicious courses, each paired with a mixologist-created tequila cocktail. Begin with shrimp ceviche paired with a sunset-tini before moving to chicken tortilla soup served with a classic margarita.

The appetizer is smoked pork “chimale” paired with a “Passion on the Rocks” cocktail. The main entree is a surf-and-turf combination of grilled halibut and grilled black peppercorn filet. The cocktail offering is a Bloody Basil.

For dessert there’s chili chocolate cake accompanied by Herradura anejo tequila and coffee. Along the culinary journey bottles of tequila will be given away during fun trivia games.

Herradura has been crafted for 145 years in Amatitan, Mexico and introduced the first reposado tequila in 1974. Dobel meanwhile is a blend of reposado, anejo and extra anejo tequilas ages one, two and three years respectively in European white oak barrels, filtered to remove all color. All tequilas in the blend are 100% blue agave from a single estate in Jalisco, creating the first multi-aged clear tequila that has won many awards including being named one of the world’s 20 best-tasting by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Complimentary take home shuttle service is from 9-10:30 p.m. or just stay overnight in Big Bear in one of Wolf Creek Resort’s beautiful rooms discounted under the group code “Tequila Dinner.” Tickets are $85 per person and the evening begins at 6:30 p.m. For more overnight options there's private vacation rentals with all the amenities, fine hotels and motels or cozy individual cabins and cottages spread through Big Bear that make for great getaways.

The Wine Room at Wolf Creek Resort is at 41421 Big Bear Blvd. Reservations are limited; call (909) 549-9578.

April 30, 2015

Ratt Singer, Tubes, Tributes Rock The Cave

Headliners like The Tubes and Stephen Pearcy, longtime lead singer of heavy metal icons RATT, plus top shelf tribute concerts have The Cave Big Bear rocking this spring.

The Cave offers an up close and personal concert experience where tiered seating assures a clear stage view from every seat. There’s a club feel to The Cave with awesome cavern-design bar with cocktail tables and gourmet concessions including full cocktail service and beers from Big Bear Lake Brewing Co. and local Stone Summit wines. The state-of-the-art sound system is pure concert quality with laser lights and fog machines.

Skynyrd Reloaded, the nation’s top tribute to Southern rock icons LYNYRD SKYNYRD, return to rock The Cave Saturday, May 2. The show is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics World Games Host Town program of which Big Bear is one and $5 of each ticket sold will be donated to hosting athletes from Chile, Luxenmbourg and Montenegro.

Skynyrd Reloaded has earned acclaim for presenting the original band’s music true to 1970’s-era form, before the 1977 plane crash took the lives of Lynyrd Skynyrd leader Ronnie Van Zant and other band members. Reloaded has shared the stage with Ron Eckerman, the band’s road manager who survived the crash, and also Artimus Pyle, drummer from 1974-77, who joined on stage to sing "Sweet Home Alabama" and drummed to "That Smell." Shows typically close with "Free Ride," always a highlight. Tickets start at $16.

One week later American alternative rock duo LOCAL H is at The Cave. Best known for the hit "Bound for the Floor," a single from the 1996 album As Good as Dead which peaked at No. 5 on the US Alternative Billboard Chart.

Other hits include "All the Kids are Right," "Tag Along," "Eddie Vedder" and more. Also expect to hear songs from the band’s new release "Hey, Killer" from a band known for putting on great shows. Tickets start at just $16.

Longtime lead vocalist of Ratt STEPHEN PEARCY headlines The Cave Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, May 23. The mega-Platinum heavy metal band with hits like "Round and Round," "Lay it Down," "Wanted Man" and "You’re in Love."

Pearcy has also had a successful solo career in between stints with Ratt, and the 2015 release of Smash already features two hits, "I Can’t Take It" "Dance," "Wanted Man" and "Just One More Time."

BulletBoys from Los Angeles opens making for a powerful double header. The signature song is "Smooth Up in Ya" but the band has also had other hits including "For the Love of Money" and "Kissin’ Kitty." Tickets start at $28.50.

The premier tribute to SUBLIME is at The Cave one week later on May 30 with 40 Oz. to Freedom. Winners of the 2010 San Diego Best Tribute Band award, 40 Oz. to Freedom has traveled throughout the country and Canada.

Playing top venues with thumping bass lines, rad beats, and shredding guitar riffs topped off with soul quenching vocals, the band duplicates the original Sublime sound on songs like "Get Out," "Badfish," "Right Back" and "40 Oz. to Freedom." Tickets start at only $14.

THE TUBES return to The Cave Saturday, June 6. During their first visit to Big Bear last year the San Francisco-based band rocked and the remodeled facility will have audiences even closer to the band! Formed in 1975 and much of the original lineup is intact: Fee Waybill, whose costume changes throughout the show are worth the price of admission, Roger Steen, Prairie Prince and Rick Anderson, joined by David Medd.

The Tubes are best known for hits like 1983’s "She’s a Beauty," which charted in the Top 10 and was one of the most played early songs on MTV. Others include the hard-driving "Talk to Ya Later" and the iconic favorite "White Punks on Dope" as well as "Dancin’ " from the 1980 film Xanadu. Tickets are just $24.

The Cave Big Bear; 40789 Village Dr. (909) 878-0204 or www.thecavebigbear.com.

April 27, 2015

Skynyrd , Jackson Tributes are Fundraisers for Special Olympics

Big Bear Lake is an official Host Town for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, and its new intimate concert venue is hosting benefit a pair of benefit shows beginning with an amazing tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd on Saturday, May 2.

The Cave Big Bear is donating $5 from each ticket sold for the 7:30 p.m. performance by Skynyrd Reloaded, top shelf tribute band accurately creating the look and sound of a Lynyrd Skynyrd Southern rock show from the 1970’s, before the tragic plane crash claimed the lives of leader Ronnie Van Zant and other band members. Songs like “That Smell,” “Free Ride” and of course “Sweet Home Alabama” are faithfully performed by professional musicians with a commitment to the original sound.

Another benefit concert is set for June 27 with Who’s Bad, a tribute to Michael Jackson. Tickets are priced from $16-$31 with every seat front and center at The Cave Big Bear, fast becoming the Southland’s concert destination with state-of-the-art sound system, lasers, fog machines and full food and cocktail service.

Up to 100 Southern California cities are participating in the Host Town program held from July 21-24, 2015, celebrating 7,000 disabled athletes from 177 countries competing in the World Games in Los Angeles, the largest event held by the city since the 1984 Olympic Games.

Athletes will be treated to three days of recreation, entertainment and cultural exchange unique to each Host Town. Big Bear hosts delegations from Chile, Luxembourg and Montenegro.

The Cave Big Bear is at 40789 Village Dr. in Big Bear Lake. Call  (877) 825-4388 or www.thecavebigbear.com.

April 22, 2015

Big Bear High's Addams Family Spooky, Fun

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky. They’re also a lot of fun live on stage when Big Bear High’s Performing Arts Department presents "The Addams Family—A New Musical Comedy" five shows only at the Performing Arts Center.

During 7:30 p.m. performances on April 24-25 and May 1-2 along with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee April 26, America’s year-round macabre favorites come to life accompanied by live music. The family’s spooky mansion in New York City’s Central Park is the setting for the show directed by Diane Thompson.

Elizabeth Johnson stars as the elegant and seemingly undead Morticia. married to ever-devoted husband Gomez played by Jacob Walker. Their happy if hokey existence is in turmoil as daughter Wednesday (Dalaney Doyle), ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with sweet young man Lucas, played by Talon Stradley, who comes from a respectable family whom the Addams’ have never met. When Wednesday begs her father not to tell her mother, Gomez is forced to do something he had never done before—keep a secret from his wife.

Hysterics unfold when the Addams host a dinner for Wednesday’s boyfriend and his parents Mal and Alice Beineke (Jonathan Toner and Tori Budd/Kyrah Werner. Naturally Uncle Fester played by Spencer Cassling is around along with butler Lurch (Garrett Werner), Grandma (Jacquire Cummings and Miranda Wonacott), Wednesday’s brother Pugsley (Syndi Rose) plus a whole host of ancestors.

BBHS is about the only group to take advantage of the PAC’s band pit so the music is live directed by Karl Thompson, featuring songs like The Addams Family Theme and “When You’re an Addams.” The band members are local musicians including Kathy Aughenbaugh and Dennis Pond on winds and reeds, Tom Augehbaugh and Steve Mangels on trumpet, George Mazzacane and Rito Carroll on trombone, David Castagner on bass, Steve Boggio on drums and Ingrid Olsen and Steve Schour on keyboards. All have serious credits in their backgrounds and the music alone is reason enough to see this show.

Tickets are $16, $11 seniors and students. Call (909) 866-4970 or visit www.citybigbearlake.com.