March 2, 2015

`Freezin' for a Reason' at Big Bear Polar Plunge

All around the lake in winter, there are signs posted warning folks to stay off it. So why are people suddenly being encouraged to go jump in on Saturday, March 7?

It’s “Freezin’ for a Reason,’ the fourth annual Polar Plunge into Big Bear Lake. Brazen swimmers have a “License to Chill” as they brave water temperatures dipping into the 30’s at Meadow Park to raise money for Inland Empire Region’s Special Olympics of Southern California. Big Bear’s event has become one of the region’s largest and most popular.

Plungers decide how deep into the water to go and how long to stay in; last year some got only their ankles wet while others swam around till lifeguards make them get out of the water. Participants pay for the privilege, with those raising at least $50 in pledges from family, friends and co-workers receiving an official Polar Plunge longsleeve T-shirt, 2 for 1 lift ticket from Big Bear Mountain Resorts valid at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, goody bag and lunch courtesy of Knights of Columbus.

Raise more than $50 and there’s additional cool prizes like towels, hoodies, duffle bags with tumbler and solar backpack. Special Olympics supporters who prefer to stay out of the water can stay in the “chicken coop” for $50 in pledges and receive an “I’m Too Chicken to Plunge” T-shirt along with the other goodies.

Be sure to bring cameras along for photos and video to prove you really jumped in the lake during winter months. Costumes are a staple at Polar Plunge events and awards are given for the best, judged by creativity and how wacky they are.

“All it takes is a few seconds in the chilly water for plungers to discover why we refer to it as `Freezin’ for a Reason,’ ” said Special Olympics Southern California regional director Abbey Leffler. “They will immediately feel their hearts warm up with joy because they know they are giving to a great cause. Eighty six cents of every dollar raised goes directly to Special Olympics program costs.”

KTLA Channel 5’s Glen Walker emcees the 11:45 a.m. opening ceremony, which includes a special torch arrival by the San Bernardino Co. Sheriff’s Department. Other Polar Plunge activities include family fun area with games, rock wall (weather permitting), arts and crafts, entertainment, displays from law enforcement and Big Bear Discovery Center, and more.

Wolf Creek Resort, Fireside Lodge and Bear Creek Resort and Spa are offering 15% off room rates for Polar Plungers--click on our lodging page and get a great deal on a cozy cabin or motel room with fireplace, spa and other great amenities. To warm up after the year’s coolest event, Timberline Spas has hot tubs waiting.

Don’t miss the preregistration Plunge Party the night before at The Cave (40789 Village Dr.) from 6-10 p.m. on March 6. Admission is free and there’s live music by the Loose Cannons plus hors d’oeuvres, raffle and the chance to meet local Special Olympics athletes. Beer, wine and soft drinks available for purchase.

Register at Meadow Park (41220 Park Ave., Big Bear Lake) at 10 a.m. with coffee and pastries with plungers jumping in at noon. Admission for spectators is free and they can purchase lunch for $5.

Last year hundreds of plungers participated and the 2015 event looks to be event bigger with a fundraising goal of $100,000. Proceeds provide year-round training and sports programs for those with intellectual disabilities in the Inland Empire. This is a big year for the Special Olympics with the World Summer Games in Los Angeles in July and Big Bear is a host city. Over 7,000 athletes from 177 countries are expected to compete in 28 events, drawing a half-million spectators.

Register as a plunger by calling (951) 703-6502 or www.sosc.org/bigbearplunge.

February 27, 2015

Offspring Headlines KROQ `Storm the Mountain' at Bear

Legendary Southern California band The Offspring highlights the best concert lineup yet for the annual “KROQ Storms the Mountain” on Sunday, March 8.

The Offspring are one of the biggest names to ever play the radio station’s annual takeover of the slopes on the Bear Mountain 13,000 sq. ft. deck’s stage and the show is free. Chart topping songs like “Hit That,” “Why Don’t You Get a Job,” “The Kids Aren’t Alright” and “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” helped the band sell more than 50 million records worldwide. Its album “Smash” sold 20 million copies itself, featuring hits like “Come Out and Play,” “Self Esteem” and “Gotta Get Away.”

Earlier this year The Offspring released the single “Coming for You” and is touring in 2015 in support of the song, appearing in Dallas in April for Edgefest 2015, Canada’s Amnesia Rockfest, and in Germany. The band’s 10th album is expected to be released as well later this year or next.

Joining The Offspring is another heavyweight band, The Orwells. In April the group is part of the Coachella lineup but fans can see them for free at Bear, playing songs like “Who Needs You” and “Dirty Sheets.” The song “Change is in the Air” is featured in the latest Apple commercial.

During a 2014 performance on The Late Show with David Letterman The Orwells were so well received the host called for an encore. Popular DJ Jeremiah Red hosts the show..

Call the Big Bear resorts at (909) 866-5766.

February 24, 2015

Stringfever turns violin, cello hot at The Cave

Forty songs in five minutes, played at a frenetic pace by four guys on string instruments.

Four guys play one instrument at the same time with Stringfever“The History of Music in 5 Minutes” makes a fitting finale for Stringfever, four worldclass musicians playing the finest custom made electric string instruments who put on the most intense show imaginable during last year’s visit to www.thecavebigbear.com. Stringfever returns February 28 at 7:30 p.m. with a high-energy journey of, classics, rock, movie and show tunes and more, every note played on strings.

All four musicians are related. Brothers Giles, Ralph and Neal Broadbent are joined by cousin Graham as they play five and six-string electric violins, viola and cello in a very unique show. Music runs in the family; Graham’s father was principal viola in the Welsh national Opera while the brothers’ dad was a Music Master at Rugby School. An uncle has been a violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra for nearly 30 years. This is a family tied together not with blood, but strings.

The Broadbents have continued the tradition. Giles led the orchestra of the German production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard” with Ralph playing along. Graham joined them in the orchestra for My Fair Lady at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, a time they were also session musicians for Paul McCartney, Groove Armada, Travis and Dido.

Their string skills make for a blazing show. Stringfever kills it during a helter-skelter James Bond medley and the group’s unique, internationally acclaimed version of Ravel’s “Bolero” has all four Broadbents bent on playing one cello simultaneously. And in the ultimate Name That Tune, Stringfever plays a 20 song medley of the most memorable show and movie tunes.

Especially blistering is “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” Charlie Daniels’ frantic string classic with a touch of fire thrown in for good visuals. Cirque du Soleil music, classical from Vivaldi to Brahms, Stringfever presents the music with energy, humor and charisma while interacting with the audience.

Don't drive down the hill after the concert; use the links on the Big Bear Today lodging page to find overnight accomodations. There's even a free shuttle from The Cave to take you back to your lodging.

The Cave; 40789 Village Dr.  (877) 825-4388 or www.thecavebigbear.com.

February 20, 2015

Get Snowed In with Jordin Sparks, Flo-Rida

Get “Snowed In” at Bear Mountain with a free concert featuring hot singer Jordin Sparks and Flo-rida during Power 106’s annual party on the slopes Sunday, February 22.

The slopeside party on the 13,000 sq. ft. deck features free live performance by Sparks, whose rendition of the national anthem before the NFL Pro Bowl thrilled a nationwide audience. Her career catapulted after Sparks won the sixth season of “American Idol,” becoming the youngest winner in the series history at age 17.

Sparks’ debut album was certified platinum and has sold over two million copies worldwide. Top 10 singles “Tattoo” and “No Air” stormed to the top of the charts, with the latter selling over three million digital copies. It also earned Sparks her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with vocals.

Her follow up album “Battlefield” featuring the single of the same name was just as successful, reaching #10 on the charts. The second single “S.O.S. (Let the Music Play” became her first #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play charts. Most recently, late 2014 saw the release of the single “It Ain’t You” from her third studio album “Right Here, Right Now.”

Sparks’ career has also seen her guest star on several television series along with Broadway and movie credits.

Joining Sparks at Snowed In is Flo-Rida. (909) 866-5766.

February 18, 2015

Drifters Concert Stars Timeless Hits

The history of one of the country’s greatest bands continues to unfold when The Drifters perform at The Cave Big Bear at 6 p.m. Sunday, February 22.

The Drifters bring memorable music to The Cave Big BearThe concert kicks off The New American 2015 Tour for the group, which is responsible for 13 Billboard Top 30 chart hits, memorable songs like "Under the Boardwalk," "This Magic Moment," "Stand By Me," so many more. Once the great songs start flowing it seems as if they will never stop, from "Save the Last Dance for Me" to "There Goes My Baby."

The music of an era has endured, even if the lineup hasn’t; members have come and gone and there are multiple versions of the band out there. This is the first time in years The Drifters have toured under the auspices of original management George Treadwell Family, which oversaw 20 years of the group’s history that led Billboard to call The Drifters the second most successful recording group of all time.

Several key Drifters have reunited to head out on the road again, eventually hitting the East Coast and Florida after the Big Bear gig. "People are going to see a whole lot of great entertainment suitable for adults and kids alike," said Jerome Jackson, who has a 25 year affiliation with The Drifters. "The memories will be flowing and there will be good dancing to good music. We pour our soul and our heart out into the music."

The Drifters are continuing a musical journey that began six decades ago with Clyde McPhatter and continued with Ben E King, both of whom were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Along the way The Drifters have become a part of American history, having played at The White House on three occasions and with USO tours in three different war zones, from Korea to Iraq. The Drifters have performed for the Pope, Queen of England and Nelson Mandela.

"We try to stay as authentic as possible to the original sound," Jackson said. "I’m blessed to have been around the original group and it’s given me a feel for the music’s authenticity."

With so much great material to work with—"Under the Boardwalk" is considered the most played rhythm and blues song of all time—Jackson admits to not really having a favorite. "It’s hard to pick just one because most have become classics," he said. "These songs became a part of me."

He does though have a favorite Drifters moment. "We were in Pennsylvania one night in the 1990’s," he said. "When we finished the audience just gave it up for us. It was like the roof opened up, they just couldn’t stop applauding. It went on for 10-15 minutes. We were in the dressing room and they wanted us back."

Doors open at 5 p.m. and tickets are $35-$50. The concert is a fundraiser for Masonic Lodge.

The Cave; 40789 Village Dr. (877) 825-4388 or www.thecavebigbear.com.

February 12, 2015

Valentine Sweetheart Ball Set for Feb. 14

Dinner and dancing makes for a romantic Valentine’s Day when Big Bear Lake Rotary Club Foundation and Bear Valley Hospital Foundation team up to host the second annual Sweetheart Ball.

Held at Northwoods Resort Saturday, February 14, sweethearts will indulge in wine, silent and live auctions with some great items up for grabs and much more. No-host cocktails are at 5 p.m., with dinner featuring complimentary wine at 6.

Dance the night away to romantic live music by the Mark Dolan Band. Tickets are $55 per person. Dress is black tie optional or Big Bear formal.

Proceeds from the Sweetheart Ball will be donated to Bear Valley Community Hospital for the updating and refurbishment of patient rooms. Cost for each room is about $10,000 and three rooms have already been done with the goal of doing at least two more during 2015.

Tickets are limited to 200 to ensure plenty of room for dancing in the ballroom and there are many great auction items to bid on, including a Newport Harbor cruise, vacations in desert condos and more.

For tickets call (909) 866-3869.

February 3, 2015

State's Best Conditions in Big Bear Thanks to Snowmaking

Two almost fully-open resorts, 200 jibs and snow features between them, three quarterpipes and standard halfpipe open and competition-quality Superpipe on the way.

The numbers don’t lie as February arrives: the Big Bear resorts have arguably the best conditions not just in Southern California, but the entire state as well. Even as some Lake Tahoe resorts struggle to stay open, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain have been adding park features and snow depths to their slopes thanks to drought-defying snowmaking. Mammoth and Utah resorts could also use more snow but in Big Bear signature runs like Geronimo at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit’s Chair 10 and Chair 6 bowl runs, all of which never opened last season,  are happily doing business once again.

All thanks to worldclass snowmaking systems and an endless supply of water from Big Bear Lake, which have allowed both resorts to take full advantage of the cold, dry weather. Especially a six day cold stretch in  late December when lows dropped into single digits and snowmaking went off the charts.

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January 30, 2015

2015 PB&RJ Returns to Bear with Free Rail Jam

Volcom Stone’s long-running—15 years now—Peanut Butter and Rail Jam returns to  Bear Mountain on January 31.

Four divisions—ages 15 and under, 16 and over, Girls and Open (Pro-Am)—are open to entrants on a first come, first serve basis, as riders take on three side-by-side rails and box features in The Scene, Bear’s collection of hike-to hits right above The Deck. Don’t worry about falling during your 20-minute heat; the judges only consider the tricks you pull.

Top five competitors in each division qualify to compete in the $15,000 PBRJ Global Chamipionships at Mammoth on April 18, 2015. The tour visits top resorts around the country and Canada including Boreal and Blue Mountain.

There’s tons of equipment prizes, cash and giveaways plus food and drink. Every participant goes home with a Volcom T-shirt and sticker too.
Preregister online at volcom.com/pbrj or starting at 8 a.m. day of the event in the Boardroom. Call (909) 866-5766.