September 11, 2014

Save a buck at Oktoberfest opening weekend

Beat the October rush by visiting Big Bear Oktoberfest during September weekends for off-peak pricing and fewer crowds.

Not only is September admission cheaper, there’s two direct from Germany bands playing during the month. The famous Big Bear Polka Tots, who have charmed generations with their waltzes perform two weekends in September as well with Joyful Noise Cloggers dancing on Sept. 20-21 and D’Oberlander Dancers performing Sept. 27-28.

Opening weekend September 13-14 is again a tribute to America’s Heroes, with free admission for badge-carrying past and present military, law enforcement, and firefighters. Ceremonies at 4 p.m. pay special tribute to America’s troops. Bear Valley Marine Corp color guard presents the flag, the first keg is officially tapped, and the Big Bear Polka Tots and high school choir perform.

The Express Band opens Big Bear Oktoberfest, voted number one in California by AOL, playing Saturday from noon-midnight and Sunday from noon-5:30. Prepurchase tickets for opening weekend and save two bucks off September mission prices of $14, $10 senior, $8 children those Saturdays.

The best way to save a buck when you cluck is with the coupon for free Sunday adult admission in Big Bear Today Magazine, available free at fine locations in Big Bear—a savings of up to $9 for adults, $5 for seniors. Or download the coupon in PDF format and print right from your computer at ww.. bigbeartodaymag.com..

September 8, 2014

2 German Bands, Stages at 2014 Oktoberfest

October gets all the hype, but September is the best month to enjoy Big Bear Oktoberfest.

German bands and entertainment at 2014 Big Bear OktoberfestSeptember admission is cheaper, it’s when the German bands are here the most—and in 2014 there’s two!—and crowds are lighter. Yet so many people only think of Oktoberfest in October, they pack the Convention Center those weekends and forget that the event’s seven weekend run actually begins weeks earlier.

The 44th annual Big Bear Oktoberfest again kicks off with "American Heroes" weekend on September 13-14, featuring an All-American patriotic tribute to the troops on Saturday at 4 p.m. Past and present badge-carrying personnel including military, law enforcement and firefighters plus their immediate families receive free admission. All kinds of surprises are in store including Bear Valley Marine Corp color guard presenting the flag, Big Bear High School’s choir sings the national anthem, dancing by the Polka Tots and the official tapping of the first keg.

The Express Band is the logical choice to get the seven-week celebration of the seasons kicked off. Southern California’s premiere German festival band, The Express has entertained listeners for nearly 25 years. Armed with polkas and waltzes, Top 40 tunes and country western, The Express always reaches deep into its never-ending song book to provide just the right music, no matter what the audience’s mood is. During the afternoon the sound is more polka, after dark more Top 40, country and rock and roll. The Express returns for the final three weekends Oct. 11-12, 18-19 and closing night’s Halloween "Spooktacular" on Oct. 25.

The first of not one but two direct-from-Germany bands takes the stage for Oktoberfest’s second weekend, Sept. 20-21. Goldeizen Band features four brothers who play German rock with a folk music touch. The band is wildly popular at Oktoberfests as well as apres ski in Bavarian lodges. Goldeizen drew international acclaim in 2012 with hits hit song "Pepperoni" which will be on the Big Bear playlist and in 2013 had two songs nominated for the Best Oktoberfest Hits CD produced annually by Munich Oktoberfest. On vocals and accordion is Hartl Goldeizen, joined by brothers Sepp on guitar, Jackl on bass and Alois on percussion.

On the third weekend you can see a different German band each day! First time in Big Bear Oktoberfest’s 44 years that’s happened. Goldeizen plays Saturday, Sept. 27 before Aalbachtal-Express Band from Southern Germany takes over Sunday, Sept. 28. The 11-member band is the largest to ever play at Big Bear Oktoberfest, producing every note live and is famous for authenticity and upbeat performances.

For over 35 years Aalbachtal-Express has entertained audiences during hundreds of performances through Europe. From brass band music to contemporary chart favorites the band has played throughout festivals and Oktoberfests in not just Germany but throughout Europe, even for soldiers at NATO base in Naples. The band was a hit at Oktoberfest Brasov, largest such festival in Romania, and has also played in Poland and France.

The Spaten Rocktoberfest Stage was such a hit last year outside under the pines, with live bands every Saturday, that it has been expanded for 2014. Some Saturdays feature two band doubleheaders with some top bands, the biggest being nationally renowned Doo Wah Riders on Oct. 11. This month’s lineup includes local favorites Skeleton Key on Sept. 13, plus Jimmy Reid Project and the Blue Henrys on Sept. 27.

In the Bier Garten there’s contests like shoot `n yodel and beer pong. Catch Oktoberfest’s Sports Bar under the pines, where there’s all the big game action on big screen TVs, or soak up suds and grilled bratwursts on the outdoor patio. Also outdoors is the Warsteiner Garten plus Budenstrasse (Avenue of the Booths) with carnival games, unique shopping and food.

Once the funs starts at Oktoberfest it never ends, each Saturday (noon-midnight) and Sunday (noon-5:30 p.m.) plus one Local’s Night on Friday, Oct. 3 when admission is just $5 or $3 with two nonperishable food items. Big Bear Oktoberfest continues to draw accolades as one of the top events of its kind in the country. AOL, Ski Net, Low Fares.com, Ask Men.com and many others have ranked Big Bear’s fall celebration right there with famous Oktoberfests in Boston, Milwaukee and Colorado.

September admission is $14 on Saturdays, $10 seniors and $6 children, $7, $5 and free on Sundays. Clip the coupon for FREE Sunday adult admission on page 11. Call Convention Center at (909) 585-3000 or www.BigBearEvents.com..

September 4, 2014

Mrs. Robinson, U2 Tribute at The Cave

After a "Summer of Stars" featuring headliners like Jefferson Starship and Bill Medley, there’s some awesome tributes to U2, Jim Morrison and The Eagles at The Cave Big Bear in September...and more big names are on the way.

Like 1980’s pop band ABC, known for hits like "Be Near Me," "When Smokey Sings" and "Poison Arrow," on October 10. Country star Colt Ford on November 1. Marshall Tucker Band on Nov. 8. Surf guitar legend Dick Dale Nov 28.

Dance to ultimate cover band Mrs. Robinson at The Cave Big BearMeanwhile this month’s schedule features some great acts starting with ultimate cover party band Mrs. Robinson on Saturday, Sept. 6. Composed of heavy-hitting musicians who put on an incredible show, Mrs. Robinson plays basically everything, from rock and roll and pop to disco and today’s hits, Led Zeppelin to Amy Winehouse, guaranteeing the dance floor gets plenty of action.

Mrs. Robinson is comprised of Los Angeles-based professionals who have recorded and toured with Guns and Roses, Aerosmith, Christina Aguilera, Alice Cooper, Cher, Edgar Winter, Carole King, Billy Bob Thornton, Quiet Riot and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The band is fronted by two red-hot twin redheads, Paula and Pamela Mattioli. Each has hit the airwaves with songs from their own bands, Gypsy Queen and Cellmates, and most recently they fronted rock and soul band Jack Mack and the Heart Attack.

The girls have worked with some of the biggest producers in the business, from Sir George Martin of Beatles fame to David Foster, Keith Olson and Jack Douglas. Watching them interact with each other is worth the admission—tickets are just $20, VIP $30—in itself. And even if you’ve never seen Mrs. Robinson, you’ve probably heard Paula sing; she performed the famous "Smelly Cat" song on "Friends."

Wild Child’s Tribute a week later is a celebration of Jim Morrison and few are as good at presenting it. Wild Child lead singer Dave Brock fronted the touring act "Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors," for three years from 2010-13, the ultimate compliment indeed coming from two Rock `N Roll Hall of Fame musicians. Obviously this is no ordinary tribute band; Wild Child shows are the closest thing to a real 1960’s Doors concert out there featuring top musicians and performers. Tickets are $20, VIP $35.

A true American original is at The Cave Friday, October 19. Country singer and guitarist JUNIOR BROWN has recorded nine studio albums, twice reaching Billboard country charts. Songs like "My Wife Thinks You’re Dead" and "Highway Patrol" have propelled his career, as has his prowess for playing his "guit-steel" double neck guitar.

Brown’s music has been showcased on TV shows and movie soundtracks, ranging from the 2005 Dukes of Hazard film (he was also the narrator) to "Me, Myself and Irene" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." Tickets are $20.

One night later on Sept. 20 is an awesome tribute to legendary band U2. Hollywood U2 was seen on AXS.tv’s "The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands" and was nominated as Best Tribute Artist 2014 by Los Angeles Music Awards. The band has performed U2’s many hits in front of audiences of 10,000 or more around the world, from the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama to Mexico, Honduras and Singapore. Tickets are just ten bucks or VIP are $30.

Desperado presents the many hits of one of the country’s greatest bands on Sept. 26. The premier Eagles tribute band has played in Las Vegas including Fremont Street Experience and the Peppermill Casino in Reno and presents the supergroup’s many hits plus lesser-known songs.

Every seat is front and center at The Cave, which has the feel of an intimate nightclub with full cocktail service, including local wine from Stone Summit Winery and beers from Big Bear Lake Brewing Co., yet offers concert-quality state-of-the-art sound, lighting and special effects like laser lights and fog machines.

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

August 29, 2014

Craft Show, Safari Mark Labor Day 2014

Summer’s last major holiday features an array of activities around Big Bear besides the 26th annual Mountain Treasures Quilt Show.

Crafters and artists from the western United States will be selling wares and demonstrating crafts during Fall Fest at the Convention Center two days only August 30-31. From handmade jewelry to homemade jams, vintage clothing to unique soaps and lotions, there’s something for every taste and budget.

There’s fun for the entire family with children’s activities like carnival games, face painting and bounce house. Don’t miss live entertainment each day from noon-4 p.m. featuring local favorites Skeleton Key.

Hang out on Southern California’s highest elevation beer garden patio, the perfect spot under the pine trees. Wyatt’s Cafe & Saloon is open with a full menu of its famous ranch style food. A wide selection of beers on tap are available including German offerings in anticipation of the 44th annual Big Bear Oktoberfest from September 13-October 25.

Fall Fest is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day and admission is free. The Convention Center is on the boulevard at Division; call (909) 585-3000.

Step back in time a couple hundred years to the days of trappers and fur traders when Big Horn Mountain Men hold their 31st annual Living History Encampment at Holcomb Valley Scout Ranch. Teepees and old accoutrements help create a pre-1840 North American fur trade camp open to visitors Aug. 29-Sept. 1 and 5-6. There’s lots of cool activities including muzzleloader shooting demonstrations—shoot one yourself! In addition see skillful displays with tomahawks, knives, and primitive archery plus trader’s row with fun items, all in historic Holcomb Valley.

Rendezvous is from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. at Holcomb Valley Boy Scout Camp; from Discovery Center head west to Polique Canyon 2N09 and follow signs to the camp, where there’s free parking and no Adventure Pass required. Admission is $5, 11 and under free. Call (951) 780-9331 or Discovery Center (866-3437).

Ice Cream Safari is at Big Bear Alpine Zoo is on Saturday, Aug. 30 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. or until all the treats are gone. Regular zoo admission of $12, $6 senior/child, under three free gets guests in and $5 buys five scoops of ice cream. Call (909) 878-4200.

August 12, 2014

Jests, Jousts During 3 Ren Faire Weekends

See days of old and knights so bold during the 13th annual Big Bear Renaissance Faire, held three weekends on August 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17.

Live contact action jousting at Big Bear Renaissance FaireThe Faire is under the pines at historic Pedersen Sawmill site on the north shore in Fawnskin. Watch knights engage in live contact jousting on horseback, plus there’s nonstop medieval entertainment, royal court and fabulous food at the enchanted shire from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Strolling entertainers and jugglers, midsummer fairy forest children’s area, new pirate fortress and living history encampments and demonstrations bring William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I to life. Queen Elizabeth should be on hand with her royal court The Guild of Saint Olaf; Her Majesty has beefed up security with the French battle guild so beware...

Over 20 entertainment groups performing on six stages means there’s never a dull moment at Renaissance Faire. One of the most popular attractions is the full contact live jousting provided by the world champion Knights of Mayhem, who have performed at Renaissance and Scottish Faires throughout the Southland. The Knights were featured on the television reality series of the same name, including world champion Charlie Andrews.

This ain’t no dinner show; the action is real with real competitors wearing 130 pounds of steel armor, charging on 2,000 lb. horses at each other bearing solid hemlock lances...all while peering through quarter-inch eye slots in their helmets!

Knights promote honor and chivalry with feats of riding, jousting and swordplay, fun entertainment for all ages. It’s bone-crunching, no-holds-barred competition that is 100% real, not pre-scripted with a predetermined winner. Shows feature vivid color, falls, fights, galloping horses and spectacular stunts.

Then there’s Ciran the gypsy magician, fun for all ages, while the Belles of Bedlam make merry in a show that’s a romp through the daily lives of sister who own an inn. Musicians and magicians, singers, jugglers, belly dancers...they’re all here, eight new groups for 2014..

The Universe According to Galileo is always a fun time with the master. Of course there’s plenty of good grub and grog...but beware of ripples in time. The Queen’s Tea and Warriors Table sold out last year so get tickets through Eventbrite now. And look for Suspended Reality in the fairy garden, flying the trees above.

Learn the history of ship repair and other historical tidbits from Argus Armstrong, and for the kids Captain Jack’s Pirate Stories entertain with tall tales of masts and the high seas plus there’s El Moro the pirate magician. Storytelling with Victoria Goring is a highlight as are upclose wildlife presentations by Moonridge Animal Park. Amy Farrell is full of facts and figures and Gallows Humor offers macabre funnies. There’s also "Shakespeare Unplugged" by Passado Action Theatre, accurate if somewhat irreverent presentations of classics like Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and others. The vignettes are filled with bawdy humor, physical comedy and outrageous swordplay...but some serious moments too.

The marketplace is packed with vendors, where wares can be purchased, from pewter steins to potions, mystical healers, and brews by Dragonmarsh. There’s Renaissance clothing, jester costumes, braided belts and pouches, even battle-ready, tournament-quality swords and armor, masks, metals, and mystics.

When hunger strikes there’s food and drink a’ plenty, like chicken, roast beef or pulled pork barbecue sandwiches. Smoked turkey legs are faire favorites and there’s bacon wrapped pork chops on a stick. Plus funnel cake, caramel apple wedges, kettle korn and more.

Admission is $15 for adults, $26 buys a weekend pass and season passes are $73 (senior/student/military $12, $20 and $55 respectively), five and under free.

For tickets call the Visitors Bureau at (800) 424-4232 or www.bbvrsinc.org.

August 4, 2014

Medley Having `Righteous" Time of His Life

Bill Medley, best known as one-half of the famous Righteous Brothers, but also noted solo performer, producer, actor, even...matchmaker?

At his shows Medley sometimes asks audiences how many couples met at The Hop, nightclubs in Fountain Valley and Lakewood he used to own with late singing partner Bobby Hatfield, the other half of the Righteous Brothers. A few hands invariably go up. "It’s always, `I met my second wife at The Hop,’ never the first," Medley laughed in a phone interview.

For the record, my wife Sandy and I did not meet at The Hop. But we dated there, and we weren’t the only ones. In the 1980’s it was the place to hang out with a 1950’s/60’s vibe. At a recent show in Lake Tahoe Medley popped the question and several couples answered yes.

Medley likes to engage audiences as well as entertain them. Which folks will discover during his August 9 show at The Cave Big Bear, billed as an "Intimate Evening with Bill Medley." Yes he sings Righteous Brothers hits "You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling," "Unchained Melody" and "(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration" along with solo hits like "Time of My Life," but he also talks about the story behind the song as well.

"You don’t know how your music has influenced people when you do it," Medley said. "Now there’s more interest in the why, what, when of the music, what it was like to work with Phil Spector. This is kind of an unplugged show with stories of the Righteous Brothers."

There’s plenty to tell. The duo met in Orange County in 1962 where Medley had a group called the Paramours and was working a nightclub in Santa Ana. "We were only together six or seven months before we had our first hit record," Medley said of "Little Latin Lupe Lu," a song he wrote about a girl he knew in school.

"What happened to me and the Righteous Brothers was almost like a bad Hollywood movie script," Medley said. "To have had hits in four decades, the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s was remarkable. We didn’t go after it—they came after us.

"Bobby and I were both interested and obsessed with black (rhythm and blues) from 1955 and up," he added. "It was more honest for us to sing R&B than white pop." Which is how the pair got their name; after a performance a black Marine from El Toro yelled "That was righteous, brothers!"

No one seemed to notice the guys were white. "Atlantic was an all-black label and when we showed up to do an interview they were shocked," Medley said. "They quit playing our records. It wasn’t a racial thing, they just played nothing but black artists and we were white."

Medley and Hatfield split in 1968, each pursuing lukewarm solo careers. "The 70’s were the low point of my life," Medley said. "In 1974 I lost my voice and was told by two throat doctors in Hollywood that I would never sing again—my throat looked like hamburger meat.

"Then my ex-wife was murdered and raped in 1976," he said. "She was still one of my best friends and suddenly I was a single parent. I relied on friends and family. You have to think positive, that you will not stay at the bottom."

When the Righteous Brothers teamed again in 1974 the hit "Rock and Roll Heaven" ensued. The pair then was hitless till 1990, but Medley’s career skyrocketed with 1987’s "The Time of My Life," a duet with Jennifer Warnes from the soundtrack for the film "Dirty Dancing." In 1990 the film "Ghost" featured "Unchained Melody" and radio stations were suddenly besieged for requests to play a Righteous Brothers hit from 25 years earlier.

"We weren’t 25 year-old kids anymore," Medley said. "We were 50-year-old men who could appreciate it."

The pair toured together for 13 more great years, till Hatfield’s untimely death in 2003. Six months earlier they had been elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his partner’s passing hit Medley hard.

"It was tougher than I thought it would be," he said. "There were contracts to fill so I went out but it was not much fun. Audiences were there to pay tribute to Bobby."

Now he has a new singing partner: daughter McKenna, named Female Vocalist of the Year in Branson, Mo. "It makes it so fun to be on the road with my daughter," he said. "But I can’t throw any televisions out the window."

Earlier this year Medley released the book "Time of My Life," baring his R&B soul, warts and all, kind of like he does during his intimate show. "I’ve had five or six times of my life," he said. "When the Righteous Brothers first made it, then when we hit again in 1990. Now I go out to do this kind of show and tell what was going on. It is the time of my life."

Just one worry. His show is during Fun Run . "I know I’m gonna see a car I must buy. It’s a bucket list thing," he said.

August 2, 2014

Tubes, Medley, Laine Headling Cave Big Bear

Big names like The Tubes, Bill Medley and Denny Laine headline at The Cave Big Bear in August, where there’s top entertainment each weekend.

All of which makes for a rocking month at The Cave Big Bear, the hot intimate entertainment venue where every seat is front and center and tickets are inexpensive, often $20 or less for headline entertainment. The Cave has the feel of an intimate nightclub with full cocktail service to each seat including local wine from Stone Summit Winery and beers from Big Bear Lake Brewing Co., yet offers concert-quality state-of-the-art sound, lighting and special effects like laser lights and fog machines.

Headliners at The Cave include The Tubes on Aug. 2. The San Francisco-based band formed in 1975 and much of its original lineup is intact: Fee Waybill, 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. Direct Divide and Duke Michaels open with all seats just $25, VIP $40.

An intimate evening with Bill Medley at The Cave Big BearSpend an intimate evening with Bill Medley on Saturday, Aug. 9. Best known as one-half of the legendary Righteous Brothers (story page 2), Medley has also had a successful solo career best marked by the hit "Time of My Life" with Jennifer Warnes. For this show he’s joined by daughter McKenna Medley and in addition to playing hits like "You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,’" "Unchained Melody" and "(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration," Medley tells the stories behind the music too.

Tickets start at just twenty bucks! Get closer for $30 or up front for $35 but chances are all seats are better than anything you’ve sat in for a show of this magnitude before. VIP seats are $40.

Denny Laine is perhaps best known from his work in Paul McCartney’s band Wings and he’s just one part of "British Rock Meets American Pop" at The Cave on Aug. 23. An original member of the Moody Blues, Laine wrote the band’s first hit "Go Now" and along with McCartney helped create classic tunes like "Band on the Run," "Time to Hide" and "Live and Let Die."

He’s joined in the show by other rock icons too. Like Cannibal and the Headhunters ("Stop Foolin’ Around," "Land of 1,000 Dances," "Linda Lu") along with Dennis Tufano of the Buckinghams ("Kind of a Drag," "Don’t You Care," "Mercy Mercy Mercy"). All seats are $25, VIP $40.

On Aug. 16 The Cave hosts alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket with hits like "All I Want" and "All She Said." The band’s name came courtesy of Monty Python’s Eric Idle for a fictional band for the program "Rutland Weekend Television" in 1975, but a decade later Toad the Wet Sprocket became reality when four California teens adopted the moniker.

The band’s four original members have toured ever since, making five studio albums over a ten-year period through 1998 that sold over four million copies with five major radio hits. Even after breaking up in 1998, Toad members continued to play occasional shows and after successful tours from 2006-2010, decided to create new music and update the old hits. The result was a Greatest Hits album "All You Want" in 2011 and Toad is in the midst of a major tour with a new release. Tickets are $37, VIP $50.

Also at The Cave is the blue-eyed blues based roots rock of Eric Lindell on Aug. 29. He’s toured across the country and around the world, developing a huge following with his "shuffling interplay of electric guitars, percolating organ and Creole horns," according to Los Angeles Daily News. The band features a tight rhythm section featuring Myles Weeks on upright bass and Will McMains on drums. All seats are just $15, VIP $25.

A night later it’s Southland surf favorites The Wheeland Brothers on Aug. 30. Brothers Nate "Frogg" and Travis Wheeland along with Marcus Agundes released their first album in 2012 and the inaugural single "Sand in My Sheets" was nominated for best music video at the Orange County Music Awards (up against No Doubt and the Dirty Heads). Last year’s second release "Muchos Mahalos" was noted for the single "Lovin’ On Time." Seats are just $10, VIP $20.

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

July 21, 2014

Brews, Doo Wah Riders Toast Cowboys

Toast the hardworking American cowboy and raise money for Saint Joseph’s Food Pantry at Spirits of the West Brewsfest Saturday, July 26.

Doo Wah Riders in concert at the Convention Center at Big Bear LakeThe third annual event at the Convention Center at Big Bear Lake offers free fun for the whole family with Western action shooters, arts and crafts, live music all day and evening concert featuring the world renowned Doo Wah Riders (separate admission). Those 21 and over can sample more than 40 different beers and another 20-plus spirits, including tequilas and bourbons.

Brews to taste include offerings from Spaten and Warsteiner plus Ayinger, Lindermans Beers, Samuel Smith, Oak Hills Brewery and Hangar 24. Spirits from Duke Bourbon, Russell’s RSV, Wild Turkey, Knot Rye and Maple, Pendleton 1910, Devils Cut, Beam Signature and 1972 bourbon are also featured. Kids get to sample too—real sarsaparilla plus sodas including Pepsi products and Jarritos, a new beverage from Mexico available in mango, kiwi, strawberry and other flavors.

Gates open at 2 p.m. with free admission and a full slate of activities to mark Big Bear’s western heritage that dates back to the late 1800’s, which included cattle drives up to the mountains from the deserts of Palm Springs, Morongo and Yucca basins. Temecula Action Shooters will perform throughout the day and there’s quick draw game, bounce house, cheery seed spitting contest and carnival-style games. Arts and crafts and collective vendors will be selling their wares and Wyatt’s Cafe & Saloon is open with the mountain’s best ranch-style grub.

At 6 p.m. doors open for the concert, with admission $15 or $10 with the donation of two nonperishable food items. For over 35 years the Doo Wah Riders have played "high energy country with a Cajun twist) around the country, appearing in concert with Garth Brooks, George Strait, Alabama, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Brooks and Dunn, Willie Nelson among others. The list also includes Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Lone Star, Randy Travis and the Oak Ridge Boys and ranges from John Denver to Joan Jett.

The Doo Wah Riders recorded with Bryon Berline on his Grammy-nominated CD "Fiddle and a Song" and the band appeared in the movie "Basic Instinct," playing their original song "Glowing in the Ashes" and appeared on TNN’s "Prime Time Country" as well as the prime time Dick Clark television production "Will You Marry Me?" Concert tickets can be purchased at the Community Market, No Name Pizza or online at www.bigbearevents.com.

Sampling tickets are a dollar each for beer and $3 for spirits and continue till 8 p.m. For $25 there’s the all-inclusive Yippee-Kai-Yay package which includes commemorative pint glass, 15 sample tickets and admission to the evening’s concert.

The National Day of the Cowboy organization, founded in June 2005 with official resolution passed the U.S. Senate a month later, seeks to preserve America’s cowboy heritage for future generations. Saint Joseph’s Food Panty, one of three in the Valley, feeds 100-plus families a week and is staffed entirely by volunteers.

The Convention Center is on Big Bear Blvd. at Division. Call (909) 585-3000 or visit www.bigbearevents.com.