From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Big Bear Lake, the Old Miners’ Association wants you.
That’s the clarion call to arms by the Old Miners’ Parade Committee – and Noel and Katherine Blanc, longtime residents of the mountain resort community answered.
Blanc, the voice of Warner Bros’ most famous cartoon characters for generations and his wife, Kat, artist, sculptor and author of “The Boy Who Conquered Everest,” about Big Bear’s own Jordon Romero, eagerly accepted the challenge to be grand marshals for the Old Miner’s Big Bear Heritage Parade on Saturday, July 23, and be the capstone to this year’s parade goal of being bold and local – reminiscent of its early days.
The famous couple said they were ready to shoulder the challenge of supporting the committee’s efforts to quickly recruit parade participants on short notice, and then put on a show the Big Bear Valley would long remember. He thought the Old Miners’ Association moving the parade to Saturday will enable visitors to spend the weekend enjoying the mountain, especially participating in a full slate of activities taking place over the weekend. Old Miners’ events begin Friday evening at the Elks Lodge with a musical tribute to the military; and then following the parade on Saturday, there will be a carnival and outhouse races in Bartlett’s Parking Lot. Sunday begins four days of burro relays and events, and reigniting one the legendary ingredients of Old Miners’ Association events.
Jim Hart, first-time parade chairman, has tackled the job with energy and optimism, stoked by years in Santa Fe Springs, where as a firefighter he was heavily involved in that community’s annual parade. “Right now,” he said, “we need to get applications out and returned as quickly as possible so we can stage the parade entrants and really be worthy of the 1st Marine Division Band. Even though we have deliberately truncated the parade for spectators and entrants (Big Bear Boulevard, Pine Knot Avenue and Village Drive) there are dozens of details that need immediate attention to make the parade the success the city council desires. We have a lot of Ts to cross and Is to dot, but we’re confident we can do it . . . and we need more volunteers.”
The parade got its final go-ahead on June 15 from the Planning Commission, and Blanc and his wife’s enthusiasm was echoed throughout the Valley’s citizenry and service organizations that have long histories of creating floats and entries that reflect the area’s mining history.
“The excitement among everyone is there,” said Bill Wilson, parade committee member, “but time is the factor we can’t alter, so we’re counting on people stepping up to make this a reality.”
“It’s important,” added Rocky McAlister, committee member, “we live up to the city council’s faith in us, and despite the obstacle of time, the people of Big Bear can climb this mountain just like Jordan did Everest. And the addition of Noel and Kat is like a shot in the arm.”
To enter the parade, download the application from oldminers.org and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To volunteer, call OMA at (909) 584-5949. Media Contact: Rocky McAlister – 909-633-0438 or email@example.com
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