Old School Cool – Big Bear Welcomes Some Classics

There are very few places in Big Bear you can go where you are not confronted by the history of the area in some way. From the arrival of the Serrano Indians around 2500 years ago, Big Bear Lake has been attracting people looking for a quiet, hidden place to settle in and create amazing things. Gold miners created fortunes, engineers created what was once the longest dam in the world, and Hollywood came out to create movies. People coming up now are having fun around the mountains skiing and hiking, skimming over the lake or pulling fish from it, and enjoying the friendly atmosphere away from any city. And some of the entertainment they are enjoying provides a nod to history in one way or another.

Big Bear Renaissance Faire

Bacon wrapped turkey leg
It is known as a Swanson.

The Serrano tribe was well entrenched in the area during the Renaissance in Europe. That does not stop thousands of people from heading over to Fawnskin for the Big Bear Renaissance Faire, running through the first three weekends of August. Everything you would expect to experience in 15th century Europe, including jousting, wandering bards, and hand crafted clothing, will be there for you to enjoy. Your support of the Faire also supports education and small businesses in the community, as well as gives people the opportunity to eat giant legs of meat.

Locally Mined, Locally Made

One of the major movements of people into the Big Bear area was the discovery of gold in Holcomb Valley in 1860. Hundreds of people headed into the area to make their fortune, but only a few walked out with a modest amount of wealth. The traditional gold mines have long since stopped producing in the area, but children can still stop at the Big Bear Discovery Center and do a little panning for “gold” with equipment similar to what was used in the 19th century.

Big Bear Discovery Center Gold Panning
There is gold in these here hills.

Speaking of gold, there is also a pirate ship that stalks the waters of Big Bear Lake. It is not looking to plunder the Miss Liberty or take over our cabins (we think). It was built by a local father and son team and used in the movie Time Bandits, and traveled through southern California for a few years before ending up in Big Bear Lake for tours. Holloway’s Marina is where the boat calls home, and there are daily tours on the ship, each tour lasting an hour and a half.

The Movie Is on the Wall

The movie industry noticed Big Bear as a perfect remote location early, starting to make films there as early as 1911. Many famous stars walked the streets of Big Bear, from Golden Age stars like Cecil B. DeMille, Shirley Temple, and Gary Cooper to modern actors like Mathew Broderick, Eddie Murphy and Al Pacino, filming movies and enjoying the scenery. The scenery is going to be where the Community Arts Theater Society shows “College”, a 1927 silent movie starring Buster Keaton and the featured film of this years’ Silent Movie Under the Stars. Renowned organist and Big Bear native Bob Salisbury will provide the music for the evening, and the Warehouse Theater will provide the screen for the show. Family-friendly prices make this a great way to spend an evening!

Classics That Never Get Old

Antique wooden boat
We’ll just leave this here for you to enjoy.

There are some that believe that they just don’t make them like they used to. Those people love Big Bear as well. Thanks to the Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club, there is a continuous parade of well-preserved cars from the 1930’s onward rolling through the area for all to enjoy. Their 2014 Fun Run will be the second week of August, and features hundreds of cars for people to enjoy, as well as a cruise around the lake. It is free to the public, with food and souvenirs available. Part of the proceeds of the Fun Run will help support local charities. If the land is not where your love of classics lie, how about the water? Pine Knot Marina will be hosting an Antique Wooden Boat Show August 23 and 24, showcasing some of the finest examples of hand crafted wooden boats on the coast. These are not the galleons of old; these are sleek, hand crafted ships that look closer to modern watercraft. August is going to be jam packed with events that showcase history. Some of it will be the history of the area; some of it will just be historic items. You may be coming down to see the classics, but you can enjoy your stay here in our continuously modernized cabins and hotel rooms. Ryan and his staff look forward to seeing you and hearing all the tales you’ll have to tell as you make some memorable history of your own!

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