Despite California Gov. Gavin Newsom's guidance when it came to large-scale Independence Day events, various Tehachapi communities used social media to rally support for festivities.
Bear Valley Springs canceled all planed Independence Day activities, including the Hot Air Balloons, Boat Parade, 5-K Run, Car Show and the hometown 4th of July parade.
But social media took up the cause and put out a “come if you wish” notice to participate in a nonsanctioned “pop-up” style parade. More than 100 vehicles, bicycles, horse-drawn farm equipment, a construction skip loader, and golf carts formed along Lower Bear Valley Road, all decorated with patriotic bunting, balloons and American flags. Parading onto Cumberland Road, they crossed in front of Cub Lake to a cheering crowd of Bear Valley residents.
Bear Valley Springs Chief of Police Tim Melanson helped his fellow officers protect the parade goers.
Said the chief, “A couple of days ago our department also read the social media conversations. Knowing our community’s concern for patriotic activities, we reached out in a sprite of mutual cooperation, and public safety, to the event organizers. Our department set in place a low-profile plan for public safety during the parade. Officers were in the vicinity as the parade was forming and we assisted by being sure the large number of attendees were allowed to constitutionally assemble in safety.”
At about the same time, Gallery 'N" Gifts store manager Gale Caldwell said she observed a much smaller patriotic parade in the streets of Tehachapi. Caldwell went on to say that social media had assembled a Patriotic Cruise Night for Tehachapi on the night of the Fourth.
Bear Valley Springs moved up the scheduled July 11 Catfish Derby. Anglers fished at both Cub Lake and Four island Lake. Prizes went for the most catfish caught, cutest catfish, ugliest catfish, the biggest mouth and the longest whiskers.
Very early Saturday morning, a lone hot air balloon was seen rising and lowering at Cub Lake for nearly an hour as the sun rose. Tethered, the balloon carried friends and family members aloft.