Morongo Valley – It seems the festival season has come to the High Desert.
Twentynine Palms plans a variety of activities starting Saturday for its Jaycees Fourth of July festival, and Pioneertown, North of Yucca Valley, has planned a benefit barbecue for Saturday at the movie set Hayden Ranch.
The Twentynine Palms festival has special events planned Saturday and Sunday as well as on Wednesday, climaxing with fireworks and military ceremonies.
The Pioneertown event on Sunday will combine the rugged nostalgia of the old West with a celebration of community camaraderie in the eighth annual Sandra Hayden Memorial foundation benefit barbecue to be held from noon to 6 p.m. on the hate and ranch.
Both festivals will be open to the public.
Here’s a rundown of the events at Twentynine Palms:
The Stroh’s slo-pitch tournament will be underway at 9 a.m. Saturday. Call 619 362-4709 or 362-5279 for more information.
The Jaycees’ booths will be open with food, crafts and novelties for sale in Luckie Park. A kick off dance will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight in the Luckie Park.
Activities kick off at 1 p.m. Sunday with the Coors tug-of-war tournament and Jaycee horseshoe tournament. Booths will open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. The slo-pitch tournament will continue and Jaycee will hold a barbecue from noon to 6 p.m.
A battle of the bands will be held from six a.m. to midnight in Luckie Park. Festival booths will be open and video games will be in Patriotic Hall.
The Fourth of July kicks off with a tug-of-war and horseshoe finals at 11 a.m.. The video games and booths will also open at the same time.
At 4:45 p.m. kids day, sponsored by the Jaycee Women, gets underway. Entrants should meet at the park picnic area. Parent participation is required.
The KDHI Country Western Dance will begin at 6 PM in the Beer Garden at Luckie Park.
The Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps Will present a free concert at 7 PM and ceremonies with Marine Corps representatives will be held at 8 p.m.
Fireworks will be presented at 9 p.m. at the junior high football field, across the street from Luckie Park.
Sunday’s benefit barbecue four miles north of Yucca Valley at the Hayden Ranch can be reached via Pioneertown Road, Running north from Highway 62 about one mile West of Highway 247.
The ranch is the site where the late actor, Russel Hayden, known to many as the handsome sidekick in Hopalong Cassidy films, build a replica of Langtry, Texas, at which to film his “Judge Roy Bean” television series in the 1950s.
When Hayden and his wife retired to the ranch, they began organizing the actor’s lifelong collection of movie memorabilia and artifacts of the old West for display.
In 1977, Hayden, moved both by the tragic illness of a neighbor’s daughter and the death of his own daughter, Sandra, who was killed in an automobile accident, creative A charitable foundation to a accident victims and those suffering from catastrophic illness.
Each year the foundation donates the proceeds of its benefit barbecue to a community recipient who has been selected by a committee of its board of directors.
Steaks, country music, Dixieland jazz, Bluegrass jammin’ and other live musical entertainment Will greet guests well stuntmen shoot of everything in sight and auctioneers bark away new and collectors items.
Other activities planned for the festival include a children’s midway, Torahs of a turn-of-the-century railroad coach, two concerts by the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps and an exhibition by the sky-diving team, Just For Fun.
Admission is free. Steak and hamburger dinners will be served with all the trimmings for $3 to $6.50.
A 30 minute drive from Palm Springs, the ranch can be reached by taking Interstate 10 east to the state Route 62 exit. Follow Route 62 north to Yucca Valley and watch for the Pioneertown, turn left at the sign and drive 4 miles north to the Hayden Ranch. Ample parking is available.