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Lehman: Shift Fourth of July festivities to Village

July 8, 2011

Now that the Fourth of July is over, at least one town councilman is already looking at the next Fourth of July.

Time is short. Matthew Lehman has only a year to figure out what the holiday should look like.

At Wednesday’s Town Council meeting, Lehman floated the idea of moving the center of attention to the Village rather than Crowley Lake.

He said he knows he’ll hear gasps all over town.
“My primary goal is to help the business community,” he said.

“Instead of being one of the worst nights of the year in Mammoth, I’d like it to be one of the best.”

Lehman said the jam-packed crowd at the Village impressed him July 3 this year. At the Village, the afternoon featured music, Chihuahua races and other activities. At night, the Village put on a fireworks show – nothing at all like the traditional extravaganza at Crowley, but a fireworks show nevertheless.

Under Lehman’s scheme, the Village fireworks show would be much longer than the Village fireworks shows in the past.

“My idea is to close Canyon and Minaret Boulevards and pack the town rather than to see it empty out as people head for Crowley.”
Lehman said in an interview afterward that he was not advocating shutting down the Crowley fireworks, but instead adding the Village as an option.
“I would work for a partnership with the Village,” he said.
“As of now, we get no help from the county at the Crowley show, and the revenue we get back is negligible. This year, many people didn’t even enter the fireworks gate (at $25 a car). A lot of people park on the road outside the gates.”

Lehman said a Village celebration could turn the whole north village area into a kind of giant block party. People could party, watch the fireworks and retire to a local bistro, restaurant or bar, without having to drive anywhere.

“I’m not against Crowley,” he said. “I’ve been here my whole life and loved the fireworks there. I still do.

“I’m just looking at other options.”

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