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Old Miner’s Days has been a local Big Bear tradition spanning more than sixty years. Its roots are found in our local gold mining history.

A sizeable gold discovery was made in 1849 by William Holcomb. While out hunting for bear, he came across gold bearing quartz. His discovery caused “Holcomb’s Valley” to fill with miners, barely missing becoming the seat of the County of San Bernardino (questionable election results). Local gold miners were able to average an income of three dollars a day from the placer deposits.

One hundred years later, the Big Bear Valley began its commemoration of the gold discovery with the creation of Old Miners Days. Events included a burro race, leather slap pistol shooting contests and a Doo-Dah Parade.

The burro race was a comical event. Each wrangler had to rope his own burro and figure out how get it to go in the right direction. These were the rules:

  1. All ropers will rope with a partner.
  2. Teams will compete for buckles to be awarded to the top three teams.
  3. As a loose burro is roped, the roper will return the burro to the wrangler that lost same and will have the wrangler sign for the burro.
  4. Ropers will, at the end of the day, turn in their list of burros to Floyd Tidwell.
  5. Ropers, are in no way, to assist the wranglers with their burros except to return them.
  6. Ropers are not to run loose burro through other groups of burros.
  7. In the event that two ropers catch a loose burro, the first one to put on a loop gets the burro. In the event that one roper ropes the burro and another just picks up the lead rope, the one roping the burro gets the burro.
  8. Any violations of the above will be turned over to the three Judges for possible disqualification.

The Old Miners festivities begin this weekend with Old Miners Horseshoe Tournament at B’s Backyard BBQ. The Event begins on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 10:00AM and goes until 7:00PM. The Horseshoe Tournament returns to the beach at B’s Backyard BBQ, with professionally designed pits. Participants compete in a double elimination tournament and all levels of experience are welcome. For more details please call (909) 584-5949.

Location: 350 Alden Road

Judging Stand Old Miner's Days

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