Mountaineer Days in Wrightwood Fills the Forest with Fun and Flavor

PHOTO: T.A. Graydon

The 2023 11U Wrightwood All Stars lead the Wrightwood Mountaineer Days Parade down Apple Avenue.

With an extravaganza of food, family fun, and festivities, Wrightwood was the place to be the weekend of July 8 and 9th, 2023. The Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce provided the community event of the summer with live entertainment, fun-filled family competitions, and a kaleidoscope of colorful opportunities for shopping and people-watching while enjoying the San Gabriel Mountains’ temperate summer weather. Big surprises were around every corner of this mountain resort, with something for all “Mountaineers” to enjoy.

The “Blue-Eyed Coyote Band” put on a heck of a Mountaineer Days show!

An excited aspiration for many visitors was in the air, mingling with the carnival scent of street tacos and cold drinks as the 2023 Mountaineer Days vendors unfolded their brightly colored canopies throughout the center of Park Drive. Arguably the hardest-working musical trio in town, “The Blue-Eyed Coyote Band,” sponsored by Alice’s Vintage Cottage, kept everyone entertained. At the same time, shoppers and vendors alike anticipated the Pie Eating and Cakewalk Competitions. Having too much fun might get you thrown in the Town Jail by the notorious Western Jailor Deputy Dan Wood, as Michael Jaussen of Mountain High fame found out.

The Pine Needle Quilters Kiedi Bishop, Antoinette Todd, Alice Smith, Icky Orr, and Diane Armstrong, prepare for the day’s Live Quilt Auction.

Just around the bend, in the Wrightwood Community Building Plaza, a plethora of food service choices surrounded the annually popular cornhole competition hosted by Mountain High Resorts. Top competitors Landen Stiffler and Kyle Sylvester were challenged to perform their best amidst the many food offerings and thirst-quenching Wrightwood Brewing Company beer garden. In the Veterans Memorial Park, The Pine Needles Quilt Guild presented a display of fine handmade quilts and a live auction. Auctioneer Gary and his two “Vannas” highlighted the handmade quilts by parading around the eager auction patrons bidding for these expertly stitched items.

With Pulse Publications sponsoring the Pie Eating Contest, the Village Grind offering up the Watermelon Eating Competition, Timberline Lions Club hosting the Cakewalk, the Beard and Mustache Competition from Hair Fitness, and The Mountaineer Progress newspaper rolling out the Hula-Hoop Challenge, there was no shortage of local merchants participating in this annual event.

An excitable crowd cheers on the hungry Pie Eating Contestants.
Too much fun at Mountaineer Days could get you locked up in Town Jail by Deputy Dan Wood.

This two-day community spirit-building festival embodies the history and current way of life for this popular shopping, skiing, hiking, fishing, and mountaineering year-round resort. Mountaineer Days were proud to show off Wrightwood’s vibrant music scene with the live act “Delta Shade” playing a smooth style of Rock and Roll. “They were awesome!” Joe Anderson of the Wrightwood Brewery said of Saturday’s Delta Shade performance. “The High-D Boys,” with their brand of eclectic popular music, were brandishing tubas and horns, mandolins and guitars, and the washboard. This high-energy trio kept “Mountaineer Days'” rocking and rolling with their slice on songs like “In the Summertime” by seventies cult favorite Mungo Jerry.

Wrightwood Village Foundation President (2023 Wrightwoodian of the Year) and new Honorary Mayor Tina King wave to the crowd from a parade car at the Mountaineer Days Parade.

The excitement leading up to the 58th Annual Mountaineer Days Parade was building as Wrightwoodians, young and old, lined the normally peaceful Apple Avenue awaiting the multi-colored motorcade to pass by. The secret about the new Honorary Mayor, Tina King, of the Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce was now out. Tina will wear the familiar black top hat worn by the beloved Roy Moore, who held the revered position to this date. Tina said she will continue her duties with the Chamber and perform to her best ability in her new role. Be sure to plan for the upcoming favorite Wrightwood Classic Car Show on Saturday, August 19, 2023, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in Downtown Wrightwood. For information about this or any of the great events planned this year, call (760) 249-4320 or at

Event Coordinator and 8-year President of the Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce would like to thank Alexis Schupp, Second Lieutenant Robert Deaver, and all the volunteers whose tireless work helped put this event together.

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