fireworks-thumb[Updated version] The Fourth of July holiday under beautiful sunny skies made for a bustling weekend in the Big Bear Valley. According to Sara Russ of the Big Bear Chamber of Commerce, “From a Visitors Center standpoint, we had far more people than last year. We had about 170-200 people a day mid-week—and it’s continuing. That’s the best part. Even this week, the numbers continue. The Visitor Center had about 250 people visit on both Friday and Saturday the Fourth. The phones were ringing off the hook, too. Even the City noted that we had way more people up here, but far fewer incidents.” The Big Bear Municipal Water District reports that they had another record 1,000 boats on Big Bear Lake on the Fourth of July, yet there were no boating accidents reported. There was, however, the drowning incident on Friday afternoon, which involved a 33-year-old Alhambra man, who had been swimming about 300 yards off the North Shore. The Big Bear Sheriff’s Station tells KBHR that despite the influx of visitors, no arrests were made for the possession of fireworks and in the 24-hour period starting at noon on the Fourth, only 11 arrests were made. These arrests included three for drunk in public, three for driving under the influence, one for boating under the influence, one petty theft, one warrant arrest, one arrest for assault, and one felony arrest for possession of a controlled substance. The California Highway Patrol implemented a mountain-area DUI checkpoint on July 3, which resulted in three driving under the influence arrests though, as the checkpoint was stationed on Highway 138 this round, it did not pertain directly to Big Bear traffic. All told, the Independence Day holiday was good for business and good for Big Bear. Though the economy has had an effect on the travel industry, Rick Shoup, CEO of the Big Bear Lake Resort Association says that local lodges did well over the Fourth of July. “Volume was generally pretty good,” he tells KBHR, “though visitors were shopping for deals and not staying as long. Lodges that held to a two-or-three night minimum stay did not do as well, but those who opened up their reservations did well over the holiday weekend.” As Russ from the Chamber adds, “We’ve been hearing really good things about the weekend. Retailers were excited to have people in their stores, and they’re really excited about summer.”