A sizzling time was had by all on Fourth of July | TheUnion.com

A sizzling time was had by all on Fourth of July

One of the greatest benefits of living in Lake of the Pines is being able to share its wonderful amenities with family and friends. Last Saturday, July 3, guests of Lake of the Pines residents poured through the community gate to join in celebrating our nation’s birthday. Lakeshore Boulevard could aptly be renamed “Lakeshare” as cars lined up to gain entrance to the private community.

The weekend’s festivities heated up on Saturday with a Fourth of July celebration and fireworks display, presented by the Pinesmen community service organization. On Sunday, July 4, things cooled down as swimmers plunged into the water for the 26th Annual Lake Swim.

The LOP Pinesmen are well known for their annual Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration – a tradition for the past 19 years. This public-minded group is nearly 200 members strong and growing. Pinesmen volunteers not only put on the best fireworks in the area, but also perform a variety of valuable services around the Lake throughout the year.

The planning for the Fourth of July event begins early, and much of the credit for the success of this year’s gala can be given to Chairman Bill Campbell, who has organized the event for the past two years. All of the Pinesmen work hard to ensure the celebration remains family oriented by keeping the tickets prices for the game booths and food booths low. Although ticket prices have changed little in the past ten years, the Pinesmen are able to fully fund the fireworks display through proceeds from the booths and raffle. This is quite an accomplishment considering the pyrotechnics expense is in the thousands. This year, raffle tickets were sold for one dollar a piece. The raffle’s grand prize was $500.

Other Fourth of July attractions included a live jazz band, a parade of collector cars, food and game booths, a cake walk, dunking booth, decorated boats and golf carts, a clubhouse barbecue, craft fair, torch water ski performance, and, of course, a fireworks display.

The Pinesmen focus on remaining true to the organization’s motto of “making the best place better.” With over 200 volunteers working this past Fourth of July, the Pinesmen truly made the Fourth of July “the best holiday better.” The Pinesmen meet once monthly. Anyone interested in joining should contact Bob Parker at 268-7355.

After a late Saturday night of fireworks and celebrating, nearly 80 swimmers were able to make it to the lake Sunday to participate in the 26th Annual Lake Swim on the Fourth of July. The happy group assembled at Southshore Park, the starting location for the swim, and wore mandatory yellow swim caps and black identification numbers on their right shoulders. The swimmers began the race in one big wave at noon, and the race finished at the main beach. Rachel Jones, age 7, was the youngest to swim. The oldest to brave the waves was 81-year-old Bill Swenson.

John Dolittle, 33, finished the race first, with a time of 20:44 minutes. Scott Morgon, 16, was a close second at 21:01, and third place went to 42-year-old Robert Phillips. There were awards in various age categories, as well. If you missed this opportunity to put your athletic ability to the test, you will get another chance at the 23rd Annual LOP Labor Day Weekend Triathlon, to be held Sept. 4.

For more details on Lake Swim race results or the upcoming triathlon, visit the new LOP Web site at http://www.mylop.org or call 268-1141.


Laura Lavelle is a resident of Lake of the Pines, and her column is for Lake of the Pines area residents to share thoughts and information. Contact her at laural@theunion.com or leave a phone message with the readership editor at 477-4238.

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