Lake Havasu City
Lake Havasu City Dedicates October To Golden Anniversary of London Bridge
September 1, 2021
Over a Dozen Events Celebrate the Vision and Innovation of the late Robert P. McCulloch
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Arizona (Sept. 16, 2021) – Fifty years ago, one man's audacious dream came to life when he purchased a bridge in rainy London and moved it to his new planned community in the arid Arizona desert.
On October 10, 1971, the late entrepreneur and real estate developer Robert P. McCulloch presided over a lavish dedication ceremony that attracted an estimated 25,000 spectators to the London Bridge. McCulloch dedicated the bridge in a ceremony that included skydivers, fireworks, marching bands and hot air balloons.
Now this city of 57,000 is gearing up to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of what has become Arizona's number one most-visited built attraction and top tourism draw in the Southwest.
Here at a glance is an overview of major 50th anniversary events planned for October. For further details, visit londonbridge50th.com.
Official Kick-off – 10:15 a.m., Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony beneath the London Bridge. The ceremony will include live models costumed in Elizabethan-era attire. Guests can take a free tour of the nearby Lake Havasu Museum of History or the London Bridge exhibit, located just steps from the bridge at the Lake Havasu City Visitor Center.
Royal Candlelit Feast & Ball, 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2. The Lake Havasu Museum of History and organizers of the annual London Bridge Renaissance Faire will host a formal dinner feast directly under the bridge archway. As guests dine in 16th-century royal fashion, live models costumed in Elizabethan-era fashions will tell tales about their apparel and England during the Tudor Period. Lucky winning bidders can take a piece of history home from the London Bridge Art silent auction. $100 p.p.
Royal Garden Brunch and Tea, Sunday, 10 a.m., Oct. 3. Guests will enjoy teas from around the world, hors d'oeuvres and mimosas at a tea and brunch under the bridge, also hosted by the organizers of the London Bridge Renaissance Faire and the Lake Havasu Museum of History. Attendees of this modern-day garden party are encouraged to wear their finest and most extravagant hats. $60 p.p.
Elrose Dussault Costume Contest, 11 a.m., Oct. 3. The Lake Havasu City Historical Society and Museum, Havashire Festivals, Inc, Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce and Today's News-Herald will host this costume competition open to the public and held under the London Bridge alongside the Garden Brunch and Tea.
Battle and Brews, 5 p.m., Oct. 7. Featuring a traditional pancake race and tug-of-war contest, this fun night of historic competitions at London Bridge Beach salutes Lake Havasu City's earliest decades of honoring the London Bridge annually in October.
Grace Arts Live Presents Oliver!, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 8. GraceArts LIVE Performing Arts Theatre premieres this favorite musical based upon the 1838 novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. $28 p.p. Continues through Oct. 24.
London Bridge 50th Anniversary PickleDilly, 8 a.m., Oct. 9. The Lake Havasu City Pickleball Association will host a pickleball competition at Dick Samp Memorial Park. $20 p.p.
Lake Havasu Classic Outboard Championships, noon, Oct. 15-17. The city's founder initiated the outboard championships at Lake Havasu in 1964. After a long hiatus since 1990, this epic powerboat racing event returns for the prestigious NGK Spark Plugs Formula 1 Powerboat Series.
Mind of McCulloch: Innovation Exhibit, 10 a.m., Oct. 15-17. Explore the Mind of McCulloch, the eccentric entrepreneur best known for McCulloch chainsaws, in this comprehensive look inside the innovative thinking of Robert P. McCulloch. See his aquatic, aeronautic and engineering inventions including his seemingly impossible J-2 Gyroplane. Presented by the Lake Havasu Museum of History, London Bridge Beach.
British Invasion London Bridge Music Festival, 4 p.m., Oct. 15-16. World-renowned British tribute bands perform live during a two-day music festival. Lake Havasu State Park, Windsor 4. $30 p.p.
Lake Havasu Symphonic Winds Presents Sounds from Across the Pond, 7 p.m., Oct. 21. The 32-piece Symphonic Winds opens its season performing a variety of arrangements from the Beatles, James Bond films and other distinctly British music selections. London Bridge Stage (under the London Bridge).
London Bridge Days 50th Anniversary Golf Tournament, 7 a.m., Oct. 23. Keeping with the traditions of London Bridge Days in its early years, golfers are invited to a tournament celebrating the 50th anniversary of the London Bridge. Lake Havasu Golf Club - West Course. $85 p.p.
The London Bridge Beard and Mustache Contest, 9 a.m., Oct. 23. In pursuit of the hirsute, the Havasu Freedom Foundation is bringing this historic competition back to Lake Havasu City. The contest and judging will take place beneath the bridge. Categories include Mustache, Partial Beard, Full Beard, Foot-long Beard, and New Beard. $25 per entry.
Bob's Red Mill British Baking Contest, Oct. 23. Bakers of British baked goods compete using ingredients from Bob's Red Mill: the famed makers of whole grain, organic, gluten free and non-GMO foods, Held at Kitchen Art Work Space (KAWS), 2144 McCulloch Blvd. N.
London Bridge Stage Presents . . . Steve March-Tormé, 6:30 p.m., Oct. 24. Steve March-Tormé, the son of the multi-talented Mel Tormé, will honor the London Bridge for its 50th Anniversary celebration in this free performance of Great American Songbook classics. London Bridge Stage (under the London Bridge).
50th Annual London Bridge Days Parade, 10 a.m. Oct. 30. Celebrate the London Bridge with this annual parade of colorful floats and spirited marching bands from local schools and organizations. The parade is one of the city's longest running local events and a favorite of London Bridge Days. This year's parade theme is "Celebrating 50 years of the London Bridge. . . '70s style." Downtown Havasu District (Main Street).
London Bridge Stage Presents. . . Matt Farris Live! 3 p.m., Oct. 30. Enjoy the music of Lake Havasu City's own country rock star Matt Farris. London Bridge Stage under the London Bridge.
Havasu Memorial Walkway Pioneers Dedication Ceremony, 10 a.m., Oct. 31. The Havasu Memorial Walkway, located under the London Bridge along the Bridgewater Channel walkway, will dedicate a special section of the walkway to honor the city's pioneers.
By the time Halloween arrives, more than a few locals and visitors will be greeting each other with "cheerio" and wondering how they ever existed without tea and crumpets.
Learn more about the history of the London Bridge and access the complete event schedule at londonbridge50th.com.
Information courtesy of Go Lake Havasu | 314 London Bridge Rd. , Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403