Duck Derby

Small rubber ducks start off in their category in the Duck Derby Sunday afternoon. Jillian Danielson photo/Special to News-Herald

What a difference a month makes in Lake Havasu City. The sun still shines brightly. The lake is clear and inviting. Yet suddenly the air temperature has dropped dramatically and the community calendar is brimming with events.

It happens every year and the transition is always startling. The atmosphere of the city goes from a slow, end-of-summer slogfest vibe to an energized, active and engaged feeling.

The change can be so shocking, it’s almost overload at first. Last weekend kicked off with a free concert in the park, the community health fair, a cancer walk, a boat and offroad show, a popular First Friday event, the beginning of the personal watercraft world finals and…and…and.

This weekend continues the events: Another concert, a watercraft endurance ride, another cancer event, more watercraft world finals, a fall fun fair, an art expo and a separate art auction and..and..and.

And thus it goes through the fall and winter. The constant stream of events have grown to be a mark of distinction for Lake Havasu City and a popular draw for visitors as well as residents.

“There’s always something to do,” is a common comment in visitor reviews of the city and the full calendar of activities separates Lake Havasu City from many other places, especially for winter visitors.

There may be even more coming in the future. Go Lake Havasu, the city’s tourism bureau, now uses a full time person to recruit, vet and schedule even more events. The bureau also subsidizes some events that have a good chance of luring visitors from out of town.

The city’s events schedule has grown through the years, so much so that some may feel as though “Yikes, no time to trim the bushes this weekend.”

That’s a much better feeling than the opposite.

When the visitor bureau went through a lengthy branding initiative a few years ago, it was a very detailed process that sought to identify the unique, authentic character of the city and its visitors.

Many people thought a slogan was all that came of the work. There was much more, especially great insights that both short and long term visitors were an active bunch, ready to seek out things that kept them busy and engaged.

The full slate of events is part of that branding takeaway. They affirm that Lake Havasu City is many things, but it’s not a place to sit on the sidelines.

— Today’s News-Herald

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