A Little History...
The original event was the brainchild of Judy Watkins, then the owner of the Pine Cone Parlor, the original
restaurant occupying the space where La Leña Mexican Restaurant is now. In the next couple of years, as the
event grew rapidly in size and popularity, the Festival was made a permanent annual event sponsored by the
Pine Mountain Club Commercial Property Owners Association. Rosetta Burgelin took over as Event Chair and
successfully put on the event (with a lot of help, of course) every year for the next 25 or so. Now another
longtime valuable member of the community, Mark Bailey who owns Madd Bailey’s Pub,
has taken the reigns for this annual event.
The original festivals also incorporated a small car show for locals and visitors to show off their “hot rods”
and “classic” cars. The car show also grew in popularity so it is now a separate event held on the first Saturday
of August each summer. The Lilac Festival has always had a parade to kick things off. The parade was originally
directed through the village center in Pine Mountain Club, but because of the size of the event growing it soon
was held on Mil Potrero Hwy (the only main road that runs through Pine Mountain Club).
The most unique items at the festivals are all the handmade crafts,
clothing, sundries, food and much more. Many of the vendors at the
Festival are local mountain residents showing off their talents,
adding a local flavor to the wide variety of artisans who travel
here from not only southern and central California, but from
throughout the Southwest, and even further: some from New York state
and New England.
Weather in May is usually the first signs of warming from our
cold mountain winters and flora and fauna are abundant. This
includes, of course, all the lilac bushes and trees that have
been planted in Pine Mountain Club. Although the actual blooming
lilacs that are so popular in our culture are not a native
plant, they thrive in the climate up here. What few people know
is that there is an actual native bush in the California
Mountain areas. The ones that grow up here are called “White
Bark California Lilac”. This shrub has blue flower shoots and
very sticky, fragrant leaves. More about these lilacs can be
- there are many varieties of wild California Lilacs so don’t be
surprised if you’ve seen others up here as well as these!
The Festival has grown in popularity so much over the years that vendors (as
well as visitors) venture here from as far away as Nevada and Arizona each
year. Thousands of people can be seen in and around Pine Mountain Club
during a Lilac Festival weekend—Hiking, biking, playing golf and tennis,
fishing, sitting or strolling in the clear, crisp alpine air.