LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. — When the famed London Bridge was relocated stone-by-stone to Arizona’s Lake Havasu in 1971, it was such an audacious feat of engineering, it made news around the world.
The bridge, including bullet holes from a WWII strafing by German aircraft, is still making news. Around the stone structure has grown a lively city of 50,000, lured by 45-mile-long Lake Havasu, one of the Southwest’s most famous centers for recreational boating.
Lake Havasu City, three hours driving time from Phoenix, 2-1/4 hours south of Las Vegas and four to five from the Los Angeles region, attracts 2.5 million visitors a year thanks to its dry, desert weather, more than 300 sunny days a year, a range of restaurants and lodging, and a boatload of special events such as the following to round-out 2010:
• Personal Watercraft Races: 2010 World Finals, Oct. 3 - 10 – Lake Havasu is considered the Personal Watercraft Capital of the World, and it’s easy to see why. The World Finals is the most venerable and prestigious personal watercraft event in the world. An invitation-only policy attracts over 750 of the world’s best personal watercraft racers from 36 countries, offering the sport’s top prize. www.ijsba.com.
• 2nd Annual Paddle to the Channel Stand Up Paddleboard Championships, Oct. 9 – Ever see a water enthusiast paddle serenely while standing on what looks like a surfboard? It’s called stand-up paddling (SUP) and is considered one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. Whether it is or not, 200 of the best in the world will descend on Lake Havasu for a series of competitions. www.wsupa.us.
• 24th Annual London Bridge Seaplane Classic, Nov. 5-7 – These are classic vintage seaplanes, except you’d have to be a desert mouse to ride in one since they’re all small-scale, radio-controlled models. Organizers call it the “Southwest’s premier radio controlled float fly event.” www.deserthawksrc.com.
• 28th Annual Boat Parade of Lights, Dec. 3-4 – Sure, other cities have boat parades, but none that surround one of London’s most famous bridges. This year’s theme is “Toys on Parade.” The parade is considered one of the Top 100 events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association'' www.lhcboatparadeoflights.com.
For more information on Lake Havasu City, Arizona’s only waterfront resort destination, including a fall 2010 calendar of events, log onto http://www.golakehavasu.com and
www.twitter.com/golakehavasu or call (928)453-3444.
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