Celebrate city’s best in summer

Summer unofficially started last Thursday afternoon when students put down their pencils and pens on the last day of school and temperatures began climbing into the triple digits.

It’s the season of sandals, shorts and shades. Time for swimming, siestas and socializing.

Though summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, that doesn’t stop hundreds of people from celebrating the season — and complaining about the heat.

Summer is a great season to spend time in Boulder City. There’s plenty to do.

For starters, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has activities and classes scheduled for people all of ages. In some sessions, you can learn to correctly administer CPR or teach your dog obedience. Have you ever wanted to belly dance? Here’s your chance; classes are offered regularly in June, July and August.

Sports-minded folks can take sessions for improving their basketball, golf, gymnastics, pickleball or tennis skills. There are even a few competitive leagues.

If you prefer water activities, those, too, are plentiful. The municipal pool has swimming classes and open swim sessions.

Then, there’s nearby Lake Mead National Recreation Area. You can swim, sail or hike around the park. However, because it can be extremely warm, visitors are advised to take precautions, bring drinking water and stay away from certain trails that are closed because of their hazardous nature.

Adventure also awaits in Bootleg Canyon. There hiking and biking trails. And for those with a bit more adventurous spirit in their souls, FlightLinez offers zipline tours high above the canyon floor.

And, of course, there’s the Damboree. The 67th annual event kicks off at 7 a.m. July 4 with a free (donations welcome) pancake breakfast served by members of the Rotary Club of Boulder City, followed by a flyover by the Boulder City Veteran’s Flying Group, a parade and fun-filled activities at Broadbent Park.

The day’s festivities close with a huge fireworks show at Veterans’ Memorial Park and music by DJ Mike Pacini.

I got a sneak peek at some of the plans for this year’s celebration recently and it sounds as if the party will be the one not to miss this summer.

At home, summer means time spent outdoors, specifically in front of the grill. With soaring temperatures and matching electricity bills, I do all I can to keep the house cool. That usually means keeping the stove and oven off.

So, I head to the backyard, where I turn the grill into an outdoor cooking center, perfect for grilling meats and vegetables, and for baking the occasional pizza — topped with grilled vegetables, of course — and peach cobbler.

If it’s not too hot or windy, the family enjoys gathering at the table on the patio to enjoy a meal fresh off the grill.

Later, after the sun sets, we light a fire in the fire pit. I know it sounds a bit ironic to sit around a fire when it’s so hot outside, but there’s nothing like a s’more in the summertime. It’s kind of like camping with all the creature comforts of home.

For me, the hardest part of summer — aside from finding something to do that appeals to teenagers and keeps them from complaining — is staying in the office. The outdoors beckon and I usually hear the siren call of the beaches in my native California.

Those cool ocean breezes and stunning sunrises and sunsets are the epitome of summer.

I suspect, though, that work obligations this year will have me trading the opportunity to sink my toes into the sand for rocking to summer songs on the radio while enjoying the bounties of Boulder City.

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