Huck Finn Jubilee – 35 Years of Twain, Jobs and Economic Goodwill
Celebrating its 35th year, the Huck Finn Jubilee continues to breathe life into the Victor Valley each Father’s Day weekend, offering family fun, supporting hundreds of jobs and contributing millions in economic goodwill to the High Desert.
Both local residents and out-of-town visitors can park their RV and pitch the tent for the kids at this year’s Huck Finn Jubilee, June 17-19, in Victorville, California.
The self-proclaimed “Great American Family Event” annually celebrates the life and times of Tom and Huck, Mark Twain’s popular storybook characters.
It is held at the 800-acre Mojave Narrows Regional Park, near Route 66, in Southern California. From Victorville, follow I-15 to the Bear Valley Rd. exit. Drive east to Ridgecrest Ave. and turn north and drive another three miles to 18000 Yates Rd. to the park. Unlike its High Desert surroundings, The Narrows is an oasis bordering the Mojave River and resembles parkland near the Mississippi River. Parking is free and camping is offered.
During the three-day festival you can find games that include building river rafts, climbing a greased pole, searching for nickels in a haystack and tossing horseshoes. All are free to enter, and ribbons are given to winners.
There’s a Friday night barn dance at the Mountain Man Village, a Huck Finn look-a-like contest on Saturday, and the Tom Sawyer Fence Painting Championship Sunday afternoon.
A Crafts Village offers items that are hand-made and uniquely American, and there are barbeque ribs, ice cream and corn on the cob in the Vittles Village.
The Route 66 Car Show offers pre-1982 show car entries one free admission with one paid admission when arriving Saturday and Sunday. The California State Arm Wrestling Championships and the Deering Banjo Championships both are held at noon on Saturday and offer t-shirts, trophies, titles, cash and a Deering Eagle II banjo as prizes.
Main stage hosts a Mark Twain Live performance on Friday and old-time country and bluegrass music with “Hee Haw’s” Roy Clark, Rodney Dillard from the Andy Griffith Show, and RFD Television’s Leroy Troy and the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. They headline more than 30 hours of music on Friday, Saturday, and Father’s Day.
Music continues into the evening, and all-night picking parties are held in special campgrounds on the park. The Deering Banjo Company offers a free music jam school Friday and Saturday, and workshops in fiddle, banjo, guitar, vocal harmony and songwriting continue all three days. Named 2001 Bluegrass Event of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, the Jubilee also provides many informal “chat sessions” that bring both artist and fan together.
Hot air balloons rise early each day and provide aerial views of Pelican Lake, and campgrounds in Mojave Narrows. Some campsites have electrical hookups for RVs. The regional park offers fishing, horseback riding and a water splash area.
Weekend camp arrivals are welcome and are available upon entering the park.
In Victorville and Hesperia, the Hawthorn Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express, the Courtyard by Marriott and Red Roof Inn offer special rates to Huck Finn visitors upon request. Youth ages 6 thru 12 are admitted free to the Jubilee when hotel key is presented. Families can also camp at Mojave Narrows Regional Park campgrounds.
Tickets are on sale now and are discounted until June 6. Camping with electrical hookup is readily available, and it’s not too early to get a reservation for this popular weekend festival. A three-day admission with two nights camping package is $85 for adults and $20 for youth ages 6 thru 12.
Jubilee hours are Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Daily admission is $20 for adults and $5 for youth ages 6 thru 12. Children younger than 6 years are free. Parking is also free.
Victorville is located in Southern California along historic Route 66. Enjoying its 35th season, the Huck Finn Jubilee offers a great Father’s Day weekend get-a-way for families, RV enthusiasts and vacation travelers.