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  • Writer's pictureLucian@going2paris.net

Catching Up -- Lake Havasu City, Arizona; Lake Havasu and Bill Williams River (Which I Confused With The Colorado)


Lake Havasu City(/ˈhɑːvəsuː/, HAH-və-soo) is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 57,144,[3] up from 52,527 in 2010.[4] It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport.


The community first started during World War II as Site Six, an Army Air Corps rest camp on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, a peninsula that would eventually be transformed into an island.

After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres (53 km2) of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors, as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity (the act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1). The city was incorporated in 1978.


London Bridge


London Bridge crosses the narrow Bridgewater Channel[5] that leads from Lake Havasu (a segment of the Colorado River) to Thompson Bay (also on the river).[6][7] Hoping to attract tourists and prospective buyers of residential lots, McCulloch bought it for US$2.5 million from the City of London, England, when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled on contract with Sundt Construction of Tucson,[8] and the marked stones were shipped to Lake Havasu City and reassembled by Sundt[8] for another US$7 million. The construction took three years to complete.


McCulloch gave an acre of land in Lake Havasu City to London. When Lake Havasu City wanted to use this land for a visitors' center, London leased it back for a quit rent of a Hopi Kachina figure.[7]


Since its inauguration on October 5, 1971, London Bridge has become the second-largest tourist attraction in Arizona, after the Grand Canyon.[citation needed] In 2017, a panel of experts partnering with USA Today's 10Best.com chose London Bridge as one of 20 initial nominees for Best Arizona Attraction. 10Best.com readers voted London Bridge as a top 5 favorite.[9]


Events


Lake Havasu City is an active event destination for a wide range of people. During spring months, the community is joined by university students for spring break. In 1995, Lake Havasu City was featured during MTV's Spring Break coverage.[10] Attendance during Spring Break has taken a downturn in recent years, as the city has declined to issue permits to the large party organizers.


For boaters, March to September are the prime months on Lake Havasu. The city is also home to the International World Jet Ski Final Races, multiple professional fishing tournaments, custom boat regattas, the Western Winter Blast pyrotechnics convention, Havasu 95 Speedway, the Chilln-n-Swilln Beer Festival annual charity event, the Havasu Triathlon,[11] and the Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair.


During the winter months, the community is joined by retirees from colder regions of the country and Canada. During this period, multiple events are held on McCulloch Boulevard. Typically during the second weekend of February, McCulloch Boulevard is home to Winterfest, an annual event which draws thousands of visitors and residents for two days of food, activities, entertainment, and products from over 200 vendors from across the United States.[citation needed]





Lake Havasu (/ˈhɑːvəsuː/) is a large reservoir formed by Parker Dam on the Colorado River, on the border between San Bernardino County, California and Mohave County, Arizona. Lake Havasu City sits on the Arizonan side of the lake with its Californian counterpart of Havasu Lake directly across the lake. The reservoir has an available capacity of 619,400 acre-feet (0.7640 km3). The concrete arch dam was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamationbetween 1934 and 1938. The lake's primary purpose is to store water for pumping into two aqueducts. Prior to the dam construction, the area was home to the Mojave people. The lake was named (in 1939) after the Mojave word for blue.[1] In the early 19th century, it was frequented by beaver trappers.[citation needed]Spaniards also began to mine the areas along the river.[citation needed]




The Bill Williams River is a 46.3-mile-long (74.5 km)[5] river in west-central Arizona where it, along with one of its tributaries, the Santa Maria River, form the boundary between Mohave County to the north and La Paz County to the south.[6] It is a major drainage westwards into the Colorado River of the Lower Colorado River Valley south of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, and the drainage basin covers portions of northwest, and west-central Arizona. The equivalent drainage system paralleling the east–west lower reaches of the Bill Williams is the Gila River, which flows east-to-west across central Arizona, joining the Colorado River in the southwest at Yuma. The confluence of the Bill Williams River with the Colorado is north of Parker, and south of Lake Havasu City.[6]

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