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Lancaster, California

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Lancaster in California.

 

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Lancaster is the fifth-largest city in Los Angeles County, California, and the ninth-fastest growing city in the United States. Lancaster is the principal city within the Antelope Valley. Lancaster is located approximately 70 miles (110 km) north (by road travel) of the city of Los Angeles in Southern California's Antelope Valley. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the San Gabriel Mountain Range to the south and from Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley by the Tehachapi Mountain Range to the north. The population of Lancaster has grown from 37,000 residents at the time of incorporation in 1977, to 156,633 people as of the end of 2009/2010 which makes it the largest city on the California side of the Mojave Desert.

Recreation and culture

The city has changed from a railroad water stop of the 19th century to a bustling modern city with many cultural and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.

The BLVD project was completed in 2010 and consists of Lancaster Blvd from 10th Street West to Sierra Highway. The multiple festivals have attracted huge crowds in the tens of thousands.

The Western Hotel (1886) is the oldest standing structure in the city of Lancaster which was converted to a museum under the California Historic Site program in 1992.

Lancaster was the headquarters of the "Flat Earth Society" (now defunct) in the 1970s for over 3,000 members with anti-science filled, and outdated theories.

The city is also home to the Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor. Established in 1990 by the Lancaster City Council, the Aerospace Walk of Honor celebrates test pilots who were associated with Edwards Air Force Base. Recognition is awarded for distinguished aviation careers marked by significant and obvious achievements beyond one specific accomplishment. The sidewalk monuments are dedicated to a distinguished group of internationally known experimental test pilots. Five honorees are inducted each year in a special ceremony held in September.

Today, the city has over 600 acres (2.4 km2) of developed or planned parkland, including playground and picnic areas as well as tournament-level sports facilities at Big 8 Softball Complex and the Lancaster National Soccer Center. The Prime Desert Woodland Preserve, located in West Lancaster, is a facility dedicated to preserving the pristine beauty of the High Desert and educating residents about their environment through nature walks and educational programs at Woodland's unique Interpretive Center. Forrest Hull Park, located near the southern border of the city on its west side and across the street from Paraclete High School, is a popular dog park where local residents frequently gather to allow their dogs to play and exercise together.

In 1996, the city built Lancaster Municipal Stadium (now Clear Channel Stadium). It has been home to the Lancaster JetHawks, a California League Class A Advanced minor league baseball team, for the last fifteen years.

For residents and visitors seeking a cultured evening out, the Lancaster Performing Arts Center provides a varied array of fine arts from community theatre productions to classical music and various forms of dance. It also draws celebrity performers from across the country and around the world, including renowned singers, dancers and musicians of all genres as well as comedians and variety shows.

Lancaster's location in Southern California's high desert also offers easy access to a variety of outdoor activities year around. In the winter, the local mountains offer skiing and snow boarding within easy driving distance. In the summer, access to interstate freeways gives residents the opportunity for day-trips to the Pacific Coast, while perennial blue skies allow hiking, backpacking and cycling year-round.

The city also has a skateboarding park, located on its east side. Skate UniverCity is associated with the local rideshop, Pharmacy Boardshops.

The Civic Musical Road sings the "William Tell Overture", better known as the theme to the 1950s television show, The Lone Ranger. It was first put in by Honda for a television commercial. After noise and safety complaints, it was paved over two weeks later. After complaints in favor of the road, the musical road was reinstalled in a new location, at 30th Street West and Avenue G, near Fox Airport and Apollo County Park, completed October 17, 2008. While it plays the same song, it is now two miles (3 km) away from the nearest residence.

Special events

Each spring, the California Poppy Festival draws upward of 60,000 guests to Lancaster City Park to celebrate springtime. The California Poppy Reserve, 20 miles (32 km) west of Lancaster, boasts one of California's most abundant crops of the state flower, and the Poppy Festival has become a popular event not only for Lancaster residents, but also for visitors from around the world. The California Poppy Festival began as an Earth Day celebration and has grown into an event with over 55 acres (220,000 m2) of activities and extensive wildflower information.

"Celebrate Downtown Lancaster", a street fair and farmers’ market, is held multiple times throughout the summer and features family-friendly activities, street musicians and a variety of specialty vendors.

Bark at the Park is held every October at Lancaster City Park for dog-lovers and their pooches. It features talented canine/human performer teams and activities for dogs and owners alike.

In October 2009, the City launched the first annual Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix, a professional go-kart racing event, in downtown Lancaster. In October 2010, the event was held along the newly revitalized BLVD and expanded to 3 days of festivities, boasting an attendance of 35,000. The event is accompanied by a street festival, live music, and a car show.

Shopping centers

Lancaster Boulevard (The BLVD)
Antelope Valley Plaza Shopping Center
West Lancaster Plaza Shopping Center

Valley Central Shopping Center
Lancaster Commerce Center Shopping Center
East Lancaster Plaza Shopping Center

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