Welcome to the independent Inyo County web site
provided by Nancy Masters

"Events not to miss:
Independence Fruitcake Festival"
-- Country Living

      December 2007

4TH OF July T-shirt theme
This year’s Fourth of July T-shirts available now. 
Order:  760-920-2538 or 760-878-2046


First to fly over Mt. Whitney!

Silas Christofferson in Lone Pine on June 24, 1914.

--- EVENTS ---

July 3rd Music & Dance - Dehy Park 8:00 PM until Midnight
July 4th opens with Flag Raising Ceremony at 6:15 AM
Pancake Breakfast 6:30 - 9 AM at Dehy Park
Historic Independence Walking Tour – Meet at Dehy Park at 8:30 AM
Tour lead by David Woodruff
4K/4 Mile Run/Walk registration at 6:30 AM and starts at 7:30 AM
Have Breakfast at the Park!
Arts and Crafts Show is at 8 AM on the Courthouse Lawn
Parade begins at 10 AM and goes both North and South on Highway 395
Pie Social is at Noon at Dehy Park, followed by
Spelling Bee at 12:30 P.M. and Old Time Kid’s Games at 2 PM
Deep Pit Barbeque is from 4 – 6:30 PM at Dehy Park
Grand Finale Fireworks Display begins at dusk at the Independence Airport


JULY 4, 2014
Grand Marshalls:  John and Tansy Smith

Parade Theme:
"Flying High in Independence"

Celebrating the Aviation History of the Owens Valley and the 100 year anniversary of
Silas Christofferson’s historic flight over Mt Whitney

The Independence 4th of July Committee invites you to enter the Parade!


1. At least one United States flag will be displayed on each parade entry.
2. No water will be thrown or projected from any entry or entry will be
3. Entries Line up at 9 AM.  ARRIVE ON TIME!
    Judging Time: 9:15 AM    Parade Start Time: 10:00 AM
4. Formation Location: Corner of W. Payne St. and S. Washington St.
5. Late Entries will not be judged!

The parade enters Hwy 395 from W. Payne St., proceeds north to W. Wall St. and then reverses south on Hwy 395



Return the Entry Form by July 1 with a Release form for each participant in your parade entry.
Mail your form to 4
th of July Central Committee
P.O. Box 482, Independence, CA 93526

Telephone: 760-920-2538, 760-878-8084 or 760-878-2046

Click for printable Parade Entry Form   PDF

Click for printable Run Entry Form   PDF

Click for printable "Flying High in Independence" poster  PDF

Parade and Race Entry Forms are also available at:

Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce      Josephs Market
Valley Market, Independence      Independence Shell Station
Jenny’s Café, Independence      Lone Pine Libraries
Bishop Chamber of Commerce      Travel Plaza/Winnedumah Casino
Annette Wood’s front porch, 237 W. Market, Independence (in the desk)
Or email








20,000 Fruitcakes Under The Sea
A fruitcake or eggnog is required for admission
December 14, 2013      6:00 p.m.      Independence Legion Hall


November 29, 2003 -- In a surprise twist, members of the Independence Civic Club have discovered that they have been promoting a renewable energy source, fruitcake, for nine years without being aware of its potential. “This extremely dense and energy-rich product has the ideal combination of storage potential and multiple use of any plant-based material that has been studied. It may help meet California’s strict renewable energy mandates and provide a fossil-fuel-free future for the world,” states Nancy Masters, president of the small organization in Independence, California.

According to members of the Club, fruitcake consists of ingredients that have utilized the sun’s energy, such as fruit, nuts and grains. Those items are then processed into a heavy mass that has an indefinite life span, and that can be used in a variety of ways to produce energy. “While we don’t advocate indiscriminate ignition of fruitcake, in a pinch it can be desiccated and burned for a very hot fire, or placed on coals for a slow burn,” according to Mary Roper and Don Bright who have been experimenting with various ignition potentials of food productssince early childhood.

Electricity can also be generated directly from fruitcake using electrodes and a light bulb. Banked arrays of fruitcake have shown no degradation due to age, and continue to produce electricity if moisture content is sufficient.

Doesn’t fruitcake require more energy to produce that it can yield? Not if energy-neutral methods are used, member Annette Wood related. The use of a solar oven to cook the cake is highly successful, and there are even fruitcake recipes that don’t require cooking!

Cost is always an issue for new energy sources. Roper, treasurer of the club, asserts that fruitcake is a fiscally responsible answer. Ingredients are widely available and produced in the United States, thus supporting economic recovery. While some of the ingredients may seem expensive, such as dried fruits, Roper cautions that persons should perform a life-cycle analysis on fruitcake, taking into account its lifespan. Thus, fruitcake made with today’s dollars will be viable in twenty-five years, sidestepping inflationary forces that may challenge our nation.

One of the concerns that members have had is whether fruitcake energy is truly environmentally responsible. Recent visits by energy gurus at the California Energy Commission pointed to the need to place energy producing facilities on previously-used lands, which is the case with grain, nut and fruit crops. Fruitcake requires no refrigeration to store, and does not need secure disposal, such as Yucca Mountain. Fruitcake also can be eaten, providing excellent direct energy as a food product. Athletes have discovered fruitcake’s energy magic, and report that fruitcake’s longevity translates directly to staying power - on the playing field and in the backcountry.

Curious to learn more? The Ninth Annual Internationally Acclaimed Independence Fruitcake Festival will be held December 14, 2013 at 6 PM in the American Legion Hall in Independence. This year’s theme is 20,000 FRUITCAKES UNDER THE SEA. Inspiration from past Festivals can be found at

All that is required for entrance to this one-of-a-kind event is that you bring either a fruitcake or eggnog. Those items should be designated as to whether or not they contain alcohol. This is a family friendly event and we don’t want the wee ones imbibing accidentally.

There are prizes awarded for the oldest fruitcake, the fruitcake that travelled the farthest, best of theme, most solids, and judges’ award. Our fruitcake judges employ mechanical, empirical and philosophical techniques to select winning fruitcakes in those categories. We also have a Best Costume award. With this year’s theme there are endless possibilities for the human fruitcakes to have a winning costume. We anticipate there will be everything from Mermen to Aphrodite with a few sea anemones and cuttle fish also making an appearance.

This year we are happy to announce that Healthy Communities of Southern Inyo County will be holding a fund raiser for the Independence Kid’s Club during the Fruitcake Festival with ocean themed entries: Clam Chowder or a Tuna Sandwich for the reasonable price of only $5.


Top Secret NASA Photo

Photos of the 2012 Fruitcake Festival
(Be patient, they take a while to load)

A fruitcake or eggnog is required for admission
American Legion Hall, Independence, California
Saturday, December 15, 2012

NOVEMBER 30, 2012                     PRESS RELEASE

The good news: You will eat fruitcake on Saturday

Coming to Independence on December 15th is the latest incarnation of the annual Fruitcake Festival, “Fiesta de Fruitcake”. It is south of the border fun for this year’s Fruitcake Festival. There are many possibilities with this year’s theme for creating a winning fruitcake. Categories include oldest, travelled the farthest, best of theme, most solids, and judges’ award. Our fruitcake judges employ mechanical, empirical and philosophical techniques to select winning fruitcakes in those categories. Most people participate along with their fruitcakes by wearing theme-oriented costumes. This is not required, but in the past we have found that a good many people like to dress up more than their fruitcakes. This year we will have our first ever Best of Theme Costume Award.
     Once again, The Eighth Annual Internationally Acclaimed Independence Fruitcake Festival has garnered media attention, which makes us wonder about many things. You will find articles about the Festival in Country Woman magazine, as well as in the Washington Times.
     To attend the Festival, you must bring a fruitcake or eggnog. Homemade fruitcake or eggnog is preferred. The eggnog can be transported to the festival in a milk jug. Please label it as “leaded” or “unleaded”. We have refrigeration on site. The eggnog is always served in elegant punch cups at the bar. It is worth the trip to Independence just for that fact alone.

The bad news: You will die on Friday

     Scientists have discovered that fruitcakes from many civilizations appear to be modeled after the Mayan Calendar. Does this mean that fruitcakes, supposedly a symbol of immortality, are actually a dire warning from the ancient Mayans that the end is near?


     Unfortunately, due to Mayan predictions of the End of Time on the following Friday, this may be
our final Fruitcake Festival -- but it will prove that fruitcakes really will last to the end of time. This may be your last chance to attend this Internationally Acclaimed event!

The Eighth Internationally Acclaimed Independence Fruitcake Festival

Flamingo Dancing!

6:15 PM, ± a bit DANCING with the Fruitcakes!
Conga, Macarena and more! The more you dance, the more fruitcake you can eat.

While we play, Judges Dean Stout and Brian Lamb, and Nutometer Technician Kevin Carunchio undertake the solemn task of judging, ably assisted by our official Cutters.

  • Fruitcake that Traveled the Farthest

  • Oldest Fruitcake

  • Best of Theme

  • Most Solids

  • Judge’s Award.

Stay hydrated with Eggnog!
Prepare for Fruitcake Tasting with a delightful Taco Plate from Tacos Jalisco for just $5!

Coffee and water available to help settle everything.

Our notorious archival civil defense fruitcake will come out of seclusion. King Bryan will select a taster from the many eager attendees. Not to worry, it’s only 8 years mold, er... that is, old.

onderful and special prizes from Paradise Fruit Company, makers of all of the fruitcake fruits sold in the USA.

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.  --  A. Einstein

The Washington Times
Washington, D.C.
November 22, 2012

     ...For Nancy Masters, the Inyo County, Calif., library director, fruitcake is something to have fun with, but certainly not serve as the butt of a joke.
     Ms. Masters also serves as the president of the Independence Civic Club, which makes her in charge of the small town’s annual Fruitcake Festival.
     Independence, Calif., is about eight hours southeast of San Francisco, with a population of 500 to 600 people, and this is the eighth year for the festival, she said.
     “We have to find things to do,” Ms. Masters said with a laugh. “It’s just sort of a crazy, chaotic party, and that’s the way we want it.”
     The festival got its start after Ms. Masters and several of her friends were joking about a way to celebrate the much maligned food. As luck would have it, the friends were discussing the option while volunteering at an election site, where a reporter overheard the conversation and put it in the paper.
     Every year the festival has a different theme. One time it was an Egyptian theme, while last year embraced “Peace, Love, and Fruitcake.” This December, the celebration is “Fiesta de Fruitcake.”
     The festival includes a number of contests for the fruitcake, such as “most solids” baked into the cake, farthest traveled and best decorated.
     “One lady made fruitcake balls, which was a really interesting idea,” Ms. Masters said. “We always try to do some value-added fruitcake, like fruitcake tempura … or fruitcake bread pudding.”
     And each year Ms. Masters brings out a cake that she’s had preserved for eight years to get people to taste.
      Packed in a metal canister used in bomb shelters, then placed in a glass container, the fruitcake gets a new coat of powdered sugar and an injection of brandy.
     “We do take precautions,” she said with a laugh.
     Ms. Masters said she too is a fruitcake fan. She likes the various fruits and nuts and the different styles the cake can be baked. For the festival, however, “it’s not what tastes the best.”

Baker puts heart, soul into abbey’s fruitcake - Washington Times

More fruitcake news!

New Camaldoli Hermitage monks' fruitcake
November 30, 2012     Meredith May     San Francisco Chronicle
This time of year, orders for holiday fruitcakes and Holy Granola" are pouring in to this remote Benedictine monastery...

Fruitcakes made one mountain girl's dream come true
November 29, 2012     Gail Diederich     Tampa Bay Times
     My husband hasn't embraced fruitcake, but I've been working on that for 25 years.

Southwest Missouri monks continue selling fruitcakes
November 26, 2012     AP     The Joplin Globe    
     The monks at the abbey, which was founded in 1950, used to make concrete blocks, but turned to fruitcakes in 1987.

Police Reports!

Another way to hurl a fruitcake     December 2, 2012
Someone threw what appeared to be a fruitcake at a car in Arlington Heights, Ill., damaging the side view mirror.


The article the Perpetual Fruitcake King will forever regret

Fruitcake Fest Sets Sights on Trifecta
 Inyo Register, Bishop California       December 15, 2007
It’s true. The Fruitcake Festival is no longer “our little secret” in the Owens Valley, where it’s sort of the valley’s version of crazy Aunt Nancy living in the attic that no one really wants to talk about. The twittering is the result of some national media attention for the rather odd festival, which celebrates the annoying mixture of cheap cake, chunks of cast-off dried fruit, almost-rotten nuts, and enough booze and other preservatives to make a mummy blush that is also known as fruitcake.

California Festival Celebrates Fruitcake
Weekend Edition Sunday     December 16, 2007
National Public Radio and the Independence Civic Club's
Nancy Masters get together for this hilarious interview.

Listeners Defend the Fruitcake
Weekend Edition Sunday     December 23, 2007
Our story last week about a California fruitcake festival brought letters from listeners who love and defend the much-maligned fruitcake. NPR's Liane Hansen reads a few of these letters, and then hears from one listener who was moved to song.

Newest recipes in white text

Ambrosia Coconut Cookies
Ambrosia Fruitcake
Ancient Egyptian Fruitcake
Applesauce Fruitcake
Apricot Fruitcake
Apricot Pistachio Fruitcake
Banana Fruit Cake
Barm Brack
Better Than Fruitcake Cookies
Boiled Fruitcake
Brazil Nut Fruitcake
Candy Orange Slice Fruitcake
Carrot Fruit Ring
Caribbean Black Fruitcake Recipe
Cherry Nut Cake
Cherry Pineapple Fruitcake
Chocolate Fruitcake
Chocolate Walnut Fruitcake
Chocolate-Almond Fruit Cake
Chocolate Fruitcake Cookies
Chocolate Orange Pecan Fruitcake
Christmas Fruitcake
Christmas Lizzies
Christmas Wreath Cake
Coconut Fruitcake Cookies
Coffee Fruitcake
Crushed Pineapple Fruitcake
Daisy's Fruitcake
Dark Moist New Zealand Fruitcake
Date and Whisky Cake
Dried Cherry-Almond Fruitcake
Eggless Fruitcake
Easter Simnel Cake
Easy-Does-It Fruitcake
Easy Fruitcake
Easy Light Fruitcake
English Walnut Date Cake
Fast 'n Fabulous Chocolate Fruitcake
Festive Fruitcake
Festive Fruitcake II
French Fruitcake
Ginger Holiday Fruitcake
Friendship Fruitcake

Fruitcake II
Fruitcake Bars
Fruitcake Coffee Ice-Cream Terrine
Fruit Cake Cookies
Fruitcake Cookies II
Fruit Jewel Cookies
Fruitcake Parfaits
Fruitcake Trifle
Fruitcake Truffles
Fruitcake Without Citron
Golden Fruitcake
Grandma Leach's Fruitcake
Grandma R's Fruitcake
Groom's Cake
Gubane (Friulian Fruitcake)
Gumdrop Fruitcake
Heirloom Fruitcake
Holiday Bourbon Fruitcake
Holiday Steamed Fruitcake

Icebox Fruitcake
Irish Christmas Cake
Italian Fruitcake with Frangelico Chocolate Sauce
Seven Pound No-Bake Icebox Fruitcake
Italian Fresh Purple Grape Cake
Jackie's Fruitcake
Jeweled Fruitcake
Kentucky Bourbon Cake
Layer Fruit Cake
Layered Fruitcake with Creme Fraiche Frosting
Light Fruitcake
Light Fruitcake II
Louise's Fruitcake
Magic Fruitcake
Mango and Mixed Fruit Cake
Mincemeat Cake
Marmalade Cookies
Martha Washington's Cake
Michelle Gerhard’s Fruitcake
Miniature Golden Fruitcakes
Moist and Boozy Fruitcake with Rum and Port
Mom's Best Fruitcake
Mom's Brazil Nut Fruitcake
Mom's Fruitcake
Mrs. Harvey's White Fruitcake
Mrs. Harvey's White Fruitcake
Nita's Applesauce and Bourbon Cake
No Bake Fruitcake II
No-Bake Fruitcake Balls
No-Bake Holiday Fruitcake
Noel Fruitcake
Original Kentucky Bourbon Cake
Patricia's Holiday Fruitcake
Poor Mans Cake
Poor Man's Cake II
Pork Chops with Fruitcake Stuffing
Pumpkin Fruitcake Miniatures
Queensland Cake
Quick Fruitcake
Rich Dark Fruitcake
Sharon's Jamaican Fruit Cake
Southern-Style Christmas Fruitcake
Spiced Dark Fruitcake
Sugarless Fruitcake
Texas Brazil Nut Fruitcake
Texas Pecan Candy Cake
Tomato Soup Cake
Unbaked Fruitcake

Walnut Coconut Cream Fruitcake
Whole-Wheat Christmas Fruitcake
Whole Wheat Fruitcake Cookies

The World's Best Fruitcake



                                                                                                                                                              photo: RD Masters

We hold these events every year!

July 3rd -- Music and Dance in Dehy Park until Midnight
July 4
th opens with Flag Raising Ceremony

Pancake Breakfast in Dehy Park

4K/10k Run/Walk -- registration at 6:30 AM and starts at 7 AM

Arts and Crafts Show is at 9 AM on the Courthouse Lawn

Parade begins at 10 AM and goes both North and South on Highway 395

Pie Social is at Noon at Dehy Park
Old Time Kid’s Games at 2 PM!

Deep Pit Barbeque at Dehy Park

Grand Finale Fireworks Display begins at dusk at the Independence Airport


Inyo County Special Report: Holding On To Independence