BIG SHOW JUST AROUND THE CORNER, ANNUAL FALL LEAVES STARTING EARLY IN FLAGSTAFF, WHITE MOUNTAINS LEAVES ON SCHEDULE BUT LATER
Seems like the leaves are turning much earlier this year. Flagstaff might peak between October 10-17 while the White Mountains may better be viewed around the middle of October. The weather has been perfect– cool, but not freezing nights coupled with warm sunny days produce optimum leaf color. Aspen color is still spotty but should be showing well on the high trails this week and next in the FLAGSTAFF area and the annual colors are coming a little slower in the WHITE MOUNTAINS. In the Alpine and Greer area nights have been 40 degrees with highs around 75 each day, the monsoon has ended and the afternoon rains have slowed. In short, the weather now is perfect. Time to enjoy the fall, the light has changed and now the days have begun to grow shorter by getting light later and the sun setting earlier, still the time to camp but it’s perfect campfire weather. Many of the White Mountain communities have festivals, cars shows, art exhibits, sales planned to attract flat-landers into the mountains for the annual exodus to escape the desert heat and see the golden leave change. Many a Sunday evening in October I-17 from Flagstaff to Phoenix is a sea of tail-lights as Phoenicians navigate bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way home from Flagstaff when the weather finally changes. Not all Phoenix tourists make it all of the way to Flagstaff or Williams, many are content to hang-out, in Sedona’s Oak Creek Canyon there fall colors show itself closest to Phoenix, but that also means it is the most crowed and you have folks stepping all over you. At the peak Flagstaff’s Hart’s Prairie Road is the best drive to view the change and further east the Hanagan’s Meadow area south of Alpine, AZ will host many a nice view of Aspen golden glow.
37th Annual Fall Artisans Festival a Heritage Event – Mountain Meadow Recreation Complex, more than 80 arts and craft juried vendors, parade on Saturday at 10 am, $2, Sat 9 am – 6 pm, Sun 10 am – 3 pm, 928-367-4290 or 800-573-4031 or http://www.pinetoplakesidechamber.com
4th Annual Festival of Native American Culture in Sedona includes a special film night, Native American Invitational Art Show, entertainment, Archaeology Field Hikes, 928-567-0066 or http://www.festivalofnativeamericanculture.org
Celtic Harvest Festival Sedona – “A Celebration of the changing Light”
Sedona – Poco Diablo Resort Music, dance, master pipers, storytelling, Fairy Village for families, falcons, sheepdog herding demos, vendors, food, drink and more, $5-15, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, http://www.celticharvestfestival.com/
6th Annual SalsaFest in Safford – Safford Town Square Sep 28 An opportunity to win prizes and bragging rights in the Salsa Challenge, live entertainment, food, salsa making contests, Festival Marketplace, Salsa music and dancing, food demos, chili roasting, kids area, and Jalapeno & Salsa eating competitions, kids’ corner with piñata bust, Fri 5-9 pm, includes a Salsa Glow, Hot Cars on the Salsa Trail, car show on Saturday, Sat. 9 am – 4 pm, 928-428-2511 or 888-837-1841 or http://www.SalsaTrail.com
Sep 29 6th Annual Prescott Pow Wow at Watson Lake Park, (3101 Watson Lake Rd, 86301), free, http://www.visit-prescott.com or http://prescottpowwow.wordpress.com or http://www.prescottpowwow.org/
Helldorado Days OCTOBER 19-21 2012 Helldorado Days in July 1881, a disgruntled miner writes the Tombstone Nugget newspaper stating that instead of finding their “Eldorado” of riches, many men ended up washing dishes or other menial jobs, finding instead, their “Helldorado”. The term stuck. Helldorado is Tombstone’s oldest festival celebrating its rip-roaring days of the 1880’s. Helldorado, started in 1929, is sponsored by Helldorado, Inc. whose membership is composed of residents in Cochise County. Helldorado is held every third weekend in October and consists of gunfight re-enactment shows, street entertainment, fashion shows and a family oriented carnival. In addition, come and watch the Annual Helldorado Parade on Sunday at 11am…
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VIVA! PROCLAIMS ELOY ARIZONA UPHOLDING A TRADITION OF FAMILY AS MEXICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY SEPTEMBER 16 SENDS RIPPLES WORLD-WIDE
Mexico is marking the 202nd anniversary of the “Grito de Dolores,” honoring the call to arms made by the priest Miguel Hidalgo in 1810 that began the struggle for independence from Spain, finally won in 1821. The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities, the movement was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought for their independence from Spain but their rebellion against their colonial masters and soon morphed into a national struggle for freedom. EVERY YEAR, on the 15th, at 11 pm the President of Mexico goes out on the central balcony of the Mexican National Palace, rings the bell (the same bell Hidalgo rang in 1810) and cries to the people gathered in the square below, who enthusiastically respond “¡Viva!”
In Eloy Arizona, the Mexican Independence Day Parade runs late but begins with lights and sirens, a Eloy fire engine slowly turns on to Main Street headed north followed by the Santa Cruz Valley High School Marching Band whose nicknames are the “Dust Devils”…carrying the flags, cadets, Dominick Pefur, Ian Mason and Christine Krisen-Whetstone make up the Eloy ROTC Color Guard elite. Mexico City is the largest venue in Mexico for this celebration where thousands turn out for this famous parade, which features marching Army, Navy, tanks, cannon, helicopters on parade from every department in the Mexican Government, this annual parade reflects the health of the nation. In Eloy, the Mexican Independence parade is all about local groups, some politicians, but most importantly it’s about family turning out to watch their babies take their place in the traditions of the community and in a sense, saying “Viva!” The Eloy streets are empty at 8:30am, a half hour before the annual parade Fiestas Patrias fires up around the corner on Third Street, where staging begins. As dancers, wipe sleep from their eyes, band members tighten their shoe laces-between Third Street and the High School lies Main Street Park where folks have been setting up food and drink booths. There families set up their lawn chair to enjoy the scene of their children parading up Main Street, just like they did when it was their turn. Now they watch and prepare the next generation for their turn at celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day, the homeland of the culture and for some, their family today. For years, the Eloy lettuce fields have attracted workers from all over Mexico–Eloy is better known in Mexico than many larger US cities. In Eloy today Mexican Independence Day is not about the thousands who turned out in Mexico City, it is about family, enjoying the traditions passed down over the generations and celebrating with family. Hotdogs, hamburgers, potato chips, cotton candy, fresh-squeezed lemonade and burritos in Eloy are the same as those found September 16 in Mexico is similar to July Fourth in the US.. There are rodeos, parades, bullfights, horseback rider performances and grand feasts. Statues in memory of Father Hidalgo are decorated with red, white, and green flowers. The Mexican Flag is made up of green, white, and red. The green represents hope, white is for unity, and red is for the blood of the national heroes. The crest in the center panel is Mexico’s coat of arms and portrays an eagle with a snake in its beak standing on a cactus.
After the parade, lots of folks stop by the Main Street Park and get something to eat from Ophelia’s whose Mexican food had the longest waiting line, they are either good or very slow ! The Mayor, vice-mayor, county official all spoke to the good people of Eloy, nationally known Sheriff Paul Babeu shook everyone’s hand and the padre blessed the crowd. High school mariachi bands groups serenaded the crowd, and the Amiga’s folkloric group prepared their charges to dance, all wearing blue tee-shirts with “Keeping Traditions Alive” printed on each back. Many of the young dancers scampered about the green grass, dressed in their long white slips–between costumes the girls frolicked until re-costumed. The older Eloy residents hung out beneath the shade of the mature trees covering the Main Street Park, the only green spot for miles in any direction, they had seen it all before and took the outing as an opportunity to catch up with folks they see less often.
Remember now if you’re not in Mexico, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, stop at 11 pm on September 15 and shout “¡Viva Mexico!” at the top of your lungs. Many voices will rise up and join you and you will be in good company, maybe, a hellva good party. Tequila! Please…!
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