Monday, March 30, 2015

The New Scottsdale's Museum of the West

    Scottsdale has long promoted itself as the “West’s Most Western Town” and with the opening of the new Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West the city finally has a premier location to exhibit and promote America’s western history, art and lifestyle.
    The new 43,000 square foot museum located in the downtown area of Old Scottsdale will tell the story of all 19 Western states through a rotating series of exhibits that will include western art, authentic artifacts, interactive cultural history experiences and a wide variety of multi-media presentations.  Since opening on January 15, 2015 this new museum is quickly fulfilling its goal to become the destination place where, according to museum director Michael Fox,  “Western history can be revealed, today’s region better understood, and tomorrow’s rich opportunities explored.”
    Visitors to the new museum will encounter interactive games and activities as well as strategically located multi-media presentations to engage the interest and to enhance the visiting experience of both children and adults. A state-of-the-arts, 135-seat multi-sensory/multimedia theater/auditorium will be home to special programs and professional performances unique to the Museum of the West.
    Visitors also will encounter the cozy Story Circle where they can join others to view a demonstration, enjoy a close-up performance, listen to a knowledgeable storyteller or simply interact with museum staff and other visitors.
    Current opening exhibits include the story of Lewis and Clark through the artwork of Charles Fritz, the bronze, Western statuary of John Coleman and the Western collection of authentic artifacts of A.P. Hays.  The museum’s beautiful, outdoor courtyard features an ever-changing display of Western sculpture.
    So for all those whose ‘heroes have always been cowboys” or for anyone who just enjoys discovering the Valley’s newest cultural offering, now is the time to get out, travel to Old Scottsdale and experience for yourself Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.  You will be truly impressed by this most modern, museum experience. 

Photo credit…

Pic #1 Courtesy of John Coleman
Pics #2, #3 & #4 – Scottsdale’s Museum of the West 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Big Weekend In The Verde Valley

       Living in the north Valley has many wonderful advantages one of which is how quickly we can make a short drive and be in the high-country of Arizona.  The ten communities of the Verde Valley with their unique histories, natural beauty and varied cultural/recreational offerings can all be reached with an easy 1½-hour drive.  And with the beginning of another season just days away, the Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival in Camp Verde on March 28 & 29, 2015 kicks off both the town’s Sesquicentennial celebration and another year of family-fun festivals across the Verde Valley.
    The first Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival happened in 2001 and the annual celebration has grown in size and offerings.  Wine tasting areas will be offered by 12 of the Verde Valley’s finest wineries.  Pecans grown on local farms of the Verde Valley will be on sale among the many arts and craft vendors.
       While the Pecan & Wine Festival is happening in downtown Camp Verde, canoe and kayak racing will be occurring at the 3rd Annual Verde River Runoff races. This is a 10-mile race along a beautiful and remote part of the Verde River from White Bridge to Beasley Flats. There are multiple skill-categories for anyone wishing to enter and race.    
    In addition the Verde Valley Archaeology Fair will be going on featuring two-days of hands-on archaeological adventures designed for the whole family.   The highlight of this fair will be the display of the 135 pound nickel-iron Camp Verde Meteorite discovered in 1927 in a nearby 1000-year old pueblo.  This meteorite is a fragment of the same meteorite that created Meteor Crater near Winslow and has not been on public display since 1960.
    The vast majority of events for the Spring Pecan & Wine Festival are FREE.  The exceptions are a $12 charge for an adult wine tasting ticket and a race entry fee for the Verde Valley Runoff.
    Wow!  What a weekend of fun for the whole family!  So make plans now to get out and enjoy the many activities and beautiful weather always found in the nearby towns of the Verde Valley.

Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival-

Verde Valley Archeological Fair -

Verde Valley Runoff-