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Summertime is for CelebrationsJuly 6, 2015

We’ve got much to celebrate and be thankful for. Momentum is building and for a good cause – On June27th, close to 200 people gathered at our modest Franklin Mountains State Park headquarters building for a ceremony officially announcing and celebrating the appropriation of funding for a new visitor center. “Great day to celebrate the appropriation that makes the construction of the Franklin Mountains State Park visitor’s center possible. This is the result of a cooperative effort by our state delegation – Joe Pickett, Joe Moody, Cesar Blanco, Marisa Marquez, State Representative, and Mary Gonzalez – and individuals such as Richard Teschner and many others, and institutions such as the The Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce and the City of El Paso – this truly was a community effort!” – Senator Jose Rodriguez. Additional special guests and speakers included Franklin Mountains SP Superintendent, Dr. Cesar Mendez, and Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition members Scott Cutler and Judy Ackerman.

Photos by:  Adrianna Weickhardt and Sherri Bryant

Photos by: Adrianna Weickhardt and Sherri Bryant

The summer season is also a wonderful time to celebrate our cosmos and great local music. We at the Franklin Mountains State Park always look forward to the summer programs we get to offer such as our most recent “Melodies Under the Milky Way” (star party and concert).

RECAP: The Sun City Astronomers, led by Cory Stone, provided presentations as well as an amazing variety of telescopes for the public to use throughout the evening while our guest band, Chuco Soul Project, shared their beautiful energy and music with the crowd. After the stars unfolded in the night skies above, Ranger Weickhardt presented “Illuminating a Crisis: Light Pollution”; this educational program explains what light pollution is, highlights consequences on both humans and wildlife, and provides a “call to action” with suggestions and resources on how each one of us can begin making a difference TODAY. We highly recommend visiting the International Dark Sky Association website for more information and tips on minimizing your own light pollution impacts: http://www.darksky.org/. Visiting park ranger and interpreter, Ted Pick, then gave a humorous and entertaining constellation tour along with their stories and mythology. We can’t wait to do this again with everyone; thank you to all who helped set up, tear down, provide assistance throughout the program, our park police officers who stayed late to provide security, the astronomers, the band, and all of you who came out to enjoy the evening.

Photo by:  Adrianna Weickhardt

Photo by: Adrianna Weickhardt

Another cause for celebration is YOU! Our Peak Fitness Challenge (PFC) hikes are programs designed to celebrate your health and fitness in the mountains – we take our visitors on hikes to our park’s peaks, but prepare yourself, these hikes live up to their names and challenge you both physically and mentally. So far this summer, we’ve had some surprises and treats on these hikes; on a recent PFC hike we got to see quite the spectacle. Our lady bugs and lady beetles are back at the top of North Franklin Peak; these are most likely Hippodamia convergens, a native lady bug. Where ever you live if you see lady bugs join in on some citizen science; you can take a photo and note some particulars about the location, then send that on to: lostladybug.org to help our scientists better understand the reasons for lady bug populations declining across North America.

Photo by:  Adrianna Weickhardt

Photo by: Adrianna Weickhardt

Over the next couple of months we’ll be starting many of our hikes early in the morning, so make sure to set those alarm clocks and jump start your days on the mountain with us.
JULY
Fri., July 10: 5:30 a.m. – Peak Fitness Hike – Ron Coleman Trail (carpooling necessary)
Sat., July 11: 7:00 a.m. – Guided Beginner’s Mountain Bike Ride
Sat., July 11: 8:00 a.m. – Nature Walk Trail Hike
Fri., July 17: 7:00 a.m. – Women’s Hike along Lower Sunset Trail
Sat., July 18: 10:00 a.m. – Copper Prospect Mine Tour
Sun., July 19: 7:00 a.m. – West Cottonwood Springs Trail hike
Fri., July 24: 6:30 a.m. – Sunrise Hike along Upper Sunset Trail

AUGUST
Sat., August 1th: 7:00 a.m. – Guided Beginner’s Mountain Bike Ride
Fri., August 14th: 7:00 a.m. – Aztec Caves Hike
Sat., August 15th: 6:30 a.m. – Bark in the Park hike – Tom Mays Trail
Fri., August 21st: 6:00 a.m. – Women’s Hike along the Maze Trail
Sat., August 22nd: 8:00 a.m. – Nature Walk Trail Hike
Sun., August 23rd: 8:00 a.m. – Arts in the Parks program – for kids of all ages
Fri., August 28th: 5:00 a.m. – North Franklin Peak – Peak Fitness Challenge

For more information or to make reservations call (915) 566-6441. We look forward to seeing you on the mountains soon!

Photo by:  Gary Kelly

Photo by: Gary Kelly

About the Author

Adrianna Weickhardt

Park ranger, adventure chaser, environmentalist. As a park ranger with Texas Parks & Wildlife, I help people connect w/ the outdoors & have a lot of fun doing it!

Weickhardt is a graduate of Arkansas State University and has been with Texas Parks and Wildlife since 2011.


Last Minute LocalJune 26, 2015

FRIDAY

The Two-Day Festival: Downtown Street Festival
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/19855-downtown-street-festival

This two-day festival will take over the Convention Center Plaza, the Abraham Chavez Theatre, Arts Festival Plaza, Santa Fe Street, Main Street, and San Francisco Street. Rob Zombie and Weezer and the official headlining acts for StreetFest 2015.

Five unique stages highlight many genres of music including country, alternative, decades, Latin and indie rock. Rob Zombie will perform on the Budweiser main stage on Friday night and Weezer on Saturday night.

Tickets for the festival are available by day, or you can purchase a two-day combo ticket. Tickets are on sale now at all ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, Charge-By-Phone 800-745-3000 and at the Plaza Theatre Box Office.

SATURDAY

The Adoption: Animal Rescue League Pet Adoptions @ Ardovinos Desert Crossing Farmers Market
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20421-animal-rescue-league-pet-adoptions

Join us the last Saturday of the month from May-October as we welcome the Animal Rescue League of El Paso. Give your new family member a forever home.

The Master Gardeners: Patio Talks @ Ardovinos Desert Crossing Farmers Market
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20409-patio-talks-master-gardeners

The El Paso Master Gardeners will resume Patio Talks at 8:30am. This weekend’s subject: Self-watering containers

The Inaugural Celebration: Reptilia
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20576-reptilia

It is hot to be cold blooded at the El Paso Zoo’s Reptilia. Slither out to this inaugural celebration of reptiles, lizards and more! 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28. Have an up close encounter with reptiles that are SCALY, NOT SCARY! Enjoy arts and craft activities, special up close and personal reptile encounters, baby T-Rex, Safari Rama, and special “Meet the Keepers”.

The Musical Extravaganza: Viva! El Paso
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20258-viva-el-paso-returns-to-mckelligon-canyon

A locally produced outdoor musical extravaganza, each VIVA! performance chronicles the 400 year history and cultural evolution of the El Paso region. The show is performed each Friday and Saturday night from June 19 to August 8.

TEXAS BARBEQUE DINNER tickets may be purchased in advance (by Noon Fridays) and include: Adults @ $20: BBQ beef brisket, Chile rubbed pork ribs w/smoked sausage & baked beans, roasted corn served with Cole slaw and jalapeno corn bread, lemonade and a cinnamon sugar churro. Children 12 & under @ $13: BBQ beef sandwich w/roasted corn and Cole slaw, lemonade and a cinnamon sugar churro.

Tickets for show and dinner will be available separately at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, the Plaza Theatre Box Office, or charge-by-phone 800-745-3000.

SUNDAY
The Trail: Last Sunday Hike
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20498-last-sunday-hike

Let’s celebrate all of our Dads with a hike! Join us for this guided hike at the Tramway! We will hike up Directisimo and over the top to the B-36 crash overlook.

The Farmers Market: La Vina Sunday Market
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20054-la-vina-sunday-market

Local artisans and crafters, fresh in season produce, food trucks, wine tasting and live music on the patio in the summer. Come Sunday picnic with us!

About the Author

Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso! Last Minute Local is posted every week and provides readers with a variety of "no planning necessary" ideas on things to see and do this weekend.


Que Pasa BorderlandJune 25, 2015

About the Author

Kimber McCarden Foster

Join Destination El Paso's Kimber McCarden Foster every week for a run down on events happening right here in our community.


Last Minute LocalJune 19, 2015

FRIDAY

The Flamenco Influence: Alfresco! Fridays featuring Sangre Gitana
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20121-alfresco-friday-sangre-gitana

Alfresco! Friday’s celebrates the 12th Anniversary in 2014 at its new location at the Convention Center Plaza! Alfresco! Fridays provides a casual way to experience some of the best established and upcoming local bands. Originally conceived as a way of keeping employees downtown at the start of the weekend, the concerts quickly became a draw for visitors to downtown. The upcoming season will feature Jazz, Latin, Reggae, Classic Rock, Salsa, Funk, Mariachi and more. No Outside Food or Beverages Allowed. No Pets Allowed.

The Outdoor Musical: Viva El Paso
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20258-viva-el-paso-returns-to-mckelligon-canyon

A locally produced outdoor musical extravaganza, each VIVA! performance chronicles the 400 year history and cultural evolution of the El Paso region. The show is performed each Friday and Saturday night from June 19 to August 8.

TEXAS BARBEQUE DINNER tickets may be purchased in advance (by Noon Fridays) and include: Adults @ $20: BBQ beef brisket, Chile rubbed pork ribs w/smoked sausage & baked beans, roasted corn served with Cole slaw and jalapeno corn bread, lemonade and a cinnamon sugar churro. Children 12 & under @ $13: BBQ beef sandwich w/roasted corn and Cole slaw, lemonade and a cinnamon sugar churro.
Tickets for show and dinner will be available separately at all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, the Plaza Theatre Box Office, or charge-by-phone 800-745-3000.

SATURDAY

The Dad’s Day Run: 32nd Annual La Fe Father’s Day Run
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20520-la-fe-father-s-day-run

Show your family what you’re made of, on Father’s Day, at this special event! Designed to focus on healthy lifestyles and the competitive nature in ALL of us. Join in on the fun and challenge your dad to an epic race.

The : Jr. Ranger Saturday
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20505-jr-ranger-Saturday

“Explore, Learn, and Protect!” The Junior Ranger motto is recited by children around the country; each taking an oath of their own to protect parks, continue to learn about parks, and share their own ranger story with friends and family. The third Saturday of each month kids ages 5-11 are invited to come have fun while learning about nature, cultures and Chamizal history with a park ranger. Activities vary and may include games, walks, experiments and crafts. Meet at the Cultural Center information desk. Program and materials are free!

The Country Music: Dancing in the City featuring Abe Mac Band
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/19316-dancing-in-the-city

Dancing in the City is an outdoor dance series at the Convention Center Plaza. It is scheduled on Saturdays. Dance Lessons are from 7-8pm and concert from 8-10pm.

SUNDAY

The Concert at the Vineyard: Zin Valle featuring J. Cordova Band
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20402-free-live-music-and-free-wine-tasting

Happy Father’s Day! Please join us Sunday, June 21st to enjoy the sounds of the J. Cordova Band. These guys are great! Strumming and singing songs from the 80’s, 90’s and more recent hits to perfection! Bring a picnic, your family and friends and enjoy the day at Zin Valle Vineyards. Music is 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Tribute Concert: Music Under the Stars featuring La Flor (Selenda Tribute)
http://visitelpaso.com/events/community/20452-music-under-the-stars-2015

The 32nd Annual Music Under the Stars Concert Series, sponsored by the City of El Paso Museum &Cultural Affairs Department, returns June 7th and will run through July. Extra parking is available at the zoo with a free shuttle running from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. Please note that pets are not allowed in the park during these events. The following are not permitted in “the bowl” event area but may be done in other parts of the park: throwing or kicking games (balls, frisbees, etc.), smoking, and grills. Bicycles may only be used on roads and “red gravel” trails, and scooters, skates and other similar vehicles are not allowed. During the months of June, July and August, bringing alcohol onto the Memorial grounds is prohibited. During these events, it may be available for purchase from approved vendors inside the park. Sundays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

About the Author

Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso! Last Minute Local is posted every week and provides readers with a variety of "no planning necessary" ideas on things to see and do this weekend.


Que Pasa BorderlandJune 18, 2015

About the Author

Kimber McCarden Foster

Join Destination El Paso's Kimber McCarden Foster every week for a run down on events happening right here in our community.


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