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Last Minute LocalOctober 24, 2014

FRIDAY

The 5,000 Years in the Making: Indian Food Festival
http://www.epfoodfest.com/

Indian Cuisine reflects a perfect blend of the various cultures and ages. The diversity of these flavors has shaped the course of history. Come discover for yourself and immerse the entire family in Indian food, art, and dance during three fun filled days that you will embrace forever.

SATURDAY

The Junior Ride: Kidical Mass
https://www.facebook.com/velopaso?ref=br_tf

Join VeloPaso for a one mile easy ride that loops through downtown from the farmers market. 30 minutes before the ride we will have a short rules of the road instruction and bike check. Any ages with adult supervision are welcome. Please bring bikes that safely accommodate all members of your family, helmets, water bottles and comfortable clothing.

The Altars: El Dia de Los Muertos Festival
http://www.elpasotexas.gov/history/default.asp

The museum will be receiving Calaveritas (Halloween Poems) in English and Spanish to display in one of our galleries and will be also hosting Altares de Muertos (Altars) from different organizations.

The Tragedy of King Richard III: Shakespeare on the Rocks
http://www.nps.gov/cham/planyourvisit/index.htm

Richard III is a historical play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1592. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified as such. Showtime is 7 pm.

SUNDAY

The Cross on the Mountain: Annual Mt. Cristo Rey Hike
http://www.mtcristorey.com/events

The annual pilgrimage celebrates the Christian feast of Christ the King. It begins with a procession led by the Bishops of the Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces and El Paso. A mass is conducted at the top of the mountain. Some of the faithful make the journey barefooted, or even on their knees. The 5-mile hike is easy to moderate, and is suitable for all ages. Hats, good hiking shoes and sunscreen strongly recommended. No pets allowed.

The Canine Walk: Howl-O-Wenie Dog Walk
http://www.petsaliveelpaso.org/10th-annual-howl-o-wine-dog-walk-at-la-vintildea-mdash-oct-26th.html

Pets Alive El Paso will host its 10th annual fall dog walk noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, at La Viña Winery, 4201 S. NM Highway 28 in La Union, N.M., with a 1-mile dog walk at 1 p.m. around the grounds of La Viña Winery, as well as music, costume contests for dogs, prizes, food vendors, pet-related products and gifts for sale. Cost: $15 for one dog, $20 for two dogs in advance; $20 for one dog, $25 for two dogs at the event. No more than two dogs per person.
Pets Alive El Paso is a non-profit corporation working to make El Paso a No-Kill community, offering spay/neuter Programs for the companion animals of lower-income families in El Paso; and for free-roaming cats through the El Paso Feral Cats Program.

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.


Last Minute LocalOctober 17, 2014

FRIDAY

The Annual Street Party: Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Red Ribbon Block Party
http://www.ysletadelsurpueblo.org/event_detail.sstg?id=203

Hosted by the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, this annual block party is rich in Pueblo history and tradition.

SATURDAY

The Rock Basin Festival: 20th Annual Interpretive Fair
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/annual-interpretive-fair-first-day

Attractions of the two-day event will include Native American dancing and drumming; folklorico and matachine dancers; pictograph, birding and nature tours; atl-atl throwing for kids; information booths; and food for sale. There will be an evening program for everyone to enjoy, and also a birding tour at 8 a.m. Admission to the Interpretive Fair is free; no need to reserve ahead. Walk-ins welcome!

The Haunted Festival: Southwest Horrorfest
http://www.ghosts915.com/index.php/en/component/jevents/icalrepeat.detail/2014/10/18/33/-/southwest-horrorfest?filter_reset=1

Ladies and gentlemans, Ghoblins and Ghouls: This is an event like no other. This event is dedicated to all the horror fans out there. There will be live bands, vendors, a skateboard competition, food, performers, children activities and a children’s costume contest during the day.Not to mention, the best adult costume contest and halloween party in the evening. Doors open at 10 am.

SUNDAY

The Fall Extravaganza: El Paso Fall Home & Garden Show
http://www.elpasohomeandgarden.com/

Turn your home and garden dreams into reality! With thousands of square feet of exhibits you’ll find the latest in products and services for everything from builders, contractors, materials, decks, pools, spas, entertainment systems, storage, plants, landscape displays/materials, kitchenware, and much more.

The Buffalo Soldier: Unveiling of the Fifth Historic Sculpture
http://www.sanelizariohistoricdistrict.org/

The San Elizario Historic District presents the unveiling of the fifth historic Buffalo Soldier sculpture honoring the 9th Calvary.

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.


Last Minute LocalOctober 10, 2014

FRIDAY

The Backyard BBQ: Bliss Brews & Que
http://freedomcrossingatfortbliss.com/bliss-brews-que/

Bliss, Brews & Que is the ONLY Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) Sanctioned event on a U.S. military installation. Not just any installation, but Fort Bliss, Texas, one of the largest in the United States. A weekend celebrating some of America’s favorites….blues music, good brews, delicious barbeque, and the United States Army. Free and open to the public!

SATURDAY

The Block Party: Chalk the Block
http://www.chalktheblock.com/

The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, in coordination with the private sector and the El Paso Community Foundation, will host its 7th annual Chalk the Block festival.
In seven years, Chalk The Block has become one of El Paso’s premiere events drawing over 30,000 people annually and celebrating the power of the arts to reimagine downtown! Each year, about 200 artists working in all disciplines participate in three days of creativity. From serious art junkies to people just looking for a cool way to experience downtown, Chalk The Block has you covered!

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SUNDAY

The Walk along Scenic Drive: Sprint for Sparks 5k Race
http://www.ttuhsc.edu/studentservices/organizations/plfsga2017.aspx

The TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at El Paso is organizing their 1st Annual Sprint for Sparks 5K Run, which is scheduled for October 12, 2014 at 8 a.m. along Scenic Drive. The goal of the 5K is to raise money for the Sparks Housing Development Corporation. The community center promotes education and healthy living by holding English, GED, Zumba, and Yoga classes, making it an asset to the community. Due to the importance and high demand of these services, the Sparks Community Center is in desperate need of a building expansion, and we are hoping to use the funds from the 5K to provide the materials needed for this project. There will be registration on race day (cash only).

The Pow Wow: 5th Annual Rockin the Rez
https://www.facebook.com/rockingtherez?ref=br_tf

Experience the rich heritage through dance and song.

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.


Last Minute LocalSeptember 26, 2014

FRIDAY

The $5 Sale: Giant $5 Jewelry Sale
https://www.facebook.com/UMCFoundation

Over 16,000 square feet of Top Brand Name Merchandise as seen in your favorite specialty shops and leading department stores. Over 100,00 items to choose from! Every item $5 only. Kids under 18 free with paid adult.
Powered by UMC Foundation Volunteer Corps, Teen Corps and Kids Corps! All proceeds benefit families in need right here at home.

The Cowboy Camp: Movies in the Canyon presented by Rudolph
http://elpasolive.com/moviesinthecanyon

Join us for FREE Movies in the Canyon every Friday and Saturday night at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Movies begin at dusk, approximately 8:30 pm. No outside food or beverages brought in.

Tonight’s Movie: Toy Story 2
When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends vow to rescue him, but Woody finds the idea of immortality in a museum tempting.

SATURDAY

The Family Fun Day: WIRED! Presented by the Rubin Center
http://academics.utep.edu/Default.aspx?alias=academics.utep.edu/visualarts

Come join the Rubin Center for Wired: a Jewelry Making Studio Art Lab Family Day! We will host a variety of 3D arts and crafts based on jewelry making that will complement our exhibitions. We will have yoga for kids and activities in the galleries. All ages are welcome. Free and open to the public.

The Adventure Continues: Movies in the Canyon presented by Rudolph
http://elpasolive.com/moviesinthecanyon

Join us for FREE Movies in the Canyon every Friday and Saturday night at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Movies begin at dusk, approximately 8:30 pm. No outside food or beverages brought in.

Tonight’s Movie: Toy Story 3
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home.

SUNDAY

The Mile Long Climb: Last Sunday Hike: Sombrero Hike
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/franklin-mountains

Join us for this mile long hike up Ranger Peak and then relax with the view from the top of the mountain. Make sure to bring water, sturdy shoes, appropriate clothing and a sombrero!

The Chicano Community Celebration: Lincoln Park Day
915-204-1584 or lincolnparkcc@aol.com

Lincoln Park Day is an annual Chicano art and art show celebrating Lincoln Park Day that was proclaimed by the City of El Paso on September 20, 2009 and is the highlight of the Lincoln Park Conservation Committee’s annual events. The event features local and regional Chicanos artists from El Paso, Texas, Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua and surrounding communities. Also on display will be various low-riders, and antique custom cards participating in a car show hosted by the Latin Pride Car Club. Mural unveilings have been added, as well as presentations by artists and special guest speakers. Live music, food and traditional Danza Azteca, Matachines and Folklorico dancers will be part of the festivities.

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.


Bolson tortoises are found only in the Chihuahuan Desert September 23, 2014

Bolson tortoises live in two locations at the Zoo, on the north side of the Americas Land exhibit where they live with our peninsular pronghorns and javelinas and across from the entrance to the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center.

Bolson tortoises live in two locations at the Zoo, on the north side of the Americas Land exhibit where they live with our peninsular pronghorns and javelinas and across from the entrance to the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center.

The bolson tortoise is an endemic species of the Chihuahuan Desert that was only recently discovered in 1959. Biologists use the term “endemic” to describe any plant or animal species living in one particular place or region. Of the 156 reptile species living in the Chihuahuan Desert, 24 species are endemics. This tortoise is also known as the Mexican giant tortoise or yellow-bordered tortoise. In Mexico it is called tortuga grande, tortuga llanero or tortuga topo.

Long before the coming of the first European explorers to North America, bolson tortoises are believed to have lived in the El Paso region during the Pleistocene Epoch that lasted from 1.65 million to 10,000 years ago. It was during this period about 14-30,000 years ago that humans migrated to North America. More than likely some early humans might have eaten tortoises as a source of protein.
Bolsons are the largest tortoises in North America reaching 18" in length and weighing up to 30 pounds. The species was discovered by accident in 1959 when scientists working in an area where the boundaries of the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango come together, came across the species by chance. The story goes that they found a tortoise shell being used as a dish to hold chicken feed. When they asked the rancher where the shell came from he pointed into the desert describing the “la tortuga grande del desierto,” the big turtle of the desert. Not long after, a new species of tortoise was described and given the Latin name Gopherus flavomarginatus.

Today bolson tortoises survive mainly in one small area of northern Mexico near Torreón, Coahuila called the Bolsón de Mapimí. I first came to know this species during the spring of 1990 when I was working for the Big Bend Natural History Association. Big Bend National Park Superintendent Jim Carrico, Chief Ranger Phil Koepp and I joined officials from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on a trip to visit critical bolson tortoise habitat in Mexico. We were joined by scientists from California who were studying the bolson tortoise at the Bolsón de Mapimí Man and the Biosphere Reserve and Research Station in Durango. Soon after we returned the Los Angeles Times published a story about a proposed reintroduction effort that would return bolson tortoises to their former Pleistocene range in Big Bend National Park. Twenty-four years later there are no plans to return this species to the park, but the effort remains on the radar screen of Big Bend park officials.

Bolson tortoises live in two locations at the Zoo, on the north side of the Americas Land exhibit where they live with our peninsular pronghorns and javelinas and across from the entrance to the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center. The Zoo Education Team also has some bolson tortoises in our education animal collection. These tortoises are shown to Zoo guests during special animal encounter programs and as part of Zoo Adventure classes for school children.
During the winter months from about November to February bolson tortoises hibernate in underground burrows and as are result are not visible. The bolson is the only animal at the Zoo that hibernates in its exhibit.

The El Paso Zoo is working with the Turner Endangered Species Fund and the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park in helping with a reintroduction project near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico at the Ladder and Armendaris Ranches. Zoo staff is assisting research scientists in determining the gender of baby tortoises, as part of a larger effort to breed bolson tortoises for eventual release into portions of their former range.

According to the IUCN Red List “this species is listed as Vulnerable because it has experienced a population decline of up to 50% over the past 3 generations. It faced catastrophic levels of exploitation during the middle of the 20th century, with subsequent lower levels of exploitation. At present the species is protected from direct exploitation and part of its extent of occurrence is protected, but some subsistence collection and habitat degradation impacts likely still occur. With the worst impacts over, it is rated Vulnerable (under A1) rather than Endangered (under A2). About six separate subpopulations exist, comprising some 7,000 to 10,000 adults, collectively occurring over about 7,000 sq. km."

You can help support El Paso Zoo conservation efforts my making a tax deductible contribution to the El Paso Zoological Society.

Tortoises, like these Galapagos tortoises, are one of several dozen species of animals at the Zoo that get to enjoy pumpkins during Boo at the Zoo.  This year’s Boo at the Zoo is planned for October 25-26.

Tortoises, like these Galapagos tortoises, are one of several dozen species of animals at the Zoo that get to enjoy pumpkins during Boo at the Zoo. This year’s Boo at the Zoo is planned for October 25-26.

About the Author

Rick LoBello

Rick LoBello has worked in the field of conservation education since 1973 when he started his career as Zoological Curator at the Kansas City Museum of History and Science. He has spent 25 years working as a park ranger and Executive Director at four national parks including Big Bend, Yellowstone, Guadalupe and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks. Since coming to work at the El Paso Zoo in 2002 he has served as Education Curator and has been very active in conservation programs in the region working with organizations like the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition. Over the years his efforts have been honored by Rotary International, the National Park Service and most recently by the Trans Pecos Audubon Society and The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2012 Environmental Summit. In 2009 he wrote a guidebook for Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International entitled Guide to Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park: Home to Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas available on Amazon.com


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