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Buying the patron's automobile was not so simple!

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What crawled out of the Big Ditch?

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A true Wild West tale of outlaws and buried treasure

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Why not hold your wake while you can enjoy it?


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  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e  September 2010

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The To-Do List

Memorable September happenings.

Labors of love: As always, when the weather cools down in our corner of New Mexico, the calendar heats up. Labor Day Weekend is just the beginning, with the 27th Annual Gem & Mineral Show in Silver City, now at the conference center on Hwy. 180 (the former Stream building) and the San Vincente Artists' Annual Art Fair at the Silco Theatre. In Las Cruces, it's the Harvest Wine Fest, with tastings of New Mexico's increasingly-fine fine wines, plus arts and crafts and live music by the Daddy Os, Nuevo Sol, Terry Bullard, Oldies but Goodies and CW Ayon; the tippling takes place at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds off I-10. And the Hatch Chile Fest draws chile heads from near and far, Sept. 4-5.

Fans of the former apple festival in Hillsboro will want to return to that charming historic town Sept. 4-5 for a pair of events: On Saturday, Percha Creek Traders hosts the 2nd annual Hillsboro Harvest Festival, featuring a variety of arts and crafts demonstrations. On Sunday, Hillsboro's fourth annual Heritage Music Festival stars the mandolin and banjo music of Jeff Scroggins and Fresh Horses plus four local bands.



A river runs through it: The extended weekend of Sept. 16-19 brings the sixth annual Gila River Festival, in and around Silver City. The Gila River carves its way 650 miles through America's first designated wilderness area — the lifeblood of a biologically diverse landscape to which humans are intricately tied. Several thousand plant and animal species call the Gila River and its headwaters home, making the mountains of southwestern New Mexico a North American biodiversity hot spot — many species found here occur nowhere else in the world. Given that 2010 marks the International Year of Biodiversity, this year's festival will celebrate the river's extraordinary web of life, highlighting the importance of New Mexico's last free-flowing river in sustaining an ecologically diverse and connected landscape.





This year's festival also ushers in a new Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, screening at the Silco on Sept. 18. Featured films include: Flathead Wild; A Simple Question: The Story of S.T.R.A.W.; Watershed Revolution; A Year in the Desert: Anza Borrego; What is That?; Carpa Diem; Garbage Angels; Get Up, Stand Up; and Lady Bug Swarm.

When not sloshing up and down the Gila, kids and parents can enjoy the Grant County Community Health Council's Red Hot Children's Fiesta at Penny Park in Silver City, Sept. 18. The fun will include a celebration of the Gila's web of life, animal theme parties and raptor shows.

If your idea of enjoying the great outdoors includes swinging a club at a little white ball, you might opt instead for the 22nd annual Gila Classic golf tournament in Silver City, Sept. 17-18. This year's celebrity guest is Tory James, best known for playing football with the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. But it's not all fun and games: Proceeds benefit the Gila Regional Medical Center Foundation.



Harvest happenings: Late September means harvest time, celebrated in the scenic Mimbres Valley with the fifth annual Mimbres Valley Harvest Festival at the San Lorenzo School, Sept. 25. Besides a farmers' market and arts and crafts fair, you can enjoy workshops on beekeeping and seed saving, bluegrass by the Silver City String Beans, old-time gospel by River's Bend, stories and poetry, kids' activities and a raffle and pie contest. The school cafeteria will also host the Mimbres Health Fair, where you can get tested for everything from glaucoma to blood sugar. (Be sure to test your blood sugar before eating that pie.)

Over in the Mesilla Valley, Lyles Family Farms will open the annual Mesilla Valley Maze, the area's original corn maze and pumpkin patch, on Sept. 25. You can get "lost" in the harvest-time entertainment on weekends through Halloween.

If you'd rather do your exploring on four wheels — four really hot wheels — then mark Sept. 25 on your calendar as the date for the fifth annual Pancho's Car Show in Columbus. The Pancho Villa State Park event costs only $20 to enter your car or motorcycle, and trophies will be awarded in several categories along with a $100 "Best in Show" prize.





The sound of music: Two concert series in Silver City also kick off this month. At the Public Library, the free Library House Concert Series returns with an expanded program of four events beginning Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. with local duo Melanie Zipin and Jeff LeBlanc. Upcoming concerts will feature Steve Smith and Chris Sanders on Oct. 31, Mountain Aire Folk Music on Jan. 30, and Roger Landes and Dain Forsythe, performing traditional Irish music on bouzouki, tenor banjo, mandolin and bodhran (frame drum) on March 27.

The Grant County Concert Association's 2010-2011 season opens on Sept. 29 with household name John Davidson. Still touring at age 68, Davidson has done it all in his showbiz career — hosting "The Tonight Show," his own show and a revival of "The $100,000 Pyramid," performing on Broadway and recording albums, and even posing in Cosmopolitan. He's followed by Quarteto Gelato on Nov. 4, the Andy Stein Trio on Feb. 10, piano virtuoso Eric Himy on March 3, and the Dallas Brass on May 11. All performances are at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre; single performances cost $20, or a full season admission is just $45.





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