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Discovering rock climbing in the Cobre Mountains

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Wildlife rescuer and wrangler Dennis Miller

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The Hi Lo Silvers women's chorus hits 10 years of high notes

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Exclusive interview with outgoing WNMU President John Counts


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  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e  May 2011


The To-Do List

May in Flower


From Farm to Table: Between MotherÕs Day and Memorial Day, May has events breaking out all over. But it's not just those two big weekends that have all the fun. This month brings the opening days for Grant County farmers' markets, starting with the Mimbres Farmers' Market on Thursdays beginning May 5. The Saturday run of the Silver City Farmers' Market begins May 7 at Mainstreet Plaza downtown, off Bullard Street between 7th and 8th. Tuesdays beginning May 17 you can enjoy the Gila Farmers' Market, and Wednesdays starting May 18 it's the Bayard Farmers' Market. In downtown Las Cruces, the ongoing Farmers & Crafts Market kicks off its 40th anniversary celebration on May 11. The market opens at 8 a.m. and a special stage show emceed by Don Diego, Kristen Treers and Shaun Hadfield begins at 10 a.m. Featured performers are Mae Walker at 10:30 a.m. and the country-rock band Crooked Beaver Creek at 11:30 a.m. Mark your calendar for more 40th anniversary fun June 18, July 9, August 13 and Sept. 3.



Mother's Day Weekend and More: Since Cinco de Mayo falls on a Thursday, it will actually be celebrated in Old Mesilla on May 7-8. A weekend fiesta features mariachis, folklorico dancers, flamenco dancers, live music, dancing, games, food and arts and crafts. Not to be confused with Mexican independence day, the event commemorates the victory of Mexican soldiers over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In Silver City, May 7 brings the High Desert Humane Society's Magnificent Mutt Strutt. There will be two trails (one handicap accessible) and you can bring your dog(s) to walk or borrow a shelter dog. This fundraiser costs $25 per family, $10 per person. That weekend also brings the fourth annual Railroad Days at the Las Cruces Railroad Museum, 351 N. Mesilla St. (at Las Cruces Ave.), May 5-7. Festivities run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day, celebrating the cityÕs railroading past, present and future. The Doña Ana Modular Railroad Club will have model train layouts running all three days. The Centennial Caboose will be on display Saturday for viewing as restoration efforts begin on this historic piece of rolling stock. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad are also bringing equipment that will be available for viewing (no rides) on Saturday. There will also be a classic car show, musician C.W. Ayon, Vista Vibrations Bell Choir, vendors, food and education booths. Inside the museum, Harvey Girl re-enactors from the Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso will recall the glory days of "the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe." Speaking of which, the museum will co-sponsor a screening of the classic Judy Garland musical The Harvey Girls as part of the Fountain Theatre's CineMatinee series, May 7. Yes, that's "Murder, She Wrote" star Angela Lansbury singing and dancing on-screen with Garland. Another CineMatinee worth noting later this month is part three of a celebration of Made in New Mexico Westerns. Clips from 20 westerns filmed in New Mexico from 1942-2006 will screen in a special Monday presentation on Memorial Day, May 30. Meanwhile, donÕt forget that, yes, May 8 is Mother's Day. Bring mom to Fort Selden for a period tea and a complimentary corsage. Mom gets in free, as do all New Mexico residents. (You don't have to tell her it's not costing you a dime.) Or spend Mother's Day at the Mimbres with a special open house and tours of the Mattocks Ruin at the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site, just off Hwy. 35. You can enjoy the new interpretive trail, stories of the historic homestead, the dedication of the recently completed Gooch House roof work, refreshments, childrenÕs activities and musical entertainment. Last Chance?: History buffs will also want to grab what may be the last chance to explore Fort Bayard, which could be shuttered as soon as July. This month is packed with special events at the fort, starting on May 7 with a walking tour focusing on US Army nurses and the Red Cross, in honor of National Nurses Week.


On May 14, the tour also includes a talk by Dr. John Bell on the career of Dr. Bushnell, a leading tuberculosis physician who was stationed at Fort Bayard in the early 1900s. The tour will focus on the US Army Hospital years (1885-1922), in honor of National Hospital Week. The next Saturday, May 21, features an open house in the century-old, 5,100-square-foot commanding officer's quarters/museum. Then May 28 combines a Memorial Day walking tour with a display of the 1880s heliograph, which used the sun for signaling. Historian Bill Kupke will speak about the military history of the fort (1886-1899) and autograph his booklet on that topic. Stars, Musical and Otherwise: The Grant County Community Concert Association wraps up its season on May 11 with a performance at the WNMU Fine Arts Center Theater by the Dallas Brass. Founded in 1983 by director Michael Levine, the Dallas Brass brings a full complement of percussion, classical masterpieces, swing, Broadway, Dixieland, Hollywood scores and patriotic music to the stage. The ensemble has performed with the Cincinnati, New York and Philadelphia Pops, at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and across Europe and the Far East. If you're not a season ticket-holder, note that tickets may now be paid for at the door with credit cards or may be purchased in advance at Alotta Gelatto and Thunder Creek/Western Stationers.



Readers who recall meeting astronomy buff Gary Emerson back in our November 2008 issue ("Star Trek") can meet him in person May 19-21 in a special WILL program in the courtyard at Seedboat Center for the Arts. Our Magnificent Universe with Gary Emerson is a journey from our solar system to the edge of the known universe through the "eyes" of several of our great space and ground-based observatories. These images reveal a universe that was largely unknown just 30 years ago and shed new light on the origin of our solar system, Earth and us. Emerson is uniquely qualified to conduct such a starry tour: While working for Ball Aerospace in Colorado, he helped give the Hubble Space Telescope its power to see into the deepest reaches of space. Launched on April 24,1990, by the space shuttle Discovery, the 24,500-pound, $1.5 billion Hubble took its first picture on May 20, 1990, of the Star Cluster NGC 3532. More than two decades later, the cameras and sensors that Emerson helped design continue to transmit about 120 gigabytes of scientific data every week – the equivalent of about 3,600 feet of books on a shelf. The program will include live music, with hot chocolate and cookies afterwards. Bring your own chair, dress warmly and arrive before 9 p.m. Seating is very limited; $5 tickets are available in advance at Seedboat Gallery and Yankie Creek Coffee.


Memorial Day Weekend Musts: Of course, the month climaxes with big Memorial Day weekend events. The Silver City Blues Festival kicks off Friday, May 27 at the Buffalo Dance Hall with a dance featuring music by The Coolers. Tickets are $12; otherwise, except for Saturday's post-concert jam, also at the Buffalo, the entire festival at Gough Park is free. Saturday, May 28, the headliner is Zac Harmon. The fun wraps up on Sunday, May 29, with evening headliner Harry Manx. On May 28-30, the annual Southern New Mexico Wine Festival turns the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds (off I-10) into a paradise for oenophiles. More than 15 New Mexico wineries will offer tastings while you enjoy live music by the Cadillac Kings and Guitar Slim on Saturday, the Mixx Band and Josh Grider on Sunday, and Billy Townes and the Liars on Monday. Along with the wine, arts and crafts vendors will be selling jewelry, pottery, cooking and entertaining ware, and local agricultural products like goat cheese, salsa and spices. The $15 adult admission includes a souvenir glass.

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