The sis-boom-bah doesn't end with the traditional Independence Day celebrations this month, as July has plenty more to offer (in addition to the eagerly awaited start of the monsoon) after the fireworks fade. For example, if you've been following the efforts to launch a community radio station in Silver City ("Tuning In," October 2011), you'll want to stop in for an update at the Gila/Mimbres Community Radio Open House on July 11 at 519B N. Bullard St. downtown. The final push is on to arrive on the FM dial by year's end.
Also in downtown Silver City, July 20 brings a special chance to view and visit the Main Street that was, before those monsoon floods turned it into the Big Ditch. Music, tours, vendors, historical re-enactors, conservation demonstrations and the Farmers' Market (with a special Squash Derby) will all be part of Big Ditch Day. Plus a new "Maker's Fair" will spotlight local inventors' contraptions, inventions and innovations.
Up in Lake Roberts that weekend, July 20-21, Little Toad Creek brings back the much-beloved Hummingbird Celebration. Experts and speakers will include bird bander Bill Talbot, Raymond VanBuskirk, Janice Ward and Joan Day-Martin, who launched the area's original hummingbird festival back in 2004 ("Dances with Hummingbirds," July 2006).
A midweek treat at the Buckhorn Opera House in Pinos Altos, on Wednesday, July 24, is a concert by Cracker with Camper Van Beethoven. These alt-rock icons recently released a new album with 429 Records, "Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey." Long-time musical cohorts David Lowery and Johnny Hickman are teaming up again with drummer Frank Funaro and bassist Sal Maida to produce "their trademark rock, punk, glam, surf and country esthetic." You may have heard the single, "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me," which hit radio airwaves in April.
That next weekend, July 27-28, the suds take center stage at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds in the Las Cruces Tour de Beer. Just $15 ($12 advance) gets you a souvenir pilsner glass and samples of brews from all over, while listening to live music by The Liars, Phat Soul, Derrick Harris Band and EKIZ.
If building rather than brewing is your interest, that's also the weekend for Adobe Dynamics 101. Pat Taylor of Pat Taylor Inc., a preservation contractor and contributing author of Adobe Conservation, A Preservation Handbook, will hold hands-on workshops July 26-28 in Santa Clara, Silver City and Gila. Pre-registration at the Silver City Museum is required. The event also serves as a warm-up for the second annual Silver City CLAY Festival, July 27-August 4, which you can read all about in this issue's Arts Exposure section.\