The holidays are over and you might now wonder what is there to do in our state in the next few weeks. A variety of events are taking place and there are also some special sites to visit during the winter.
The little community of Quartzsite, just this side of Blythe on I-10 blossoms into a hotbed of activity this time of year.
Between now and mid-February, there are more than half-a-dozen events taking place in Quartzsite:
- Through Jan. 27 is the Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama, located at the southwest corner of I-10 and Highway 95. The Sell-A-Rama is a 25-acre outdoor spectacular with an unbelievable variety of gems, rock arts, crafts, hobbies, jewelry, antiques, coins, lapidary tools and great food. Even better: it's free.
- Also through Jan. 27 is the Big Tent Sports, Vacation and RV Show.
- From Jan. 23 through Jan. 27 is the 42nd Annual QIA Powwow Gem and Mineral Show.
- From Jan. 28 through Feb. 11, the Prospector's Panorama Peddler's Faire will be held.
- From Jan. 30 through Feb. 3, the Hobby, Craft and Gem Show will be held at the Big Tent.
- The Tyson Wells Arts and Crafts Fair is Feb. 1 through Feb. 10.
- Feb. 2 through Feb. 3, the Rock 'n' Roll Classic Car Show will be at the Big Tent.
Elsewhere around the state:
- Jan. 24 through Jan. 27, the Kruse International Collector Car Auction and Expo is at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. There will be 700 muscle cars, sports cars, classics and special-interest vehicles on display, with an auction at 1 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. Friday through Sunday. For more information, call (800) 968-4444.
- Jan. 25 through Feb. 2, the Sun Country Circuit Quarter Horse Show will be held at WestWorld in Scottsdale. It will feature team and calf roping, working cow horse and other events that appeal to horse lovers. For more, call (623) 869-8037.
- Jan. 26 in Superior is Australia Day at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Experts will guide you around the Australian forest. There will be a live performance of didgeridoo music. For details, call (520) 689-2811.
- Jan 26 in Oatman, The Great Oatman Parade and Bed Races will take place on Main Street. There will be a parade of funny nightwear, the Chamber Pot Band, auction, contests, and a gunfighters' performance. More information is available from (928) 768-6222.
- Jan 26 and Jan. 27 is the 17th Annual High Noon's Western Americana Show and Auction at the Phoenix Convention Center. There will be 150+ dealers with sports memorabilia, chaps, saddles, textiles and Western art for sale. More details are obtainable by calling (310) 202-9010.
An ongoing attraction is "The Jim Henson Fantastic World" exhibit at the Arizona Museum for Youth in downtown Mesa, located at 35 N. Robson. What began as a one-man enterprise eventually grew into an international phenomenon. As time passed, the simple hand puppets Henson created for his television show evolved into increasingly more sophisticated characters, such as the Muppets. Hours are 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Sites to visit:
- In Picacho you will find the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch, where you can feed the critters. Besides the ostriches, there are deer and rainbow lorikeets. The ranch is open daily at Picacho Peak. Take I-10 and Exit at #219.
- In Bisbee is the Queen Mine. Retired Phelps Dodge employees guide visitors into this once-prolific copper mine, which opened in 1877. Tours are daily. The Queen Mine is located south of Bisbee's Historic District, off the U.S. 80 interchange.
- To entertain the kids, be sure to include the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale at 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd. on an outing before summer temperatures arrive. Miniature trains, historic buildings, rolling stock and a fine playground keep them entertained. Call (480) 312-2312 for more information.
- In Mesa is the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Museum located at 2017 N. Greenfield Road. Dedicated to preserving aviation history and wartime memorabilia, visitors can see the famous B-17G Flying Fortress, among many other examples of aircraft. For more information, call (480) 924-1940.
Enjoy and be sure to drive safely.