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Home | Lifestyle | Schedule of events announced for Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta

Schedule of events announced for Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta

Officials have released the schedule of events for 11th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta set for Saturday, September 19.

Jasper the opossum, short walks into the desert to learn about its geology, plants and wildlife and a full slate of local entertainment promises to make the 11th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta a fun day for all.

The free event located at the end of the loop road at the Tom Mays section of Franklin Mountains State Park on Saturday, September 19, from 9am to 3pm, is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with the help of volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition.

 In addition to the events, participants have a chance at winning a 20” Freestyle Kent bike.  Fiesta attendees can pick up the Fiesta Scavenger Hunt at the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition booth and earn a free raffle ticket .

Fiesta planning committee chairs Benny Pol and Elizabeth Demoultrie have put together the following schedule of events. Pick up your copy at the entrance booth when you arrive.

Schedule of Guided Hikes (see descriptions below for more information)

9:00     Old and young volcanoes and faults present in Tom Mays Park and the surrounding region.
9:45     Oceans and Deserts of the past and present; sedimentary rocks in and visible from Tom Mays Park
10:00   Underground Mine Tunnel Tour
10:30   Climate and Clouds; our daily interfacing with the geosphere.
11:30   Interesting Sites and Facts, Geology overview of Landmarks with Clarence Cooper, UTEP Physics Professor
12:30   Dog Hike – Meet at Paws n Hooves Veterinary Services (short walk on trail across the way)
1:00     For the Love of Birds with Rick LoBello – Meet at Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition booth (short walk)
1:30     Geophysical and Earthquake demonstrations
2:00     Underground Mine Tunnel Tour
2:15     Fossils

Schedule of Events at the Entertainment Stage Area at the End of the Loop Road next to the Exhibitor Tent Area

9:00               Gretchen McElroy, Trail Running in the Franklins
9:30               Crazy Cat Cyclery, Mountain Biking
10-10:30        El Paso Zoo Wildlife Presentation Featuring Jasper the Opossum
10:45-11:15   Zin Zumba
11:30-12        Champion Studio (Ballet Flokorico)
12:15-1:15     Danza Azteca Tlaneztica
1:30-2            Little Zills (Belly Dance)
2- 2:30pm      Adult Zills (Belly Dance)
   
Exhibitors attending the festival this year include El Paso Water Utilities, El Paso Zoo, Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso Parks and Recreation, El Paso Community College Recycling Program, Wyler Aerial Tramway State Park, Hueco Tanks State Park, Defenders of Wildlife, UTEP Geology and Biology, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, El Paso Rock and Cactus Club, Friends of the Rio Bosque, Chamizal National Memorial Park Frontera Land Alliance, Trans Pecos Chapter Texas Master Naturalist, IBWC, Paws n Hooves Veterinary Services, The Ark, Crazy Cat Cyclery, Up and Running, TCEQ, El Paso Mineral and Gem Society, League of Women Voters

More on Geosciences Education Activities– Mini-field trips will run from 9am to 3pm, and will last only 30 minutes, with one exception.  The short time means you will not be walking far. The geosciences are not only about understanding the earth at your feet, but the vistas in the distance, and the sky above us.  Many of the following field trips may include a walk to a nearby place of higher elevation to get a better view.  Bring binoculars if you have them.  All mini-trips with the exception of trips 4 and 6 meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road to the right of the main stage and exhibit area.

Trip 1 – 9:00 am to 9:40 am – Old and young volcanoes and faults present in Tom Mays Park and the surrounding region led byProfessor Terry Pavlis and students.  For more information- 747-5570 or  tlpavlis@utep.edu.  Meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road.  ½ mile or less, easy walking. Bring sturdy shoes, hat, and water.  Earthquakes and volcanoes have occurred here in the geologic past.  Some geologic faults that form from earthquakes can be seen, and others inferred.  We will experience some of these events.

Trip 2 – 9:45 am to 10:15 am – .Oceans and Deserts of the past and present; sedimentary rocks in and visible from Tom Mays Park led by Professor Rip Langford and students.  For more information – 747-5968 or langford@utep.edu. Meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road.  ½ mile or less , easy walking. Bring besides sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, and water.  Oceans and deserts come and go throughout geologic time. Aspects of these events found within and visible from Tom Mays Park will be experienced and viewed; others will be inferred.

Trip 3 – 10:30 am to 11:15 am – Climate and Clouds; our daily interfacing with the geosphere.
Name of Program Leader led by Professor Tom Gill and students.  For more information –
747-5168 or tegill@utep.edu. Meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road.  No hiking is involved, just easy walking.  Climate and controversies are about us all the time.  Observations of real physical features available during the day will be made, observations of regional climatic variations will be discussed, and controversies will not be solved.  The interface between the earth and the air will be discussed.

Trip 4 -10:00 am to 11:30 am – Underground Mine Tunnel Tour; this trip requires a different meeting place and times, a restricted number of participants (15), and flashlights.  Program Leaders:  Professor Philip Goodell and Alex Mares.  For more information 747 5593 orgoodell@utep.edu. Meet at the Cottonwood Spring Parking Area.  The hike is 1 mile round trip and easy walking.  Bring sturdy shoes, hard hat, sunscreen, water and a working flashlight.   Mining is part of the history of humans. Most mineral exploration does not end in a mine; they are failures.  Today we will explore underground tunnels which were part of an unsuccessful mineral entrepreneurial activity. Check out the blue grotto!

Trip 5 – 1130 am to 1200 pm – Interesting Sites and Facts, Geology overview of Landmarks led by Physics Professor Clarence Cooper. Meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road.  ½ mile or less, easy walking. Bring sturdy shoes, hat, and water.

Trip 6- 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm –  Underground Mine Tunnel Tour; SEE INFORMATION ABOVE

Trip 7 – 1:30 pm to 2:05 pm – Geophysical and Earthquake demonstrations led by Professor Diane Doser and students.  For more information doser@utep.edu.  Meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road.  No hiking is involved. Bring hat, sunscreen and water.  Physics, chemistry, biology and math make up the study of the earth. Today, we will demonstrate simple laws of physics and how their study helps us understand the earth.

Trip 8 – 2:15 pm to 2:45 pm – Fossils led by Professor Kate Giles and students.  For more information 747-7075 or kagiles@utep.edu.  Meet near the Restrooms at the End of the Loop Road. ¼ mile Easy Walking.  Bring besides sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, water and a small hand held microscope (hand lens). The study of fossils has brought us such knowledge!  A variety of interesting fossils are present for our examination.  We are in a State Park, however, so please do not take samples home with you.

Every year the event attracts hundreds of people to the desert mountain park in northwest El Paso.

The outdoor venue celebrates the natural wonders of the Chihuahuan Desert and Franklin Mountains State Park. Local environmental education groups will be on hand to offer free demonstrations, guided tours, guest speakers and informational booths designed to introduce the curious to the wonders of our fascinating desert.

Special thanks to our volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition, El Paso Community College and the Ysleta High School Environmental Academy, UTEP.   For more information contact Franklin Mountains State Park at (915) 566-6441.   Report any emergency by calling 911.

For more information contact Franklin Mountains State Park at (915) 566-6441 or visit www.chihuahuandesert.org

About Chris Babcock

Editor in Chief: El Paso Herald-Post, horizoncity.com Chris began his long journey in Journalism back in the early 70’s. Armed with a Bell and Howell 8mm camera and tape recorder. Chris would go on to document such events as the great plastic dinosaur attack on Tornillo, GI Joe’s dramatic rescue of Barbie from a backyard mud pit and a massive toy train derailment caused by Godzilla. FULL BIO

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