Over the past eleven years thousands of El Pasoans attending the Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta at Tom Mays Park have discovered the rugged beauty of Franklin Mountains State Park. On Saturday, residents will get an additional treat: Coyotes will be lurking in Franklin Mountains State Park this weekend. So will Rhinos.
Players with the El Paso Coyotes soccer team and the El Paso Rhinos hockey team will take part in the 12th annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17 at Tom Mays Unit off Transmountain Road.
Max the Coyote and Spike the Rhino, the official mascots for the teams, also will be there. The theme for this year’s celebration is “It’s Y(our) Desert”. It is an opportunity for our community to get together to celebrate our West Texas mountain region and our desert home, known as the Chihuahuan Desert.
The fiesta will feature music, dance groups, a prairie dog presentation, geology and biology activities, guided walks, Dutch oven cooking, animal displays, hikes, food and more.
The free event is held yearly to highlight Franklin Mountains State Park, which features an amazing landscape, hiking trails, and camping and picnic sites, surrounded by an undisturbed Chihuahuan Desert landscape.
Highlights of this year’s event will include local musician Brandon Baily Johnson opening the event with the National Anthem and playing to 10 a.m., a Chihuahuan Desert animal presentation at 11:30 featuring a prairie dog from the El Paso Zoo, Serna Ranch Dutch Oven cooking and Cowboy coffee demonstration, guided walks and talks and education partner booths.
Live entertainment will be presented by the Parks and Recreation Department and local mascots will be attending helping to create a festive atmosphere and great photo ops for kids of all ages from 10am to noon.
The entertainment schedule will include – Champion Studio(Folkorico)- 12pm-12:
Please note that because of ongoing road construction this year access to Tom Mays and the fiesta is only westbound on the Trans Mountain Road (Loop 375). The best and safest way to reach the park from the west side of El Paso is by taking I-10 east and then 54 north. Exit on Loop 375 Trans Mountain Road, turn left under 54 and go west.
After passing over Smuggler’s Gap the park entrance will be on your right as you pass through the road construction zone.