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Last Minute LocalSeptember 26, 2014

FRIDAY

The $5 Sale: Giant $5 Jewelry Sale
https://www.facebook.com/UMCFoundation

Over 16,000 square feet of Top Brand Name Merchandise as seen in your favorite specialty shops and leading department stores. Over 100,00 items to choose from! Every item $5 only. Kids under 18 free with paid adult.
Powered by UMC Foundation Volunteer Corps, Teen Corps and Kids Corps! All proceeds benefit families in need right here at home.

The Cowboy Camp: Movies in the Canyon presented by Rudolph
http://elpasolive.com/moviesinthecanyon

Join us for FREE Movies in the Canyon every Friday and Saturday night at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Movies begin at dusk, approximately 8:30 pm. No outside food or beverages brought in.

Tonight’s Movie: Toy Story 2
When Woody is stolen by a toy collector, Buzz and his friends vow to rescue him, but Woody finds the idea of immortality in a museum tempting.

SATURDAY

The Family Fun Day: WIRED! Presented by the Rubin Center
http://academics.utep.edu/Default.aspx?alias=academics.utep.edu/visualarts

Come join the Rubin Center for Wired: a Jewelry Making Studio Art Lab Family Day! We will host a variety of 3D arts and crafts based on jewelry making that will complement our exhibitions. We will have yoga for kids and activities in the galleries. All ages are welcome. Free and open to the public.

The Adventure Continues: Movies in the Canyon presented by Rudolph
http://elpasolive.com/moviesinthecanyon

Join us for FREE Movies in the Canyon every Friday and Saturday night at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Movies begin at dusk, approximately 8:30 pm. No outside food or beverages brought in.

Tonight’s Movie: Toy Story 3
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it’s up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren’t abandoned and to return home.

SUNDAY

The Mile Long Climb: Last Sunday Hike: Sombrero Hike
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/franklin-mountains

Join us for this mile long hike up Ranger Peak and then relax with the view from the top of the mountain. Make sure to bring water, sturdy shoes, appropriate clothing and a sombrero!

The Chicano Community Celebration: Lincoln Park Day
915-204-1584 or lincolnparkcc@aol.com

Lincoln Park Day is an annual Chicano art and art show celebrating Lincoln Park Day that was proclaimed by the City of El Paso on September 20, 2009 and is the highlight of the Lincoln Park Conservation Committee’s annual events. The event features local and regional Chicanos artists from El Paso, Texas, Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua and surrounding communities. Also on display will be various low-riders, and antique custom cards participating in a car show hosted by the Latin Pride Car Club. Mural unveilings have been added, as well as presentations by artists and special guest speakers. Live music, food and traditional Danza Azteca, Matachines and Folklorico dancers will be part of the festivities.

About the Author

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso! Last Minute Local is posted every week and provides readers with a variety of "no planning necessary" ideas on things to see and do this weekend.


Bolson tortoises are found only in the Chihuahuan Desert September 23, 2014

Bolson tortoises live in two locations at the Zoo, on the north side of the Americas Land exhibit where they live with our peninsular pronghorns and javelinas and across from the entrance to the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center.

Bolson tortoises live in two locations at the Zoo, on the north side of the Americas Land exhibit where they live with our peninsular pronghorns and javelinas and across from the entrance to the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center.

The bolson tortoise is an endemic species of the Chihuahuan Desert that was only recently discovered in 1959. Biologists use the term “endemic” to describe any plant or animal species living in one particular place or region. Of the 156 reptile species living in the Chihuahuan Desert, 24 species are endemics. This tortoise is also known as the Mexican giant tortoise or yellow-bordered tortoise. In Mexico it is called tortuga grande, tortuga llanero or tortuga topo.

Long before the coming of the first European explorers to North America, bolson tortoises are believed to have lived in the El Paso region during the Pleistocene Epoch that lasted from 1.65 million to 10,000 years ago. It was during this period about 14-30,000 years ago that humans migrated to North America. More than likely some early humans might have eaten tortoises as a source of protein.
Bolsons are the largest tortoises in North America reaching 18" in length and weighing up to 30 pounds. The species was discovered by accident in 1959 when scientists working in an area where the boundaries of the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango come together, came across the species by chance. The story goes that they found a tortoise shell being used as a dish to hold chicken feed. When they asked the rancher where the shell came from he pointed into the desert describing the “la tortuga grande del desierto,” the big turtle of the desert. Not long after, a new species of tortoise was described and given the Latin name Gopherus flavomarginatus.

Today bolson tortoises survive mainly in one small area of northern Mexico near Torreón, Coahuila called the Bolsón de Mapimí. I first came to know this species during the spring of 1990 when I was working for the Big Bend Natural History Association. Big Bend National Park Superintendent Jim Carrico, Chief Ranger Phil Koepp and I joined officials from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on a trip to visit critical bolson tortoise habitat in Mexico. We were joined by scientists from California who were studying the bolson tortoise at the Bolsón de Mapimí Man and the Biosphere Reserve and Research Station in Durango. Soon after we returned the Los Angeles Times published a story about a proposed reintroduction effort that would return bolson tortoises to their former Pleistocene range in Big Bend National Park. Twenty-four years later there are no plans to return this species to the park, but the effort remains on the radar screen of Big Bend park officials.

Bolson tortoises live in two locations at the Zoo, on the north side of the Americas Land exhibit where they live with our peninsular pronghorns and javelinas and across from the entrance to the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center. The Zoo Education Team also has some bolson tortoises in our education animal collection. These tortoises are shown to Zoo guests during special animal encounter programs and as part of Zoo Adventure classes for school children.
During the winter months from about November to February bolson tortoises hibernate in underground burrows and as are result are not visible. The bolson is the only animal at the Zoo that hibernates in its exhibit.

The El Paso Zoo is working with the Turner Endangered Species Fund and the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park in helping with a reintroduction project near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico at the Ladder and Armendaris Ranches. Zoo staff is assisting research scientists in determining the gender of baby tortoises, as part of a larger effort to breed bolson tortoises for eventual release into portions of their former range.

According to the IUCN Red List “this species is listed as Vulnerable because it has experienced a population decline of up to 50% over the past 3 generations. It faced catastrophic levels of exploitation during the middle of the 20th century, with subsequent lower levels of exploitation. At present the species is protected from direct exploitation and part of its extent of occurrence is protected, but some subsistence collection and habitat degradation impacts likely still occur. With the worst impacts over, it is rated Vulnerable (under A1) rather than Endangered (under A2). About six separate subpopulations exist, comprising some 7,000 to 10,000 adults, collectively occurring over about 7,000 sq. km."

You can help support El Paso Zoo conservation efforts my making a tax deductible contribution to the El Paso Zoological Society.

Tortoises, like these Galapagos tortoises, are one of several dozen species of animals at the Zoo that get to enjoy pumpkins during Boo at the Zoo.  This year’s Boo at the Zoo is planned for October 25-26.

Tortoises, like these Galapagos tortoises, are one of several dozen species of animals at the Zoo that get to enjoy pumpkins during Boo at the Zoo. This year’s Boo at the Zoo is planned for October 25-26.

About the Author

Rick LoBello

Rick LoBello has worked in the field of conservation education since 1973 when he started his career as Zoological Curator at the Kansas City Museum of History and Science. He has spent 25 years working as a park ranger and Executive Director at four national parks including Big Bend, Yellowstone, Guadalupe and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks. Since coming to work at the El Paso Zoo in 2002 he has served as Education Curator and has been very active in conservation programs in the region working with organizations like the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition. Over the years his efforts have been honored by Rotary International, the National Park Service and most recently by the Trans Pecos Audubon Society and The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2012 Environmental Summit. In 2009 he wrote a guidebook for Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International entitled Guide to Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park: Home to Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas available on Amazon.com


Last Minute LocalSeptember 19, 2014

FRIDAY

The Latin Variety Show: FirstLight Federal Credit Union presents Alfresco Fridays featuring Azucar
http://www.Alfrescofridays.com

Alfresco! Friday’s celebrates the 12th Anniversary in 2014 at its new location at the Convention Center Plaza! Alfresco! Fridays provides a casual way to experience some of the best established and upcoming local bands. Originally conceived as a way of keeping employees downtown at the start of the weekend, the concerts quickly became a draw for visitors to downtown. The upcoming season will feature Jazz, Latin, Reggae, Classic Rock, Salsa, Funk, Mariachi and more. No Outside Food or Beverages Allowed. No Pets Allowed.

Azucar:
Begin with a brilliant classically trained and multi-influenced virtuoso pianist, composer and arranger from El Paso, the Texas border town across the Rio Grande River from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Add the rich voice and masterful bass guitar accompaniment of his brother. Blend in a beautiful and talented female vocalist and toss in a mean horn section. Stir in drums and Puerto Rican rhythm for “sabor,” and you have the red hot Latin salsa and variety band called AZUCAR.

This extremely versatile group amazes both listeners and dancers as the talented musicians work their way from upbeat, fiery Latin salsas and merengues to tender, romantic contemporary pop ballads and then on to big band hits, Tejano, and rock and roll “oldies.” AZUCAR is the rare band that is able to play something for everybody without ever sacrificing musical integrity.

The German Festival: Oktoberfest 2014
http://www.blissmwr.com/oktoberfest/

Keeping the tradition alive, Fort Bliss Family and MWR has taken Oktoberfest to the next level – bigger location, safer environment and plenty of old and new ways to celebrate the annual tradition of German fun, music and camaraderie. The gates open at 6pm. Included in the ticket price will be an authentic collectable beer stein, a full German meal, and entertainment all night! A free shuttle service will take those who live on post home. No DUI El Paso will be on hand to provide free rides home to those living in El Paso. Gates open at 6pm for these nights.

SATURDAY

The 5K: Walk Like MADD
http://support.madd.org/site/TR/WalkLikeMADD/WalkLikeMADDwlm_?pg=entry&fr_id=3450

Walk Like MADD is our signature 5K walk fundraising event to help us raise awareness and funds to eliminate drunk driving. You can help MADD eliminate drunk driving by signing up for our Walk Like MADD Event as a walker or team captain. If you cannot attend the event, you can still be involved by signing up as a virtual walker or making a donation to another walker or team.

The Natural Wonders of our Desert:10th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta
http://www.chihuahuandesert.org/

Live desert animals from the El Paso Zoo, guided tours, and a full slate of local entertainment promises to make the 10th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta a fun day for all. The free event at the Tom Mays section of Franklin Mountains State Park is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with the help of volunteers from the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition. 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.

The “Kicker”: Monster Truck Show & Arenacross
http://www.cyclecitypromotions.com/schedule/el-paso

The Kicker Arenacross, the nation’s top motorcycle race series, comes to Cohen Stadium September 19 and 20 for round 4 of the Kicker Arenacross Summer Series. With high Flying, Bar to Bar action, this September stop on the tour will feature some of the nation’s top professional and amateur arenacross competitors.

With over 150 truckloads of dirt hauled into Cohen Stadium, we will create a man made, motorcycle race course that will challenge even the toughest of riders. Massive air, high bank turns and technical rhythm sections will make this a MUST SEE event.

If that’s not enough, then hold on for the ultimate Monster Truck show featuring the world-famous “King Crunch, Trouble Maker, Nitro Hornet and Double Trouble.” Watch as these massive trucks, with over 1,000 horse power, perform car crushing jumps, wheelies, donuts and more. If that’s not enough, take a ride on a real monster truck during the Track Party.

SUNDAY

The Local Vendors: Fall Art in the Park 2014
http://home.elpasotexas.gov/parks/

Art in the Park invites all local and visiting artists/crafters by selling their hand and homemade products to the public. If you are looking for ‘Made in the USA’ items, this is where to look. All artists/crafters will be present. Bands, performers, will be providing entertainment both days. Food vendors will be present.

The Grand Opening: El Paso Holocaust Museum: Music in the Holocaust
http://www.elpasoholocaustmuseum.org/

El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center presents the traveling exhibit: “Music and the Holocaust: The Notes Rose up in Flames,” opening Sunday, September 7. The exhibit will run until October 26. EPHM invites the public to the Grand Opening of the exhibit on September 7th, 1:00-5:00 pm. The event will include guided tours of the new exhibit and refreshments. A Music Demonstration and Presentation for children will begin at 3:00pm. Activities for children will also include crafts and story time, so bring the whole family!


Last Minute LocalSeptember 5, 2014

FRIDAY

The Retro Gig: FirstLight Federal Credit Union presents Alfresco Fridays featuring Prime 80’s Xperience
http://www.alfrescofridays.com

Alfresco! Friday’s celebrates the 12th Anniversary in 2014 at its new location at the Convention Center Plaza! Alfresco! Fridays provides a casual way to experience some of the best established and upcoming local bands. Originally conceived as a way of keeping employees downtown at the start of the weekend, the concerts quickly became a draw for visitors to downtown. The upcoming season will feature Jazz, Latin, Reggae, Classic Rock, Salsa, Funk, Mariachi and more. No Outside Food or Beverages Allowed. No Pets Allowed.

Tonight’s Band: Prime 80’s Xperience
Prime 80’s Xperience is a 3-piece tribute band that was formed in early 2009. The band consists of musicians who have been performing throughout the great Southwest, in other bands, for at least 10 years or more. Daniel Carrasco, is the founding member of this band, and is lead vocalist, bass player, and keyboard programmer/player, Larry Gonzalez is lead vocalist, and rhythm and lead guitarist, and Ruben Flores, is backup vocalist and percussionist. All have performed in various cover and original bands throughout the years and most recently performed as a cover/variety band called PRIME. At this time, PRIME 80’s Xperience is the only know 80’s retro tribute band in the El Paso and surrounding areas. Due to the increased popularity of 80’s dance/retro music, the band was formed and has played various local events with great success. Many onboard with this trend. Some of the artists that are covered are: Depeche Mode, New Order, Billy Idol, Flock of Seagulls and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, to name but a few. Although a goal of this band is to provide memories of a remarkable decade of music to audience members, all band members have a great love for the music and trends that came out of that era. For this reason, PRIME 80’s Xperience is a one of a kind trip back in time and more than anything, a fun filled dance party and tribute to everything 80’s!

The Sci-Fi Adventure: Rudolph Presents Movies in the Canyon featuring Hunger Games: Catching Fire
http://www.moviesinthecanyon.com

Join us for FREE Movies in the Canyon every Friday and Saturday night at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Movies begin at dusk, approximately 8:30 pm. No outside food or beverages brought in.

SATURDAY

The Endowment Fund 5K: Future Engineers 5k run/walk
http://www.raceadventuresunlimited.com/Future-Engineers/919/details

T-shirt for the first 200 registered participants, refreshments at the Finish Line. This race is part of the El Paso Marathon’s “More Than a Marathon” 5K Challenge. Proceeds benefit TSPE El Paso Chapter UTEP Engineering Endowment Scholarship Fun.

The Pianist: El Paso Chopin Festival
http://www.elpaso-chopin.com/

As the El Paso Chopin Music Festival prepares for the Twentieth Encore Season, The Festival is proud to announce a Special Performance by the Festival Founder, Doctor Lucy Scarbrough. Featuring pianists from Mexico, England, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Canada, Russia, China, Taiwan, Yugoslavia, Moldova, and the United States, the festival has received rave reviews, with every concert playing to a full house. The Festival’s founder and artistic director, Dr. Lucy Scarbrough, was inspired to establish the Festival because of the great influence that Chopin’s music has around the world. “Frederic Chopin was one of the great world ambassadors.” Dr. Scarbrough has said. “His music is truly a universal language of beauty that knows no barriers of nation or culture. “Chopin is the master of the piano. He is credited with originating the modern piano style, and that style is Chopin’s own, readily recognizable and distinctive style. The music of this fine romantic composer is featured in the Festival to provide an opportunity for residents and visitors to the tri-city region to hear the piano played with unsurpassed elegance, power, and expression.

Also performing Corbin Beisner, Saturday, September 20 at 7:00 PM and Lucy Scarborough, Saturday, October 4 at 7:00 PM.

The Haunting: Concordia Cemetery Ghost Tour
915-274-9531

Experience the hauntings of Concordia Cemetery and see if you can find activity inside El Paso’s City of the Dead. Bring your cameras and become the Ghost Hunter as you learn about the history, mystery, and lore of this historic landmark. $10 a person as proceeds to to the cemetery for restoration and preservation purposes.

SUNDAY

The Ice Cream Social: grandparents’ Day @ Magoffin Home State Historic Site
http://www.visitmagoffinhome.com/index.aspx?recordid=1441&page=611

It’s Grandparents’ Day and a chance for us to honor those we love and appreciate. Bring your grandparents on a tour of the Magoffin Home and enjoy some delicious ice cream.

The K-9 Pool Party: Dog Day Swimming Event
http://home.elpasotexas.gov/parks/

The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department will host the 6th Annual “Dog Swim Day” at Nations Tobin Aquatic center. The Animal Rescue League will have dogs available for adoption along with other adoption agencies including the El Paso Humane Society.


Let’s Get Campin’September 4, 2014

September is the kickoff month for festivals, fiestas and camping at your Franklin Mountains State Park! As many of you know, September is also the month that kicks off “Celebration of Our Mountains”, so be sure to check out the entire lineup of wonderful programs for this annual event: http://www.celebmtns.org/2014-brochure/.

With the Fall season around the corner, we couldn’t be more eager to share all of the programs that we get to offer you at this time of year. The temperatures are beginning to cool down and our outdoor events are ramping up – one of our more popular ones being camping!

September 13th – 14th, 2014 is our much anticipated Texas Outdoor Family Campout (TOF). We have park rangers traveling in from Austin, Texas, with gear and good times in tow. Best of all, no experience is necessary, it’s affordably priced and you get all the help and advice you need from highly skilled outdoor specialists and trained volunteers. There is a limit of 10 families for this event, so be sure to make your reservations as soon as possible. For reservations and more information: Contact us by e-mail at tofsp@tpwd.texas.gov or call us at (512) 389-8903 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Learn everything you need to know to have a successful camping experience at our TOF workshop hosted at the Franklin Mountains State Park.

Start: 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 13
End: 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 14
Cost: $65.00 per family (up to 6 family members)
Description: We provide all the equipment, too, including a tent, stove, pans, lanterns, air mattresses, cooking utensils, and more!

Your family will receive hands-on experience learning basic outdoor skills such as:

• How to set up and break down camp (including your tent)
• Fire starting
• Outdoor cooking
• Jr. Ranger Program
• Guided nature walks
• Geocaching
• Introductions to a wide range of outdoor activities specific to Franklin Mountains State Park

If you know a family who would love to participate, but may not have the means, you can make some dreams come true by sponsoring a family. Just let the receptionists know when you call to make the reservations. We’re looking forward to pitching tents, roasting marshmallows and taking in the splendors of the Franklin Mountains with you!
Ranger News: Last week one of your park rangers, Ranger Weickhardt, returned from a month-long National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course in Yukon, Canada.

The course was geared towards outdoor educators and included lessons in environmental ethics and stewardship, leave no trace principles, risk management, wilderness conservation, leadership, back country cooking, land navigation and map reading, as well as technical mountain and river skills to name a few. She, along with 11 other students and 3 instructors, spent 30 days backpacking and whitewater canoeing along an exploratory route through remote wilderness of the Yukon Territory. They were fully self-supported, carrying all of their food and gear for the duration of the course. They paddled over 200 kilometers along lakes, streams, and rivers at times encountering seemingly endless series of beaver dams; these required rope systems, muscle and teamwork to hoist the 300+ pound boats loaded with gear up and over, or underneath and through the log jams. During the middle segment of the course, they traversed 50 kilometers of the Logan Mountains in 10 days following caribou trails, steep ridges and talus slopes, through breath taking open valleys, and bushwhacked through dense mountain sides.

Ranger Weickhardt will also be giving a presentation about her course experience, including photos, stories, skills and lessons learned at the 2014 Franklin Mountains SP Volunteer Orientation and Campout – October 11-12th.
This year’s orientation is full of exciting topics and special guest speakers and experts in a variety of fields; topics include: Botany of the Franklin Mountains, Bug Appreciation, Geology of the Franklin Mountains, Chihuahuan Desert Reptiles, Birding 101, Dutch Oven 101 – Camp Cooking, Wilderness First Aid, and a great presentation from one of our speakers’ expeditions on Mt. Everest! Now’s a perfect time to volunteer for the Franklin Mountains State Park; we’ve got many wonderful opportunities to get you involved with throughout the year and a fun, comprehensive orientation just around the corner to prepare you. Call (915) 566-6441 to get more information or email Ranger Weickhardt: Adrianna.weickhardt@tpwd.texas.gov.
We look forward to seeing you on the mountains soon!
SEPTEMBER
Sun., September 7: 8:00 a.m. Women’s Mountain Bike Ride – Beginner’s
Sat., September 13 & 14: 9:30 a.m. Texas Outdoor Family Campout
Sat., September 20: 9:00 a.m. 10th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta (FREE)
Sun., September 21: 9:00 a.m. West Cottonwood Springs Mine Tour
Sun., September 21: 7:00 a.m. Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride

OCTOBER
Sat., Oct. 4: 8:00 a.m. Women’s MTB Ride (Beginner’s)
Sun., Oct. 5: 7:00 a.m. – Beginner’s Mountain Bike Ride
Sat., Oct. 11 and 12: TBD Franklin Mountains State Park Volunteer Orientation – Campout
Sat., Oct. 25: 8:00 a.m. – Women’s MTB Workshop (Beginner’s)
Sun., Oct. 26: 7:00 a.m. – Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride
Fri., Oct. 31: 5:00 p.m. – Halloween Mine Tour

NOVEMBER
Sat., Nov 1.: TBD Happy Tails n’ Happy Trails (Dog adoption fair and fun activities to do with your pooch)
Sun., Nov. 2: 9:00 a.m. – Women’s MTB Ride (Beginner’s)
Sat., Nov. 8: 9:00 a.m. – Beginner’s Mountain Bike Ride
Sun., Nov 9: 10:00 a.m. – Photography 101 Workshop with Wayne Pope
Sat., Nov. 15: 7:00 a.m. – Peak Fitness Challenge Hike – North Franklin Peak
Sun., Nov. 16: 9:00 a.m. – Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride
Sun., Nov. 16: 9:00 a.m. – Nature Walk Trail
Sat., Nov. 22: 9:00 a.m. – Women’s Beginner’s Hike – Lower Sunset Trail
Thurs., Nov. 27: 9:00 a.m. – Turkey Trail Trilogy (3 hikes, back to back)

DECEMBER
Sun., December 6: 9:00 a.m. – Beginner’s Mountain Bike Ride
Sat., December 13: 9:00 a.m. T’was the Hike Before Christmas
Sun., December 14: 9:00 a.m. Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride
Sat., December 20: 9:00 a.m. T’was the Hike Before Christmas
Sun., December 21: 9:00 a.m. Jingle Dogs Hike
Thurs., December 25: 10:00 a.m. Christmas Mine Tour


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