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Last Minute LocalJuly 25, 2014

FRIDAY

The Pop Star: FirstLight Federal Credit Union presents Alfresco Fridays
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: Sha’Vonne (Pop, R&B)

Sha’Vonne’s powerhouse voice is simply Unique and Captivating! One of the most popular and sought after singer/songwriters in the southwest Guaranteeing an EXPERIENCE of a LIFETIME! Sha’Vonne was born and raised in Texas, growing up in a musical family with gospel background, directing choirs and leading worship. Singing in church allowed the roots of her natural effortless talents to flourish. She has flawlessly fused musical genres from R&B/Soul, Pop, Rock, Jazz to name a few, with seamless patchwork.

The Movies on the Mountain: Movies in the Canyon presented by Rudolph Dealerships
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 and as a special treat, we will feature 2 movies during the month of July. Come enjoy your favorite family movies brought to you by Rudolph! No outside food or beverages brought in.

Tonight’s Movies: The Smurfs 2 & The Lego Movie

SATURDAY

The Awareness Run: HomeRun for the Homeless 5K and Kids Dash
https://www.raceadventuresunlimited.com/Home-Run-For-The-Homeless-5K-And-Kids-Dash/1009/details

All profits from this event will benefit El Paso’s Opportunity Center for the Homeless. Registration will include a ticket to the Saturday Baseball Game where there will be fireworks as well as a T-shirt for the first 600 that register. Race day registration begins at 7 am however there will be no race day registration for the COMPETITIVE 5K run.

The Fun in the Franklins: Arts in the Parks at the Wyler Aerial Tramway
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/arts-in-the-parks-3

Your creativity will soar atop Ranger Peak! Enjoy arts and crafts, inspiration and fun at the Wyler Aerial Tramway.

The Comic Opera: The Mikado
http://www.gandselpaso.org/index.php/el-paso-performances

Gilbert and Sullivan Company of El Paso present its 45th annual community production “The Mikado” at the Chamizal National Memorial Theatre. The Mikado is a comic opera in tow acts that opened in 1885 and is set in Japan.

SUNDAY

The View: Tramway Last Sunday Hike
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/tramway-last-sunday-hike

Join the rangers for a hike up to Ranger Peak. Meet at 7 am.

The History Lesson: San Elizario Historic District Tour
http://www.sanelizariohistoricdistrict.org/

The San Elizario Historic District will present two free guided walking tours of the nationally recognized Historic District on the 4th Sunday of every month. Tour times are at Noon and 3 PM. Participants are asked to gather at the Main Street Mercantile, 15 minutes prior to the tour. The tour will take approximately one hour and a half. This is a walking tour, at a slow pace. Don’t forget your camera!

The Picnic in the Park: Music Under the Stars
http://www.elpasotexas.gov/mcad/default.asp

Enjoy a free musical performance at the Chamizal National Memorial Amphitheatre. This weeks featured band is ‘Sobredosis del Sabor’(Latin). Park at the El Paso Zoo and take a FREE Shuttle to the Park!


Last Minute LocalJuly 18, 2014

FRIDAY

Good Health: Affordable Dental Associates Health Fair
http://www.915dentist.com/

You’re invited to participate in our New Monthly Health Fair! It’s a festive day of fun dancing under the sun, with great food, exciting raffle prizes and a free music concert for the entire family. Live band performances including fitness/health demonstrations. All vendors/organizations are welcome to join!

The 80’s: FirstLight Federal Credit Union presents Alfresco Fridays
http://elpasolive.com/calendar/820-tool-booth-willie-ska-80-s-pop-rock

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.

This Friday’s band: Tool Booth Willie (Ska, 80’s, Pop-Rock)
Toll Booth Willie has been on the southwest music scene for more than a decade. Springing from previous incarnations from the ska scene of the 90s, they have expanded their sound to a full-on party rock band with a powerful horn section. While Toll Booth Willie still holds on to their ska roots, their repertoire includes a range of progressive-pop-rock originals, reworking of 80s/90s rock and pop songs, as well as a variety of other energetic tunes. Toll Booth Willie has evolved from a standard “bar band” to performing primarily for special events. Often referred to as a party band, with their fun, high-energy music and mood-lightening interaction with the crowd and each other, Toll Booth Willie keeps any event lively and moving. If you want your guests to move their bodies with a smile on their faces, Toll Booth Willie is the band for the job.

The Cinema Alfresco Style: UTEP Movies on the Lawn
http://sa.utep.edu/union/moviesonthelawn/

Movies Begin at approximately 8:30pm-start times determined by sunset. All movies are subject to change without prior notice. Weekly giveaways for the first 100 people! $5.00 Movie Combo, includes Hot Dog, Small Soda, and Popcorn.

NO Alcohol, Glass Containers, or Pets Allowed! UTEP is now a tobacco free campus! Thank you for not smoking!

Tonight’s Movie: Harry and the Hendersons
While vacationing in the Pacific Northwest, the Henderson clan’s dad, George (John Lithgow); mom, Nancy (Melinda Dillon); daughter, Sarah (Margaret Langrick); and son, Ernie (Joshua Rudoy), accidently run over a strange animal with their car, and when they get out to see what it is, they find the seemingly dead body of a hairy Bigfoot-type monster (Kevin Peter Hall). Believing that the creature is a grizzly bear, the Hendersons take it home, planning to stuff the beast and put it on display in their living room. Predictably, the hirsute monster revives and is adopted by the family as a pet.

SATURDAY

The Troops: Chamizal Junior Ranger Saturday
http://www.nps.gov/cham/planyourvisit/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageID=787414

The third Saturday of each month kids ages 5-11 are invited to come have fun and create a cultural or natural craft and learn about nature or cultures with a park ranger. This 45-minute program focuses on underlying themes related to the park such as friendship, diversity, commonalities among different cultures, creative problem solving or the Memorial’s history, plants, and/or animals .

The Tats: Texas Showdown Festival
http://texastattooshowdownfestival.com/

The Country’s largest Tattoo & Music Festival returns to the El Paso’s County Coliseum for 3 days of concerts & tattooing. Get tattooed at the fest by your favorite TV show artist or one of over 300 artists from around the globe. Enjoy local food & ice cold beer under our giant circus tent all overlooking the main concert stage outdoors.
Gates to this indoor and outdoor event open daily 12noon-11pm.

Tickets $30 Daily & $75 Weekend Pass. Save on Service Fess & get At Coliseum Box Office & All Ticket Master Locations.

The Big Screen in the Canyon: Movies in the Canyon presented by Rudolph Dealerships
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. As a special treat, we will feature 2 movies during the month of July. Come enjoy your favorite family movies brought to you by Rudolph!

No outside food or beverages brought in.

This Saturdays Movies: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Marvel’s The Avengers

SUNDAY

The Arts & Crafts: Mission Trail Art Market
http://www.missiontrailartmarket.com/

Discover the Mission Trail Art Market, The Mission Valley’s premier art and craft sale. Professional artisans from across the region present an amazing selection of quality art and craft. Choose from delicate pottery, vibrant jewelry, timeless home accents, and seasonal decorations. Painting, sculpture and photography for the connoisseur. Sweet and savory treats for the gourmet.

The Reenactment: Billy the Kid Breakout Show
http://www.sanelizariohistoricdistrict.org/

The “Pistoleros De San Elizario” present two monthly reenactment shows in front of the Old El Paso County Jail in the San Elizario Historic District. The shows are during the monthly Mission Trail Art Market. The performances are at 1 & 3 PM.

Pack your Picnic: Music Under the Stars
http://www.elpasotexas.gov/mcad/default.asp

El Paso’s leading FREE concert series held every Sunday in the summer between June-August at Chamizal National Memorial. The series boasts performances by local, national and international musicians.

No pets, No Glass Containers, No Smoking in the Bowl Area
No Outside Alcohol permitted/ Alcohol sold on site of many genres. See you there!


Last Minute LocalJuly 10, 2014

FRIDAY

The Concert: FirstLight Federal Credit Union presents Alfresco Fridays
http://elpasolive.com/alfrescofridays

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. Admission is Free. No Outside Food or Beverages Allowed. No Pets Allowed.

Tonight’s Band: Exito (Tejano)

The Movie: Movies in the Canyon presented by Rudolph Dealerships
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 and as a special treat, we will feature 2 movies during the month of July. No outside food or beverages brought in.

Tonight’s Movies: Frozen & Tangled

SATURDAY

The Artists: Tramway’s Art in the Park
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/arts-in-the-parks-2

Come out to the Tramway and create some art inspired by the view from the top of Ranger Peak! We will have station set up on top of Ranger Peak where you will be able to paint, make a collage or some crafts. Materials will be provided.

The Festival: Ysleta Mission Festival
http://ysletamission.org/

Enjoy the music, food and friends in the mission valley at the Ysleta Mission Festival. Tonight’s bands include Windy City, Souled Out and FM Junkies. Matachines in front of mission all three days.

SUNDAY

The Music: Music Under the Stars
http://www.elpasotexas.gov/mcad/summerprograms.asp

El Paso’s leading FREE concert series held every Sunday in the summer between June-August at Chamizal National Memorial. The series boasts performances by local, national and international musicians of many genres.


SCHOOL IS OUT, PARKS ARE IN!July 8, 2014

SCHOOL IS OUT, PARKS ARE IN!

School is out and parks are in! As you are making your summer plans to spend family time together while the kiddos are out of school, remember that one of your best “get-aways” is right in your own backyard – the Franklin Mountains State Park. Boasting almost 27,000 acres, over 100 miles of trails, and countless activities to enjoy, the Franklin Mountains State Park offers endless ways to make those special family memories.

The park offers programs suitable for folks of all ages and fitness levels to enjoy all summer long; we have also begun offering our earlier start times to ensure that we all miss the mid-day sun and summer heat.

As we look ahead to the fall, you can start making your plans to join us for our campouts, too. In September, you can learn everything you need to know to have a successful camping experience at a Texas Outdoor Family (TOF) workshop –We provide all the equipment, too, including a tent, stove, pans, lanterns, air mattresses, cooking utensils, and more!

Learn how to:
-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

Best of all, no experience is necessary and you get all the help and advice you need from highly skilled outdoor specialists and trained volunteers.

From all of us at the park, we wish you a happy summer and look forward to seeing you on the mountain!
Join us for our programs at the park:

JULY
Sat., July 5: 5:00 a.m. Peak Fitness Challenge – Ron Coleman Trail
Sat., July 12: 8:00 a.m. Nature Walk Trail Hike
Sun., July 13: 7:00 a.m. Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride
Sat., July 19: 7:00 a.m. Beginner’s Mountain Bike Ride
Sun., July 20: 9:00 a.m. West Cottonwood Springs Mine Tour
Sat., July 26: 8:00 a.m. Nature Walk Trail Hike

AUGUST
Sat., August 2: 7:00 a.m. – “Bark in the Park” hike
Sun., August 3: 9:00 a.m. West Cottonwood Springs Mine Tour
Fri., August 8: 8:00 a.m. Nature Walk Trail Hike
Sat., August 9: 7:00 a.m. Beginner’s Mountain Bike Ride
Sat., August 16: 7:00 a.m. Women’s Beginner’s Hike
Sun., August 17: 7:00 a.m. Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride
Sat., August 23: TBD Chihuahuan Desert Chili Challenge (Chili Cook Off)

“Celebration of Our Mountains” begins in September and runs through November! Below are the activities the park will host in conjunction with this annual event; make sure to pick up a “Celebration of Our Mountains” booklet of events at the park (available in August).

SEPTEMBER
Sept. 7 – 8:00 a.m. Nature Walk Trail
Sept 7 – 8:00 a.m. Women’s MTB Ride
Sat., September 13 & 14: 9:30 a.m. Texas Outdoor Family Campout
Sat., September 20: 9:00 a.m. 10th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta
Sun., September 21: 9:00 a.m. West Cottonwood Springs Mine Tour
Sun., September 21: 7:00 a.m. Intermediate Mountain Bike Ride

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

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

Call (915) 566-6441 for more information and to make your reservations.


Kids love bugs, big time!July 8, 2014

Make Plans to attend Bug Awareness Weekend at the El Paso Zoo – August 2-3

The harmless vinegaroon is found in the desert areas of El Paso.  It gets its name from a vinegar like smelling acid that it will squirt at its enemies.

The harmless vinegaroon is found in the desert areas of El Paso. It gets its name from a vinegar like smelling acid that it will squirt at its enemies.

Do you know of any children that like bugs? The El Paso Zoo does and every year we break out the bugs just for them. It’s a back to school “bug out” and our educators with lots of help from zoo keepers, volunteers and our resident chef, get all buggy just thinking about the fun weekend ahead. Bug lovers you say? Yep, kids love bugs; you can see it in their faces, no doubt about it.

Children at the Zoo enjoying a close up look at a tarantula.

Children at the Zoo enjoying a close up look at a tarantula.

Now if you are an entomologist, you know that of the more than one million different kinds of bugs scientists have described so far, “true bugs” belong to the insect order called Hemiptera. These are the oval shaped insects with flattened bodies and mouths that let them suck blood or juices from plants, animals or humans. They include cicadas, aphids (like the ones you find in vegetable gardens), leafhoppers, kissing bugs and bed bugs.

Here at the Zoo and pretty much across the country, most people refer to the entire world of creepy crawlers as bugs, no matter what order they are classified in. The Zoo’s bug collection is used mainly for education presentations called Zoo Adventure Programs offered to school groups. We also show them at special animal encounter programs for the general public in our discovery centers. The list of species living here includes tarantulas, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes and insects like whirligig beetles, diving beetles and water bugs. Most of what we have lives right here in El Paso, but they are rarely seen because of their nocturnal lifestyles.

The Zoo plans to feature an exhibit with bugs as part of a new Chihuahuan Desert experience exhibit expected to open in 2018. As you enter the area you will have an opportunity to go inside an abandoned ranch house where an amazing array of insects and small animals have moved in and taken over. Until then our educators will feature our bugs during special events and educational programs. Currently we maintain a collection of over 25 species including a new red clawed scorpion, Brazilian black tarantula and giant African millipede.

Our Bug Awareness Weekend will tie into the three geographic regions featured at the Zoo. In the El Paso Electric Kalahari Research Center we will have some bugs from Africa. In the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Education Center we will have our largest collection of bugs from the Americas. Across the Franklin Canal we will have some bugs from Asia in the Asia Discovery Center.

Some zoo-goers can’t get enough of our cricket- chocolate-chip cookies.

Some zoo-goers can’t get enough of our cricket- chocolate-chip cookies.

You definitely will not want to miss the amazing bug dishes that our resident Chef, Miguel Guillen will be cooking up. Last year we had long lines of bug eaters from across the city coming by to eat up everything the Chef created including Grasshopper Stir Fry, Sweet Cricket Popcorn and Roasted Leaf Cutter Ants. Don’t say “ugh bugs”, all around the world people eat bugs as part of their daily diet. The term entomophagy is used to describe how people eat bugs. Did you know that people have eaten bugs including their eggs and larvae since prehistoric times? Eating bugs is rare in the developed world, but it seems to be growing in popularity here at the Zoo. Who knows, perhaps someday a major TV network will host a bug cooking reality show and we can host it right here in El Paso!

This year I am scheduled to tell some of my favorite desert bug stories in the Cisneros Paraje Discovery Center. Do you know about the amazing relationship between desert termites and spadefoot toads? Years ago a friend of mine who was making a documentary on the Chihuahuan Desert discovered an insect using a tool! At the time I thought only higher primates like humans had that kind of intelligence. During my presentation I will show an amazing video clip of his discovery.

For more information on the event visit our website at www.elpasozoo.org.

Bugs to look for at the Zoo during Bug Awareness Weekend:

Asian forest scorpion
Bahia scarlet bird-eating spider
Bark Scorpion Centruroides
Black velvet spider
Black Widow Spider
Brown tarantula
Centipede (Vietnamese)
Chilean Rose Tarantula
Cobalt Blue Tarantula
Common Emperor Scorpion
Desert Hairy Scorpion
Flat rock scorpion
Giant Sand Scorpion
Indian ornamental tarantula
Madagascan Hissing Cockroach
Pink-toed Tarantula
Sonoran Centipede
Sunburst Diving Beetle
Tailless Whip Scorpion
Tanzanian blue legged centipede
Texas Tan Tarantula
Vinegaroon
Whirligig beetles
Green diving beetle
Water scorpion
Ferocious water bug
Giant water bug

About the Author

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.

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.


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