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Last Minute LocalOctober 17, 2014

FRIDAY

The Annual Street Party: Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Red Ribbon Block Party
http://www.ysletadelsurpueblo.org/event_detail.sstg?id=203

Hosted by the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, this annual block party is rich in Pueblo history and tradition.

SATURDAY

The Rock Basin Festival: 20th Annual Interpretive Fair
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/annual-interpretive-fair-first-day

Attractions of the two-day event will include Native American dancing and drumming; folklorico and matachine dancers; pictograph, birding and nature tours; atl-atl throwing for kids; information booths; and food for sale. There will be an evening program for everyone to enjoy, and also a birding tour at 8 a.m. Admission to the Interpretive Fair is free; no need to reserve ahead. Walk-ins welcome!

The Haunted Festival: Southwest Horrorfest
http://www.ghosts915.com/index.php/en/component/jevents/icalrepeat.detail/2014/10/18/33/-/southwest-horrorfest?filter_reset=1

Ladies and gentlemans, Ghoblins and Ghouls: This is an event like no other. This event is dedicated to all the horror fans out there. There will be live bands, vendors, a skateboard competition, food, performers, children activities and a children’s costume contest during the day.Not to mention, the best adult costume contest and halloween party in the evening. Doors open at 10 am.

SUNDAY

The Fall Extravaganza: El Paso Fall Home & Garden Show
http://www.elpasohomeandgarden.com/

Turn your home and garden dreams into reality! With thousands of square feet of exhibits you’ll find the latest in products and services for everything from builders, contractors, materials, decks, pools, spas, entertainment systems, storage, plants, landscape displays/materials, kitchenware, and much more.

The Buffalo Soldier: Unveiling of the Fifth Historic Sculpture
http://www.sanelizariohistoricdistrict.org/

The San Elizario Historic District presents the unveiling of the fifth historic Buffalo Soldier sculpture honoring the 9th Calvary.

About the Author

Visit El Paso

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.


Last Minute LocalOctober 10, 2014

FRIDAY

The Backyard BBQ: Bliss Brews & Que
http://freedomcrossingatfortbliss.com/bliss-brews-que/

Bliss, Brews & Que is the ONLY Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) Sanctioned event on a U.S. military installation. Not just any installation, but Fort Bliss, Texas, one of the largest in the United States. A weekend celebrating some of America’s favorites….blues music, good brews, delicious barbeque, and the United States Army. Free and open to the public!

SATURDAY

The Block Party: Chalk the Block
http://www.chalktheblock.com/

The City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, in coordination with the private sector and the El Paso Community Foundation, will host its 7th annual Chalk the Block festival.
In seven years, Chalk The Block has become one of El Paso’s premiere events drawing over 30,000 people annually and celebrating the power of the arts to reimagine downtown! Each year, about 200 artists working in all disciplines participate in three days of creativity. From serious art junkies to people just looking for a cool way to experience downtown, Chalk The Block has you covered!

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SUNDAY

The Walk along Scenic Drive: Sprint for Sparks 5k Race
http://www.ttuhsc.edu/studentservices/organizations/plfsga2017.aspx

The TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at El Paso is organizing their 1st Annual Sprint for Sparks 5K Run, which is scheduled for October 12, 2014 at 8 a.m. along Scenic Drive. The goal of the 5K is to raise money for the Sparks Housing Development Corporation. The community center promotes education and healthy living by holding English, GED, Zumba, and Yoga classes, making it an asset to the community. Due to the importance and high demand of these services, the Sparks Community Center is in desperate need of a building expansion, and we are hoping to use the funds from the 5K to provide the materials needed for this project. There will be registration on race day (cash only).

The Pow Wow: 5th Annual Rockin the Rez
https://www.facebook.com/rockingtherez?ref=br_tf

Experience the rich heritage through dance and song.

About the Author

Visit El Paso

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.


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

Visit El Paso

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!


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