Tag Archives: Benson

Hey kids, let’s go to the… saloon?

Relax, folks this is a wholesome saloon. It is brand new to the movie set at Gammons Gulch, just north of Benson.

Gammons Gulch's new saloon set ©Gammons Gulch

Last year, a movie called “The Gundown” was filmed at Gammons Gulch, here in Cochise County, and the moviemakers wanted a saloon to film in. So, after raising money, the saloon was built. It’s now an 1,100-square-foot movie saloon!

They don’t serve alcohol, so it’s safe to bring the kids.

Just imagine: a gunslinger charges through the swinging doors, card games screech to a halt and chairs scrape the floor. A shoot out is bound to happen! But we’ll just have to wait to see if The Gundown includes one of those scenes or if a wise sheriff or marshal will talk them out of pulling that trigger.

George Scott, former mayor of Benson and a member of Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group, helped raise funds to build the saloon.

Take a tour of Gammons Gulch today to learn about the movie set and see what I call a place that is like the “Antiques Roadshow on Steroids”!


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July 4th getaway

Looking to get away for July Fourth? Start celebrating early with Benson’s fireworks and Sierra Vista’s talent show on Saturday July 3. Then round out your weekend on July Fourth with coaster races, mucking and drilling contests, softball tournaments, the People & Pets Parade and fireworks in Bisbee, Sierra Vista and Tombstone.

Benson July Fourth Celebration, to be held July 3, 2010

Get a preview of fireworks in Benson! The community will commemorate its 130-year anniversary with a then-and-now slide show, the annual parade, and the popular “Water Fight” at Lions Park. Volunteer fire departments compete in the water fight. They use fire hoses to move a barrel on a pulley system, sliding the barrel toward the opposing team. Spectators often get a refreshing soak, and the kids get to play in the mud.  Entertainment and music throughout the day, with fireworks at dusk and a family dance held at Lion’s Park at night.

When:  July 3, 2010 Parade 9 a.m., Water Fight 10:30 a.m., Fireworks 8:30 p.m.

Where:  Benson

Admission:  Free

Info:  520-586-4293, Benson Visitor Center or info@bensonvisitorcenter.com

4th of July in Bisbee, Bisbee

The famous Bisbee Coaster Races, the oldest and longest gravity-powered race in the U.S., start down Tombstone Canyon at 8:30 a.m. Between heats, the Bisbee Iron Man Mile will be held. A parade will be in Bisbee’s Warren section. Re-created Bisbee’s early miners’, mucking and drilling contests are held in the afternoon with shovels and four-pound hammers flying. The Bisbee Copper Kings will host its third annual baseball tournament Warren Ballpark, with fireworks at dark.

When:  beginning at 9 a.m., July 4

Where:  Bisbee locations

Admission:  Free

Info:  520-432-6016 or Bisbee Visitor Center events

43rd Annual 4th of July Festivities, Sierra Vista

The party begins July 3 with a youth talent show at Veterans’ Memorial Park, followed by a street dance with the popular band “Train Wreck.” Celebrations include the Pets & People parade, with entertainment, food and displays. City officials and dignitaries will address the crowd at a noon ceremony. A spectacular fireworks show starts at dusk at the Paiz/Stone Complex, on Tacoma Street.

When:  6 p.m., July 3; all day, July 4

Where: Veterans’ Memorial Park, 3105 E. Fry Blvd.

Admission: Free

Info:  520-266-2304 or Sierra Vista Visitor July events calendar or www.visitsierravista.com

July 4, Family Style 4th of July at Medigovich Field, Tombstone

America’s independence is celebrated in Tombstone with the annual softball tournament. Street entertainment and a rousing fireworks display at dusk round out the too-tough-to-die town’s events.
When:  8:30 a.m.

Where:  Medigovich Field, Allen Street

Admission:  Free

Info:  520-457-3994 or Tombstone Chamber

July 3 & 4, Douglas’ “sporty” July 4th

If you and your kids can’t get enough of sports, check out the July 4th celebration in Douglas. They’ll have a variety of sports tournaments: youth soccer, golf, adult flag football and softball. You must pre-register. In addition, there will be food and craft vendors plus a Patriotic Parade downtown on Avenue G at 10 a.m. Fireworks will shoot off at on July 4th at 8:45 p.m.

For more info contact the City of Douglas Recreation Center at 520-417-7340.


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Southwest Wings festival-goers: make reservations early!

If you’re planning to attend the Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival, make sure you’re an early bird!

A major conference will be held in Sierra Vista at the same time as the festival, so rooms will be in short supply. Visit SW Wings’ lodging page for info on sponsoring hotels, bed and breakfast inns or motels.

Be sure to make any lodging reservations well in advance!

If you can’t find lodging in Sierra Vista, You might also visit lodging facilities in the neighboring communities in Cochise County. Click on each city to find lodging within these communities (numbers in parentheses indicate mileage to Sierra Vista). Benson (35), Bisbee (24), Douglas (50), Tombstone (32) and Willcox (70).

Happy bird watching!

Roadrunner near the San Pedro River ©Cochise County Tourism Council

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Cochise County events: street dance, motorcycle rally, birding celebration

This weekend, you’ll find lots to do in Cochise County for Mother’s Day. In the serene setting of the  Holy Trinity Monastery, you’ll find the annual spring festival. If you’re looking for something with a little more action, try the Border to Border Run, a motorcycle rally during the day and street dances at night in Douglas. Want to commune with nature? Check out the International Migratory Bird Day at the San Pedro House, located on the river just off Highway 90 between Bisbee and Sierra Vista.

May 8 & 9, Holy Trinity Monastery Fiesta de la Primavera, St. David

The Holy Trinity Monastery will hold its annual spring festival on Mother’s Day weekend—a lovely place to take Mom! Visit more than 150 arts and crafts booths plus enjoy entertainment and food.

Details: Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David, AZ. Admission is free. Call 520 720-4642, ext 22 for more info or visit http://www.holytrinitymonastery.org.

May 8 & 9, Border to Border Cinco de Mayo Run, Douglas

If you like motorcycles, this is the place for you! Bike show, car show, raffles and drawings, plus a poker crawl make for a rousing weekend at the border. Street dancing on Friday evening will feature Déjà vu, and Elvis will appear on Saturday.
The Border to Border Run starts at 9 a.m. Street Dancing will be Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Gadsden Hotel, Douglas, AZ.  Admission is free. There is a small fee for specific events. Call 520-364-4481 or 520-234-3901 for more info.

May 9, International Migratory Bird Day, Sierra Vista

With talks, walks, exhibitions and children’s events, visitors can learn about birds, beavers, wildlife and native plantings. The Gray Hawk Nature Center will showcase a variety of snakes and lizards. This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the San Pedro River, the Sonoran Joint Venture, Coronado National Forest, Cochise County Master Gardeners and the Bureau of Land Management.

Details: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the San Pedro House, 9800 Hwy 90, at the San Pedro River. Admission is free. For more info call 520-459-2555.

Places for more info:

Sierra Vista tourism info

Benson Visitor Center

Douglas Arizona

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Bluegrass in the Park in Benson

If you’re of a certain age and you were into comedy during the 70s, you probably remember Steve Martin’s white-suit-wearing, banjo-picking days. If so, you might also remember his advice about Nixon after Watergate. Martin said the banjo could have saved Nixon! All he had to do was go on television playing the banjo with a smile saying “hey, everything’s great!”

Seriously, how can you be sad when you’re listening to the banjo? For that matter, how can you be sad when you listen to any bluegrass music? I dare any of you to listen to a rousing rendition of Foggy Mountain Breakdown and not tap your toes.

Bluegrass, that happy, foot-tapping genre is coming to Benson in Cochise County in April for the 5th annual Bluegrass in the Park. I went two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. (I remember my pregnant friend and I listening to great music in simply gorgeous weather. We decompressed after both of us had had hectic weeks.)

This year’s lineup will include Goldwing Express, Whistle Stop, Cedar Hill, Lonesome Traveler, Silverado, Bost Family Traditions, the Artichoke Sisters and many more! See the full schedule for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Festival Details: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fri-Sun., April 23-25 at Lions Park in Benson. Admission is $8-$12 for adults 19 and older, $4-$6 for teens (14-18) and kids age 13 and younger get in free with an adult.

Bring lawn chairs and blankets and have a great time listening to some fantastic music!

For more information, contact the Benson/San Pedro Valley Chamber of Commerce: 520-586-2842 or visit http://www.bluegrassben.com/

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Cochise County events: tribute, auction, quilt show and reenactment

If you head down to Cochise County this month you’ll have one more chance to see sandhill cranes. They are still around, but they usually head for home in March. Check out the Willcox and Douglas areas for prime viewing locations. You can have some spectacular birdwatching sessions on the Willcox play, the Whitewater Draw area and  many other places in Cochise County.

Other events include the annual tribute to Arizona native, Marty Robbins, the annual art auction in Bisbee and the Singing Wind Bookshop’s annual quilt and trunk show. Enjoy!

March 5 & 6, 19th Annual Tribute to Marty Robbins, Willcox

Special guest, Rex Allen Jr., joins in this 19th annual celebration of the country-music legend with afternoon and evening concerts, carriage rides, a viewing of Robbins’ race car. Entertainment will be held on historic Railroad Avenue, and the concert will be held at the Willcox High School.

Details: 6 p.m. concert, March 6 at the Willcox High School Auditorium, Bisbee Ave., Willcox, Ariz.  Admission is $10-$15. Get more info at 520-766-1404; www.friendsofmartyrobbins.org.

March 6, Annual Art Auction, Bisbee

Historic Bisbee’s 18th annual art auction features nationally recognized artists from southern Arizona. The event includes an artists’ reception, live and silent auctions. Overnight packages at Bisbee inns are available during the art auction weekend. Packages include a night’s stay, dinner and admission to the art auction for two.

Details: 6-9 p.m., March 6 at the Copper Queen Plaza Convention Center, Main Street, in Old Bisbee. Admission is $10. Get more info at 520-432-3554 or 1-866-2-Bisbee; www.discoverbisbee.com

March 14, Quilt & Trunk Show: a brown bag lunch lecture, Benson

The Singing Wind Book Shop presents its Quilt & Trunk Show, a brown bag lunch lecture featuring Lynn Haak, the Sharlot Hall award winner for history. Haak is a designer who has been quilting all her life. She serves in several quilting organizations including the Arizona Quilters Guild, the Arizona Historical Society and others. She is a board member of the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame. Haak and her husband bill will bring 20-25 quilts to the Singing Wind along with their book, Images of America: Globe.

Details: 1 p.m. at the Singing Wind Bookshop in Benson. Admission is free. More info at 520-586-2425.

March 20, Fairbank Days

Fairbank Days is a monthly event planned with different themes and re-enactors. Visitors can enjoy tours, exhibits and talks. This month there will be live music, art exhibits, re-enactments of “the Great Fairbank Train Robbery” and tours of the Townsite and cemetery. In addition, Tucson’s 2nd Catalonian Infantry Spanish Soldiers will travel to Fairbank to perform. Visitors can participate in a hike to the Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate.

Details: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, March 20 at Fairbank (on Highway 82 east of the San Pedro River between Tombstone and Whetstone). Admission is free but donations are accepted. You can get more info at 520-457-3062.

Why not plan a weekend of it?

For nearby accommodations, restaurants or attractions, check with the local visitors center in Benson (520-586-4293), Bisbee (1-866-2-BISBEE, 1-866-224-7233), Tombstone (1-888-457-9317), Sierra Vista (1-800-288-3861) or Willcox (1-800-200-2272).


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Fun February events in Cochise County

Just added: lectures on Zapotec weaving tradition at Cochise College, Feb. 9 & 10!

Jan. 27-Feb. 24, Tombstone Association of the Arts 27th Annual Quilt Show, Tombstone

Every corner of Cochise County is represented in this voluminous display of original modern and traditional quilts of all sizes and patterns. Some are for sale, and others are family heirlooms displayed for viewing only. Visitors will be encouraged to vote for three People’s Choice Awards.

Details: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily, Jan. 27-Feb. 24 at the Tombstone Association of the Arts Gallery, 317 Allen St. in Tombstone. Admission is free. Call 520-459-7960 for more info.

Jan. 31, Cowboy Cowgirl Roundup, Benson

The Singing Wind Book Shop presents its “Cowboy/Cowgirl Round-up,” a day full of readings and music. Poets and writers will satisfy cravings for Western history and culture.

Details: 1 p.m. at the Singing Wind Bookshop. Admission is free. Call 520-586-2425 for more info.

Feb. 9 & 10, Lunch Lecture: The Zapotec Weaving Tradition, Sierra Vista & Douglas

Alex Martinez, a Zapotec weaver from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, shares his family tradition of master weaving that employs the same ancient methods of carding and spinning wool to create rugs and tapestries that their ancestors used more than 100 years ago.

Feb. 9: 12:10 – 1 p.m., at the Sierra Vista Campus, 901 North Colombo Ave., Room 313. Sponsored by the Center for Lifelong Learning. Call 520-515-5492 for more information.

Feb. 10, 12:10 – 1 p.m., in the student union on the Douglas Campus, 4190 W. Highway 80. Sponsored by the Center for Lifelong Learning. Call 520-417-4772 for more information.

Feb. 12-14, 18th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry Music & Poetry Gathering, Sierra Vista

Once a year, for three days, Sierra Vista becomes the center of Western poetry, music, storytelling and song. More than 60 artists from the U.S. and Canada will converge for three stage performances and free mini-concerts on Saturday, Feb. 7. Learn the history of the Arizona Territory through song and poetry.

Details: Various free events are held throughout the weekend. Headline shows are 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 & 13 and 1 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the Buena Performing Arts Center (at the high school); 5225 Buena School Dr., Sierra Vista. Admission is $6 for high school students, $16 for seniors and military and $18 for adults. See www.cowboypoets.com for more info or call 520-417-6960. 

Feb. 13, Chocolate Tasting, Bisbee

Serious chocoholics will melt for this fundraiser to benefit the city of Bisbee’s public library. A ticket buys you entrée to a spread of decadent chocolate desserts at Arizona’s oldest library, the Copper Queen. This is Valentines Day, after all, so pick up a to-go box of exquisite chocolates created in Bisbee kitchens to share later with your darling.

Details: 6 – 8 p.m., Feb. 13 at the Copper Queen Library, 6 Main St., Bisbee. Admission is $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Call 520-432-4232 for more info or view the events calendar at http://www.discoverbisbee.com.

Feb. 13, Fairbank Days

Fairbank Days is a monthly event planned with different themes and re-enactors. Visitors can enjoy tours, exhibits and talks. This month there will be live music, art exhibits, re-enactments of “the Great Fairbank Train Robbery” and tours of the Townsite and cemetery.

Details: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13 at Fairbank (on Highway 82 east of the San Pedro River between Tombstone and Whetstone). Admission is free (donations accepted). For more info, call 520-457-3062.

Feb. 27 & 28, Celebrating Quilts, Sierra Vista

The Hummingbird Stitchers Quilt Guild will hold its annual show.

Details: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27; 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 28 at Buena High School, Sierra Vista.  Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12. Visit http://www.hummingbirdquiltguild.com/HSQG_QuiltShow.html for more info.

February, Miniature Art Show, Willcox

Stop by the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture to admire a nationally judged show of artwork no bigger than 35 square inches. The mini show and sale, sponsored by the Art League of Willcox, features artists from all over the country.

Details: The show will be held 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon. – Fri.; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat.; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sun. the entire month of Februrary at the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture’s Visitor Center, 1500 N. Circle Road in Willcox. Admission is free. Call 520-384-2272 or 520-384-5317 for more info.

Feb. 28, Current Events Symposium, Benson

The Singing Wind Bookshop will hold its annual current events symposium on wilderness preservation. Art in the Wilderness, a book published by the Sky Island Alliance Project will be featured. It is dedicated in memory of photographer Bob Van Deven, whose photographs are included. Other photographers, artists, musicians and poets are featured such as Chip Hedgecock, Diana Madaras, Richard Shelton and Charles Bowden. Some of the books artists may attend. Singing Wind will welcome Doug Scott, author of Our Wilderness: America’s Common Grounds, who is an acclaimed authority on wildlands preservation.

Details: 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 28 at the Singing Wind Bookshop. Free to the public. Valet parking is available. Singing Wind is located 2-1/4 miles north of I-10 exit 304 and 1/2 mile east on Singing Wind Road. For more info, call the Singing Wind at 520-586-2425.

For ideas on places to stay or other things to do, visit the Cochise County website or the websites for the communities of Benson, Bisbee, Sierra Vista, Tombstone or Willcox.

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