Plan A Yuma Trip Around A Fun Event
Calendar In World's Sunniest Destination Full Of Fright Ideas
September 1, 2015
YUMA, ARIZONA - It's that time of year! As the chill creeps in up north, Yumans are enjoying spectacular sunsets and fresh mornings in the world's sunniest destination. So what are you waiting for? Make your travel plans now around one of our favorite annual events:
Rio de Cerveza Brewfest, Oct. 24 (Desert Sun Stadium) - This is Yuma's third annual showcase of craft brewers from around the region and nation, with live music, mega-sized lawn games and lots of tasty beer samples. More info, RiodeCerveza.com, 800-293-0071, 928-783-0071.
Balloons light the night at the
Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival November 20-22.
25th Annual Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival, Nov. 20-22 (various locations) - Local businesses organized the first Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival in 1991. Now sponsored by the nonprofit Caballeros de Yuma, this event draws balloonists from as far away as England. The festival features flights Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a "balloon glow" Saturday night. More info,Caballeros.org, 928-343-1715.
El Toro Bowl, Dec. 5 (Veterans Memorial Stadium, AWC) - Leading junior college football teams clash in this post-season game, while their fans enjoy a weekend of festivities in the sunshine.More info, ElToroBowl.com, 928-343-1715.
City of Yuma's Military Appreciation Day, Dec. 5 (Historic Downtown Yuma) - This event honors vets and active-duty service members and celebrates its modern-day bases, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. More info, 928-373-5028.
13th Annual Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade, Dec. 12 (Historic North End) - A great family holiday event, this evening parade features marching bands and lots of illuminated floats. More info, VisitYuma.com, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071.
Somerton Tamale Festival, Dec. 19 (Main Street, Somerton) - Here's your chance to sample tamales in varieties you didn't even know existed, all made with care to raise scholarship funds for local ASU students. Info, SomertonTamaleFestival.com.
Gathering of the Gunfighters, Jan. 9-10 (Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park) - Old West re-enactment groups from around the Southwest ride into town for this annual showdown. But instead of hot lead, what's flying is fightin' words - and acting! Groups are judged on skits and whether their get-ups, gear and firearms are authentic to the 1876-1909 era. And though they didn't have shootouts inside the prison, the historic setting adds grit to the skits. More info, YumaPrison.org, 928-783-4771.
German Fest on Madison, Jan. 23 (Madison Ave. between 1st and 2nd Streets, Historic North End). Brighten the new year with musik, gut essen und real German bier, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. More info, 329-4777.
Yuma Territorial Marathon and Half-Marathon, Jan. 30 (Cocopah Casino & Resort) - This certified, chip-timed race is a good bet for fast times because it's a flat, low-altitude, out-and-back course - and Yuma's January weather is usually sunny but cool. More info, YumaMarathon.com, 928-343-1715.
Yuma Medjool Date Festival, Jan. 30 (Historic Downtown) - Yuma is one of the world's leading producers of this gourmet date - Medjools grown here are shipped worldwide, even to the Middle East! Enjoy a full day of date fun, with food, entertainment, recipe contests, displays of specialized machinery, tours and more. Info, YumaMedjoolDateFestival.com, 928-373-5028
Civil War Days,Jan. 30-31 (Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park) - True, there were no Civil War battles here - but the Quartermaster Depot was an active U.S. Army post and a strategic point of defense at the time. Authentic re-enactment groups converge for an old-school encampment and mock battles -- plus this year, President Abraham Lincoln makes an appearance. More info, YumaHeritage.com, 928-373-5198.
Two Rivers Renaissance Faire, Feb. 5-7 (Yuma County Fairgrounds) - Experience the 16th century with merriment for all, including fire dancers, jugglers, lusty wenches and musicians and singers performing bawdy songs. More info, TwoRiversFaire.com, 928-257-2056.
Boogie, Brews and Blues Festival, Feb. 6 (Gateway Park) - A day of live music, food, and festivities along the Colorado River , more info YumaAz.gov, 928-373-5028.
Yuma Square Dance Festival,Feb. 12-14 (Yuma Civic Center) - A long-time Yuma tradition, this event brings dancers from throughout the Western states for down-home dancin' with callers and cuers from around the region. More info, YSRDA.weebly.com, 928-782-0844.
Silver Spur Rodeo,Feb. 12-14 (Yuma County Fairgrounds) - The Yuma Jaycees have proudly presented this unique American sport for the last 70 years, this is the 71st annual event. This PRCA-sanctioned rodeo draws top riders from around the Turquoise Circuit and beyond. There's also a parade Saturday morning and dances Friday and Saturday nights. More info, YumaRodeo.com, 928-344-5451.
Kale yeah! All kinds of fresh fare is on the menu at Yuma Lettuce Days
Feb. 27 & 28.
Yuma Lettuce Days, Feb. 27 & 28 (University of Arizona Yuma Agricultural Center) - Arizona was long known for citrus and cotton - but the fertile lands here at the Colorado River's delta also serve as the nation's salad bowl. This event now sprouts up at a working research farm in the Yuma Valley just seven miles from downtown and celebrates Yuma's booming agriculture industry with culinary flair, with celebrity chefs, cooking demos and more. More info, YumaLettuceDays.com, 800-293-0071.
Midnight at the Oasis,March 4-6 (Ray Kroc Baseball Complex) - The Southwest's premier classic car and nostalgia festival features 1,000 classic cars, plus regional food served up by local nonprofits, vendors from around the West, rides for the kids, oldies rock-and-roll concerts Friday and Saturday night. Kick it off with a classic car cruise Friday evening. More info, MidnightAtTheOasis.net, 928-343-1715.
Yuma County Founders Day, March 19 (Madison Ave) - Celebrate with free historical presentations, pioneer cookin' and fun for all. More info, ArizonaHistoricalSociety.org/yuma, 928-782-1841.
5th Annual Music on Main, March 26 (Historic Downtown) - Free entertainment and lots of vendors, fun, and food. For more info, YumaAz.gov, 928-373-5028.
Yuma County Fair,March 29-April 3 (Yuma County Fairgrounds) - With its ag traditions and rural feel, Yuma's a perfect spot to enjoy an old-fashioned fair. More info, YumaFair.com, 928-726-4420.
6th Annual Tunes & Tacos Festival, April 9 (Yuma Civic Center) - Enjoy live entertainment on the grassy lawns of the Ray Kroc Baseball complex and sample all kinds of delicious taco creations as local taco chefs compete for the titles of Taco King and Salsa Queen. More info, YumaAz.gov, 928-373-5040.
ARTbeat 9, April 16(Yuma Art Center, Historic Downtown) - Enjoy a free, juried outdoor exhibit that's been recognized as one of Arizona's outstanding arts events. You'll discover an eclectic mix of recognized and emerging local, regional and international artists working in a wide variety of media. More info, YumaAz.gov, 373-5202.
Sound like a full calendar? These events are just a taste of all the fun in the sun planned for Yuma in upcoming months. Get updates at 800-293-0071 or VisitYuma.com, where you can sign up to receive a free newsletter by email.