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Peter’s Travel Log

Peter F Smith - Founder
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Book Travel with America The Beautiful Plan your Arizona Trip now! 
Top Events in Arizona for 2014!

Explore the selection of the most popular annual events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (listed in calendar priority) in the State of Arizona, including events in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Flagstaff.

Gathering of the Gunfighters

January  11 & 12, 2014 -  Yuma, Arizona

Outlaws, lawmen, cowboys, saloon gals, townsfolk and a cornucopia of disreputable characters converge in Yuma at the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. to relive the legend of the west.  The state park that preserves stone cell blocks, a guard tower and other structures dating back to the prison’s 1876 birth.  Old West reenactment groups from California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona compete for prizes during the Gathering, with gunfights and other stunts judged on story line and authenticity.  For more information visit:

World Championship Hoop Dance Contest

February 8 & 9, 2014  -  Phoenix, Arizona

24rd Annual -Heard Museum. There is no better place to see the fast-paced precision and grace of hoop dancing than at the Heard Museum's World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.  Top Native American Indian and Canadian First Nation hoop dancers vie for the title of World Champion Hoop Dancer. Amazing performances of the intertribal hoop dance, where each dancer weaves in aspects of his or her distinct tradition and culture. More than $30,000 is awarded in prize money.  For more information visit:

59th Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

February 13 - 23, 2014 -  Scottsdale, Arizona

Since 1955 this annual show has set the pace in the Arabian horse world and has grown from 50 horses to nearly 2000 of the world's most beautiful Arabians and Half-Arabians bringing top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world to compete for a chance at winning more than $500,000 in prize money.  The show is also a shopper’s paradise with an assortment of 300 vendors and trade booths, tempting international cuisine courts, exciting demonstrations and unique educational seminars.

For more information visit:

Cowgirl Up!

March 21 - 23, 2014 -  Wickenburg, Arizona

This exhibition for western women artists at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum is also an art sale. Featuring more than 200 paintings and sculptures, the show is the most important exhibition and sale for women artists in the nation.  The show kicks off with a wild weekend ride and other festivities which include a Friday night artists and Patron’s Party at an exclusive ranch estate, a Saturday night “Bash ‘n Bid” Gala Awards Dinner & Auction, and a Sunday old-fashioned chuck wagon breakfast and Artists’ Quick Draw & Auction. For more information  visit:

Verde Valley Nature & Birding Festival

April 24-27, 2014- Cottonwood, Arizona

The Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival at Dead Horse Ranch State Park provides a unique recreational experience to anyone interested in the natural world and fosters awareness of the importance of habitat for the enrichment of all life in the Verde Valley.  Saturday is family fun day with special activities for the children. The event also includes field trips, local tours, workshops & seminars, exhibits, a key-note speaker, and entertainment.  For more information visit:

Lake Havasu City Striper Derby

May 17-18, 2014 - Lake Havasu, Arizona

This Western Outdoor News team fishing tournament targets striped bass or “stripers” on Lake Havasu. The premier striper tournament in the west, it attracts anglers from around the country as they compete for over $100,000 in cash and prizes.  Varying classes of competition make it a great event for anglers of any experience level, as well as for family teams. Entry includes event shirt, hat and goodie bag. Saturday’s beach BBQ and party adds to the fun, along with Sunday’s awards ceremony.  For more information visit:

Navajo Nation Fair

September 1-7, 2014 - Window Rock, Arizona

The Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock is the premier Native American fair. Local and International guests attend the event in the capital of the Navajo Nation to renew friendship and make new acquaintances, and also to enjoy the wide array of activities during the week-long event.  Activities include Native American fine arts and crafts, Native food concessions, traditional Navajo song and dance, parade, the largest Indian rodeo, Championship Bull Riding, junior rodeo, wild horse race, inter-tribal powwow, concerts and entertainment, youth activity, 4-H livestock show, horticulture, a free barbecue day, traditional games, Miss Navajo coronation, carnival and more.   For more information visit:


September  26-27, 2014 -  Safford, Arizona

Festivities begin with the Salsa Glow - hot air balloons light up Downtown Safford on Friday evening and fly overhead early Saturday morning. The fun continues non-stop with a salsa-making competition, a marketplace, salsa music, dance performances, food demonstrations, chili roasting, a kids’ corner with a piñata bust, and a jalapeno and salsa eating contests.  The salsa making competition is open to professional and amateur salsa chefs and the prizes – along with the bragging rights - that go to the top contenders include the popular People’s Choice Award. The jalapeno and salsa eating contests are open to the bravest of the brave – men, women and children.  For more information visit:

Bisbee 1000 The Great Stairclimb

October 18, 2014 - Bisbee, Arizona

Unique to Bisbee is a system of old and deteriorating stairways that course through its picturesque hills, affording views of the town’s quaint houses and colorful gardens. The stairways originally followed the mule path worn into the terrain during the heyday of Bisbee’s copper mining past.  The Bisbee 1000 allows participants to use any combination of walking, running and resting to traverse nine sets of steps and numerous back-roads at a mile-high altitude. While conquering more than 1,000 steps they are serenaded by musicians playing at strategic points along the route. Participants can compete aggressively for overall and age group prizes; enjoy a challenging fitness walk or family stroll, or any combination thereof.  For more information visit:

All Souls Procession

November  - Tucson, Arizona

Inspired by Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos, the All Souls Procession began in 1990 when local artist Susan Johnson decided to honor her father in celebration.  Today, 10,000 participants create a two-mile long procession complete with floats, altars, costumes and tributes to loved ones who have passed on in this comminity celebration of Day of the Dead and All Souls Day. In a grand finale, a large urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes for those who have passed is burned.  This event is growing each year and now draws and estimated crowd of almost 30,000.  For more information visit :

Florence Junior Parada

November   -  Florence, Arizona

The 81st annual Florence Junior Parada is the oldest sanctioned youth rodeo in the United States. It pits the youngest of riders against the oldest of venues to showcase their youthful cowboy skills.  The rodeo attracts youngsters ages five to 18 from across the Southwest. Over the years, some of these youngsters have gone on to compete nationally. There is a Saturday morning parade which evokes times past with stagecoaches, mounted posses and young and old on horseback, also vintage vehicles, clowns, dancers and more. Catch the “cowboy spirit” and enjoy. For more information visit:

2012 1st Place Winners WesTroupe
Gathering of the Gunfighters
World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
February 9 & 10, 2013