The Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, Yavapai County and other partners are hosting the 22nd Annual Verde River Days to promote awareness of the Verde River’s riparian habitat on Saturday, Sept. 25 and Sept. 26. Outdoor events include nature hikes, American Civil War encampments and kayak rides.
This celebration brings together 40-plus nature-based exhibits, sandcastle building, pottery making, a menagerie of live animals, canoe rides by the Natural Resource Conservation District volunteers on the east lagoon, nature hikes and local food vendors. Arizona Game and Fish clinics will allow everyone to fish that day without licenses. The clinics will include the use of poles, bait, and tackle and lagoons are loaded with hundreds of pounds of catfish for the weekend. The Arizona Vintage Tag-Alongs, an antique trailer club, will also be camping in the park that weekend.
Live demonstrations by volunteer historians will include American Civil War encampments, drills, and battles, circa 1863. Visitors are invited to tour the period camps, talk with the re-enactors, and watch the battles scheduled for Saturday at 11 AM and 2 PM and Sunday 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
On Sunday, September 26th the Verde River Citizens Alliance will sponsor canoe and kayak rides down the Verde River. Groups will depart from the Dead Horse Ranch River Day Use Area at 8 a.m. and again at 10 a.m. The rides last about an hour and a half. Canoes will be shuttled back to the park. Pre-registration is required. To schedule a trip or for more information contact Marsha Foust at 928-634-8738.
This year the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, are also supporting the efforts of the Verde River Days Committee to host the many events. The activities during Verde River Days promote preservation and care of the environment by showcasing issues surrounding the Verde River’s environment. Some of the events include environmental exhibits, hands-on activities, fishing, canoeing and live entertainment. It is estimated that 85% of all wildlife in the area looks for sustenance from the Verde River.
On Saturday, the exhibit area opens at 9 AM and ceremonies officially begin at 9:30 AM. Yavapai Supervisor Chip Davis and State Parks Director Renée Bahl will discuss the partnership agreements that are keeping three of the Valley’s State Parks open in 2010.
On Saturday the entrance fees are waived for the Verde River Day events in the park, however Sunday is a fee day. The park entrance fee for Sunday is $7 per vehicle with up to 4 adults, and $3 for bicycle or walk in. The camping fee (at Dead Horse Ranch) is $12 or $20 with hookups. For more information about Verde River Days call the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce at (928) 634-7593 or the park at (928) 634-5283 or visit AZStateParks.com or www.cottonwoodchamberaz.org.
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