48th annual Fort Verde Days this weekend

Every October kicks off Camp Verde's fall season with its most time-honored tradition, Fort Verde Days.

Steeped in western flavor, this three-day event is loaded with great things to see and do, including a hometown parade, horse events, a barbecue, arts-and-crafts exhibits, a pancake breakfast, cavalry drills, an auction, a community dance, an art show, plus lots more.

The Town's Parks and Recreation Department presents Fort Verde Days this weekend, now marking its 48th year. It starts at noon today and continues throughout the weekend.

The Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Adoption gets things started around noon. See these glorious wild creatures all three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at the Fort Verde parade grounds off Hollamon Street.

Starting at 5 p.m. this evening, vendors will open as well as the kids' carnival. The Little Guy and Gal Contest is always a winner to watch at 6:30 p.m. at the downtown gazebo. Arm wrestling competitions and a community dance follows, 7-11 p.m., on town grounds.

The Kiwanis Breakfast, 7-9 a.m., gets things rolling Saturday morning, followed by the mid-morning parade at 10 a.m. down Main Street. This year's Colonel's Daughter, Rita Sanders, leads the procession, which will include historic cars, horses, dancers, musicians, grand marshals, and lots of floats.

Saturday, by the way, is the only day to take advantage of a free entrance pass to Fort Verde's museum. This is a great opportunity to learn more about early military life in the Verde Valley. There will be arts-and-crafts exhibits, an art show featuring cartoonist Ray Freatz, a kids' rodeo, a silent-and-live auction, and more of the kids' carnival.

The annual Bull Bash starts at 7 p.m. Saturday night with lots of bucking bulls and, of course, featuring rodeo clown Bob Weir, a CV High School coach and teacher. The evening concludes with yet another community dance, 9-midnight.

Enjoy Jackpot Team Roping over at Arena Del Loma and softball games at Butler Park throughout Sunday's long list of fun events.

Fort Verde Days is Oct. 8-10 in downtown Camp Verde, generally noon to 11 p.m. today; Saturday, 7 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at 567-0535, ext. 135 or 136.

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