CAMP VERDE – The 18th annual Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival is a weekend of fun for folks with just about any particular taste.
Events include the Pecan & Wine Festival, Verde Valley Archaeology Fair, Verde River Runoff canoe and kayak race, as well as a doubleheader of 1860s-era baseball.
No question that there’s plenty to see and to do at the first of Camp Verde’s signature events each year, as this year’s Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival is Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18.
Verde River Runoff
Now in its sixth year, the Verde River Runoff will kick off the festival at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 17 with a 10-mile canoe/kayak race on the Verde River that begins at the White Bridge River Access Point.
White Bridge is located two miles east of I-17 on SR 260 at the corner of S. Quarterhorse Lane.
If a 10-miler is a bit too much, then feel free to take part in the five-mile Fun Float that begins at the Clear Creek River Access Point.
Both races finish at the Beasley Flat river access point.
According to the runoff sponsors Friends of the Verde River, the Verde River “has a nice current with Class I-II rapids.”
Registration fees are $25 for the five-mile Fun Float, or $50 for the 10-mile Runoff.
Following Saturday’s race, awards will be presented for several categories in the 10-mile run. For more information about the runoff, visit http://vrvno.org.
Pecans … and other food …
Right now there are eight entries for this year’s Pecan Pie Contest. Says Bobbie Tennant of Camp Verde Promotions, prospective pie makers can enter up until the day of the contest.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, March 18 under the Ramada by the soccer field, three judges will vote for their favorite pecan pies.
The criteria are simple: Homemade pecan pies. Local ingredients. One pie entry per category per person.
Pies will be judged on: Overall appearance, Taste, Creativity, and use of Local Ingredients.
Call 928-301-0922 for more information or to register. Or visit www.campverdepromotions.org.
Anyone interested in entering the contest needs to bring their pies to the Ramada by 9 a.m. Sunday, March 18. And don’t forget to include the recipe.
Judges will select first place, second place and third place contest winners, who will receive $50, $35 and $25, respectively.
Also, contestants must pick up their pie dishes by 1 p.m. Sunday, provided their pie was brought in a container that cannot be thrown away.
Getting hungry? Then visit some of the many food vendors who will offer budget as well as gourmet delicacies.
For more information, visit www.campverdepromotions.org.
… and wine …and beer …
Now in its 18th year, this year’s Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival will host 15 wineries who not only will pour samples of their best vintage, but also will sell their wines by the glass, bottle or case.
This year’s wine tent will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, March 17 and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, March 18.
For $15, receive a commemorative wine glass and six tasting tickets.
Tickets will be available at the tent’s entrance.
In addition to the local wineries, the Verde Valley Rangers will host the Budweiser beer garden.
For more information, visit www.campverdepromotions.org.
… and song
For those who like live music, local performers Dave Rice, House Lizard, Sweet Baby Ray’s Blue Smoke, and the Reckless Band will perform outside the wine tent.
Schedule is as follows:
Saturday, March 17
Dave Rice from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Sweet Baby Ray’s Blue Smoke from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 18
House Lizard from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Reckless Band from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Verde Valley Archaeology Fair
Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month is celebrated in March each year.
With lectures, demonstrations, exhibits, displays, arts and crafts – and movies both short and feature-length, the Verde Valley Archaeology Center has quite the schedule of events planned for its annual Verde Valley Archaeology Fair, which includes the annual International Archaeology Film Festival and the annual American Indian Art Show.
The Archaeology Fair is from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, March 17 and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday, March 18.
Lectures and films will be held in Town Hall Room 204, with the art show in the community center gymnasium on Hollamon Street.
With limited seating, lectures and films are free and open to the public, although the center is requesting a $5 donation per person at the door.
And as a special treat, some celebrate the life and the collection of Paul Dyck: Art Inspired By Archaeology, Archaeology As Art.
Dyck, who lived from 1917 until 2016, made paintings of Native American peoples.
Visit www.verdevalleyarchaeology.org for more information.
Vintage Base Ball
Saturday, March 17 on the parade grounds of Fort Verde State Historic Park, folks will play baseball just like they did 150 years ago.
Beginning at 10 a.m., then again at noon, the Fort Verde Excelsiors will host the Tempe Tip-Tops in a real, live 1860s-era Vintage Base Ball game. Both the Excelsiors and the Tip-Tops are member clubs of the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League.
Interested in playing? Then call 928-567-3275 and ask for either Brian or Sheila.
Fort Verde State Historic Park is located at 125 E. Hollamon St. in Camp Verde.
Entrance to Fort Verde is $7 for adults, $4 for children ages 7 to 13, free to anyone ages 6 and younger.
Visit https://azstateparks.com/fort-verde/events for more information.
Pickles and pies
Maybe pickles and pies don’t go together on a plate, but each year the Verde Valley Questers sell their homemade sweet treats, as well as homemade sweet and spicy pickles to raise money to restore the Historic Hance House on Coppinger Street.
At the Cook Shack from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and on Sunday from 10 a.m. until all sold out, the Questers will have their treats available for purchase, including pies, cookies and pickles.
For more information
Interested in helping the town’s volunteers put on the Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival? Then call Camp Verde Promotions, so you can help organize, set up and break down the many events.
For more information about the annual Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival, call 928-301-0922 or 928-300-0179.
Or visit www.campverdepromotions.org.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42