Mon, March 30

Gallery: Verde River Day 2013

Verde River Day returned on Saturday, September 28, with an abundance of nature themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. Arizona State Parks waived park entrance fees for all visitors attending the event held at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood. All games, exhibits and diversions were offered at no cost, thanks to many exhibitors and sponsors. Verde River Day promotes preservation and care of the environment by showcasing informative exhibits on the Verde's unique riparian habitat. Some of the day's events included an Earth Art Gallery, climbing wall, organized canoe and kayak rides, sand castle building, live music (Cadillac Angels are pictured) and nature-based exhibits. Local groups, such as the Friends of the Verde River Greenway and Astronomers of the Verde Valley, used the event to reach out to the community. Guests were welcome to fish in the lagoon loaded with hundreds of pounds of catfish. Poles, bait and tackle were provided for by Arizona State Parks for all ages and no fishing license was required.

An annual highlight of Verde River Day is the Duck Race benefiting the Rotary Club of the Verde Valley Scholarship Fund. 100 ducks floated down the irrigation ditch at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, but only one would cross the finish line first for the $1000 grand prize. The winning duck belonged to Robert Brothers of Palominas Cleaning; in second place was Don Thomas for $250; followed by Sun Country Woodworks for $100. The Rotary Club raised about $12,000 for its scholarship program, which benefits Mingus and Camp Verde High School graduates attending college or trade schools. As long as the recipients maintain good grades, their scholarships are renewed annually for $1,000.

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