Sun, April 05

Fort Verde Days: 'Old fun, new fun, anything fun' in Camp Verde for 58th year

CAMP VERDE - The 58th annual Fort Verde Days celebration kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday with a carnival on the soccer field behind Town Hall.

With rides, games and snacks galore, the carnival will be open until 11 p.m. Friday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available for $25 at the gate, or $18 at the Camp Verde Bashas' and Camp Verde Feeds before Friday.

Though Fort Verde Days can boast one of the finest carnivals in the Verde Valley, the annual celebration is more than just a carnival. Much more.

The theme for this year's annual Town celebration is Old Fun, New Fun, Anything Fun. Bobbie Tennant of Camp Verde Promotions says the theme was borne out of a desire to get Camp Verde's youth involved. Also meant to connect with the community's youth, the Grand Marshals for the Fort Verde Days Parade will be youth volunteers: Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Leaders.

Various community volunteers and youth volunteer organizations such as the Camp Verde Community Library's Teen Advisory Board (TAB) and the Kiwanis Builders Club and Key Club have a reputation for putting community first. Naming these future leaders is one way to put them first. Dianna Manasse, CVCL's youth services librarian, says she is proud of the TAB.

"They were so honored that they were asked to do it," Manasse says. "It makes them feel that people recognize what they do."

Saturday's parade starts at 10 a.m. Parade entrants are to meet no later than 9 a.m. in the Bashas' parking lot. The entry feel is $10. Entrants will be judged in various categories, with awards given to the best in each category. For more information, contact Camp Verde Promotions at (928) 301-0922.

This year's Fort Verde Days art show will take place on Saturday, Oct. 11, from noon until 6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will focus on paintings and photographs, as well as a student art show that will be sponsored by the Camp Verde Lions Club. All adult entries must be framed and must not exceed 48" vertical or horizontal. Students are not required to frame their entries; theirs can be matted or shrink-wrapped.

There is also a limit of one entry per person. Entry fee for the art show is $5 for adults, $2 for students. All entries must be submitted between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9 at Town Hall, rooms 206-207. Artists must collect their entries between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12.

For more information or for an entry form, call Idell LeGendre at (928) 567-4017 or Claudia Ward at (928) 567-0342.

At 1 p.m. Saturday on the Fort Verde Parade Grounds, the Fort Verde Excelsiors will host the Arizona Stars and Stripes in a vintage-era baseball match wearing no gloves - and no protective gear, just like they did in the 1860s. For more information, contact Sheila Stubler, Park Manager at Fort Verde State Park at (928) 567-3275.

New to Fort Verde Days is a pie-eating contest Sunday at 11 a.m. The contest is open to anyone who likes to eat pie. According to Nikki Miller, president of Camp Verde Promotions, the contest is "something old fashioned, light hearted and just plain fun. What could be more appealing?"

There is no cost to enter the pie-eating contest, and there will be cash prizes for the winners.

Cornville resident and American Quilt Society certified appraiser Eunice Hill will appraise quilts at the Fort Verde Days Quilt Show on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hill will do appraisals every half hour from 10 a.m. to noon, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Certified appraisals cost $40, which includes a written document of the description and value of the item based on a hands-on examination. Verbal appraisals are $20, and include extensive information about the quilt without the written documentation.

According to quilt show chairperson Jeannette Teets, an appraised value "may be high or quite low depending on its scarcity, uniqueness, quality of workmanship and condition."

To make an appointment for an appraisal, call Jeannette Teets at (928) 567-6891.

Since 1994, Bread of Life Mission has been feeding Verde Valley's hungry. Bread of Life will be giving out Bibles and water at Fort Verde Days. For more information or to make a donation, call (928) 567-6931 or (928) 300-2372.

Throughout the weekend celebration, Hold The Fort will sponsor a raffle to benefit Fort Verde State Park. Hold The Fort is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to help with operating costs at the state park. Items to be raffled off include a replica 1880s ammunition crate, as well as full copies of the Battle of Big Dry Wash and Fort Verde, Then and Now. Raffle tickets are $5 each or $20 for five tickets. Purchase tickets at Fort Verde Days, or in advance at Fort Verde State Park, 125 E. Hollamon St. Drawing will be held at 2 p.m. at Fort Verde. Winners need not be present. For more information, call the fort at (928) 567-3275.

Fort Verde State Park will also sponsor Dutch oven cooking demonstrations throughout Saturday and Sunday. Cooks will be showing how to make delicious meals in the outdoor ovens while feeding Fort Verde Days volunteers. At noon Saturday, the cooks will also serve lunch to the general public for a $6 suggested donation. For more information, call the fort at (928) 567-3275.

Fort Verde Days is presented by local non-profit organization Camp Verde Promotions. For more information, call (928) 301-0922. Copies of the Fort Verde Days circular are available at various locations around town.

If you go ...

What: Fort Verde Days

Where: Downtown Camp Verde

When: Friday, Oct. 10, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How Much: Free (mostly)

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42 and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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