March 4-6, 2011: Midnight at the Oasis held at the Ray Kroc Baseball Complex. The Southwest's premier classic car and nostalgia festival is sponsored by the Caballeros de Yuma. Featuring 1,000 classic cars, this festival also includes a smorgasbord of regional food from local nonprofits, vendors from all around the West, rides for the kids, old-time rock and roll concerts Friday and Saturday night and to kick off the festivities, a cruise of classic cars through the streets of Yuma. More info, http://www.midnightattheoasis.net, 928-343-1715.
March 11-13, 2011: Yuma Lettuce Days at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. Arizona has long been known for citrus and cotton but the fertile lands here at the Colorado River’s delta are lush and green all winter, serving as the nation’s salad bowl. This annual festival celebrates Yuma’s booming agriculture industry, and has been rescheduled this year to follow the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Growers Association’s Southwest Ag Summit. Also new for 2011, the culinary component for the festival will be vastly expanded, with celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and more. More info, www.visityuma.com, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071.
March 26, 2011: Marine Corps Air Station Yuma 49th Annual Air Show at the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, currently the busiest in the Corps, traces its roots to the early days of aviation. This is one of the largest air shows in the Southwest, drawing more than 40,000 to view military and civilian aircraft on the ground and aloft. For 2011 specifics, check website after December. More info, www.yumaairshow.com, 928-269-3327.
April 2 3:10 to Yuma Celebration held at the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. Celebrate the first anniversary of Yumans stepping forward to “save the prison” for the second time in this case from closing its doors because of the state’s budget shortfalls. This will mark a full year of operation by Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, which has since finished major renovations and improvements to the prison museum and the prison grounds. More info, www.historicyumaprison.com, 928-783-4771.
April 13-16 Yuma Birding & Nature Festival. Pivot Point Conference Center and various area locations. Because of its location along the Colorado River flyway, and its unique mix of desert, mountain and riparian habitat, the Yuma area is home or vacation spot to more than 400 species of birds. This annual festival sponsored by the Yuma Visitors Bureau provides a great introduction to the wide variety of outdoor adventures available in the area and in 2011 will feature photography seminars and field trips by the Friends of Arizona Highways. www.yumabirding.com, www.visityuma.com, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071.
April 16 / ARTbeat 4 held at the Yuma Art Center Historic North End. This will be the fourth year for this free, outdoor, juried show that’s been recognized as one of Arizona’s outstanding arts events. Enjoy an eclectic mix of recognized and emerging local, regional and international artists working in a wide variety of mediums, from pottery to painting and sculpture. More info, www.yumaaz.gov/4745.htm, 373-5202
Past Yuma Events:
January 7-9, 2011: Petsapalooza Fest at the Historic North End. Partnering with the Humane Society Yuma and Planned Pethood, the Yuma Visitors Bureau presents this animal-themed festival with pet-related vendors. Watch precocious pups compete in the 9th Annual Dog Talent Show. Plus, Popovich Comedy Pet Show at Historic Yuma Theatre at 2 & 7 p.m. Jan. 7. More info, www.visityuma.com, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071.
January 8-9, 2011: Gathering of the Gunfighters at the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. Each January, Old West re-enactment groups from around the Southwest ride into town for this annual showdown. But instead of hot lead, what’s flying is fightin’ words and acting! Groups are judged by their skits and whether their get-ups, gear and firearms match the 1876-1909 time period. And though they didn’t really have shootouts in the middle of the prison, the historic setting adds flavor to the fun. More info, www.historicyumaprison.com, 928-783-4771
January 21-23, 2011: Spirit of Yuma Military Festival hed at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park & Historic North End. Because of its long relationship with the armed forces back to the days of Fort Yuma and the Yuma Quartermaster Depot ours has long been known as a “military-friendly town.” This new Yuma Visitors Bureau event honors veterans and active-duty service members, and celebrates Yuma’s relationship with its modern-day bases, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. Up and coming country music star (and former Marine) Stephen Cochran performs Jan. 22. More info, www.visityuma.com, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071
January 29, 2011: Yuma Territorial Marathon and Half-Marathon event held at the Cocopah Casino & Resort. This certified race is the perfect choice to set your own personal record because it’s a flat, low-altitude, out-and-back course from the host hotel/casino and January weather in Yuma is usually sunny but cool. Avoid the crowds, run in Yuma and qualify for Boston!
January 29-30, 2011: Civil War Days at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. True, there were no Civil War battles waged around Yuma, Arizona but the Quartermaster Depot was an active Union Army post during those years and a strategic point of defense because of the importance of the river crossing and trails to California. Re-enactment groups from around the West will converge for an old-school encampment and mock battles on the grassy grounds of the park. More info, www.yumaheritage.com, 928-373-5198.
Yuma events in 2012 will be published in late fall 2011.
Yuma DVDs from Amazon