Together Tucson Golf Tournament. A charity golf tournament dedicated to the victims, families and witnesses of the tragic events of January 8 in Tucson will take place Thursday, April 28, 2011, starting at 8:30 a.m., at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort Catalina Course. The Together Tucson Thrives Golf Tournament includes golf clinic, signature hat, box lunch, 18 holes of golf, and reception. Sponsorships are available. Tournament proceeds will benefit the Tucson Together Fund - Southern Arizona Community Foundation, the only officially sanctioned fund established to assist those associated with the tragedy. Individuals interested in making a donation may visit tucsontogetheraz.com. For tournament details, call 913-707-4653 or visit tucsonnational.com/
Match Play Stays in Tucson. The World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship will again be played at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana, a Tucson suburb, in 2012, according to the PGA Tour and Accenture. This event, which is the first of four World Golf Championships of the season, has been played in the Tucson area since 2007 and at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain since 2009. The next Accenture Match Play Championship is scheduled for February 20-26, 2012. For more information, call the Tucson Conquistadores at 520-571-0400 or visit worldgolfchampionships.com.
Green Tucson Hotels. Six Tucson-area lodging establishments are among 20 in Arizona to be the first "certified green lodgings" under a program of the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association in partnership with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and Arizona Office of Tourism. To become certified, hotels must achieve a minimum of 150 points in 15 different categories. The certification is valid for two years, when properties must re-apply and show an increase in green practices, scoring a minimum of 200 points. Hotels in the Tucson area that have qualified are Best Western Royal Sun Inn & Suites, Cat Mountain Lodge, Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, and Westward Look Resort. More details are available at azhla.com/certified-green.html.
National Parks Week. The US National Park Service celebrates the diversity, beauty and history found in our national park system by offering free admission at more than 200 parks during National Parks Week. In Southern Arizona, seven national parks will waive their entrance fees during April 16-24, 2011: Chiricahua National Monument at Willcox, Coronado National Memorial in Hereford, Fort Bowie National Historic Site in Willcox, Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail in Nogales and Tubac, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near Ajo, Saguaro National Park near Tucson, and Tumacácori National Historical Park at Tumacácori. Details are online at nps.gov/npweek/
Old Pueblo Grand Prix. The Old Pueblo Grand Prix, the Fastest Bike Race in the West - gets started at 12:30 p.m. on April 17, 2011. Spectators are promised continuous action and excitement at this high-speed "criterium" race, which features tight turns around a short course on closed-off downtown streets. This event will attract many top professional men and women athletes, who will compete for $20,000 in cash prizes, and amateur and youth cyclists. A cycling industry expo and access to fantastic restaurants located along the race course make for a full day of family-friendly entertainment. Bring your cameras! More information is available at oldpueblograndprix.com/
Spring Bike Swap Meet. Bikes of all types, spare parts, clothing, accessories, bicycle art and more can be found at Arizona's largest bike swap meet: The GABA Spring Bike Swap Meet takes place Sunday, April 17, 2011 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. along Fourth Avenue, between the University of Arizona and downtown Tucson. Browse, shop for deals, or share information with other cycling enthusiasts at this free marketplace presented by the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association (GABA). Park your wheels in the bicycle valet provided by El Grupo Youth Cycling Club. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fourthavenue.org.
August Birding Hotspot. Southeast Arizona is one of the best places in the United States to watch birds during August. As late-afternoon thunderstorms create a second spring, local birds nest, southbound migrants arrive, hummingbird numbers peak and rare Mexican species visit. Explore this fruitful region at two events: The 20th Annual Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival, August 3-6, 2011, in Sierra Vista, 80 miles southeast of Tucson, is Arizona's longest-running nature festival; the Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival, August 17-21, 2011, is the region's newest nature festival, with bird-watching locations throughout metro Tucson. Both events combine free and paid field trips, workshops, exhibits, and talks by renowned naturalists. Program schedules and other details are available online at southwestwings.org and at tucsonaudubon.org/festival.
Mountain Art Walks. Desert vegetation and rugged mountains set a natural backdrop for the paintings, sculpture, tile art and jewelry displayed by tenants at Gallery Row in Tucson's affluent Catalina Foothills area. Gallery Row recently increased the frequency of its popular Art Walk series. Now visitors can browse the art galleries and chat with artists while sipping wine on Thursdays, from 5 to 7 p.m. Afterward, many folks stay for supper at the award-winning Acacia restaurant, which offers an all-natural menu of "real food and cocktails" along with panoramic views of the Tucson valley. Discover Gallery Row at tucsongalleryrow.com/
Cool Summer Concerts. Tucson's LAVA (Live Acoustic Venue Association) produces a family-friendly summer concert series called Music on the Mountain in the alpine village of Summerhaven, 12901 N. Sabino Canyon Parkway, atop Mt. Lemmon, north of Tucson, every Sunday afternoon from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Many of Tucson's favorite bands play at these concerts, which begin at noon under a big tent surrounded by towering evergreens. Check out the schedule at lavamusic.org.
Historical Cathedral Makeover. The second-most photographed landmark in Tucson (after San Xavier Mission) has been transformed, inside and out, after an extensive renovation. New features at downtown Tucson's Spanish Colonial Revival-style St. Augustine Cathedral include new paint in shades of luminous gold throughout the formerly dark interior, 200 handcrafted wood retablos, painted symbols of faith that reflect regional history, and a state-of-the-art sound system. The spotlighted exterior continues to be a stunning sight at dawn, dusk, or night. Learn more at diocesetucson.org/staug.html or call 520-623-6351.
Check Your Watch. Most of Arizona, including Metropolitan Tucson, does not observe daylight saving time (only the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona observes daylight saving time).
Free Visitor Information. The 2011 Visit Tucson: Official Destination Guide is available now. To download a free digital version from the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau website, go to visitTucson.org. To request a free copy, call 1-800-638-8350.
What's New in Tucson is a monthly e-newsletter, produced by the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau (MTCVB), which provides summaries of tourism-related news in Tucson and Southern Arizona. View the archives here. To be removed from this list, please email icano@visitTucson.org. The MTCVB is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Tucson area as a convention, visitor, and film production destination. It is financially supported by the City of Tucson, Pima County, the Town of Oro Valley and more than 600 individual and business partners.
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