Giffords Named Arizona Tourism Champion. At the 2011 Arizona Governor's Conference on Tourism last month, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was named "Tourism Champion of the Year." Congresswoman Giffords, who aggressively opposed last year's call for a tourism boycott of Arizona, represents Arizona's 8th Congressional District, which covers the southeastern portion of Arizona. Tucson's north and east sides are the urban center of the 9,000-square-mile district. "Congresswoman Giffords has a long history of supporting the Arizona tourism industry," said Debbie Johnson, president/CEO of the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association. Learn more at http://giffords.house.gov/
A Great City for Cycling. Tucson is one of the 10 great places for urban cycling in the country, according to a recent story in USA Today's Travel Section, which says Tucson's miles of bike paths offer an easy way "to see a city in a different way." Bicyclists can traverse mountain foothills and cactus-studded Saguaro National Park as well as the recently expanded Rillito River Park Trail - a winding 23-mile path that connects three dry riverbeds and creates a virtually traffic-free route for cyclists, runners, skaters, walkers and horseback riders, and offers access to nearly 20 Tucson and Pima County parks and nearly 20 trailheads. Find more information about biking around Tucson on visitTucson.org.
Fall & Winter Gem Shows. The Tucson Fall Gem Shows open the week after Labor Day with a
mini-showcase of five gem shows featuring beads, fossils, jewelry, and much more: A Bead Carnival, Gem and Lapidary Wholesalers at Holidome, J.O.G.S. at Tucson Expo Center, and Madagascar Minerals start September 8, 2011. Best Bead at Kino Veteran's Center opens September 9, and all shows run through September 11 except Madagascar Minerals, which runs through September 14. The city's cornerstone visitor event, the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase, begins January 28, 2012 with more than 40 shows. Learn more at visittucson.org/gemshow and follow it @TucsonGems.
Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta. Three professional baseball teams from Mexico will play the Tucson Padres in the Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta, October 7-9, 2011 at Kino Stadium, an 11,000-seat venue built for major league baseball in Tucson. The Mexican teams - Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Yaquis de Ciudad Obregon, and Aguilas de Mexicali - are with the Pacific League of Mexico, the premiere baseball league in Mexico today. Tickets for this exhibition series range from $6 to $12 and a three-day pass costs $30. Event organizers include Tucson Padres, Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pima Sports and Tourism Authority, and Sonora Sports Commission. For details, call 520-434-1367.
National Honor for Tucson Folklorist. The Tucson Meet Yourself community ethnic heritage festival has helped create awareness of the rich cultural traditions of the Arizona-Sonora borderland region for nearly 40 years. On October 14-16, 2011 this event is expected to draw 100,000 participants to downtown Tucson for three days of music, dance, and arts performances, cultural exhibits and demonstrations, and ethnic foods. The event's founder, folklorist and author Jim Griffith, recently won a prestigious 2011 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship that honors his "significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage." Learn more about "Big Jim" and this treasured Tucson event on TucsonMeetYourself.org.
The Real Old West. More than 300 feature films and TV westerns have been filmed at Old Tucson, Hollywood's most famous Old West movie location. Now this movie-quality frontier town and amusement park is expanding to offer authentic cultural heritage experiences in addition to live performances and horseback riding. Opening in October will be Heritage Square, with three new streets and 12 new building sets that will be used for staging living history presentations that educate on topics such as "Schools on the Frontier," "Sheriffs of the Old West," and "History of the Southwest." The new Native American Village houses cultural displays and a new garden of foods traditionally grown by the Tohono O'odham of the Sonoran Desert. Special events will continue to celebrate music, dance, and art of the American Old West. For more information, visit OldTucson.com. Media, call 883-0100 ext. 262.
Tucson Culinary Festival. The ninth annual Tucson Culinary Festival celebration of culinary vibrancy in Tucson and Southern Arizona takes place October 27-30, 2011 beginning with the World Margarita Championship on the patio at Maynards Market and Kitchen, and includes The Reserve and Grand Tastings at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, and more. The "Dine around Tucson," a new event this year, takes place Friday, Oct. 28 and features a geographical selection of dining "trails", giving guests an opportunity to explore one of four distinct dining districts of Tucson in one fun evening. The second annual Copper Chef Challenge and BBQ takes place at Loews on the Kiva Patio and Ballroom on Sunday, Oct. 30. Whet your appetite with all the details on TucsonCulinaryFestival.com.
Tucson's Winning Wine Lists. Fifteen Tucson restaurants have received one of the Wine Spectator's Restaurant Wine List Awards for 2011. Each winning wine list has met several basic requirements, and has been judged for one of three award levels. Anthony's in the Catalinas received the Grand Award. Janos at The Westin La Paloma, McMahon's Prime Steakhouse, and The Grill at Hacienda del Sol received a Best of Award of Excellence. Twelve Tucson restaurants won an Award of Excellence: Arizona Inn Main Dining Room, Feast, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, and Gold at Westward Look, Maynards Market & Kitchen, Michelangelo Ristorante, Pastiche Modern Eatery, and Primo at JW Marriott Starr Pass, Signature Grill at JW Marriott Starr Pass, Sullivan's Steakhouse, and The New Red Sky inside Luna Bella. The awards list appears in the August issue of Wine Spectator magazine and online at winespectator.com/.
Anza Expedition Video Premieres. "Legacy of a Journey," the National Park Service's new video about the Anza expedition, will be shown for the first time at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, Arizona's first state park, November 12, 2011. For details, call 520-398-2252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.This video chronicles the Anza Expedition of 1775-1776 when Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza led almost 300 settlers and solders on a 1,200-mile epic journey across unknown lands from the Presidio at Tubac to the Pacific coast to build the presidio (or fort) that became the city of San Francisco. Anza Day on October 22, 2011 at Tubac Presidio celebrates this journey. Discover more on TubacAZ.com.
Miraval Spa Weekend Photography Workshop. Hone your skills with a National Geographic photographer during a long weekend at the idyllic Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa, located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains northwest of Tucson. Designed for amateurs interested in improving their digital photography skills, the workshop includes daily excursions to capture scenes of Sonoran Desert landscapes and historical barrio streetscapes, and more. Participants also can enjoy Miraval's spa resources, including fabulous treatment facilities, healthy cuisine, and hiking and horseback riding opportunities. Find dates, costs, and an itinerary on miravalresorts.com. For questions on this workshop, call 1-866-797-4686.
Tucson Vacation Packages. Find real deals on hotels, resorts, spas, ranches, and bed-and-breakfasts in Tucson and Southern Arizona.
What's New in Tucson is produced monthly by the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau (MTCVB) Public Relations department. For media assistance, contact Public Relations Director Jessica Stephens, jstephens@visitTucson.org. Send story ideas to Deborah Melcher, dmelcher@visitTucson.org. To be removed from or added to the mailing list, contact Isela Cano, icano@visitTucson.org. Find more travel information on Tucson and Southern Arizona on visitTucson.org.
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