Arizona Centennial in Downtown Tucson. The Arizona Centennial will be celebrated February 10-12 with an extended version of the monthly 2nd Saturdays Downtown in downtown Tucson on the weekend before Arizona's 100th anniversary of statehood (February 14, 2012). The scheduled entertainment lineup reflects Arizona's rich Southwestern culture and heritage as well as Tucson's vibrant arts scene. Included will be concerts (Jerry Riopelle, Sam Moore, Carlos Nakai, for instance), performances, and historical reenactments - most performed by regional artists - as well as walking tours, movie screenings, puppet shows, carnival rides, a bicycle tour, soccer demonstrations, fireworks, and more for all ages. Most area museums, galleries, and merchants will also participate. Restaurants and street vendors will be available to fuel the revelers. View the Friday, Feb. 10, Saturday, Feb. 11, and Sunday, Feb. 12 entertainment lineups on 2ndSaturdaysDowntown.com.
Minerals of Arizona Exhibit. Some of the most spectacular gems and minerals ever mined in Arizona will be displayed in the "Arizona's Mineral Treasures: Celebrating Arizona's Centennial" exhibit, coming to the 58th Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, February 9-12, at Tucson Convention Center. Copper and turquoise will be among the varied exhibits depicting Arizona minerals and mining history in recognition of the Arizona Centennial (February 14, 1912-February 14, 2012) at this open-to-the-public show. Other highlights will include artifacts from Arizona's Wild West days, museum treasures, and a rare rock collection originally displayed at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. For tickets and more information, call (520) 322-5773 or visit www.tgms.org
Down-to-Earth Bookstore. The Arizona Geological Survey Bookstore is a hidden gem for nature tourists. Located in downtown Tucson's state government complex, the beautiful wood-beamed building houses a wide selection of books and field guides featuring geology, minerals, hiking, wildlife, archaeology, and state and national parks. Purchase Arizona minerals, rock-hounding tools, topographic and specialty maps, Mata Ortiz pottery, posters, gifts, and more. Take advantage of the free public lands information center to learn more about Arizona's amazing geology. Open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more details, call (520) 770-3500 or visit azgs.az.gov.
Baseball Season Begins. The University of Arizona Wildcats Baseball team on February 17 begins playing for the 2012 season at Hi Corbett Field, home to MLB spring training for decades. More information and tickets are available on ArizonaWildcats.com and through McKale Ticket Office at (520) 621-2287. The Tucson Padres, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, opens their 2012 season at Kino Stadium, April 5. The team's 72 home games will include three afternoon games. For season tickets and weekend packages, call (520) 434-1367 or visit TucsonPadres.com.
Never Don't Pay Attention. A Canon Rodeo Photography Workshop, February 18, will pay homage to Hall-of-Fame Rodeo Photographer Louise Serpa (1925-2012), who passed away just weeks shy of working her 50th Tucson Rodeo (February 18-26). A pioneer in the truest sense, Serpa was an internationally acclaimed photographer and Tucson resident whose rodeo images capture more than half a century of rodeo history and exude the sport's energy, excitement, and emotion. The workshop costs $75 and is open to 100 participants. For reservations, call (800) 964-5662 or visit TucsonRodeo.com. An exhibition of Serpa's photographs currently is on display at Tucson International Airport in the lower link gallery near the baggage claim area.
Follow Golf's Leaders. Golf fans are invited to get closer to the action on the final day of play at the 2012 World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship, February 20-26, at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, in the Tucson suburb Marana. Thanks to the new "Follow the Leaders" program, Sunday ticket holders will be invited to follow two of the world's best players as they go head-to-head for the Walter Hagen Cup and $8.5 million grand prize. Single tickets for Sunday's semifinals, championship, and consolation matches run $35-$45. Find details about ticket and hospitality packages on TucsonConquistadores.com and WorldGolfChampionships.com.
Tucson Festival of Books. The fourth largest book festival in the United States, the Tucson Festival of Books, takes place March 10-11 on the University of Arizona campus. This free event will feature 450 authors participating in 300 presentations and workshops, plus 240 exhibitors. Author Luis Albert Urrea will keynote the Author's Table Dinner, March 9. Urrea's best-seller "Devil's Highway" won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Other authors who have committed to attend the festival include: T.C.Boyle, Alice Hoffman, Elmore Leonard, Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana, and Richard Russo. More information is available on TucsonFestivalofBooks.org.
Ages & Stages Tradeshow. Active senior adults are invited to explore options in the Tucson community for new ways to gain more personal meaning from life. The Pima Council on Aging's tradeshow Ages 'n Stages, at Tucson Convention Center, March 2-3, will feature information, product samples, and demonstrations on the travel industry; new technologies for active families and adults; the arts; dining; financial advisors, insurance companies and real estate advisors; health and wellness; assisted living facilities and retirement centers, and more. For more details, call (520) 790-0504.
Olympic Shooting World Cup. The Tucson Trap and Skeet Club, home of the USA Shooting Southwest Regional Certified Training Center, will host the 2012 International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup competition, an Olympic qualification competition, March 23-April 1. As many as 400 athletes from over 30 countries around the world are expected to attend this last major competition before the 2012 Olympics in London. The Tucson Trap and Skeet Club has served Southern Arizona's shooting sportsman since its original incorporation in 1948. For more information, visit TucsonTrapandSkeet.com.
Accolades for Tucson Hotels. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain has been named for the first time to the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List, achieving the reader-based accolade less than two years after opening as Southern Arizona's newest luxury resort. The Arizona Inn in December was named to Travel + Leisure magazine's list of Top 500 Hotels in the World. Find more resorts in Tucson and Southern Arizona on the Visit Tucson website.
What's New in Tucson is produced monthly for travel writers by the Public Relations department of the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau. For media assistance, contact Public Relations Director Jessica Stephens, jstephens@visitTucson.org. Send story ideas to Editor 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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