Superstition Mountain Heritage Days - East Valley Tribune: Events

Superstition Mountain Heritage Days

Actor Michael Dante headlines AJ celebration

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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 5:52 am

Veteran film and television actor Michael Dante will sign copies of his new book, discuss his canon of more than 100 film and television roles, and help preserve the Old West as this year’s headliner for Superstition Mountain Days.

The annual two-day celebration of the history and lore of the Superstition Mountains, including Apacheland Movie Ranch, will take place Jan. 18-19 at Supersition Mountain Museum in Apache Junction.

Dante, who filmed “Apache Rifles” and “Arizona Raiders” with decorated WWII hero and film legend Audie Murphy at Apacheland Movie Ranch, says his appearance will be a nice homecoming and the perfect place to debut his new 306-page autobiography, “From Hollywood to Michael Dante Way.”

“I remember we rode our horses for miles with no traffic, people, buildings or telephone poles. It was just the beautiful Superstition Mountains in the background,” Dante said in a telephone interview from his Palm Springs home.

In addition to “Apache Rifles” and “Arizona Raiders,” Dante’s film work includes “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” “The Naked Kiss,” “Winterhawk” and “Kid Galahad” with Elvis Presley. His TV credits include “Star Trek,” “The Legend of Custer,” “Bonanza” and “The Big Valley.”

Dante will sign copies of his book as well as autograph photos in the chapel on the museum grounds at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 17, as a lead-in to the two-day celebration. Other highlights include the return of the Yellow Bird Indian Dancers, award-winning superstars of Native American dance, and a roundtable discussion of Apacheland Movie Ranch by the stars and stuntmen who lived the history of those glory days.

The story of the Lost Dutchman Mine will be told by Teton Ken appearing as “The Dutchman,” who will also help attendees learn to pan for gold. The Mohave Muleskinners will perform Old West re-enactments and gunfights, giving viewers a glimpse into the days when the West was truly wild.

Additionally, Native American artists and craftsmen, including Apache basket weaver Evelena Henry, will be on hand to demonstrate their skills and beautiful creations.

Visitors, young and old alike, can hike the nature trail, admire the views and visit the surviving buildings from Apacheland Ranch, which opened in 1959.

If you go

What: Superstition Mountain Heritage Days featuring Michael Dante

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18-19

Where: Superstition Mountain Museum, 4087 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction

Cost: A $1 admission donation will be requested by the non-profit Superstition Mountain Historical Society.

Information: (480) 983-4888 or

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