Mexican Wolf Recovery Workshop, Italian Night at Arcosanti, and Camp Verde Cornfest
Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary & Mexican Wolf Recovery Workshop
Live in the desert long enough, and critters from raptors to rattlesnakes eventually lose a bit of their initial “Wow!” (or “Ew!”) factor. But you can get up close with one rare Arizona predator that still inspires awe (and contention): the wolf.
Kids will get to pet a live wolf and learn more about the animals at this family event, where conservationists will give short presentations on wolves and wolf reintroduction efforts in our state.
Afterward, there’s a hands-on wildlife tracking seminar and hike, where experts will help you learn to identify tracks and scat, so you can get more out of your time in nature.
DETAILS >> 10 a.m. to noon July 20. White Mountain Nature Center, 425 S. Woodland Road, Lakeside. Free. (928) 358-3069 or WMnature.org
Italian Night at Arcosanti
This starlit soiree begins with a tour of Arcosanti, the striking experimental town started in 1970 to embody “arcology” — the fusion of architecture with ecology. Today, the place gets 50,000 visitors annually.
Dinner follows under Arcosanti’s iconic vaults, with courses like penne pasta primavera, poached salmon or eggplant moussaka.
From there, guests get a varied musical and theatrical mulitmedia performance by soprano Jayne Casselman, pianist Lynne Haeseler, percussionist and composer Owen Davis, tenor Chris Eubank and graphic and projection artist Nathan Greene.
DETAILS >> Tour starts at 5 p.m. July 20. Arcosanti, at Exit 263 off Interstate 17, 65 miles north of Phoenix. Tickets are $40 for the concert and dinner, or $20 for the concert only. Tickets for children 12 and younger are $20 for the concert and dinner, or $10 for the concert only. Reservations required. (928) 632-7135 or Arcosanti.org.
Camp Verde Cornfest
Down-home pleasures are a draw at this 22nd annual gathering, where you’ll find live music, a street dance, a beer garden, food vendors, and a host of free or very-low-cost contests, mostly for kids, from corn throwing and watermelon seed-spitting to three-legged races, hog-calling and telling the corniest joke.
There are also kite-making and flying activities, water balloon volleyball games, and Wow Bubbles, an attraction where you get inside a giant plastic bubble and “walk” on water.
A farmers market sells goodies to take home, and you can buy roasted, buttered sweet corn on the spot or uncooked ears by the dozen.
Nearby Fort Verde State Historic Park waives its admission fee Saturday to give you a free peek at military life during Arizona’s Indian Wars period. Free birding excursions start at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday; space is limited, so register early at (928) 592-9137.
DETAILS >> 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 19 and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 20. Downtown Camp Verde, 395 S. Main St. Free. (928) 301-0922 or CampVerdePromotions.org
Photo: Hanne Sue Kirsh