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Boyce Thompson Arboretum, AZ Events

January

12Australia Day Superior - Paul Taylor, Aussie folklorist, with stories, poems & music. Also a class on the didjeridoo 9-11a, must pre-regis $35. Festival 11a-3p, open 8a-5p. ... more

12Annual Florence Woman’s Club Fashion Show Florence - Time: Doors open at 11:00am ... more

February

2 - 24 Renaissance Festival Apache Junction - The Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 12-stage theatre, a 30-acre circus, and arts and crafts faire, a Jousting Tournament and a fe ... more

9Annual Tour of Historic Florence Florence - Explore the history of one of Arizona’s oldest towns. The self-guided tour highlights the history and architecture of Florence dating back to Territ ... more

10Annual Run For the Gold - Lost Dutchman Marathon Apache Junction - USA Track & Field certified marathon, half marathon, 10K, 8K Desert Trail Run & 2-mile fun run/walk, 7:30 am. ... more

10Annual Florence Prison Run Florence - Come out and ride with the Old Bastards MC and the Harley Riders of the East Valley. We'll meetup @ the Chevron location listed here. Then roll out ... more

16 - 17 Apache Junction Rock & Gem Show Apache Junction - Dealers will be selling fine-handmade jewelry, gems, beads, opals, cabochons, fossils, rocks, slabs, lapidary equipment and supplies, and more. Inclu ... more

March

23 - 24 Renaissance Festival Apache Junction - The Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 12-stage theatre, a 30-acre circus, and arts and crafts faire, a Jousting Tournament and a fe ... more

2Annual Fishing Derby Florence - Kids 18 and under come out to Lake Florence at Heritage Park and reel in the big one. Catch a fish with a tag and bring it to the Parks and Recreation ... more

9 - 10 Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Show Apache Junction - AEDGETA currently has three major shows every year. Antique tractors are pulled for percentage and some classics are pulled for exhibition. In additio ... more

9Annual Spring Festival-Anthem Florence - Festivities include a petting zoo, carnival games, rides, live music, beer garden and dance performances. Time: 11:00am to 6:00pm ... more

15 - 16 Museum's Garage Sale Florence - Giant Garage sale -- benefits the museum. 7am. to 2pm. Back of Pinal County Historical Museum ... more

16AZ Bike Week Open House Apache Junction - Kick off Arizona Bike Week at the biggest party in the East Valley! Live Music, Dyno Shoot-out with trophies, vendors, prizes, beer garden, food, game ... more

17Annual Discovery Ride Apache Junction - Join us for a scenic ride through "The Valley of the Sun". Registration: 7:30-9:00 AM. Starts off at Superstition Harley-Davidson with a pancake break ... more

April

11 - 14 Country Thunder USA Florence - Local & national acts performing 12 hours a day & a wide variety of displays, contests, arts & crafts & food, 11 am - 11 pm. Previous headliners ha ... more

July

4Freedom Fest July 4th Celebration Florence - Fireworks at approx. 8:30pm Florence Freedom Fest Time: 3:00pm-8:30pm Location: Heritage Park, 600 North Main St. Information: Florence Pa ... more

13National Day of the Cowboy Apache Junction - The National Day of the Cowboy is a day set aside as a national day of recognition for the many contributions the American Cowboy and Cowgirl have mad ... more

20Annual Casino Night Florence - Don't miss this years Casino Night. We will have thousands of dollars in prizes to win along with great food from various Florence Restaurants, as wel ... more

October

20 - 22 Oktoberfest Apache Junction - Live entertainment, vendor booths, pillow mud fights, carnival. Daily, 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM. ... more

November

19Annual Ben Johnson Days Apache Junction - JamFest, 'Fun' Gymkhana & Poker Ride/Walk, presented by the Goldfield Ghost Riders. The event encompasses two weekends with something for everyone - J ... more

27Annual Ben Johnson Days Poker Ride/Walk Apache Junction - The Ben Johnson Days' fun continues Sunday with the Poker Ride/Walk. Participants can ride the trail on a horse in the beautiful Goldfield Mountains o ... more

2Beehive Homes Fall Health Festival Apache Junction - We are having a health festival to promote our new facility for Memory Care and Dementia. We have about 60 different vendors coming out to tell you a ... more

16 - 17 Apache Junction High School Fall 2014 Jewelry, Gem and Rock Show Apache Junction - Dealers will be selling fine hand-made jewelry, gems, opals, beads, cabochons, slabs, rocks, minerals, fossils, jewelry-making supplies and equipment. ... more

22 - 24 Florence Jr. Parada Rodeo Florence - The Florence Jr. Parada Rodeo is the Nation's Oldest continuous junior rodeo. There will be novelty events as well as "regular" rodeo events. Pa ... more

December

15Holiday Light Parade Apache Junction - Live entertainment, Santa, arts & crafts for children. ... more

7Christmas on Main Street Florence - 6:00 pm - 8:30pm, Light parade begins at 8:00pm. ... more

Boyce Thompson Arboretum Hiking Trails

Boyce Arboretum Trails
Boyce Arboretum TrailsIn the Boyce Thompson Arboretum's 323 acre park there are more than two miles of winding paths and shaded trails for visitors to explore. Arizona newspaper reader polls voted BTA the "best day trip" in Arizona.

Short trails lead through Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert areas, a cactus garden, riparian areas, an Australian forest, and herb and rose gardens. On your first visit make sure to request the Main Trail Guide, a booklet which helps interpret the scenic 1.5-mile loop through Queen Creek Canyon. Additional handouts you can get in the visitor center give information on the other trails and gardens. Most of these trails branch off from the first part of the Main Trail, so you don't have to walk far to see the highlights. Much of the trail system is wheelchair-accessible (particularly the serene Demonstration Garden). The Curandero/Sonoran Desert Trail describes traditional herbal medicines of the Sonoran Desert. "Curandero" is the word for a traditional healer in Mexican culture.

Tours and most public events are included with regular admission. There are also picnic tables and charcoal grilles available to visitors, and leashed pets are welcome.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum Birdwatching

Boyce Arboretum Birdwatching
Boyce Arboretum BirdwatchingThe Northern Cardinal, Yellow-breast Chat, warblers and nesting hummingbirds are among the species to see at Boyce Thompson Arboretum this summer. Gambel's Quail, Gilded Flickers, Cactus Wrens, Curve-Billed Thrushes, and Black Throated Sparrows are the abundant species, as are many other lower Sonoran birds. The extensive irrigated areas of native and exotic trees and shrubs provide food and shelter for countless winter visitors and transients.

More than 270 bird species and 72 terrestrial mammals and lizards have been seen in the area. Ayer Lake and Queen Creek on the Main Trail are good places to watch for wildlife; you can see rare Gila topminnow and desert pupfish in the lake -- a refugium for these two endangered species of fish.

* Tours and most public events are included with regular admission. There are also picnic tables and charcoal grilles available to visitors, and leashed pets are welcome.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum Visitors Centers

Boyce Arboretum Visitors Center
Boyce Arboretum Visitors CenterThe Boyce Arboretum Visitors Center offers various exhibits and a gift shop with snacks, books, prints, posters, and seed packets. You can also purchase cactus, other succulents, trees, shrubs, ground cover, and herbs.

During Summer months the cooling-tower exhibit at the visitor center creates a cool microclimate; its 30-foot tower functions as a giant evaporative cooler. Scheduled events include Summertime guided tours where you can learn about lizards and butterflies; Spring and Fall plant sales, a live music fest in November and Fall Color Festival at the end of November, Australia Day in January, Herb Festival, World Desert Fair and more. A picnic area near the parking lot is available to visitors.

There are also two greenhouses which contain cactus and succulents that would not otherwise survive winter cold at this 2,400-foot elevation. The Smith Interpretive Center, between the display greenhouses, has exhibits on plants and local history. A Demonstration Garden offers tips and examples of water-efficient landscaping design.

Tours and most public events are included with regular admission. There are also picnic tables and charcoal grilles available to visitors, and leashed pets are welcome.

Special Programs & Events

January - Australia Day, Quilt Show & Contest, 2 p.m. Lecture Series Wed. - Sun.
February -The Language of Flowers, 2 p.m. Lecture Series Wed. - Sun.
March - Wildflower Month, Welcome Back Buzzards, Spring Plant Sale, 2 p.m.
Lecture Series Wed.- Sun.
April - Earth/Arbor Day, Spring Plant Sale
May - Herb Festival
September - Bye, Bye Buzzards
October - Fall Plant Sale, Creepy Crawly Critter Contest
November -Feeling of Fall Festival