Upcoming: Western Week returns to city of Scottsdale

A view of the Parada Del Sol Parade held annually in downtown Scottsdale. (file photo)

For the second consecutive year, the city of Scottsdale hosts a variety of events that combine traditions of the city’s Old West roots with modern day Western-style family fun.

Beginning Feb. 3, the activities leading up to the culminating event — the 65th Annual Scottsdale Parada del Sol Parade and Trail’s End Festival on Feb. 10 — have been proclaimed “Western Week.”

This year’s Western Week and Parada del Sol activities are themed “Scottsdale: Past, Present and Future,” defining how the city has stayed true to its “Wild West” spirit while moving into present day, according to a press release.

Activities include:

The American West in Film and Television: Wrecks and Effects – The Stuntmen

  • 11 a.m.-noon Saturday, Feb. 3
  • Free for museum members, included with general admission price

    Charlie LeSueur (photo by Melissa Fittro)

Hosted by Arizona’s Official Western Film Historian Charlie LeSueur and taking place at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, located at 3830 N. Marshall Way, one block west of Scottsdale Road at First Street, this event showcases the early days of filmmaking, when stuntmen came from a background in circus, rodeo or gymnastics.

As the growing popularity of Westerns demanded a new skill set, one which incorporated the equestrian skills, falls and fighting that were common to storylines of the genre, a new generation of stuntmen emerged, pioneering innovative ways to perform the seemingly impossible. This program explores the world of stuntmen such as Yakima Canutt and Dave Sharpe, whose talent and contributions to the industry continue to influence action sequences today.

For more, visit www.scottsdalemuseumwest.org.

Western Spirit Gold Palette ArtWalk

  • 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8
  • Free

The Scottsdale Gallery Association transforms its popular ArtWalk series with a western theme, including Scottsdale’s finest examples of Old West and contemporary art. While strolling through the downtown area’s 100-plus galleries, guests can enjoy live mariachi performances, a rope trick artist, live demonstrations inside some of the galleries — with artists’ creating sweeping southwestern landscapes and fine cowboy art in real time, and presentations of art in a variety of mediums from video works to ornately framed “living paintings.” Other activities surrounding this western-themed ArtWalk include trolley and carriage rides, line and square dancing, walking historical tours, and western-themed refreshments.

For more, visit www.scottsdalegalleries.com.

Hashknife Pony Express Mail Delivery and Community Celebration

  • 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9
  • Free (suggested donation of $5 per adult, $2 per child/student)

    The Hashknife Pony Express is one of the many events and activities returning to Scottsdale this winter. (photo by Hashknife Pony Express)

The oldest officially sanctioned Pony Express celebrates its 60th year with riders blazing their trail from the tiny town of Holbrook, Arizona to the streets of downtown Scottsdale. Arriving on horseback and covering a relay mail route of more than 200 miles, the annual delivery consists of 20,000 pieces of first class mail that bear the “Hashknife Pony Express” insignia. At noon, riders arrive at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

Surrounding this historical event, outdoor activities for the whole family take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. including family-friendly games, storytelling, crafts, face painting, onsite food trucks, horse-and-rider meet and greet and autograph-signing party following the mail delivery; and live entertainment.

For more, visit www.hashknifeponyexpress.com or www.scottsdalemuseumwest.org.

Old Town Farmers Market

  • 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10
  • Free

Enjoy a selection of the freshest produce of the season, indigenous specialties of the West, flowers, free-range beef, eggs, local cheeses, freshly baked artisan breads, jams and more from local purveyors. Located at 3806 N. Brown Ave. For more, visit www.arizonacommunityfarmersmarkets.com

65th Annual Scottsdale Parada del Sol Parade and Trail’s End Festival

  • Parade begins at 10 a.m.; Trails End Festival begins at noon on Saturday, Feb. 10
  • Free

    A view of the Parada Del Sol parade in 1980. (File photo)

As in years’ past, 2018’s Parada del Sol promises a variety of horse groups including mounted horse riders of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Posse, the Hashknife Pony Express riders and Scottsdale Charros, as well as horse-drawn carriages, bands, wagons and stagecoaches. This year’s parade theme is: Scottsdale-Past, Present and Future and parade-goers will see that theme woven throughout the overall event, floats and more.

At the conclusion of the parade, the streets of downtown Scottsdale come alive with a western-spirited festival featuring western bands, Aztec and Folklorico dancers, street entertainment, dancing, and a cowboy kids’ zone with petting zoo, bouncy houses, horse rides and more.

Three outdoor stages feature rockabilly, string, and rock bands, and the Arizona Wine Garden offers award-winning locally produced wines. The famous 1959 “Howdy Dudettes,” ambassadors from the Embassy Suites Hilton, are the official western ambassadors during the festivities.

For more, visit www.paradadelsolparade-trailsend.com.

Arizona Indian Festival

  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11
  • Free

Held at Scottsdale Civic Center Park, this two-day family-friendly event features Arizona tribes sharing cultural experiences, traditional dwellings, art demonstrations, Native American storytelling, performances, music and contemporary entertainment, an artisan market, Tribal and Tourism Expo, food trucks and fry bread stands, giveaways, raffles and kids’ activities. For more, visit www.arizonaindiantourism.org.

“The Last Buffalo” (a Smithsonian Channel film)

  • 1-2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11
  • Free for museum members, included with general admission price

Held at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, this event goes back in time to the late 1800s when the population of bison in the Great Plains suddenly dropped from nearly 30 million to just a few hundred in less than 100 years.

The program explores the mystery that put this national icon on the brink of extinction, details the events that led to this mass extermination, and then follows the story of William Temple Hornaday, a chief taxidermist at the Smithsonian Institution who headed west to hunt bison for the museum, but ultimately ended up saving the species.

For more, visit www.scottsdalemuseumwest.org.

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