October, perhaps the most pleasant month the climate affords in Cerca Country, is full of festivals and fun. Look here for an event to your liking.
Through Oct. 25, Cedar City, Utah: Utah Shakespearean Festival. Fall season features "Gaslight," "Julius Caesar" and "Moonlight and Magnolias." Matinee and evening performances daily, dark Monday. (800) 752-9849, www.bard.org.
Friday through Oct. 5, Reno: Reno Celtic Celebration features bagpipe bands, Irish and Highland dancing, Celtic crafters and athletic competitions. (775) 233-9954, www.visitrenotahoe.com.
Saturday, Carson City: Oktoberfest 2008. This fun fundraiser offers plenty of brew, Bavarian food, oompah music, a craft fair, and silent auction. Children's activities include a bounce house, pretzel toss. (775) 887-2244, www.carson-city.nv.us.
Saturday, St. George, Utah: St. George Marathon, one of the largest in the United States. Race begins in Pine Valley and descends nearly 2,600 feet into St. George. (435) 634-5850, www.stgeorgemarathon.com.
Saturday through Oct. 5, Virginia City: World Championship Outhouse Races. This race must be seen to be believed as outhouse team members push, pull or drag their outhouses across the finish line. (800) 718-7587, www.virginiacity-nv.org.
Saturday through Oct. 6, Death Valley, Calif.: Furnace Creek 508, one of the world's premiere ultramarathon bicycle races. Nonstop race runs 508 miles from Santa Clarita to Twentynine Palms via California's Death Valley and Mojave Desert. www.the508.com.
Saturday through Nov. 2, Flagstaff, Ariz.: "Trappings of the American West" show opens at Museum of Northern Arizona, celebrating artists, leatherworkers, silversmiths, other craftsmen associated with West and ranch life. Craftsmen demonstrate every weekend. (928) 774-5213, musnaz.org.
Oct. 10-12, Lone Pine, Calif.: Lone Pine Film Festival features film screenings, celebrity panels, parade, arts and crafts fair and eight different tours to various movie sets. Weekend includes grand opening of Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History. (866) 469-6345, www.lonepinefilmfestival.org.
Oct. 10-13, Goffs, Calif.: Mojave Road Rendezvous, in 28th year, celebrates history of Eastern Mojave Desert. Covered-dish suppers, off-road tours, etc. (760) 733-4482, MDHCA.org.
Oct. 11, Las Vegas Wash: Field trip to Las Vegas Wash sponsored by Friends of the Desert Wetlands and Water Street Gallery, 8 a.m.-noon. Must pre-register at Water Street Gallery, 155 S. Water St., Henderson (702) 253-0800, email@example.com.
Oct. 11, Fallon: Dune Riders International Sand Mountain Open includes slalom, big air and drags competitions, also exhibitions. (760) 373-8861, www.sandboard.com.
Oct. 11-12, Reno: Great Italian Festival includes grape-stomping, spaghetti-eating contests, gelato and other Italian foods, arts and crafts, bocce ball tournament, farmers market and live entertainment. Eldorado Hotel. (800) 879-8879, www.visitrenotahoe.com.
Oct. 11-12, Yermo, Calif.: Calico Days pay tribute to the town's origins in 1881. American Indian village and gunfight exhibitions throughout weekend; Wild West parade. (760) 254-2122, www.calicotown.com.
Oct. 12, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Autumn Star Fest at Lowell Observatory. Enjoy the night skies of autumn with numerous telescopes set up around the campus. (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
Oct. 16, Laughlin: Chef's Food Fest. Now in 21st year, features the best cuisine available from top chefs along the Colorado River. (702) 298-2214, www.visitlaughlin.com.
Oct. 18, Carson City: Kit Carson Trail Ghost Walk. Select homes will be open to walking tour with character actors portraying scenes of the past. (800) 638-2321, www.visitrenotahoe.com.
Oct. 18-19, Zion National Park, Utah: Leave No Trace Awareness Workshop will informally discuss the seven principles of Leave No Trace. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (800) 635-3959, www.zionpark.org/
Oct. 19-26, Sedona, Ariz.: Sedona Plein Air Festival. Watch 30 of the nation's finest plein air painters as they work outdoors throughout Sedona. (928) 282-3809, www.sedonapleinair festival.com/.
Oct. 20, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Orionid Meteor Shower. Indoor program focusing on the upcoming Orionids followed by outdoor telescope viewing of various celestial objects. Lowell Observatory. (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
Oct. 20-21, Zion National Park, Utah: Archaeology Workshop. Take part in fieldwork at archaeologically significant areas of Zion. Learn about the prehistoric and historic settlements of Zion from days of the basket makers to the Mormon pioneers. Moderate to strenuous hiking required, reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
Oct. 22-26, Reno: Tahoe/Reno International Film Festival features diverse films from independent film makers. Winner of a short-script competition will become a film. Workshops, tributes and parties. (775) 298-0018, www.visitrenotahoe.com.
Oct. 24-25, Cedar City, Utah: Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival includes "novice-to-professional" Dutch oven cook-off, stock dog competition and hundreds of sheep parading down historic Main Street. Cross Hollow Events Center. (435) 586-8132, www.scenicsouthernutah.com.
Oct. 24-26, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Celebraciones de la Gente. A lively celebration of Day of the Dead, the ancient Meso-American holiday. Musical and theatrical performances, storytelling and artists from throughout Arizona. Museum of Northern Arizona, (928) 774-5213, www.musnaz.org.
Oct. 25, Cedar City, Utah: Great Pumpkin Festival features pumpkin carving and painting, leaf corral and other fall activities. Presented by the Utah Shakespearean Festival on Randall Jones Theater grounds. (435) 586-7880, www.scenicsouthernutah.com.
Oct. 25, Valley of Fire State Park: Halloween Jubilee. Wear your favorite costume and take part in hunt for Captain Clark's buried treasure. Arts and crafts, snacks and refreshments. (775) 397-2088, www.parks.nv.gov.
Oct. 25, Zion National Park, Utah: Rim to Floor. Learn about the park's geology, botany and biology as you hike 10 miles from the East Rim of the park down to Zion Canyon. Participants must be fit for a strenuous hike. Reservations required. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (800) 635-3959, www.zionpark.org/
Oct. 31-Nov. 2, Beatty: Beatty Days. Three days of events including an ICS-sanctioned Regional Chili Cook-off, Dutch oven cook-off, Old West shootouts, parade, wagon races, wheelbarrow races and antique car show. Music and entertainment. (775) 553-2424, www.beattynevada.org.