The nights in Cerca country during July will be filled with the bright lights of fireworks as well as nature's own starry displays.
Thursday through July 4, Prescott, Ariz.: 125th annual Prescott Frontier Days, World's Oldest Rodeo. Prescott's biggest event of the year includes rodeo performances, trail rides, a parade, fireworks, fine arts and a crafts fair, dances and live entertainment. (928) 445-3103. www.worldsoldestrodeo.com.
Saturday through July 1, Flagstaff, Ariz.: 79th Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture. Hopis gather to sell their wares at more than 65 booths and to show their skilled techniques in a variety of mediums. Storytelling, music, dancing and American Indian food. Museum of Northern Arizona. (928) 774-5213. www.musnaz.org.
Saturday and July 4, Laughlin: Rockets over the River. Two 20-minute fireworks displays launched over the Colorado River and choreographed to music . (702) 298-3321. www.visitlaughlin.com.
July 1-31, Reno: Artown. This art festival features more than 400 events. Artists from around the world will showcase their talents in the visual and performing arts and humanities. Various venues. (775) 322-1538. www.renoisartown.com.
July 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah: Star parties. Park staff and astronomy volunteers conduct these events featuring telescopes set up to view the night sky. The program starts at the park's visitor center, then heads out to Point Supreme. (435) 586-0787. www.nps.gov/cebr/.
July 4, Big Bear Lake, Calif.: Big Bear Fireworks Show. This claims to be the largest July Fourth fireworks display in Southern California and can be viewed from anywhere on or along the lake and from most of the town. The fireworks will be shot off from a barge on the lake. (909) 866-4607. www.bigbear.com.
July 4, Beatty: Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration, featuring a parade, games and barbecue. Cottonwood Park. (886) 736-3716. www.beattynevada.org.
July 6-8, Elko: 49th annual National Basque Festival. This event features traditional Basque dance, music, food and Old Country games such as handball, weightlifting and wood chopping. Elko Basque Club and other venues. www.elkobasque.com.
July 7-22, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah: Sixth annual Wildflower Festival. This monthlong festival takes place during peak wildflower season. Take part in guided hikes, workshops on edible plants and kids' scavenger hunts. (435) 586-9451. www.nps.gov/cebr/
July 9, Cedar City and Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah: Cedar Mountain Wildflowers. Participants will take a wildflower tour starting in Cedar City and traveling up through the many life zones to Cedar Breaks. Reservations necessary. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (800) 635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
July 11, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah: Photography at Cedar Breaks. Join photographer Michael Plyler for a day learning the best way to photograph the park's stunning wildflower displays. Plyler will discuss capturing the big vistas versus the close-up shots. Reservations necessary. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (800) 635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
July 7-8, Big Bear Lake, Calif.: The annual Big Bear PaddleFest. This festival features clinics and races for kayaks, canoes and paddleboards on Big Bear Lake. This event is open to all levels of paddlers. Meadows Park Swim Beach. (909) 866-3414. www.bigbearpaddlefest.com.
July 12 through July 14, Boulder, Utah: Boulder Heritage Festival. This is a celebration of the community's arts, crafts, music and history. The festival takes place at Anasazi State Park , where the first known inhabitants of this area lived. (435) 335-7550. www.boulderutah.com.
July 12 through Aug. 11, Cedar City, Utah: The Neil Simon Festival. This summer the plays are "Proposals," "The Odd Couple," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Goodbye Girl." Matinee and evening performances. Cedar City Heritage Theater. (866) 357-4666. www.simonfest.org.
July 13, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah: Wildflower Journaling at Cedar Breaks. Join instructor Sandy Bell for a day in the park, where you will learn some of the best ways to record your experiences. No prior writing or drawing experience is required. Tools, materials and methods of writing will be covered. Reservations necessary. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (800) 635-3959. www.zionpark.org.
July 13 through Aug. 26, Lake Tahoe: Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. This year's play is "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." Sand Harbor State Park. (775) 832-1616. www.LakeTahoeShakespeare.com.
July 14, Big Bear Lake, Calif.: Chili Cook-Off and Country Jamboree. Come taste red chili, chili verde and homemade salsas . Children's activities offered. This event is sanctioned by the International Chili Society. The Convention Center. (909) 436-9145. www.bigbearchilicookoff.com.
July 14, Bryce Canyon, Utah: Bryce Canyon Half-Marathon and 5k Run/Walk. The marathon travels from Ruby's Inn in Bryce Canyon to National Scenic Byway 12. It then travels through Tropic and ends in Cannonville. The 5k starts and finishes in Cannonville. (800) 444-6689. www.brycecanyonhalfmarathon.com.
July 27-28, Duck Creek, Utah: Duck Creek Days. Head up to the cool mountain air for lots of food, craft booths and a chili cook-off. Live entertainment each evening. (435) 682-3330. www.scenicsouthernutah.com.