Blessed with mostly-open winter roads and long-handled underwear, travelers in Cerca Country can find plenty to do even in January. See if any of these events warm your interest.
Through Jan. 24, St. George, Utah: “Zion National Park: A Century of Sanctuary,” a juried art exhibit, includes historic paintings and photos from 1870s, modern greats such as Ansel Adams. St. George City Art Museum, (435) 627-4525, sgartmuseum.org.
Wednesday, Brian Head, Utah: Fireworks and torchlight parade. New Year’s Eve fun for entire family as skiers carrying torches glide down the slopes. Firework display and party. Brian Head Resort. (435) 677-2035, www.scenicsouthern utah.com.
Wednesday, St. George, Utah: First Night 2009. Swing into the New Year with the performing arts. Local bands and food booths indoors and out on Downtown Square and Main Street. (435) 627-4560, www.sgcity.org.
Thursday-Jan.7, Virginia City: Sesquicentennial Beard Contest. Celebrate Virginia City’s 150th birthday and enter your beard. Categories include, whitest, longest, most unusual, most attractive and scruffiest beard. Contests take place at a different saloon each night. Beard parade on Saturday. (775) 847-4386, www.visitvirginiacitynv.com.
Jan. 6-19, Palm Springs, Calif.: Palm Springs International Film Festival. One of the largest film festivals in the country with more than 200 films from 65 nations. Seminars, events and gala receptions. (800) 898-7256, www.psfilmfest.org.
Jan. 9-15, Laughlin: Winter Break. This six-day festival targets the age group over 50, is modeled on the uninhibited spring breaks this generation pioneered as college students. Participants enjoy dancing, fitness, arts and crafts, educational seminars and live entertainment along the banks of the Colorado River. (888) 278-9844, www.laughlinchamber.com.
Jan. 10-11, Yuma, Ariz.: Gathering of the Gunfighters. Thirteen Old West re-enactment groups from four Southwestern states perform. Vittles and libations will be offered. Yuma Territorial Prison State Park. (520) 783-4771, www.pr.state.az.us.
Jan. 12, Sedona, Ariz: Hopi artist Michael Kabotie tells how his people have responded with creativity to conflicts between man and nature. 7 p.m., Church of the Red Rocks. Sponsored by Museum of Northern Arizona. (928) 774-5213.
Jan. 17, St. George, Utah: Painter’s Half Marathon & 5K Run. Half marathon begins at the Main Street Trailhead by the Dixie Convention Center and runs 13.1 miles. 5K course runs in the opposite direction from the half marathon. (435) 627-4504, www.utahstgeorge.com.
Jan. 17-18, Ely: White Pine Fire and Ice Show. Snow and ice sculptures are created by locals and visitors at Cave Lake State Park. Fireworks show on Saturday night via a moving train in Ely, and Sunday night at the park. Cash prizes. (800) 496-9350, www.parks.nv.gov.
Jan. 18, Flagstaff, Ariz.: MLK Star Fest. This event features indoor programs and numerous telescopes set up for viewing throughout the Lowell Observatory campus. (928) 233-3210, www.lowell.edu.
Jan. 19, Flagstaff, Ariz.: School’s Out & Kids Are Free. Lowell Observatory will be open for kids’ activities throughout the day. Activities include science demonstrations; telescope viewing of the sun; space theatre programs; tours; scavenger hunt. (928) 233-3210, www.lowell.edu.
Jan. 21-25, Quartzsite, Ariz.: Pow Wow Gem and Mineral Show. Includes largest operating display of lapidary equipment in the country with more than 300 dealers displaying, buying and selling. Pow Wow Building. (928) 927-6325, www.qiaaz.org.
Jan. 22-25, Laughlin: Laughlin Desert Challenge. More than 200 of the world’s top off-road drivers compete in the annual race. An estimated 30,000 fans attend the first race in the SCORE series throughout the Southwest, which ends with the Baja 1000. (800) 662-5825, www.score-international.com.
Jan. 23-25, Yuma, Ariz.: Lettuce Days. Yuma is considered the “Winter Lettuce Capital of the World;” you can see not only farm equipment and agricultural displays, but also a lettuce box car derby arts and crafts, and enjoy food and entertainment. (928) 782-5712, www.yumalettucedays.com.
Jan. 24-31, Elko: National Cowboy Gathering. A week-long celebration of Western life featuring traditional and contemporary arts. Poetry, music, film, photography, exhibits, workshops, film screenings. Western Folklife Center, (775) 738-7508, www.westernfolklife.org.
Jan. 29-Feb. 1, St. George, Utah: Winter Bird Festival. Take part in field trips, workshops, live displays and presentations while enjoying Southwest Utah’s hot spots. Red Cliffs Chapter of the National Audubon Society. Tonaquint Park and Nature Center. (435) 879-2270,www.utahstgeorge.com.