Spring is bustin’ out all over Cerca Country, and there’s plenty to do. Pick a couple of these events and see the other side of the West.
Through April 6, Big Bear, Calif: Spring Fest 2008, a spring break with snow, at Big Bear Mountain Resorts. Games, music, limbo contests and other merriment, www.bigbearmountain resorts.com.
Through July 13, Flagstaff, Ariz.: "Grand Archaeology," an exhibit by photographer Dawn Kish, documents new excavations in Grand Canyon National Park, Museum of Northern Arizona, www.musnaz.org, (928) 774-5213.
Tuesday-Wednesday, Sparks: Banff Mountain Film Festival-Truckee Meadows Tour. This event includes short works about mountaineering, skiing, kayaking and other adventures. John Ascuaga’s Nugget. (775) 851-5180, www.nvlc.org.
Friday, Eureka: "Romeo & Juliet." Utah Shakespearean Festival at Eureka Opera House,(775) 237-6006, www.co.eureka.nv.us.
Friday-Saturday, Lytle Preserve, Utah: Lytle Preserve Workshop. Join a geologist, botanist and birder during peak spring migratory bird season. Participants need to bring all their own food and supplies for two days of camping. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
April 6, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Spring Break Star Fest. This event features special children’s programs and numerous telescopes set up for viewing throughout the Lowell Observatory campus. Saturn will be the featured object. (928) 233-3210, www.lowell.edu.
April 11-12, Cedar City, Utah: Thunderbird Film Festival at Southern Utah University. This independent filmmaking competition features family-friendly films by students and professionals. Film screenings, seminars, award ceremony and aerial tours of Southwest movie locations, (435) 586-7861, www.thunderbirdfilm festival.suu.edu.
April 11, Zion National Park, Utah: Geology of Zion workshop. Enjoy short hikes and trailside lectures on how the power of water has shaped this majestic park. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
April 16, Eureka: Teresa Jordan, artist and author at Eureka Opera House, (775) 237-6006, www.co.eureka.nv.us.
April 17, Eureka: Richard Elloyan. Cowboy singer, songwriter and poet at Eureka Opera House, (775) 237-6006, www.co.eureka.nv.us.
April 17-18, Zion National Park, Utah: Zion through the Lens. Learn about the park and photography with a professional photographer and former field archaeologist with extensive knowledge of the area. Topics to be covered include controlling depth of field, exposure, contrast control and appropriate use of filters. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
April 18, Eureka: Lulu LaFever brings jazz, swing and blues to Eureka Opera House, (775) 237-6006, www.co.eureka.nv.us.
April 19, Walker Lake: Walker Lake Loon Festival. Take a free boat or barge ride on the lake to view some of the roughly 1,200 loons who pass through here on their migration north, (775) 945-5896, www.mineralcountychamber.com.
April 20, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Spring Break Star Fest. Astronomer Jeffrey Hall will give an indoor presentation about global warming as seen from an astronomical perspective. Telescopes will be available for viewing throughout the Lowell Observatory campus. Lowell Observatory, (928) 233-3210, www.lowell.edu.
April 19, Zion National Park, Utah: Earth Day Festival. Earth-centered activities include hikes, games and workshops. Information tables about local flora and fauna, astronomy and history of the park. Various venues. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
April 23-27, Laughlin: Laughlin River Run. More than 50,000 bikers descend on this Colorado River town for entertainment, poker runs, competitions and to visit the booths of thousands of vendors set up throughout the area, (800) 357-8223, www.laughlinriverrun.com.
April 24-26, Reno: Reno Jazz Festival. This event features more than 300 performances and clinics with 40 jazz artists from around the nation and close to 300 students from around the west. UNR Campus, (775) 784-4046, www.visitreno.com.
April 26, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Arbor Day at the Arboretum. This celebration of trees includes a general tour of the gardens, live birds of prey demonstration, snake displays and a mass tree planting, (928) 774-1442, www.thearb.org.
April 26-27, Ivins, Utah: Cactus Hugger Cycling Festival. Three days of road cycling events including a century, 42- and 65-mile distance rides, a ride to Zion National Park, children’s safety events and health expo, (435) 229-1404, www.cactushugger.org.
May 3, Lone Pine, Calif.: Wild Wild West Marathon. This trail race travels through the Alabama Hills and into the foothills of Mount Whitney. There are a 50K marathon, a 10-mile race and a three-mile fun run, (760) 876-4444, www.lonepinechamber.org.
May 3, Virginia City: Comstock Chili Cookoff. Chili cooks from throughout the region compete for prizes and awards. Visitors are invited to stroll C Street and sample the People’s Choice entries, (800) 718-7587, www.visitreno.com.
May 3-4, Rachel: The "X" Rides –The Road is Out There! Event in its 11th year features bike tours on and off the Extraterrestrial Highway (Highway 375) and a mountain bike ride to the security perimeter of Area 51. Costume contest slated, (800) 565-2704, www.bikethewest.com.
May 4, Reno: Marathon de Mayo Wide Open Music Marathon. The course begins at the Reno Arch and travels through some of the city’s most scenic areas. There will be a Latino music act at each mile of the race. Marathon, half marathon, 5K and 10K, (775) 825-1727, www.visitreno.com.