Autumn in Cerca Country has a Southwestern flavor, with ethnic holidays, macho sporting events and other revelry. Pick your party from the following.
Through Oct. 27, Cedar City, Utah: Utah Shakespearean Festival. The fall season features “Art” and “The Mousetrap.” Matinee and evening performances daily, dark Monday. (800) 752-9849, www.bard.org.
Thursday-Saturday, Escalante and Boulder, Utah: Escalante Canyon’s Everett Ruess Days. A working arts festival featuring classes in drum-making, painting and pottery augmented by entertainment and food. (435) 826-4810, www.everettreussdays.org.
Thursday-Oct. 7, Pahrump: Pahrump Fall Festival, Fair and PRCA Rodeo. This annual event includes a parade, food, vendors, carnival, exhibits and entertainment. Petrack Park and McCullough Arena. (775) 727-5107, www.pahrumpnv.org.
Friday-Oct. 7, Yermo, Calif.: Calico Days. This three-day event pays tribute to the 1881 origins of Calico, which became a ghost town but was rescued and preserved as a tourist attraction and relatively authentic relic of the frontier. American Indian village and gunfight exhibitions throughout weekend. Wild West parade. (760) 254-2122, www.calicotown.com.
Friday-Oct. 8, Death Valley, Calif.: Furnace Creek 508, one of the world’s premier ultramarathon bicycle races. The nonstop 508-mile race runs from Santa Clarita to Twentynine Palms via California’s Death Valley and Mojave Desert. www.the508.com.
Saturday, Cathedral Gorge State Park: “Lost ’49ers.” Learn the story of the group who traveled the Old Spanish Trail headed for California back in 1849. Campground Amphitheater or Regional Visitor Center in case of rain or cold. (775) 728-4460. www.parks.nv.gov.
Saturday, St. George, Utah: The St. George Marathon. This marathon is one of the largest in the USA with a running cap of 6,200 runners. The race begins in Pine Valley and descends nearly 2,600 feet into St. George. (435) 634-5850, www.stgeorgemarathon.com.
Saturday-Oct. 7, Meadview, Ariz.: Annual Coyote Melon Festival. Adults and children can take part in the coyote melon craft booth, melon races and art contests. Entertainment, a chili cook-off, food vendors, artisan booths offering handmade work and craft demonstrations. (928) 727-3786, www.mojavedrums.com.
Saturday-Oct. 7, Virginia City: World Championship Outhouse Races. Team members push or drag their outhouses across the finish line. (800) 718-7587, www.virginiacity-nv.org.
Saturday, Oct. 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, Clarkdale, Ariz.: Verde Canyon Railroad celebrates with an Oktoberfest party before boarding excursion trains to view the autumn color. (800) 293-7245, www.verdecanyonrr.com.
Oct. 13, Fallon: Dune Riders International Sand Mountain Open. Slalom, big air and drags events, plus exhibitions. (760) 373-8861, www.sandboard.com.
Oct. 13, Zion National Park, Utah: GPS and Topographic Maps. This workshop will teach you to locate points of interest using a topographic map and global positioning system receiver. There will be classroom instruction and a GPS-navigated hike. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (800) 635-3959, www.zionpark.oeg.
Oct. 14, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Autumn Star Fest. Celebrate the night skies of autumn with numerous telescopes set up or viewing around the campus of Lowell Observatory. (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
Oct. 15-16, Zion National Park, Utah: Archaeology Workshop. Take part in outdoor fieldwork at archaeologically significant areas of Zion. Learn about the prehistoric and historic settlements of Zion from the Basket Makers to the Mormon pioneers. Moderate to strenuous hiking. Reservations required. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
Oct. 20, Cedar City, Utah: Great Pumpkin Festival. Pumpkin carving and painting, leaf corral and other fall activities. Presented by the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Randall Jones Theater grounds. (435) 586-7880, www.scenicsouthernutah.com.
Oct. 20, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Orionid Meteor Shower. This evening program features an indoor program focusing on the upcoming Orionids and then an outdoor telescope viewing various celestial objects. (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
Oct. 25-27, Zion National Park, Utah: Fall Foliage Photography. A three-day workshop for the serious photo enthusiast. The group will work in several geologically distinct areas. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute. (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
Oct. 26-28, Beatty: Beatty Days. Celebrate the history of Beatty with three days of events including an ICS-sanctioned regional chili cook-off, Dutch oven cook-off, Old West shoot-outs, parade, wagon races, wheelbarrow races and antique car show. Music and entertainment. (775) 553-2424, www.beattynevada.org.
Oct. 26-27, Cedar City, Utah: Cedar Livestock Heritage Festival. The festival features a “novice to professional” Dutch oven cook-off, stock dog competition and a parade including hundreds of sheep on historic Main Street. Cross Hollow Events Center. (435) 586-4484, www.scenicsouthernutah.com.
Oct. 27-28, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Celeraciones de la Gente. A lively celebration of Day of the Dead, an ancient Meso-American custom honoring deceased loved ones, now associated with the Christian All Saints Day. Musical and theatrical performances, storytelling and artists from throughout Arizona. Museum of Northern Arizona. (928) 774-5213, www.munaz.org.