The Gila Conservation Coalition hosts the 14th Annual Gila River Festival, “Celebrating 50 Years of Wild & Scenic Rivers” September 20-23, 2018 in Silver City, New Mexico, the Gila National Forest and along the Gila River. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by Lyndon B. Johnson. As our nation matures, we have come to recognize the value of rivers and our responsibility to protect them. Rivers run through us – our hearts, our lives, our nation’s history. The 14th Annual Gila River Festival celebrates this momentous legislation and explores the past, present and future of river protection.
The four day event features expert-led hikes to the Gila River and Gila National Forest, a Gila River kayak trip led by veteran river runner Steve Harris, birding and rock art field trips, the Gila River Extravaganza, a street fair featuring a puppet parade, poetry and community art projects, and myriad other hands on activities designed to foster a deeper intimacy with the Gila River. Presenters also include author and fire look out Philip Connors, Navajo filmmaker Tony Estrada, author and photographer Tim Palmer.
Kick off the Gila River Extravaganza on Saturday September 22 (11:30-4:30) with a special Monsoon Puppet Theater Parade. The parade will lead revelers down to Big Ditch Park where the party continues with more kid- and family-centered fun. Enjoy West African drumming with Andrew Dahl-Bredine & Friends, dynamic spoken word poetry with Poetry Bread, San Carlos Apache Singers and Dancers, and the Mescalero Apache Singers and Dancers. Artist Zoe Wolfe will facilitate a community art project "FishWish" throughout the Extravaganza. The Gala for the Gila takes place on Saturday evening from 7:00-10:00PM at the Murray Hotel Ballroom, with music by the Illusion Band and a cash bar provided by La Esperanza Winery.
There will be a Local Foods Brunch "Mythical River, Real Food" on Sunday September 23, featuring a full brunch of local foods prepared by the Wild Resilience Collective, with a presentation by author Melissa Sevigny based on her book Mythical River: Chasing the Mirage of New Water in the American Southwest.
The Gila River Festival is an annual event, with a mission of engaging and educating diverse audiences in the natural and cultural heritage of the Gila River and its watershed through a multi-disciplinary nature festival. Our goal it to provide enriching opportunities for participants to experience the Gila River first hand and from diverse perspectives, creating a deeper intimacy with New Mexico's last free-flowing river.
14th Annual Gila River Festival
- Silver City, 88061
- Silver City, Gila River, Gila National Forest
- Free and paid events: workshops, field trips, panel discussions, lectures and street fair