A few weeks ago I grumbled that the workload of all the events was reaching my personal saturation point, and soon Brett and I would need to either find some help or start reining in our ambitions. That was probably because we’ve been simultaneously working on four events, and now I’m finally able to unveil them.
First off, we have Alumafandango in Denver, which is coming up in just a few weeks. This one has been a real bear to organize, because the logistics of our unusual camping location have been tricky, but it’s coming together at last and I do expect it will be a big success. We just released an email to all the people on our “Alumapalooza/Alumafandango Updates” list, letting them know some of the cool stuff we’ll be doing in Denver (which you can see here). Meanwhile, I’m working on the Survival Guide (program) and Pre-Event Info, which will all be released to the registered participants in a few days.
Then there’s Alumapalooza in Jackson Center. You’d think that going into our fourth year we’d have this thing all wrapped up, but long ago Brett and I decided we weren’t going to do it that way. If it’s always the same, then why come back? So we mix it up a little every year to keep things interesting. That means a new logo design, t-shirts, new seminars, new contests, etc. We just finished the Alumapalooza 4 logo design and opened registration last week—phew!
But that’s far from all we’ve been doing. In the background I spent some time over the last winter scouting out a venue here in Tucson for a new event to be held next February (2013). We finally nailed it down and signed the contracts last week, so I’m here to tell you that we now have a third event each year! This one will be called “Alumafiesta.”
Alumafiesta will be completely different from the other two. We’ll be staying at a premium RV campground in central Tucson. Every attendee gets full hookups plus cable TV on a 40-foot site, and most of them have a citrus tree. There are two swimming pools, great facilities, an on-site restaurant, and all of our events will be held in a 10,000 square foot indoor event center.
The dates (Feb 5-10) are in the midst of the peak season, right in the middle of the world-famous Tucson gem show season. Over 70 separate events happen in the first two weeks of February, covering gems, minerals, fossils, Native American crafts, and what-have-you—virtually taking over the city. It’s very difficult to get accommodations in Tucson this time of year, but we’ll have a reserved block of premium campsites right in the center of the action.
Plus, it’s the middle of the winter, and I can’t think of many places I’d rather be than Tucson in February. No snow here (we never even winterize our trailer). Typically days are mostly sunny with daytime highs in the 60s and 70s, although a cool break happens occasionally.
Alumafiesta is designed to show you the best of Tucson. Every day we’ll lead a couple of excursions, and you can choose one major excursion to join each day. We’ll take scenic drives to the top of Mt Lemmon and Kitt Peak, walk the historical and cultural sites of downtown, roam the Tucson Botanical Gardens and Tohono Chul Park, and there will be numerous self-guided opportunities such as Pima Air & Space Museum and the Sonoran Desert Museum. We’re working on organizing special lunches at some of the more eclectic restaurants in town, too. In the evenings we’ll have our traditional Happy Hour with door prizes and fun, followed by local speakers. One talk will be about the ancient native petroglyphs and pictographs that can be found in this area. Another talk will be about gems & minerals and things you’ll see at the gem show venues. More talks are in the planning stages now.
The event will also include two full breakfasts, one dinner, discounts at the on-site restaurant, and on Saturday, a special performance by Antsy McClain (of the Trailer Park Troubadours).
We just launched online registration for Alumafiesta last night. Right now we don’t have a lot of information up about the event, but we will be updating the website all week. Since the event will be during February when all campgrounds are full, we expect a sell-out. So if your plans include coming to the warm desert southwest next winter, I suggest you register early.
If you are in the local area and want to come just for the Antsy concert, we have extra seats and tickets are available for $20 per person online. (The ticket sales site accepts PayPal, and credit cards via PayPal.) There will be a cash bar set up during the concert, and plenty of parking. It should be a great show!