The Ridgecrest Petroglyph Festival will return for a fourth year this fall, running Saturday, Nov. 4, and Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, continuing with its changes made last year for the third festival.
The biggest change was the location. Rather than being spread out among various sites in town centered on the street fair on Balsam Street, the festival will take place almost entirely at Petroglyph Park.
“We have this beautiful park in the heart of Ridgecrest that supports the education and appreciation of the petroglyphs, and it just seemed like the natural location for the festival,” said festival chairwoman and Maturango Museum director Debbie Benson,leading up to the 2016 festival.
Petroglyph Park opened in conjunction with the inaugural Petroglyph Festival in 2014, and features rock art reminiscent of the petroglyphs seen in their natural sites. Those sites are located within the boundaries of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which restricts access.
There will be Native American film screenings at the Historic USO Building on West Ridgecrest Boulevard. Otherwise, the events will take place at the park.
The festival will honor Native American Heritage month with a collection of performances and music that inspires and gives reverence to Native American culture and history.
Native American Heritage Month was declared by President Bush in 1990, and you’re invited to honor the heritage and contributions the Native Americans and how their culture is evident in many ways of American life. Native American month honors Native American wisdom and culture and gives everyone a chance to explore the rich cultural and traditions of Native Americans throughout the region.
The community at large is invited to observe Native American traditions to celebrate its past and honor the culture that has been an integral part of the region.
Treacherous Edges performs at last year’s Petroglyph Festival.
Scenes from last year’s Petroglyph Festival. This year’s is set for Nov. 4 and 5, 2017.
Continuing this year are bus tours to Little Petroglyph Canyon, Native American film screenings, and an expanded program of STEM education sponsored by the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Sierra Sands Unified School District.
A spot on a Little Petroglyph Canyon tour can be reserved via the Maturango Museum, www.maturango.org.
There will also be a wine walk, as in years past, with tickets going for $20. In addition, there will be a beer garden. Tickets will be available at the festival’s website, www.rpfestival.com.
Among Saturday’s events are a family fun zone, wild burros from Bureau of Land Management land available for children to feed, live performances on three stages, and film screenings. On Sunday, there will be a classic car show. The tours, street fair and Native American performances are currently scheduled to run both days.
For more information, visit the festival website at www.rpfestival.com.