Robert Gay took this photo north of Patagonia in the Wildlife Corridors area as he was attempting to get a shot of the rainbow over the Santa Rita Mountains at the start of this year’s monsoon season. Rainfall has been spotty in the area so far, with Sonoita receiving 3.44 inches, Elgin .88 inches, Canelo 2.46 inches and Patagonia 2.01 inches, as of July 29, according to the website

A plaque honoring Brent Bowdon was placed in the Patagonia Town Park on July 3, 2019. Bowdon, who died in 2018, was a civic leader who is remembered for his many contributions to the community.

31st Annual Patagonia Fall Festival

The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and the Sky Islands Tourism Association (SITA) are proud to partner again to present the 31st Annual Patagonia Fall Festival on October 12 & 13, 2019 at the Patagonia Town Park.

Over 15,000 people are expected to attend with more than 125 local Arizona artists, exhibitors and vendors selling throughout the weekend.

Attendees can find a range of unique, hand crafted pieces from delicately painted wine glasses to intricately carved home décor. New to this year’s festival will be an interactive
innovation station, allowing guests to get involved with a variety of arts and crafts with local businesses and organizations.

Food vendors, as well as a wine and beer garden, will be onsite all weekend, while they enjoy live musical performances at the Gazebo. Musical performances include Jarabe
Mexicano, Incidental Bluegrass, Mr. Boogie Woogie, Jam Pak Blues ‘N’ Grass Neighborhood Band and a musical instrument ‘petting’ zoo hosted by Jam Pak. The festival will start late
afternoon on Friday October 11 with live music at the Gazebo and great local brands presented by Arizona Craft Distillers Guild.

The partnership between SAACA and SITA seeks to highlight the diversity of local artists and business in the region and to support arts and cultural tourism and economic development in Patagonia.

“The Fall Festival gives visitors a chance to experience our town and want to come back for another visit,” says Patagonia Town Manager, Ron Robinson. “I like to think of Patagonia
as a place you want to be if you’re looking to be immersed in a homegrown community, built around the arts and nature melding into one welcoming town.”

SAACA is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the preservation, advancement and creation of the arts in communities throughout Arizona. SAACA makes its impacts through
advocacy, diverse arts and cultural programming, opportunities for artists, and creative community projects. SAACA has provided services and programming for over 700,000 artists, organizations and individuals throughout Arizona.

Visitors to the Fall Festival can explore shops, galleries, and restaurants that will be open all weekend including the Patagonia Museum, Paton Center for Hummingbirds, Creative Spirits Artist’s Gallery, Gathering Grounds, Ovens of Patagonia and more! For more information, visit or call (520) 797-3959 x 107.

Roadmap for Water Quality

Come join the discussion about water quality in the Sonoita Creek watershed, and in our drinking, recreational, and wildlife water supply. Water quality is mostly invisible but can show up in short and long-term health effects from Sonoita Creek’s surface and groundwater.

Come and hear about the status of the Water Quality Roadmap Project, sponsored by the Town of Patagonia, where we’ll look at what is clear from the published data, what gaps need to be plugged with new monitoring or research, and where to go from here!

Bring your water quality questions!

Wed, Aug 14 10a.m.
Tin Shed Theatre
N 3rd Ave., Patagonia

SITA Announces New Board

The Sky Islands Tourism Association (SITA) has a new board of directors and is looking forward to an exciting time for tourism in the Sonoita, Elgin and Patagonia region. Please welcome our new board members: Bonnie Maclean (returning) – President, Denise Bowdon Vice President, Brandon Doles – Treasurer, Greg Lucero – Secretary, Martha Kelly, Linda Shore and JoAnn Wales.

The mission of SITA is to grow regional tourism, thereby enhancing business and employment opportunities within the Sky Island communities of Elgin, Sonoita, and Patagonia.

Our major objective is to make the Sky Island region a well-known and popular tourist destination, for short and long-term visitors. We will promote the region widely throughout Arizona and to targeted interests. Our excellent Visitor Center and highly
capable volunteer staff, our established website and our affiliation with the Arizona Office of Tourism are solid foundations for these efforts.

As we move forward, we will explore other relationships and activities that will strengthen the Sky Islands reputation as a great place to visit.

We have an exciting year ahead and are planning our first quarterly meeting for Monday, Sept. 9, at 5:00 p.m. in the Tin Shed Theater. Our guest speaker is Ron Robinson, the new Patagonia Town Manager. We invite all business and non-profit leaders to join us.
Please send your event information to, questions to info@patagoniaaz. com, and check out our website at

Visitors to the National Day of the Cowboy event set out to explore the Empire Ranch.

On Saturday, July 27, the Empire Ranch Foundation experienced record attendance at their
annual Day of the Cowboy. Over 400 attendees explored the recently updated buildings of the historic Empire Ranch and were greeted, instructed and entertained by musicians, vendors, story tellers, an historic presentation, a horse trainer, ranchers, a blacksmith, a roping practice area, leather craftsmen, a baker, a horse rescue foundation, a saddle fitter, the Santa Cruz County Cowbelles and a chuck wagon, whose cooks offered an authentic cowboy lunch.

Added new this year were horses for rent for those who wanted to see a bit of the ranch the ‘authentic way’, from the back of a horse.

The Empire Ranch is a working ranch, owned by the BLM and managed by a nonprofit foundation. It is located in Sonoita off of Hwy 83. Having recently undergone an extensive renovation funded by donations, it is open for the public to explore and tour the historic buildings.

The ranch has been the film location for numerous Hollywood movies from the 1950’s until the present.

There are several events held at the ranch throughout the year. The Foundation welcomes memberships. Please visit their website at

Senior Center News

By Valerie Hing

The Patagonia Senior Center received a $10,000 grant from the South32 Hermosa Community Fund which will be used for the meal and transportation programs. Two representatives from South32 spoke last month at the center’s lunch.

Melanie Lawson, Patagonia community director for the mine company, said this is South32’s first operation in North America. South32 is currently doing a pre-feasibility study, followed by a feasibility study before going into full operation, said Lawson. “We will
continue to talk to the community to get feedback.”

Lawson will be at the local office every Friday and eventually will be there Wednesday as well. Also attending the lunch was Greg Lucero, Vice President of South32. In response to questions about truck type and proposed routes, Lawson explained that no decision had
been made on the route but no large Caterpillar trucks will be used. A few attendees expressed strong concern about the presence of large trucks in the town and the negative effect on their property values.

In other news, Irene Smith was elected the new president of Senior Citizens of Patagonia. The dental grant from Delta Dental of Phoenix has run out and cannot be renewed until after September.

The meal program served 508 lunches in June and our transportation program drove 3400 miles with 45 clients and 164 volunteer driver hours.

To better support the program, a new commercial refrigerator and commercial freezer was purchased courtesy of the Arizona Community Foundation, Wells Fargo and United Way.

Come to the 104th Santa Cruz County Fair

“It’s a Family AFFAIR”

Welcome to the 104th Annual Santa Cruz County Fair, Sept 20-22,2019!! We have three exciting days and nights of activities, complete with carnival, 4-H and FFA competitions, animal acts, magicians, live music, pet show, dances, special concerts, a gymkhana competition, a horse show, exhibits, vendors, a wonderful farmers market, and much, much more!

Entry Check-in Day will be September 17, 9 a.m until 7 p.m. Entry forms can also be picked up at the fairgrounds office, or online at and will be available on entry check-in day in Pioneer Hall. Please, if possible, print and fill out your entry form prior to arriving at the fairgrounds on entry check-in day.

School Day is Friday, Sept 20, 15 and under are free until noon. Military Day is Sunday, September 22: Free Entry for a Family of 4 with a Military ID.

PUHS Graduate Awarded South32 STEM Scholarship

John Hubbell of Patagonia Union High School is one of three Santa Cruz County high school graduating seniors who were recently recognized by South32 for showing a strong academic performance and for their stated plans to study science, technology,
engineering or math (STEM).

The South32 Hermosa STEM Scholarship is a one-time $2,500 scholarship awarded to local college-bound seniors with a 3.0 or higher GPA and an expressed desire to major in a STEM-related field. “STEM education is critical to a competitive workforce and serves as the backbone of the mining industry and sustainability-focused mining companies like South32,” says Greg Lucero, VP of Corporate Affairs for South32’s Hermosa project. “We
think it’s important to invest in students of these disciplines, honor them for their hard work, and help support them in pursuing their dreams.”

The Borderlands Earth Care Youth (BECY) at the Patagonia Youth Celebration on Thursday, July 11, 2019. Karina Norton, Yazmine Beltran, Audrey Rader (facilitator), Abelardo “Lalo” Aguilar, Chesed Chap, Felipe Yourgules, Karen Novak, Annika Coleman (facilitator), Arriana Ochoa (youth leader), Yasmin Quiroga (youth leader), and Nicholas Botz are all smiles as they celebrate the end of their program. The interns worked with conservation professionals, homeowners, and the community to restore the watersheds they call home, develop professional skills, and further understand ecological principles.

Patagonia 4th of July Parade

The Santa Cruz Cowbelles take part in the Patagonia 4th of July parade. Photo by Sally Reichardt
Participants from Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center wave to the crowd from their float in the parade. Photo by Aisha Sander

Voices From the Border Needs Donations

Voices From The Border of Patagonia in coordination with Panchito Y Su Cristina, Nogales, Sonora, are volunteer-run, non-profit humanitarian aid organizations providing services to
families requesting asylum in Nogales, Sonora. We currently need over the counter (OTC) medications. This request for OTC medicines allows us to utilize our thinly stretched budget to purchase more expensive prescription medications and necessary medical
tests. Our goal is that the children and parents arriving in the US will be as healthy as possible.

One donor shared that she buys an extra item(s) when shopping for herself – one to keep, one to donate a brilliant idea! Please consider this shopping technique the next time you
go to the drugstore.

To donate: Mail a check or medical items to PO Box 7, Patagonia AZ 85624. Checks can be made to Voices From The Border. Send an online donation through our webpage: To DROP items there is a donation
box behind the Pilates Studio on Mckeown Avenue in Patagonia which is checked daily.

List of OTC Medications: Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec; Benadryl syrup for children; Tylenol/acetaminophen-adults/pills, children/syrup; Baby aspirin of 80 mg; Anti-itch cream like hydrocortisone and anti-fungal; Nasal sprays for allergies, colds; Eye drops
for allergies, dry eyes; Smallest bottles of DayQuil, NightQuil, Robitussin (both the decongestant and the expectorant), Mucinex; Throat lozenges and sore throat spray; Adult diapers, preferably with attachments for over 125 lbs; Vitamins (for children and pregnant
women) like folic acid, B12, B6, and multi-vitamins. For wounds: small bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide; Antiseptic wound cleaner; Antibiotic salve like Neosporin; Anti inflammatory pain relief in gels, creams and patches; Band-aids of different sizes including Steri Strips. Equipment such as nebulizer machines, small humidifiers and portable oxygen bottles.