The annual Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Festival will return over the weekend of April 11 through 13 with activities in several venues around town. The schedule begins with the annual wildflower exhibit at Maturango Museum on Friday Saturday, April 11 and 12, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 to 5 p.m. The Maturango Museum will display wildflowers gathered locally by trained volunteers and identified by botanists. On Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Shelley Ellis and Marty Dickus of the Bureau of Land Management will present their fascinating and informative program "What a Surprise."
Featured all day on Saturday and Sunday at the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert's USO buiding will be a photography contest, watercolor demonstration and lectures. In addition to offering hourly lectures on a variety of flower-related subjects, the HSUMD will screen a family movie on Saturday evening and have snacks on sale throughout the day. There will be arts and crafts booths at two sites, the Maturango Museum and the Old Town Theater across from the Historic USO Building.
On Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at John's Pizza Factory, there will be multi-venue arts and crafts vendors and children's game time.
A beer, wine and food walk will be held Saturday evening at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds from 6 to 10 p.m. The food walk will headline two top entertainers: Andrew Ryan and Band and Theresa Spanke and Band. Tickets will cost $30 for a single, $50 for couples, and $25 for active and retired military. Tickets can be purchased at Red Rock Books, Maturango Museum, the Historic USO Building, the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau office and at the Desert Empire Fair office. Tickets can also be purchased online from desertempirefair.com.
Free festival guides and schedules will be available at the participating Ridgecrest venues. For more information, visit ridgecrestdesertwildflowerfestival.com or phone the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at 760-375-8202.