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The Best 10 Days of the Year

The Festival of Science is one of Flagstaff's biggest events of the year.

The September activities calendar for Flagstaff is an awesome cornucopia of interesting happenings. Breathtaking in scope and sometimes more energetic than physically possible, it's a whole month of a splendid overload. It's a great time to learn something new, discover enriching possibilities or further explore the barely known. September has become the core ingredient to incredible surges of Flagstaffian adrenaline.

I truly enjoy the Pickin' in the Pines Festival, Colorado River Days and the First Friday Art Walks that are held in Flagstaff during this month, but the Coconino County Fair that takes place over the four day Labor Day weekend is outstanding. There's something there for everyone and it's an excellent introduction to the irresistible charms of northern Arizona.

When I retired to Flagstaff in 1998, one of the first things I did was to volunteer to work in the fair with the Coconino County Safe Kids Coalition to help in the fitting of youngsters with a bicycle helmet. Something else I learned that first year was if you're a new resident and enter a windowless fair building in the daylight and depart that same building after dark, the likelihood of finding your car is highly unlikely.

To my rescue came a fellow fair volunteer who drove me through the endless rows of vehicles to locate my car. She later became a member of the Flagstaff City Council, was always an avid supporter of our urban trail system and is now my greatly missed friend, Karen Cooper.

Another favorite September event is the Arizona Trail Day Celebration in Buffalo Park. It's happening this year on Saturday the 14th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and is an outdoor information jamboree devoted to the 800-mile path that stretches from the Mexican border to Utah and is now known as the Arizona National Scenic Trail.

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This is a family-friendly event and will also include a raffle, the excellent music of Viola & The Brakemen, food and much more. Flagstaff is the only city or town in the state where the Arizona Trails runs directly through it and also has an optional loop through the mountains. It doesn't matter if you're a dedicated user or just venture onto this wonderful trail once in a while — the Arizona Trail Celebration in Flagstaff is a must-attend event

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And even with all the other excellent September activities in Flagstaff, the crowning achievement has to be the Festival of Science, starting with the keynote speaker, Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot General Charlie Duke, on Friday Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. in the NAU Audrey Auditorium and ending on Sunday, Sept. 29, it's a 10-day exposition featuring Flagstaff's devotion to science.

Field trips, star parties, archaeological sites, open houses, guided hikes and much more are showcased in this star-spangled event. Be sure to walk the Science in Wheeler Park activities on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.and use the festival's program to select other interesting places to visit. Look to the Scifest.org website for a complete schedule.

If you're bored in Flagstaff during the month of September, it's your own fault.

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