Though Yuma’s rich history dates back even further, there's a big birthday around the corner for this Colorado River community: April 7 marks the 100th anniversary of Yuma's charter as a city under the laws of the new state of Arizona in 1914.
Along with the birthday candles, Yuma will be lighting up new signs on Main Street to welcome folks to the "Gateway of the Great Southwest" – and kicking off a flurry of centennial celebrations, from proclamation-makin' and time-capsule-sealin' to an ice cream social and barbecue.
You can find out how to join the party at yuma100.com. Highlights include:
- Monday (April 7) - Official birthday proclamation & free ice cream social, with Gov. Jan Brewer flipping the switch on new "Gateway of the Great Southwest" signs;
- Tuesday (April 8) - Community western wear day and barbecue at Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, with exhibits about Yuma's top three industries, agriculture, military and tourism;
- Wednesday (April 9) - Opening of free "100 Years in Pictures" exhibit at the Yuma Art Center, with live entertainment and refreshments;
- Thursday (April 10) - Wear your school colors for a record-setting aerial photo and fireworks show at West Wetlands Park;
- Friday (April 11) - Downtown block party presented by Fort Yuma Rotary
The biggest birthday package gets unwrapped Saturday (April 12), with an all-day Centennial Music Fest featuring Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Lonestar, Dennis Jones Band, Bobby McClendon, Checker'd Past and Common Ground. The Centennial Music Fest gets rockin' at 1pm at Desert Sun Stadium, but you can spice up your day by wrapping in a visit (or six) to the Yuma Taco Festival, which will offer 12 full hours of authentic, homegrown, taco-liciousness on an adjoining field beginning at 11am.
Admission to the Taco Festival is free, music fest tickets ($20 for ages 13 & older, $15 for active-duty military, $5 for kids ages 6-12, free for kids 5 and under), are now on sale at YVB's Visitor Information Center (201 N. 4th Ave., open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week), at Yuma Art Center (254 S. Main St.), Parks and Rec office (City Hall, One City Plaza) and Yuma Civic Center (1440 W. Desert Hills Dr.) or online at yuma100.com.
For more information about top events in Arizona take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Arizona