Final concert of this summer’s bluegrass series is Sept. 8

Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, Town of Marana and Desert Bluegrass Association present free live music for the Marana Bluegrass Summer Concert Series

The last Marana Bluegrass Concert of the summer will feature an ensemble of musicians who have felt the bluegrass fever running through their fingers and voices since a very young age.

 Performing on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m., Superstition Ridge will close the popular summer concert series, along with the Desert Bluegrass Association Member Jam at 6:15 p.m. The Marana Bluegrass Summer Concert Series, at Crossroads at Silverbell Park, has been presented by the Desert Bluegrass Association, Town of Marana and Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.

 Superstition Ridge harmonizes the talent of Rick Ramsey, John Svenson, Larry Martell, Wayne Black and Red Wilson.

 Rick Ramsey grew up in a musical family in southwestern Virginia. From age 3, he was singing with his father and brothers and learned multiple harmony parts from them. He holds down the “low end” with his big upright bass and sings whatever part is needed.

 John Svenson, on lead guitar, dobro and singing some lead and harmony vocals, is originally from North Carolina. He grew up performing bluegrass music with his brother and has played with several bands in North and South Carolina. A recent transplant to the Phoenix area, Svenson says he’s proud to have hooked-up with the “good ole boys” of Superstition Ridge.

 Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Larry Martell grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was influenced by the first generation of bluegrass bands of the 1950s and 1960s and the classic country singers of that time. His soulful lead singing has been compared to Jim Eanes and Lester Flatt.

 Wayne Black grew up on an Iowa farm where everyone played an instrument. He was influenced by a broad spectrum of musical genres in the 1960s and 1970s. A multi-instrumentalist, Black performs hot solos on the mandolin, guitar and fiddle and sings some harmony parts.

 Red Wilson supplies the hard-driving banjo sound that every bluegrass band needs and desires. A native of Montana, Wilson took up the banjo in college after hearing Earl Scruggs on a juke box. He put away his saxophone, picked up the banjo and hasn’t looked back.

The bands performing their songs and stories have featured some of the regions most established and well-known bluegrass musicians on the second Saturday of each month, with the concerts ending this September at the Crossroads at Silverbell Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road.

 The shows feature a jam session with an opening band at 6:15 p.m. and the headlining performer at 7 p.m.  

 Admission to the Marana Bluegrass Concert Series is free and open to everyone. Donations are encouraged to help support the continuation of these free community concerts.

 Additional sponsors include CareMore Healthplan of Arizona, American Family Insurance, David G. Eisenhuth Office, In N Out Burger, Eegee’s and Maracay Homes.

For more information, visit the website at, or call 797-3959.

The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) is a not-for-profit organization that exists to ensure that, through engagement in arts and culture, our communities produce strong, inspired citizens.

SAACA enlists artists, businesses, governments, and individuals to expand artistic and cultural opportunities in their respective communities. To enhance access to the arts and to promote cultural awareness in the communities it serves, SAACA presents large-scale festivals, events and other programs. The Alliance also promotes educational opportunities in the arts and culture for both the young and the old.


Organization History

The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) grew out of the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council (GOVAC), an organization established in 1997 to provide artistic and cultural opportunities for residents of northwest Tucson. GOVAC eventually became one of the largest arts organizations in the region. In 2009, owing to its success, the group expanded its mission to include creation of partnerships with business, governments, and communities throughout Southern Arizona that would encourage innovative, creative cultural expression in the arts for years to come.

Marana is re-starting Citizens Police Academy

The Marana Police Department is bringing back its Citizen’s Police Academy this fall.

The interactive program is open to anyone who is at least 18 years old (or enrolled as a junior or senior at Marana High School), passes a background investigation, including a criminal history check, and lives or works in Marana.

For more information, contact Officer Lori Sheppard at 382-2051.

Annual “Stuff the bus” needs donations

The Oracle Elementary School District #2 and the National Junior Honor Society Members at Mt. Vista Elementary School are holding their annual “Stuff The Bus” School Supply Drive.

Donations can be dropped off at Mt. Vista School or The Oracle Ridge Pre-School and Kindergarten facility in Oracle, Az. Also the “Big Yellow Bus” will be at the Mini Market located on SaddleBrooke Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sept. 8.

The second Saturday for the school-supply drive will be at the Club House parking lot in SaddleBrooke Ranch from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sept. 22.

Any and all types of school supplies that would be suitable for students in Kindergarten through eighth grade would be greatly appreciated. Our school supply drives insure that each and every student has the supplies they need to do their assignments and be successful during the school year.

School Supplies Drive at Casabona Chiropractic

Through Aug. 31, Casabona Chiropractic is giving a free consultation, new patient exam and first treatment in exchange for a backpack, notebooks, pens, pencils, or any form of school supplies.

The supplies will be donated to the Youth on Their Own Organization to support the high school graduation of homeless youth.

Make an appointment at 498-9984.

Oracle State Park opening 
on Saturdays

Oracle State Park Center for Environmental Education will open to the public on Saturdays in September, October and November, offering a variety of guided nature walks as well as the popular morning and afternoon tours of historic Kannally ranch house. Visitors can enjoy the cool oak woodland environment and miles of hiking trails, including a section of the Arizona Trail. The park has many spots with shaded picnic tables.

Park hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the gate fee is $7 per vehicle. The park was also open on Saturdays this spring after being closed for more than two years as a result of state budget cuts.

Guided tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. of the ranch house will be featured every Saturday. Starting September 15 and continuing on Saturdays through November, Gaston Meloche will lead a guided hike starting at 8:30 a.m.; reservations are required.

Sept. 1: Wildlife slide show of animals caught on-camera at the waterholes this summer; continuous in the ranch house living room 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Sept. 8: Botany walk with Jim Verrier, native plant and grasses enthusiast. Meet at 8:15 a.m. Call for reservation.

Sept. 15: Guided hikes with Gaston Meloche. Meet at 8:30 a.m.; call for reservations.

Sept. 22: Papermaking with Local Plants workshop taught by Val Bembenek, local paper artisan, using iris leaves, ocotillo flowers, and creosote. 1-3 p.m.; $15 fee includes park entrance. Reservations required.

Sept. 29: Guided hike with live llama led by Cyn-d Turner. Reservations required; call for details.

Oct. 6: Guided bird walk with Doug Jenness. Meet at 8:15 a.m.

Oct. 13: Desert Harvest event featuring mesquite goodies, live music, food booths, education activities, and the mesquite pod hammer mill to grind pods into mesquite flour. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Oct. 20: Make Your Own Nature Journals workshop taught by Val Bembenek, local paper artisan. Learn Japanese stab binding to create blank journals of any size for your notes or sketching or to give as gifts. 1-3 p.m.; $15 fee includes park entrance. Reservations required.

For registration and information on any park activities,  contact Jennifer Rinio, Park Ranger, 896-2425. Info at

November activities and events will be posted soon.

Oracle State Park is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge featuring the historic Kannally ranch house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the ranch house patio and on many of the 15 miles of hiking trails, visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the Santa Catalina foothills, San Pedro River Valley, and Galiuro Mountain Range.

El Conquistador Announces 
Labor Day 

Families Enjoy Final Days of Summer with Poolside Activities, “Edutainment” Events and Live Music.

From Friday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 3, the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador, 10000 North Oracle Road, will host it’s Labor Day celebration.

This Labor Day Weekend, guests of Hilton Tucson El Conquistador will enjoy a celebration full of exciting and educational activities and live performances from Kaci Bays and Rumbo Nuevo. The resort’s “Edutainment” event series will continue through Labor Day Weekend with desert discovery tours, visits from desert animals, stargazing, science experiments and more.  

Other weekend highlights will include poolside games, cookie decorating and watermelon eating contests, cooking demonstrations, “Cosmic Slide,” dive-in movies and food and beverage specials at the resort’s signature restaurants.

Labor Day Weekend rates at Hilton Tucson El Conquistador start at $109 per night.


Candidate forums set in Picture Rocks

Continuing a tradition of providing information to the community Citizens for Picture Rocks, a non-profit community advocacy group, has again scheduled candidates’ forums for the November 6 elections.  The organization does not endorse or support candidates, but does pose questions of concern to the community for candidate response.

The first candidates’ forum will be held on Tuesday, Sept.18, at 7 p.m. at Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road. 

Invited are candidates for Pima County Sheriff, Marana Unified School District Board of Directors, and Picture Rocks Fire District Board of Directors.

A second candidates’ forum is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. at Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road.  Invited are candidates for Pima County Supervisor, and District 11 State Senate and House of Representatives.

For more information, call Pamela Moseley at 349-0725.

CDO baseball to host golf Tournament

The Canyon Del Oro High School baseball team is planning its annual golf tournament for Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.

There will be a shotgun start at the exclusive Oro Valley Country Club, located at 300 W. Greenock Dr.

The entry fee includes a BBQ dinner. The cost is $400 for a foursome, or $100 per player.

For more information, contact Caroline Auza, president of the CDO Baseball Booser Club, at 241-7174.

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