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Plan a trip to Yuma around one of our signature events

There's something for everyone this winter in America's sunniest city

YUMA, ARIZONA – It’s that time of year again!  As the chill sets in to the north, folks in Yuma are enjoying cool evenings and fresh mornings in the nation’s sunniest city.  So what are you waiting for?  Make travel plans now – beginning with our signature events – some sponsored by Yuma Visitors Bureau, plus favorites from other partners:

NOV. 19-21 / 20th Annual Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival
Various locations around Yuma
More info,, 928-343-1715

Three Yuma businesses organized the first Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival in 1991.  Now sponsored by the Caballeros de Yuma, this invitational festival draws balloonists from as far as England.  The festival usually features flights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a “balloon glow” Saturday night.

DEC. 10 / Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade
Historic North End, Yuma
More info,, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071.

Free admission, lighted floats, bands, equestrian units, more.  This year’s parade theme is “Storybook Express.”  Parade ends with Santa welcoming visitors to opening of magical “Christmas Village” (below).

DEC. 10-30 (closed Dec. 24 & 25) / Christmas Village
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
More info,, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071.

A magical Christmas Village will arise on the grounds of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot during December – complete with an ice-skating rink in the middle of the desert!  Come and marvel at thousands of lights decorating the park and its trees, along with walk-in-sized playhouses depicting stores, a church, a gingerbread cottage, Santa’s Workshop and historic Yuma attractions.  Entertainment, pageants, concerts, classes and more.

JAN. 7-9 /Petsapalooza Fest
Historic North End
More info,, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071

Partnering with the Humane Society Yuma and Planned Pethood, the Yuma Visitors Bureau presents this animal-themed festival with pet-related vendors.  Watch precocious pups compete in the 9th Annual Dog Talent Show.  Plus, Popovich Comedy Pet Show at Historic Yuma Theatre at 2 & 7 p.m. Jan. 7.

JAN. 8-9 / Gathering of the Gunfighters
Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
More info,, 928-783-4771

Each January, Old West re-enactment groups from around the Southwest ride into town for this annual showdown.  But instead of hot lead, what’s flying is fightin’ words – and acting!  Groups are judged by their skits and whether their get-ups, gear and firearms match the 1876-1909 time period.  And though they didn’t really have shootouts in the middle of the prison, the historic setting adds flavor to the fun.

JAN. 21-23/ Spirit of Yuma Military Festival
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park & Historic North End
More info,, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071

Because of its long relationship with the armed forces – back to the days of Fort Yuma and the Yuma Quartermaster Depot – ours has long been known as a “military-friendly town.” This new Yuma Visitors Bureau event honors veterans and active-duty service members, and celebrates Yuma’s relationship with its modern-day bases, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma and U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground.  Up and coming country music star (and former Marine) Stephen Cochran performs Jan. 22.

JAN. 29 / Yuma Territorial Marathon and Half-Marathon

Cocopah Casino & Resort
More info,, 928-343-1715

This certified race is the perfect choice to set your own personal record because it’s a flat, low-altitude, out-and-back course from the host hotel/casino – and January weather in Yuma is usually sunny but cool.  Avoid the crowds, run in Yuma – and qualify for Boston!

JAN. 29-30 / Civil War Days
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
More info,, 928-373-5198

True, there were no Civil War battles waged around Yuma – but the Quartermaster Depot was an active Union Army post during those years and a strategic point of defense because of the importance of the river crossing and trails to California.  Re-enactment groups from around the West will converge for an old-school encampment and mock battles on the grassy grounds of the park.

FEB. 11-13 / Yuma River Daze - Yuma Crossing Day Feb. 12
Historic North End
More info,, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071

It was the Colorado River – and the natural crossing here in Yuma – that brought this area to life and shaped its history.  Area museums celebrate Yuma Crossing Day with special activities, while Yuma River Daze is a good, old-fashioned arts and crafts festival that features a variety of vendors.

FEB. 11-13 / Silver Spur Rodeo
Yuma County Fairgrounds
More info,, (928) 344-5451

The Yuma Jaycees are proud to have brought this unique American sport to southwestern Arizona for the last 64 years. This PRCA-sanctioned rodeo draws top cowboys and cowgirls from around the Turquoise Circuit and beyond.  In addition to the rodeo performances, there’s a parade Saturday morning and rodeo dances Friday and Saturday.

FEB. 11-13 / Yuma Square Dance Festival

Yuma Civic Center
More info,, 928-782-0844

Another long-time Yuma tradition, this event brings dancers from throughout the Western states for down-home dancin’ and socializin’ with favorite callers and cuers from around the region.

MARCH 4-6 / Midnight at the Oasis
Ray Kroc Baseball Complex
More info,, 928-343-1715

The Southwest's premier classic car and nostalgia festival is sponsored by the Caballeros de Yuma.  Featuring 1,000 classic cars, this festival also includes a smorgasbord of regional food from local nonprofits, vendors from all around the West, rides for the kids, old-time rock and roll concerts Friday and Saturday night – and to kick off the festivities, a cruise of classic cars through the streets of Yuma.

MARCH 11-13 / Yuma Lettuce Days
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
More info,, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071

Arizona has long been known for citrus and cotton – but the fertile lands here at the Colorado River’s delta are lush and green all winter, serving as the nation’s salad bowl.  This annual festival celebrates Yuma’s booming agriculture industry, and has been rescheduled this year to follow the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Growers Association’s Southwest Ag Summit.  Also new for 2011, the culinary component for the festival will be vastly expanded, with celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and more.

MARCH 26 / Marine Corps Air Station Yuma 49th Annual Air Show
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
More info,, 928-269-3327

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, currently the busiest in the Corps, traces its roots to the early days of aviation.  This is one of the largest air shows in the Southwest, drawing more than 40,000 to view military and civilian aircraft on the ground and aloft.  For 2011 specifics, check website after December.

APRIL 2  / 3:10 to Yuma Celebration
Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park
More info,, 928-783-4771

Celebrate the first anniversary of Yumans stepping forward to “save the prison” for the second time – in this case from closing its doors because of the state’s budget shortfalls.  This will mark a full year of operation by Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, which has since finished major renovations and improvements to the prison museum and the prison grounds.

APRIL 13-16 / Yuma Birding & Nature Festival
Pivot Point Conference Center and various area locations
,, 1-800-293-0071, 928-783-0071

Because of its location along the Colorado River flyway, and its unique mix of desert, mountain and riparian habitat, the Yuma area is home – or vacation spot – to more than 400 species of birds.  This annual festival sponsored by the Yuma Visitors Bureau provides a great introduction to the wide variety of outdoor adventures available in the area and in 2011 will feature photography seminars and field trips by the Friends of Arizona Highways.

APRIL 16 / ARTbeat 4

Yuma Art Center
Historic North End
More info,, 373-5202

This will be the fourth year for this free, outdoor, juried show that’s been recognized as one of Arizona’s outstanding arts events.  Enjoy an eclectic mix of recognized and emerging local, regional and international artists working in a wide variety of mediums, from pottery to painting and sculpture.

Signature, yes … but only the beginning of Yuma’s fun in the sun!  Get updated info at, where you can sign up for a FREE weekly events e-newsletter.


The Yuma Visitors Bureau is always happy to assist members of print, digital and broadcast media, either on assignment or pitching an idea with a Yuma angle.

Visit Yuma team can suggest itineraries and facilitate visits, or provide you with the inspired details to help nail down an assignment.  We pride ourselves on always going "above and beyond."

You can download background and "anytime" materials below; dated press releases appear "most recent first" at left. Call or email us for photos and B-roll video.

YVB periodically hosts group and individual press trips, and is glad to partner with other Arizona or California DMOs to coordinate a visit to several regions.

For more information, contact Linda Morgan at 928-376-0100 (office), email Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.

'Anytime' releases:

Around & about - a quick Yuma overview

Brilliant! Yuma wears 'sunniest' label with pride

Last link in river restoration under way


Background info:

Fast Facts About YVB

 Fast Facts About Yuma 

Yuma history - narrative

Yuma historic timeline


Research and statistics

Yuma Winter Visitors Study 2017-2018

Yuma Winter Visitors Study 2017-2018 Executive Summary

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