Wildflower festival offers an array of activities for all ages

Recent rainfall has increased the chances of wildflowers in local foothills and canyons while activities behind the scenes have contributed to the likelihood of visitors to the April 12-14 Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Festival from outside the Indian Wells Valley.

The Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Festival spans five venues: the China Lake Naval Museum of Armament & Technology; the Desert Empire Fairgrounds for a Saturday evening beer, wine and food walk; the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert’s Historic USO Building for lectures and geocaching during the day and a family movie night Saturday evening; Kerr McGee Center for vendors Saturday and Sunday and free 1 p.m. watercolor workshops conducted by Cheryl McDonald both days; and the Maturango Museum for the Annual Wildflower Exhibit, Friday to Monday, ”The Thrill of the Hunt: Two Seasons of Rare Plant Treasure Hunts” presented by Kathy LaShure at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and car caravans leaving Saturday and Sunday at 10:15 a.m. for wildflower viewing.

The teams of wildflower experts who fan out into local canyons and other favorite wildflower spots are adept at finding blooms no matter the weather, and the Maturango Museum team promises to have an array of specimens available for the publlic to examine.

Jim Nichols has lined up a sparkling program of lectures and presentations at the Historic USO, and Carol Porter is again honchoing the popular HSUMD wildflower photo competition. She invites visitors to come in and vote for their favorites.

Free festival guides and schedules will be available at the participating venues. For the latest information about the festival, visit www.ridgecrestdesert wildflowerfestival.com.

Story First Published: 2013-03-27