Weird Weekend returns Sept. 27

Ridge Writers’ annual Weird Weekend returns Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, “celebrating all that makes our area of the world special — whether historic petroglyphs, UFO sightings, Bigfoot legends, lost gold mines, Joshua trees, staggering geography and much more,” said a spokesperson.

“More than that, Weird Weekend highlights our personal stories—the stories of the land and the locals.”

The first of this year’s interactive events is the Weird Weekend Storytelling Competition on Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. Local storytellers and writers will read their own tales of the weird and wonderful for prizes and bragging rights.

“Truth is totally optional. Want to share a tale about a UFO sighting? How about a lost gold mine? Or helping those out-of-this-world strangers with their 2006 Honda Accord?” Stories must be in good taste, be five to seven minutes in length and relate to the Mojave Desert or Death Valley. Admission is $5 per person at the door, and anyone who has paid the admission is welcome to compete, if they follow the rules.

“The Things They Left Behind: Desert Kids’ Storytelling Workshop” takes place on Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. For this event, families search a simulated desert scene for artifacts to serve as muses for their own stories. A sandbox full of secrets and treasures will inspire kids to write their own stories. Admission is $5 per person at the door.

On both days, at 7:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church, Master Mystery Productions and Ridge Writers will present “Close Encounters of the Hairy Kind.”

The interactive campfire mystery based on local Bigfoot legends is written and directed by Monica Lorenz-Dwyer (Skeleton Key, Founder’s Award and three-time Diamond Mask Winner).

Set in an isolated campground on the edge of the woods, Bigfoot believers and skeptics have gathered to tell their stories of their own close encounters of the hairy kind.

But someone in that group is itching for a different kind of hunt when wanted posters mysteriously appear. Who would want to capture Bigfoot?

Guests will get to enjoy camp meals and a unique, interactive show in Ridge Writers’ first “lights out” production illuminated with a “campfire,” lanterns, and flashlights. “Who knows? You might have a close encounter of your very own,” said the spokesperson.

Tickets at $20 each, which buys both the meal and a seat at the show, are at Red Rock Books now.

Story First Published: 2019-09-20