SUPERIOR — From Friday, March 15 through Sunday, March 17, 2019, the Superior Chamber of Commerce will present the 31st Annual Apache Leap Mining Festival, a unique event that is beloved by locals and visitors alike. The fun-filled line-up of activities will include a parade, a carnival, live entertainment, and opportunities to learn about mining and Superior’s rich history.
On Friday evening, the festival will launch on Main Street with a carnival, vendors, music and a Friday night “Miners Rock … and Roll” theme. Attendees are invited to dress for the Rock and Roll era and take a stroll down memory lane as they kick up their heels with ’50’s and ’60’s music by Neto and Imagine. This year’s festival will celebrate and honor the hard rock miners who worked in the smelter. Sadly, Superior’s iconic smelter stack had to be removed due to age and condition, but it remains in the hearts of many of the town’s residents.
Saturday will begin with the annual parade on Main Street led by the Grand Marshals, who all worked at the smelter. There will also be hilarious Chihuahua races, which will feature a runoff between the fastest small dog and the fastest Chihuahua.
The Apache Leap Mining Festival will feature a variety of hands-on activities for all ages. Attendees will not want to miss the mining competition, in which men and women compete to win the coveted prize of a $3,000 purse by performing the grueling activities of sawing, mucking, spiking and drilling. Less strenuous options will include a tug-of-war competition, as well as rock painting for a project called Superior Rocks, where small painted rocks are hidden throughout the downtown area, found and admired by others, and then re-hidden for someone else to find. Younger members of the family will enjoy the Kid’s Zone, where they will learn about mining hands-on and pan for pennies. After a full day, attendees can relax and enjoy a cold beverage from the Blasting Zone Beer Garden and dance in the streets to the music of Sol Deville. The fun will continue on Sunday with the music of mariachis and others.
The festival will also offer attendees an opportunity to learn about mining and Superior’s history. Representatives from mine companies will be eager to share information about the many types of mining, and Westland Resources will present the “History of the Smelter,” a fascinating show describing the processes of mining in the past. In addition, historian speakers will share captivating mining stories of the area. For example, author and historian Jack San Felice will talk about the little-known Woodbury Copper Mine that was in the vicinity of Florence and the Superstition Mountains. Nature lovers can also enjoy an interactive presentation by Wildman Phil, who will perform with his desert reptiles and choose brave members of the audience to assist him.
This one-of-a-kind event is free to the public, with the exception of vendors, the carnival and the beer garden. Festivities will run from 5-11 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. The Superior Chamber of Commerce is proud to invite visitors to “Discover Superior — a well-kept secret of an amazing little town.”
The Chamber of Commerce is located at 165 W. Main St., Superior, Ariz. For more information, call 520-689-0200 or follow us on Facebook and see schedule updates at www.superiorarizonachamber.org