February in Tucson means gems, rodeo, golf


By Laura Halverson

The time has come for treasure hunts, parades and rodeos. Tucson will again host a variety of February events.

Tucson Gem Show

The Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase returns Jan. 30-Feb. 14 with dozens of displays at more than 40 locations citywide.

Finished jewelry, loose gems, beads, raw minerals and clothing are just a few treasures to find at the showcase.

Since 1953, thousands of vendors from all over the world have participated in the event. The showcase contributes $100 million to the Tucson economy and brings in at least 50,000 out-of-town visitors, according to the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Gem show participants have partnered to create free shuttle routes that will offer access to more than 25 shows and various parking hubs throughout the city. Shuttle days and hours of operation depend on individual show schedules. Pick-up intervals vary from 10 to 30 minutes.

For details about shows, locations and transportation options, visit the Visitors Bureau Web site at www.visittucson.org/gemshow.

Tucson Rodeo and Parade

The 2010 Tucson Rodeo is well on its way, along with a parade of cowboys and their trusty steeds.

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros begins Feb. 20-21 and continues on Feb. 25-28 at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event attracts champions who compete for a share of $350,000 in prize money.

For tickets or additional details, visit www.tucsonrodeo.com or call 1-800-964-5667.

Along with the rodeo comes the Tucson Rodeo Parade. The parade will shoot off on Feb. 25 at 9 a.m. with 150 western themed floats and horse-drawn buggies, Mexican folk dancers, musicians and high school marching bands.

To learn more about the parade and Tucson’s pioneer days, visit www.tucsonrodeoparade.org.

Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering

“Cowboys and Sweethearts” will be the theme at the 18th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering on Feb. 12-14.

More than 30 cowboy poets, musicians and storytellers from the western United States will gather at Buena Performing Arts Center in Sierra Vista, about 75 miles southeast of Tucson.

Tickets to the gathering cost $6-$18, with free Saturday afternoon sessions. To find out more about show times and ticket prices, visit www.cowboypoets.com.

World Golf Championships

For all the golfers in Tucson, the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship is coming to Tucson Feb. 15-21, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain.

Tiger Woods isn’t likely to attend, but 2009 champion Geoff Ogilvy is expected to return to defend his title, along with other star golfers such as Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia.

Players will test their skills on the 7,800-yard, 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature course, built in 2009 to create a challenge for the elite players and to accommodate the best gallery areas for viewing the match-play format.

For tickets, visit www.worldgolfchampionships.com or call 1-888-401-8000.

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