Borrego Days: A Desert Festival

The weekend-long lark is on the sculpture-filled, ocotillo-pretty horizon.

OCTOBER'S ETHEREAL PLACE: The first full month of fall has gained a rep for boasting some mysterious qualities, thanks in large part to A) the days growing shorter and B) a certain spooky holiday on the final day of the month. But not every place immediately takes on a more mysterious mantle when October kicks in; in fact, plenty of cities and towns keep to business as usual, without any added ethereal-o-sity. But the desert always delivers on this front come the tenth month of the year. Those earlier nights, and longer shadows, and cooler afternoons are downright delicious, and it feels like the arid areas are reaching some sort of zenith for the year.

IT'S AN IDEAL TIME... to throw a party in the desert, and one of the California desert's most ideal spots is the one that's home to a spray of gorgeous ocotillos, and the noble big horn sheep, and the quirky legend of Peg Leg Smith, and a host of local artists and creators. It's Borrego Springs we not-so-slyly reference, of course, and its annual Borrego Days Desert Festival will bloom as pretty as an ocotillo blossom from...

OCT. 21 THROUGH 23: Oh yeah, it'll be a mite cooler for the Christmas Circle-based bash around that time, which is nice. Also nice? The parade, music, a flyover, beautiful horses, and more (think artist displays, wines to sip, and a car show). The 2016 theme is "Resort to Nature," which the area definitely does throughout the year, so hooray that.

READY FOR A... waterfall-seeking hike? An exploration of the famous Galleta Meadows sculptures? A visit to the nearby badlands? Listening for the howls of the local coyotes come sunrise? Or just soaking in a cool desert art fest, with parade, during its 51st annual outing? October in the desert is full of ethereal, adventurous charms.

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