Borrego Days Desert Festival: Roaring This Way

Spend an October weekend in the funky, big-of-sky, art-cool community.

THE SAME STARS OVER BORREGO SPRINGS... are the same stars found twinkling above other towns and cities in the region, but golly: They just seem to up the wattage when you're in the small, art-happy, big-sky'd burg. It is, after all, an official International Dark Sky Community, and finding astronomy fans outside after sundown, some with telescopes, some with binoculars, all with a hefty dose of wonder, isn't uncommon. But the daytime action in Borrego Springs is notable, too. Consider the Borrego Days Desert Festival, which happens each year in autumn, and puts a lot of what's so cool about the warm-of-temperature, warm-of-heart town on full and funky display. The free festival, which celebrates its 52nd year in 2017, will roll on Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22, and you can count on a parade brimming with some 70 groups and/or highlights, including equestrian teams, vintage automobiles, flashy new cars, music-fun bands, and, you betcha,

OH-SO-CLASSIC PARADE FLOATS: You're feeling this old-time, clap-as-groups-go-by vibe, yes? It rocks. Also rocking, though, the long-running fest this year: A birthday for Christmas Circle, the central roundabout that everyone who visits Borrego Springs is likely to drive around once (or, let's be honest, multiple times). Dozens of artist and vendors will have set up their wares and booths post-parade, so make time to swing by the circle to shop, visit, and see it all. As for those pre-parade planes? You can bet there'll be an excitement-building flyover, with 20 vintage air crafts expected to participate. It's still warm in Borrego Springs, even just ahead of Halloween, but those nights are cooling down. Pack for both, because, as mentioned, you'll be outside in the day for the festival fun, but, come sundown? It's time to commune with the stars, which seem closer to this city than just about any other city around.

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