Camp Verde’s central location, along with a temperate year-around climate, abundant outdoor recreational opportunities and a bucolic setting on the banks of the Verde River, make it one of Arizona’s premier tourism destinations. Less than an hour from Phoenix, Flagstaff, Prescott and Payson, Camp Verde and the surrounding Verde Valley offers numerous venues for visitors, be your interest in history and cultural heritage, boating, hiking, biking, wine tasting or just taking in the landscape. Add to that mix the Out of Africa Wild Animal Park and Cliff Castle Casino and you can begin to see why Camp Verde caters to all ages and every taste.
FORT VERDE DAYS – OCTOBER 10,11 & 12
Please visit Camp Verde Promotions web page for all the activities and how to be a vendor or parade entrant and all forms needed to participate.
Every community in America has an annual event celebrating all that has made the community what it is. For Camp Verde that event is Fort Verde Days. First held in 1956 and now in its 58th year, Fort Verde Days pays tribute the frontier military post around which a tiny but resolute farming community grew to become the Town of Camp Verde.
But like all such events, Fort Verde Days is more than a celebration of the old fort. It is a parade on Saturday morning and a weekend-long carnival for the kids—it’s a quilt show and a car show, a pie eating contest and a mechanical bull riding completion. For visitors it is an opportunity to see why Camp Verde is such great place to live. And for the locals it is their unofficial homecoming—for a chance to meet up with old friends and reunite with family.
Fort Verde Days runs from Friday October 10 through Sunday October 12. All events are held in the downtown and center around and near Fort Verde State Park. Friday’s lineup kicks off at 4 p.m. with mechanical bull rides, kid’s carnival, vendors, a beer garden for the grown-ups and dancing and singing and karaoke.
Saturday starts with the Kiwanis breakfast at the community center on Main Street and Hollamon Street, followed by the Fort Verde Days Parade down Main Street. The rest of the day is filled with music, food and beer (which run to 9 p.m.), a hugely popular quilt show, vintage baseball, a military fashion show, history talks, carnival rides, vendors, award presentations, and Dutch oven cooking demonstrations.
Sunday will see the crowning of Fort Verde Days’ first ever mechanical bull riding champions, along with military drills, Dr. Sam Palmer’s talk on the Battle of Big Dry Wash, the last Indian War confrontation for the troops at Fort Verde, birding excursions, car show, plus more food, music, carnival and quilt show.
Just an hour north of Phoenix, in the geographical center of Arizona, Camp Verde welcomes one and all to come and be a part of one of the state’s oldest celebrations in one of Arizona’s oldest communities. And mark your calendar for October 9-11, 2015 when Camp Verde will not only celebrate its 59th Fort Verde Days, but the 150th anniversary of its founding.
Special Announcement: The Class of 1994 is holding their 20th reunion during Fort Verde Days at White Hills Winery & Gallery (Boler’s Bar) 325 S. Main Street. Check out facebook group CVHS Class of ’94 or email: Steve_bast@yahoo.com
Camp Verde Visitor Center
The Camp Verde Visitor Center is located at 435 S. Main Street, in the same building as the Camp Verde Historical Society Museum, a few paces down the street from the Verde Valley Archaeology Center and around the corner from Fort Verde State Historic Park. Stop in for a taste of the area’s rich past, some friendly advice on how to make your visit more enriching or a cool drink of water. We hope to see you there. If not give us a call at (928) 554-0851 and we will be glad to point you in the right direction.
Bones of a Mastodon were found in the Verde Valley and are considered by most archaeologists to be the indicator artifact of America’s earliest human habitants. To view more curiosites, click here.
By proclamation of the governor and a determination from the Arizona Professional Land Surveyors, Camp Verde was declared the municipality closet to Arizona’s Center in 2012. The Town of Camp Verde erected a monument at Rezzonico Park that same year. For those looking to find the official center, as determined by APLS, it is located near the confluence of the Verde River and East Verde River, about 15 miles SSE of Camp Verde in the rugged Mazatzal Wilderness Area. The coordinates for the official geographic center are:
|34° 16” 31.1” N
111° 39’ 36.8” W
Click the logo to visit the Town of Camp Verde’s website.