A fun weekend for everyone at annual Apache Leap Mining Festival

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By Mila Besich Lira

Superior Sun

The Apache Leap Mining hosted by the Superior Chamber of Commerce was a great success despite the gusty winds early Saturday morning. Everything went off without a hitch and hundreds if not thousands of guests and residents participated in the three day event. Children of Superior enjoyed the carnival while adults enjoyed the competitions, entertainment and vendors.

The morning started with the annual parade and several entries including Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, State Senator Barbara McGuire and Justice of the Peace Larry Bravo. First place in the parade went to the Superior Optimist Club who constructed a float to replicate the classic children’s book “The Little Engine That Could”. Second place went to the Legends of Superior Trail (LOST) walking group. The chihuahua races were once again a big attraction to the event, this year taking the crown was Piojo who’s human parents are Steve and Nancy Nunez. Piojo beat Max II by a nose. Max II is owned by Dave Warble.

The mining competition was well attended and the crowd cheered for their favorites to win. Placing in the mens competition were: first place, Jesse Byrd; second place, Matt Rabago; and third place, Don Dupaix. Spiking winners were first place, Jesse Byrd; second place, Carlos Martinez; and third place Ed Gomez. Matt Decker and Adolf Ortiz took first place in the Mucking Competition with Carlos Guerro and Chuck White taking second and Matt Rabago and Tony Martinez took third place. The last competition of the day was the Jack Leg Drilling competition, Adolf Ortiz took second place with Jesse Byrd in second and Tony Martinez in third. Eddie Gomez was the overall winner and he took home a $1,000 cash prize.

The weekend continued with entertainment. The crowds enjoyed hearing the musical reunion of the “Phoenix Band” with Manuel “Punky” Sanchez and Bobby Cook and the highlight of Saturday’s entertainment was SambaAZ with their Las Vegas style showgirl show.

Local and cultural entertainers took the stage on Sunday with the local band Safety Patrol, and Baile Folklorico Alma de Superior performing along with Apache Crown Dancers from the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

Mila Besich-Lira (293 Posts)

Mila Besich-Lira is a resident of Superior with two children. She volunteers for many local organizations. She is an experienced fundraiser and event planner for Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition. She covers some of the area town councils and schools.


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