The iconic prickly pear of the Southwestern deserts will be celebrated at the first Superior Prickly Pear Festival on Sat., Aug. 25, in Superior. The event is being sponsored by the Superior Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
The day will begin at 6:30 a.m. with a hike led by Tonto National Forest Ranger Scott Wood to the prickly pear stands at Old Pinal City.
At 8:00 a.m., the Superior Fire Department will begin serving a pancake breakfast complete with prickly pear syrup on the patio at Porter’s Cafe on Main Street.
Highlights for the day long festival are a talk and demonstration by author and natural foods expert Jean Groen, on gathering and preparing the tunas, or prickly pear fruit, and a three-hour brewing class conducted by Pete Rendek, a home brewer from Chandler.
The Prickly Pear India Pale Ale brewing class is $25 per person and reservations are required. Email Mila.Lira19@gmail.com or call Lynn Heglie, 520-827-9398, for reservations. There are no additional costs for attending the hike, or talks.
Each of the participating restaurants in town will feature at least one prickly pear based item on its menu that day. The “Chocolate Lady” will provide prickly pear truffles, vendors will feature jewelry, wine bottle holders, photographs note cards, tote bags and other items, Cheri’s Desert Harvest in Tucson will offer selections from its wide assortment of native plant syrups, jams and soaps, and Jean Groen will sign copies of her desert foods cookbooks.
Carolyn Niethammer, author of several illustrated cookbooks, including the best selling “The Prickly Pear Cookbook,” will give a morning talk and demonstration.
Vendors with creative prickly pear related items are welcome. Call Karen Barker, 928-792-8238, for vendor information.
For festival information, call Lynn Heglie, event chairman, at 520-827-9398 or Sherry Figdore, 520-689-2210.