Veterans Day weekend at the Arboretum, live music and free admission Nov. 11

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USMC leathernecks are invited to say “Ooorah!” for an admission discount Saturday (Nov. 10) at Boyce Thompson Arboretum as the popular local nearby destination celebrates the Marine Corps’ birthday.

On Veterans’ Day Nov. 11 all active duty and retired military get free admission at BTA — and Veterans’ Day also happens to be the park’s annual live music festival with performers starting at 11a.m. by Mesa singer-songwriter and recording artist Jim Pipkin playing the opening set near his favorite spot: the Drover Shed in the Australian forest collections at the Arboretum.

Jim’s original songs breathe life into ballads of miners, outlaws and Arizona characters from Territorial days. The Storm featuring Patty Rutkoff, Ethan Rutkoff and Gary Kaplowitz will be featured at the Desert Legume Garden at 1p.m., and then Scottsdale chanteuse Millie Davis puts her unique twist on well-known standards from the ‘40s through modern pop at 2 p.m.

The day ends with a set at 3 p.m. by the Close Enough String Band in the picnic area. Veterans are admitted free; for others the live music event is included with regular daily admission of $9 for adults, $4.50 ages 5-12.

The Fall Foliage Festival Thanksgiving Weekend Nov. 24-25; both days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This annual festival includes live music (‘Celestial Misfits’ Scott Schaefer and Scott Simon return by popular demand); hot, spiced apple cider and arts-and-crafts vendors.

BTA is near highway 60 milepost #223. Explore the gardens online at


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