Priority No. 1 this weekend: Turn on the swamp cooler. I’m a young homeowner and, although I’m not much of a handyman, this is one task I should be able to accomplish by myself. And if I can’t? Expect many a few angry, irritated tweets (@LittleGuyInATie) or blog posts next week.
It should be another wonderful weekend to be outside. Temperatures will rise to the high 80s and the weather.com forecast calls for “abundant sunshine,” winds 10 to 15 miles per hour and 0 percent chance of precipitation. Get outside and enjoy this weather before it becomes unbearably hot.
Here’s this weekend’s Best Bets:
Thousands are expected to flock to the La Viña Spring Wine Festival from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Billed as New Mexico’s oldest winery, La Viña will offer samplings of 20 different wines. The two-day festival features live entertainment, wine tastings, arts and crafts from more than 60 vendors, and New Mexican food in a “festive and family-friendly atmosphere.”
The entertainment roster on Saturday includes Dusty Low at noon, Radio la Chusma at 2:15 p.m. and Frank Zona & Urban Edge at 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, see Muddy Hands Blues Band at noon, Guitar Slim at 2:15 p.m. and Kat Crosby at 4:30 p.m.
The $15 admission fee includes a souvenir glass and a choice of a full glass of wine or samples of nine wines. The admission fee is $5 for ages 12 to 20 and it’s free for kids under 12.
For information, including directions to the La Union winery off of Highway 28, visit lavinawinery.com.
ON THE GRIDIRON
It’s April, which, of course, means it’s time to ask, “Are you ready for some football?”
The annual Wells Fargo Spring Football Game is the final spring practice for the Aggies before they resume a regular practice schedule in the fall. Between 1,000 and 2,000 fans are expected to turn out and admission is free. The game starts at 1 p.m., but there’s plenty to do pregame.
Former Aggie and current Green Bay Packer Davon House will be signing autographs prior to the game inside the northwest gate of the stadium and the first 250 NMSU students to enter the gates will receive a free T-Shirt. The Goal Line club will also be hosting a tailgate prior to the game with free hotdogs for students, along with music. Concession stands will be open on the west side of the stadium and Sodexo will provide ice cream for just 50 cents.
Stay after the game to get autographs from current players and a get a free 2012 NM State football poster/schedule.
Also, the NFL draft continues with the second and third rounds Friday night and rounds four through seven tomorrow. Watch the draft on ESPN. A few Aggies from last year’s team could get drafted in the later rounds, but not likely. Cornerback Jontae Green, wide receiver Taveon Rogers, safety Donyae Coleman and running back Kenny Turner should get invites to NFL camps, however.
MARCH FOR BABIES
The Southern New Mexico March of Dimes is looking to set another record for funds raised to help prevent premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality at its annual March for Babies event.
“In Las Cruces, last year, they raised $170,000. That’s a record,” said Becky Horner, director for the March of Dimes southern New Mexico chapter. “This year, we’re hoping to raise $200,000.”
March for Babies will take place Saturday morning, starting and ending at Young Park, 1905 Nevada Ave. The 7 1/2-mile walk is one of the longer treks in the country, but participants are not required to finish the whole trail down Lohman Avenue, the Triviz multi-use path, University Avenue, El Paseo Road and back on Lohman to Young Park. Several companies are sponsoring checkpoints and rides back to the park, including two horse-drawn trolleys, Horner said.
Organizers are expecting 1,000 people to participate this year.
Registration and warm-ups are at 7:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 8 a.m. Participants can register their team up until the day of the event. Registration forms are available at both Kmart locations. Registration is encouraged online at marchforbabies.org.
For information, call (575) 523-2627.
OUTLINED IN CHALK
It promises to be much more exciting than watching paint dry.
Observe as individuals and teams of artists bring downtown Las Cruces alive with colorful chalk images at the state’s first festival of its kind. AvenueArt New Mexico runs from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on Main Street Downtown.
Artists in two age categories — adults and students and youths under 26 — will compete for awards and prizes, including “Audience Favorite” honors. All painting must be done in chalk, pastel or tempera. Each artist can choose to create either a 5-foot-by-5-foot square or 4-foot-by-6-foot rectangular work.
The event is expected to feature more than 20 juried artists and a special guest artist, the festival’s award-winning street painter, Las Cruces artist Bob Diven.
For information, visit downtownlascruces.net.
ISN’T IT LOVELY?
According to a recent survey by Visa, prom spending is up 33.6 percent from last year. Families are now setting their prom budget at an average of $1,078, up from $807 in 2011, according to the survey. Boy, I’m glad to don’t have a teenage son or daughter. Parents, on the other hand, have quite a bit to worry about.
I’m sure the kids are giddy though as the three big high schools in town will have their proms over the next two weeks. The schedule:
• Mayfield High School: “Zeus’ Palace” from 8 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday at The Grapevine
• Oñate High School: “Dream a Little Dream” from 8 p.m. to midnight May 5 at the Alameda House
• Las Cruces High School: “Bellissimo” from 8 p.m. to midnight May 5 at the Grapevine.
What does that mean for most us? Expect to end up behind a limo or two while driving around town and don’t expect a wait shorter than an hour to get a table at one of our finer restaurants.
Ahh, prom. Lovely, isn’t it?
Sun-News staffers Tracy R. Patrick, S. Derrickson Moore, Andi Murphy, James Staley and Teddy Feinberg contributed to this story.
Community Engagement/Digital Editor Lucas Peerman can be reached at (575) 541-5446.