RIDGECREST, Calif., Sept. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With artifacts and petroglyphs dating more than 10,000 years old, Ridgecrest, California, nestled at the cradle of 395 just 90 minutes north of Los Angeles, is rapidly becoming known as California's newest cultural mecca.
"The ancient carvings done by Native Americans are just one of the many reasons that a surge in tourism is being experienced by the Ridgecrest area," says Doug Lueck, executive director of the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau. "Not only is tourism up, we're also experiencing an upward trend in filming for movies and commercials as well."
The biggest draw to Ridgecrest, a city that features modern conveniences and national brand chains to support the area's Naval facility, is the city's Petroglyph Festival. The second annual festival celebrating the area's historic petroglyph rock art is scheduled for November 7-8, 2015. Tours for the 10,000 year-old rock art will be open to the public via advanced scheduled tours through the Maturango Museum (maturango.org). In an effort to increase accessibility for international tourists hoping to see the petroglyphs, guests will now have access to the protected areas via bus tours during the weekend of the festival.
The area's most popular areas for visiting petroglyphs, Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons, are situated on property of the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. The two canyons are designated U.S. National Historic Landmarks. In 2001, they were incorporated into a larger National Historic Landmark District, called the Coso Rock Art District. Because the area is protected being on federal land, it has the greatest concentration of petroglyphs in the Western Hemisphere and has largely been left undisturbed for thousands of years.
Over 15,000 visitors from all over the world are expected to learn about the rich history of the area while enjoying an Inter-Tribal Powwow and Cherokee Hog Fry, among many of the over 15 major events over the weekend.
The festival plans to expand the Balsam Street Fair to two full days, and the wine walk is set to return with more than triple the number of wineries from the previous year, in addition to a new beer garden. A new car and auto expo featuring both classic and modern cars will round out the weekend. All of the weekend's events will be filmed for a PBS special with plans to air in spring 2016.
Continuing to strengthen the city's connection to the local base and the US Navy, plans are being made to integrate a celebration of local Veterans in the weekend festivities leading up to Veterans Day.
More information regarding changes and additions to the festival will be released at a later date. Find the Petroglyph Festival on Facebook or check the festival website http://www.rpfestival.com for more information.
SOURCE Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau