Every year, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park attracts storytellers from all over the globe to compete in the annual Peg Leg Smith Liar's Contest. The festivities begin at dusk. Bring a lawn chair and refreshments and get ready to enjoy a night of fun, and it's free!
Thomas L. Smith, better known as 'Peg Leg' Smith 1801-1866, was a mountain man, prospector, and spinner of tall tales. Legends regarding his lost gold mine have grown through the years, and countless people have searched the desert for its fabulous wealth.
All comers are welcome to enter the contest. There is both an adult and children’s division in this family friendly event. All participants receive an official certificate and a genuine recycled trophy.
Sign up is on arrival at the contest site, which is held at the Peg Leg Smith memorial, about seven miles east of Borrego Springs on Route S-22. Presentations are done in order of sign up.
Stories should be of no more than five minutes in length (another little joke). Judges award points for originality, props, costumes, presentation, and whether Peg Leg or lost gold is included in the tale. Points are deducted if Peg Leg or lost gold is not in the story or if Peg Leg “Pete” is mentioned – a phony Peg Leg not connected to the real story.
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