By Miriam Raftery
March 11, 2018 (Borrego Springs) – The Peg Leg Smith Liar’s Contest dates back more than a century, inviting the public to come spin your best treasure hunting tale. Always held on the first Saturday in April, this year’s event will be held April 7 starting at 7 p.m. The event has a new location in 2018 at the American Legion Hall, 4515 Borrego Springs Road in Borrego Springs, where you can get a chuckwagon dinner if you’re so inclined.
Thomas L. “Peg Leg” Smith was a mountain man, fur trapper, guide, prospector and if the tales be true, also a horse thief and notorious liar. He claimed to have found gold, but his mining was interrupted by Indians and he had to flee. He would tell all who listened that he’d gone back searching, but could never find the Lost Peg Leg Mine.
No reading is allowed – you must convey your contest tale with spoken words, singing, in poetry or some other fashion around a blazing campfire. Costumes are encouraged, along with creativity. Hint: the judges reportedly love props – and teamwork, so feel free to bring along your merry band of prevaricators, musicians, a mule or two, or whatever else may enhance your presentation.
Stretch the truth about your search (or discovery) of Peg Leg’s lost gold as far as you wish, but please, no profanity. Families are welcome and there is a children’s category, too.
In the past, the event was held at the Peg Leg Smith monument on Peg Leg Road and Henderson Canyon, but that site is now within the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and no longer available for the event. Fortunately, the American Legion Post #853 has offered up its venue to the Committee to Accumulate Curious Tales of Incredibility, or CACTI, organizers of the annual liar’s contest-so the fabulous fib-fest will go on.
For more fascinating facts, you can visit https://www.desertusa.com/dusablog/peg-leg-smith-liars-contest-april-7th-borrego-springs.html