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East County News Service

March 25, 2017 (Borrego Springs) - Every year on the first Saturday of April – the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park attracts story tellers from all over the globe to compete in the annual Peg Leg Smith Liars Contest. This year’s event will be held on April 1st, starting at dusk.

Thomas L. Smith, better known as 'Peg Leg' Smith in the 1800s, 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. The mine could be within a few miles of this monument.

All comers are welcome to enter the contest. Sign up is on arrival at the contest site, which is held at the Pegleg Smith memorial, about seven miles east of Borrego Springs along Route S-22.   Specifically, the storytelling contest takes place on Henderson Canyon Road, 1,000 feet north of Pegleg Road.

Presentations are done in order of sign up. Stories should be of no more than five minutes in length--another little joke. Tall tales should be about lost gold and/or Pegleg Smith. Costumes and other original touches are always appreciated by the crowd and judges.

For more information on this annual contest, visit

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