Fort Churchill programsFort Churchill State Historic Park welcomes the public for a variety of programs in September. September 29: Full Moon HikeDiscover what life was like for the soldiers stationed at Fort Churchill during this moonlight hike though the ruins. Please bring sturdy shoes, water, flashlight and a jacket for this easy, 0.6-mile hike.WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.WHERE: Meet at the museum parking lot. Fort Churchill is located approximately eight miles south of Silver Springs, NV on Highway 95A. Turn onto Fort Churchill Road and follow the signs into the park.WHO: This event is open to the public and is sponsored by Fort Churchill State Historic Park.Reno Harvestof Homes TourSept. 29 is a day many have been waiting for: a chance to look inside six historic and distinguished homes in Reno. Historic Reno Preservation Society (HRPS) invites the community to the annual Reno Harvest of Homes Tour, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.All six homes are located in Old Southwest Reno this year. Homes range from 1911 to the 1940s and were selected for their beauty, significance and unique interiors. Two mansions are included in this year’s tour. “The homes showcase Reno’s most respected older neighborhood and the homes we’ve selected reflect an interesting mix of styles and history,” said event chair Sharon Honig-Bear.Tickets for the Home Tour are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the event. Retail outlets for tickets are Sundance Bookstore, St. Ives Florist, Ryrie’s Art and Home, Zephyr Books, L’Uva Bella and Ince Jewelers. These locations accept checks and cash only and will sell tickets through Sept. 28. Tickets may also be ordered on-line at historicreno.org.Proceeds from the Reno Harvest of Homes Tour are used for the Neighborhood Preservation Fund, offering mini-grants for community improvement projects. “The Tour not only reveals some gems of Reno residences, but helps us improve and preserve the neighborhoods we love,” said Honig-Bear.Information is available at historicreno.org or by calling 775-747-4478 or 775-843-3823.National Cowboy Poetry GatheringThe 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering —the nation’s greatest celebration of the American West, its people, culture and traditions—will take place Jan. 28-Feb. 2, 2013, in Elko. Ticket sales for the Gathering began last week to members of the Western Folklife Center, the nonprofit organization that produces the event and Oct. 4 to the general public. The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering features performances of poetry and music from the cowboy and ranching occupation, but also presents exhibitions, films, workshops, dances and discussions — all centered on land-based culture in the American West, its traditional arts and the challenges it faces in the 21st century.The 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will host butteri, cowboys from Italy, who have their own unique poetry, music, gear and traditional techniques, but still have much in common with their counterparts in the American West and cattle cultures across the globe. The butteri are from the Maremma region of Italy, where they have been raising and herding the large lyre-horned Maremmana cattle for centuries. The Italian cultural exchange is part of the Western Folklife Center’s ongoing effort to build understanding among herding cultures worldwide, and is exclusively sponsored by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation.Polar Express Train The Polar Express Train will return to Carson City for 15 dates. The train departs at 5, 6:30 and 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 23 through Dec. 23. The Virginia & Truckee Railroad leaves the Carson City Eastgate Depot and travels nearly 2 miles. Tickets include keepsake silver bell, treats and a reading of “The Polar Express.” Tickets are $27 for children ages 2-12 and $34 for 13 and older and can be purchased through the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau. VIP tickets are available. Advanced tickets can be purchased at 775-687-7410 or online at http://vttrain.activitytickets. com/activity or www.polarexpressride.com.Truckee hauntingSpirits of days gone by will be summoned to haunt the streets of historic Truckee during the adults-only Historical Haunted Tour Oct. 18-19.The 2012 Historical Haunted Tour produced by Sunshine Tahoe is a fundraiser for the Truckee Donner Historical Society and Trails & Vistas. Sponsorship, ticket sales and raffle revenue offer the two Truckee-based nonprofits operating revenue to continue their missions for the community. For information, visit truckeehistorytour.com or call 775-527-4485.Manhattan short-film festivalRENO (UNR) — There’s a treat for area film-lovers coming up later this month, as Reno will again serve as one of more than 300 cities across six continents to host the 15th Annual Manhattan Short Film Festival.The Sept. 28-29 local presentation of this growing global film experience is made possible through the partnership of 88.7 KUNR/Reno Public Radio and the Joe Crowley Student Union on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno.The event will offer local audiences the chance to view — and vote on — the 10 short film finalists. The films were selected from among hundreds of entries from 50 countries by the Manhattan Film Festival, billed as the world’s first global film festival. The selected films range in length from eight to 19 minutes. Results will be tabulated from the week of worldwide in-theater voting, with the winning film announced online on Oct. 8.Four Reno screenings of the 10-film series are offered: Friday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. All showings are at the Joe Crowley Student Union Theater on the University of Nevada, Reno Campus. The films are not rated, but include some intense scenes and mature themes.KUNR is the new home for the Manhattan Short Film Festival, having received the project (along with screenings of next year’s Oscar-nominated short films) from the Reno Film Festival, which closed earlier this year after more than a decade of local film presentations that included the annual fall screenings of the Manhattan Short Film Festival.The official Festival trailer can be viewed at www.kunr.org.