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Holiday events fill calendar

Compiled by Katie Stewart

‘Tis the season to enjoy Tucson festivities with the entire family. Look for additional listings at

Thanksgiving Cross-country Classic

Nov. 27

Spend Thanksgiving day sprinting a European-style 5K around Reid Park or simply cheer on the runners as they hurdle water jumps and bales of hay. The Southern Arizona Road Runners will award turkeys to the top finishers, while runners-up in each age group receive pies. Awards are also given to the top men’s and women’s teams. The event begins at 8 a.m. for the women’s 5K, 8:45 a.m. for men’s 5K and 9:30 a.m. for a co-ed 1.5-mile fun run. Reid Park is located at Country Club Road and North 22nd Street.


Holiday Nights at Tohono Chul

Nov. 28-29, Dec. 5-6, Dec. 12-13

Celebrate the holidays surrounded by a million twinkling lights at Tohono Chul from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on your choice of six nights over three weekends. Admission includes live music, plus complimentary cookies and hot cocoa. Beer, wine and additional snacks will be available for purchase. Buy tickets online or at the admissions window. General admission costs $15, and tickets for children under 12 cost $2. Tohono Chul is located at 7366 N. Paseo del Norte.


Luminaria Nights

Dec. 5, 6, 7 and Dec. 12, 13, 14

Tucson Botanical Gardens hosts Luminaria Nights for six evenings from 5:30-8:30 p.m., dazzling visitors with thousands of luminarias and twinkling lights. Other treats include live music, decorated holiday trees, Santa Claus and food trucks. Admission costs $12 for adults and $6 for children. Tucson Botanical Gardens is located at 2150 N. Alvernon Way.


Zoo Lights

Dec. 5-23

Reid Park Zoo uses light displays, animal-themed light sculptures, thousands of sparkling bulbs and falling snow to make Zoo Lights a Tucson holiday tradition nightly from 6-8 p.m. Cookies are provided and hot cocoa is available for $1. Tickets can be purchased online. Admission costs $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 2-14, with children under 2 admitted free.


Tamal & Heritage Festival

Dec. 6

The 10th annual Tucson Tamal & Heritage Festival returns to AVA Amphitheater from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition to purchasing flavorful tamales, visitors can enjoy a full day of live entertainment, art and culture. Festival admission is free. Casino del Sol is located at 7406 S. Camino del Oeste.


BEST BETS: Bust out holiday costumes

BEST BETS: Bust out holiday costumes

Compiled by Alex Fruechtenicht

Early November has so much to offer in Tucson, from unleashing your inner geek to honoring ancestors from many different cultures. Get out of your comfort zone and go get cultured.

TusCon: Oct. 31- Nov. 2

Looking for a small convention with a big emphasis on sci-fi? Look no further than TusCon, headquartered at 475 N. Granada Ave.

The con opens at noon on Halloween and stays open around the clock until Sunday evening. Activities include panels, special guests, LAN parties, a film festival, art show and an anime room pumping Japanese pop music.

Only 500 persons can attend, so buy tickets early. A full three-day ticket costs $55 for anyone above age 13. Admission costs $30 for those under 13.


Celtic Festival/ Scottish Highland Games

Oct. 31- Nov. 2

Head over to Rillito Raceway Park, 4502 N. First Ave., on Oct. 31 for a family night of trick or treating, with free admission until 6 p.m.

The next day, a Celtic festival and highland games get underway with contests, live music, Scottish and Irish dancing, whisky tasting and much more.

An adult ticket costs $20 for the weekend or $15 for a one-day pass. Senior or military tickets are $10, and youth tickets cost $5.

Festivities run from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday, and from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.


Floating Lantern Workshop and Ceremony

Nov. 1

If you want to honor your ancestors like the Japanese do, visit Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson at 2130 N. Alvernon Way.

People in Japan celebrate Obon, a festival that honors ancestors by making floating lanterns and releasing them onto water. Yume will help Tucsonans make their own obon lanterns at a workshop that starts at 4 p.m. Participants will release their lantern into a large koi pond.

The workshop costs $3, along with gardens admission of $9 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 15. Students with ID get in for $6.

Reserve a spot by emailing or calling in advance at or 322-2928.


2nd Saturdays Downtown

Nov. 8

Family fun at 2nd Saturdays includes live music, dancers and loads of shopping opportunities, with street vendors and restaurants staying open later than normal. The fun begins at 5 p.m.

The Nov. 8 event will feature live music from The Jonestown Band and Greyhound Soul.

The public shows are free for music fans of all ages to enjoy.

The Fox Theater will be showcase Black Violin at 7:30 p.m. with genres ranging from classical to hip hop and bluegrass with tickets starting at $18.


Tucson Comic-Con: Nov. 8-9

Can’t make it outside the city for the San Diego or New York Comic-Con? No worries. Tucson Comic-Con has got you covered.

Doors at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave., open on Saturday at 10 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m. The convention continues on Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

A day pass will run you $10, while a weekend pass costs $15. Tickets can be purchased at the door.


All Souls Procession

Nov. 9

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican tradition honoring those who have passed on. Tucson adds its own unique style with the annual All Souls Procession.

The free procession will start about 4 p.m. at 400 N. Sixth Ave. The grand finale begins at Mercado San Agustin on West Congress after the procession arrives, usually between 8:30-9 p.m.

Performers include Flam Chen, Danza Azteca Calpulli Tonantzin, Odaiko Sonora and the Community Spirit Group.

Check the website for numerous activities leading up the main event, and to view the procession route.


Veterans Day Parade

Nov. 11

Tucson’s Veterans Day parade, held each year to thank all veterans, starts from 330 W. Franklin St. at 11 a.m. and follows a route through downtown.

Use the website map to stake out a spot for free viewing.


Best Bets: Scares range from mild to terrifying

Best Bets: Scares range from mild to terrifying

Compiled by JAMIE VERWYS

Looking to loosen your mummy gauze and monster mash through Halloween festivities?

Fear not. There are only so many cheesy Halloween one-liners I can summon from beyond the grave.

On second thought, though, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Through Oct. 31

Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road, tranforms into a haunted town filled with ghoulish live performances.

Tickets can be purchased at the Nightfall Gate. General admission is $26, and $21 for children 9-11.

Nightfall is open Thursdays and Sundays from 6-10 p.m. Hours on Fridays and Saturdays are 6 p.m.-midnight.


Through Nov. 1

Slaughterhouse, located at 1102 W. Grant Road, hosts four haunted houses and a zombie apocolypse Thursdays-Sundays until Nov. 1.

Ticket prices range from $23 to $35. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the closing time varies by date.

Pumpkin Festival/ Terror in the Corn
Weekends in October

Two weekends remain for the annual Pumpkin Festival at Buckelew Farm, 1700 W. Ajo Way.

Visitors can take a wagon ride to pick pumpkins and enjoy other kid-friendly activities such as a corn maze.

Admission costs $4 and gates open at 10 a.m.

Remaining dates for Terror in the Corn are Oct. 17-18, 24-25 and 31. College Nights Out will be held Oct. 23 and 30. Admission costs $25, with discounts available.

The terror begins after dark at about 6:30 p.m. and ends at midnight.


Nam Jam
Oct. 18

The 27th annual Nam Jam Rockin All Vets concert will be held on Oct. 18 at Rillito Downs, 4502 N. First Ave., from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

The concert will feature live music, military vehicles, a children’s area and plenty of tasty food and beverages.

Vietnam Veterans for America, a non-profit organization, utilizes Rockin for All Vets and other events to gather onsite resources for all veterans while providing a fun and friendly atmosphere.

This free concert is open to all former and active military, their families and the public.


Tucson Pride
in the Desert
Oct. 18

Tucson’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community will gather to celebrate diversity on Oct. 18 at the 37th Pride in the Desert.

The event will take place from noon-9 p.m. on south soccer fields at the Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way.

Activities will include live entertainment, more than 100 exhibitors, a dance tent and a “drag depot.” Drag performer Tempest DuJour and comedian Sandra Valls will host the event.

This year’s grand marshal is local hero Daniel Hernandez. He helped save the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a mass shooting on Jan. 8, 2011.

The cover charge is $10, or $5 with student ID. Children 12 and under are free.


Tucson Terrorfest
Oct. 23-25

If the movie “Scream” taught us anything, it’s that you don’t want to be caught dead without a favorite scary movie.

Tucson Terrorfest, Southern Arizona’s only horror film festival, offers independent horror and genre films from around the world.

Along with premieres, exclusives and screenings, the festival will bring filmmakers, actors and special guests for Q&A sessions.

Screenings will be held at various times at The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress. Tickets to each show cost $6 and are available online or at the box office.

Festival passes cost $25 and provide access to all screenings and a scary goodie bag. Supplies are limited to 75 passes.


Nightmare on Congress
Oct. 25

You know what they say about having your trick and treating it too?

Nothing. No one ever says that, but at Hotel Congress’s annual Halloween party, you can have as much of both as you like. As long as you are of the legal drinking age, of course.

Nightmare on Congress, located at 311 E. Congress St., features carnival games, live music, DJs and a $1,000 costume contest. The party runs from 9 p.m. until last call at 2 a.m. Buy advance tickets online for $8 or pay $10 at the door. Early is better, since the event is expected to sell out.


Oct. 24-26

The University of Arizona’s Flandrau Science Center, 1601 E. University Blvd., turns science and math into creepy fun with slime, squid dissections, chemistry and Halloween laser shows.

General admission costs $7 for adults, $5 for students, military, seniors and children ages 4-7.

The event begins Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. Additional times are:
• Oct. 25, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
• Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Oct. 30, 5-9 p.m.
• Oct. 31, 5-10 p.m.


Oct. 24-26

Families can find mild scares for little goblins at Reid Park Zoo, 1100 S. Randolph Way, from 6-8 p.m.

Children and seriously wimpy adults can enjoy a safe walk around the zoo complete with costumes, characters and decorations.

General admission costs $7, with children under age 2 admitted free.


Feast with the
Dearly Departed
Oct. 25

Celebrate the traditions of Dia De los Muertos from 5-8 p.m. at Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way.

The feast will feature mariachi music, sugar skulls, kids’ activities, workshops, Sonoran-style food and a Day of the Dead parade through the grounds. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 4-12.


Pg09-Best Bets-Terrorfest-Circus of the dead

Blues Festival has Pima connection

Blues Festival has Pima connection


The sounds of harmonicas and slide guitars will fill the air at the Blues and Heritage Festival of the Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation.

The nonprofit group works to keep Tucson’s blues scene vibrant by spreading music and culture.

The foundation plays an active role within the community, sponsoring Blues in Schools programs and hosting live music events.

Their largest annual event is the Blues and Heritage Festival, which takes place Oct. 19 from 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. at the Rillito Raceway Park, 4502 N. First Ave.

With live performances by local and visiting musicians, the festival hopes to share the heritage of blues with the community and cultivate a family environment for people to come together.

The foundation secretary, Rita Flattley, has worked at Pima Community College for 30 years. She teaches social-cultural studies at both Desert Vista and East campuses.

Flattley became involved with the Blues Heritage Foundation because she loves music.

“I am not a musician but I love music,” she says.

“I am interested in educating people to understand the roots of purely American music.”

After attending her first foundation meeting and volunteering, she was elected to the board.

“When I am working at the festival and look across the crowd and see smiling faces and tapping feet, it’s just a fabulous rush of happiness,” she said.

This year’s festival theme is “Blues for Pink.” In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

A Chicago-based band, the Cash Box Kings, will headline the event in their first Tucson performance.

The band’s take on classic Delta Blues and blues of the 1940s earned praise from the 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards. Their album “Black Toppin’” was named Best Traditional Blues Album of the year.

Other performers will include Cholla High School Blues Standards, Baja Arizona Blues, Angel Diamond and the Blues Disciples, Johnny Ain’t Right and Union Stone Band.

Advance tickets are available at all Bookman’s locations or at for $8. Admission costs $10 at the door. Children 18 and under are free.

For more information, visit

Blues Poster14

BEST BETS: Movies, music and a whole lot of beer

BEST BETS: Movies, music and a whole lot of beer


To have a happy semester, students need the essentials: movies, pals, beers and pencils. Oh yes, there is homework and grades too, isn’t there?

Upcoming festivals let students check off everything on our “must have” list. Well, almost everything. Chances are your next A-plus paper is somewhere far away from the beer festival.


Arizona Underground Film Festival

Sept. 19-27

Arizona’s premier genre and cult film festival celebrates its seventh year with nine days of independent films at the recently renovated Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St.

The Arizona Underground Film Festival features short and full-length documentaries, horror films, animations and experimental movies.

The festival kicks off with a bloody bang. “Killers,” a Japanese and Indonesian thriller, begins at 8 p.m. on Sept. 19.

Tickets to each film cost $8 and are available at the box office or via

Festival passes costing $55 will provide admission to all screenings and after-parties, as well as festival goodies. Act quickly, since just 50 passes will be sold.


Oktoberfest on Mount Lemmon

Sept. 20-21, Sept. 27-28, Oct. 4-5, Oct. 11-12

Though our desert home is far away from Germany, we can have a little taste of it nearby at Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, 10300 Ski Run Road.

Oktoberfest pays tribute to Bavarian culture through beer, food and music.

Mount Lemmon’s Oktoberfest opens at noon each day. Opening weekend, Sept. 20-21, it will close at 4 p.m. Festivities will end at 5 p.m. on Sept. 27-28, Oct. 4-5 and Oct. 11-12.

Admission is free but parking costs $5. Organizers ask visitors to leave their dogs at home.

Details: or


Nightfall at Old Tucson

Sept. 26-Oct. 31

Feel a chill in the fall breeze that is sending shivers down your spine? With temperatures remaining in the 90s, the only explanation could be the chilling horrors gathering at Old Tucson Studios.

Nightfall transforms Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road, into a haunted town filled with monsters, mad men, ghoulish live performances and spooky games.

The popular yearly event is open to all ages. Be advised, however, that displays may prove too frightening for children or the weak of heart.

Tickets will be available at the Nightfall Gate. General admission costs $26 and is $21 for children 9-11. Children 8 and under will be admitted for free.

Nightfall is open on Thursdays and Sundays from 6-10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m.-midnight.



Great Tucson Beer Festival

Sept. 27

If you have ever struggled to select a beer or glass of wine, prepare to be overwhelmed in the best possible way.

The Great Tucson Beer Festival will spotlight brewers from Southwestern states with a large selection of wines, ciders and 200 varieties of beer on tap.

The event will run from 5-7 p.m. at Kino Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way.

Guests 21 and over can sample drinks, food provided by local restaurants, games, music and giveaways.

General admission tickets cost $45 and VIP tickets are $80. Discounted tickets are available to designated drivers for $25 general admission and $40 VIP.

Tickets are available at and will be available for a higher fee at the event if supplies last.

All proceeds benefit Sun Sounds of Arizona, an organization that provides audio access to people in the Southwest who are unable to read print.



KFMA Fall Ball

Sept. 30

Head bangers and angry music lovers, rejoice with your lighters up.

KFMA’s annual Fall Ball is screaming across the Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, from noon-10 p.m.

This year’s lineup includes Godsmack, Seether, Buckcherry, and PopEvil, with more to be announced.

General admission tickets are $39 and can be purchased at any Tucson area Pizza Hut or at

VIP passes are available for $150 and include, a ticket, t-shirt, souvenir, access to club level seating, two drinks and two meal passes.




Back to school does not take away from fun


 Most of us are still trying to get back into the grind of school and welcome many distractions to test our wills. In between glances at syllabi and sips of coffee, take a page from the summer and enjoy one of these events.

Yoga Rave

Sept. 6

Take out your yoga mat and cover it in glow sticks for a Yoga Rave hosted by Session Yoga and ABUD Entertainment, in collaboration with Lululemon Athletica and Aveda Institute.

Participants will be led in a glow and flow yoga session by Chelsea Lucas, Kristin Brakke Horton and Ricky Abud of Session Yoga. Disc jockey Rosette Abud will spin sun-salutation worthy beats all night.

The meditative rave will take place at Session Yoga,123 S. Eastbourne Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the rave begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 and available for sale at

 Details: and

Tucson Fringe Festival

Sept. 12-14

Tucson will spotlight performance arts in uncensored forms at the fourth annual Tucson Fringe Festival. The event will feature established and up-and-coming artists who perform in the mediums of music, dance, comedy, burlesque, improvisations and monologues.

The festival will take place at Club Congress on 311 E. Congress St. and Fluxx Studio on 414 E. Ninth St.

The first performance will take place at Club Congress on Sept 12 at 6 p.m. Award-winning playwrights Toni Press-Coffman and Michael Fenlason will perform original monologues in their showcase, Hers and His.

Tickets to each show are $7, a two-show pass is available for $10 and a festival pass is $40. All attendees must also purchase a $2 festival admission button available for purchase at the door of each venue.

Fringe is a volunteer-run event and is seeking help in the box office and production. Volunteers will receive free tickets to performances. Anyone interested may fill out an application at

For a complete schedule of events, visit


Day Into Night Glow

Sept. 13

Though summer has already gone, Tucson nights are still likely to put you in a vacation state of mind.

At a Day Into Night Glow event, the whole family can celebrate art and light underneath a full moon. The popular festival of visual and performance arts creates a glow around the historic Triangle L Ranch at 2805 N. Triangle L Ranch Road in Oracle.

The event will take place from 5-9 p.m. and will feature performances, workshops and a children’s costume contest. Nonprofit organizations will be in attendance.

Attendance is limited to 500 people, so tickets will only be available in advance. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 13 and under and free for 3 and under.


Best Bets: Tucson events galore

Best Bets: Tucson events galore

Compiled by Aztec Press Staff

Barrio Hollywood Fiesta Grande

April 26-27

Barrio Hollywood celebrates its rich culture and history during the annual Fiesta Grande festival. Enjoy live music, carnival rides, local food vendors, a car show, beer garden and more. The event will take place at Grande Avenue between Speedway Boulevard and Saint Mary’s Road. This event is free, and runs on Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday noon-7 p.m.

Details: 331-9555 or 792-9395


Wild Wild West Fest

April 25-27

This weekend long event includes pre-industrial revolution themed activities, live music and a large-scale installation art performance by Andres Amador. The festival will be held at Harmony Health Ranch, 13535 W. Sacred Earth Pl., approximately 20 miles East of Tucson. The three-day camping pass is $50, with upgrade festival ticket prices ranging from $20-$250. Please visit the website for directions and additional event information.



Free Comic Book Day

May 3

The first Saturday in May marks the annual international comic book give away. Participating comic book havens will have free special edition issues to hand-off to inked super-hero enthusiasts. Multiple local Tucson shops included in this year’s festivities are Fantasy Comics, Heroes & Villains and Charlie’s Comic Books. Are you an avid comic book reader, or do you need a new story about a hero to catapult your mind beyond civilian life? Fear not! Saturday May 3 is coming to save the day.



Tucson Folk Festival

May 3-4

The 29th annual Tucson Folk Festival comes back to El Presidio Park for two days of down-home fun. The event will feature nearly 150 acts, a song-writing competition, a ballad tree and more. There is also plenty for kids, with a children’s show and a young artist’s stage. Vendors will be selling food, arts and crafts, jewelry and clothing.

The festival runs from noon-10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.



BEST BETS: Spring brings enjoyable flings

Compiled by Jamie Verwys

In a state known for blistering temperatures, any day under 100 degrees provides reason to rejoice. Enjoy mild weather before the summer heat wave hits.

UA Spring Fling:

April 11-13

Spring Fling returns to the University of Arizona east mall as it celebrates 40 years of carnival rides, food and entertainment.

Hours are 4-11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission costs $5.



International Film Festival:

April 11-27

Arizona’s largest film festival takes place in locations throughout Tucson. Its home base is The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St.

The festival screens documentaries, features and shorts from all over the world. Film buffs can also enjoy parties and workshops.

Visit the festival website for a full schedule.



Earth Day Festival:

April 12

Celebrate Mother Nature at Tucson’s 20th Annual Earth Day Festival. Guests can participate in hands-on activities, view exhibits and watch a parade with floats made from recycled materials. The free event will take place at Reid Park from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Food venders will be onsite.



Spring Bike Swap:

April 13

If you get your kicks on the pedals of a bicycle, shift your gears over to the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association’s spring swap meet. Admission is free. Find bargains on bike parts and mingle with the cycling community from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on four blocks centered at Fifth Avenue and Seventh Street.



Pima County Fair:

April 17-27

The county fair has been a highly anticipated event for 103 years. Visitors can enjoy attractions, rides, exhibits, art, food and live music. On weekdays, the main gate opens at 1 p.m. and the carnival begins at 3 p.m. The fair opens at 10 a.m. on weekends. Closing times vary but the fair runs until at least 11 p.m. each night. The fairgrounds are located at 11300 S. Houghton Road. General admission costs $8.



BEST BETS Spring fun in the sun

Compiled by Jay Becker-Norman

If spring break wasn’t enough of a vacation from the mundane day-to-day, you’re in luck. Tucson has numerous upcoming events for active community event-goers.


Park Place Chalk Art Festival: March 29-30

The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance brings back its Chalk Art Festival for a second year. The event provides an opportunity for artists and amateurs alike to attempt and view sidewalk art.

Live entertainment will include music, stilt walkers and children’s activities.

The festival will be held at Park Place Mall, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Don’t get left in the chalk dust!



Cyclovia Tucson: April 6

Cyclovia is a word in the Spanish language meaning the closure of roads and streets with the intent that they become open to people.

Tucson’s Cyclovia celebrates alternative transportation and a healthy lifestyle. It’s an opportunity for those who bike, run, skate, jog, board or walk to enjoy non-competitive people-powered movement.

Participants will gather downtown at 10 a.m. and make a 5-mile loop through South Tucson. Six hubs will feature activities, entertainment, interactive games, demonstrations and music. Food vendors will keep everyone fueled.



Spring Fling: April 11-13

Spring Fling will return to the University of Arizona east mall as it celebrates 40 years of food, fun and entertainment. It is the largest student-run carnival in the country, put on by the Associated Students of UA.

With an expected 25,000 in attendance, the carnival extravaganza will feature more than 35 rides and games, 20-plus food booths and entertainment galore from Cherry Street to Campbell Avenue.

Hours are 4-11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission costs $5, plus the cost of ride tickets.

Parking garages are available at cost. There is also free but limited surface lot parking.


BEST BETS: Spring festivals abound

BEST BETS: Spring festivals abound

Compiled by Jay Becker-Norman

Blessing of St. Patrick’s Day on you, or in the Gaelic spirit of St. Patty’s Day, Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

It’s springtime in Tucson, with sunshine and trademark warm weather galore. If green is your thing, or perhaps Elizabethan attire, there is plenty going on for everyone wanting to take advantage and soak up the sun.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade: March 15

Come “Be Irish for the day” a smidge early at the 27th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Our Strength is Our People.” The event offers everything Irish, including live music, dance, workshops, sporting events, children’s games and food and drink vendors.

Festivities get underway at 10 a.m. at Armory Park on Sixth Avenue.

The annual one-hour parade begins at 11 a.m. at Stone Avenue and 16th Street, and goes through downtown before ending at Armory Park. It features colorful floats, antique vehicles, dancers, live bands and green as far as the eye can see.



Civil War in the Southwest: March 15-16

Re-enactments of historical battles, including an Arizona Civil War clash, return to Picacho Peak State Park. Visitors will have opportunities to learn about the soldiers’ lifestyle in the Southwest in the 1860s.

The event runs from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Vehicle entrance fee is $10 for up to four people and $3 for each additional person. Individual walk-in and bike fee is $3. Food and beverage concessions will be available.



4th Avenue Spring Street Fair: March 21-23

The annual Spring Street Fair takes place March 21-23 between Ninth Street and University Boulevard along Fourth Avenue.

The Tucson tradition offers 400-plus arts and crafts booths, shopping, food vendors, a main stage, street musicians and performers and a free child’s art pavilion.

Daily hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free parking is available, but space is limited. The website provides full details, including an event schedule.



Arizona Renaissance Festival: Through March 30

Hear ye, hear ye! The 26th annual Arizona Renaissance Festival, which takes place outside Phoenix, is a 30-acre medieval amusement park with 12 stages, performers, jousting matches and crafts.

The festival runs every weekend through March 30 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets cost $20-22 for adults and $10-12 for children 5-12. Visit the website to buy online tickets and get additional information, including directions and special events.



Tucson Festival of Books: March 15-16

With more than 100,000 in attendance the last two years, the Tucson Festival of Books is the state’s largest literary event. The event will host hundreds of authors from all genres, including a world-renowned pop-up book artist.

There will also be book discussions, workshops and literary activities. Currently in its sixth year, the festival will take place at the UA mall from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Attendance and parking are free.

Visit the website for further information, event details and guides, or download their mobile app on your iPhone, Android or Kindle.




Cultural events permeate Old Pueblo

Compiled by Rachel White


With the rodeo and gem show behind us, it is time to set our sights on a variety of events highlighting many different cultures.


From Caribbean-themed music and Brazilian traditions to alternate-reality come to life, upcoming Tucson events offer something for adventurers from every walk of life.



Tribal Seeds – March 1


Tribal Seeds hits the Tucson music scene March 1 at The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave.


Fusing rocking reggae roots with a Southern California background, Tribal Seeds’ musical stylings create sweet melodies of positivity.


Tribal Seeds debuted in 2008 with a self-entitled album release. The group has since topped iTunes reggae charts consistently.


The band began as a band of brothers, with Steven Rene Jacobo (lyrics/vocals/guitar) and Tony-Ray Jacobo (producer/keyboard/vocals).


It advanced as a sextet, featuring additional members Carlos Verdugo (drums), Victor Navarro (bass), E.N. Young (keyboard/vocals) and Ryan Gonzo (guitar/vocals).


Tickets for this all-ages show are $15, with the doors opening at 7 p.m.





Wild Wild West Steampunk Con – March 7-9


Sci-fi meets steam-powered machinery at the third Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention & Festival on March 7-9 at Old Tucson Studios, 201 S. Kinney Road.


The first and only convention of its kind, WWW Steampunk features a weekend of unorthodox fun in a theme-park setting.


Old Tucson will be transformed into an anarchists’ playground, with concerts, street performers, specialized workshops, amusement rides and more.


Events begin at 10 a.m. throughout the weekend. Workshop and concert times vary.


Convention tickets cost $59 for a three-day pass or $37 for a one-day pass. Additional events, such as a Steampunk Ball, cost extra.


Details: or 883-0100



Brazilian Carnival 2014 – March 8


Tucson’s 36th annual Brazilian Carnival will take place March 8 at Club XS, 5851 E. Speedway Blvd. The celebration starts at 9 p.m.


The all-ages carnival will feature live music from Brazilian artists Sol Axé and Sambalanco. Disc jockey Toni Limon will also perform.  


Brazilian food and beverages will be available, and a costume contest will be held. Participants who arrive wearing costumes receive a discounted entry.


The cultural carnival has moved its celebration this year to Club XS, which caters to high-energy clubgoers with three bars and an expansive dance floor.


Tickets cost $12, or $10 if in costume. Discounted $10 tickets are also available in advance at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave.


Details: Carolina Ibáñez-Murphy, or 206-7026

Feb. 14 showcase celebrates DJ talent

Feb. 14 showcase celebrates DJ talent

Compiled by Jamie Verwys

This Valentine’s Day, celebrate your love of music at the fifth annual “Fall in Love With Me,” a showcase of Tucson’s disc jockey talent.

The free outdoor event will take place Feb. 14 from noon-8 p.m. at the Rose Garden at Reid Park. Nine DJs will spin everything from House to Drum & Bass throughout the day.

All ages are welcome. Partygoers may bring their own beer, but glass bottles and overt intoxication are prohibited.

“‘Fall in Love With Me’ is our Valentine to the Tucson rave scene,” said Dustin Carroll, one of the event founders. “Our park parties are family-friendly events geared toward giving back to the community.”




Compiled by Dana Boyd

Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair

Dec. 13-15

The 43rd annual Fourth Avenue Winter Street Fair, Tucson’s largest arts venue, will line Fourth Avenue between Ninth Street and University Boulevard from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day. The fair features two stages for live entertainment, street performers, more than 400 arts and craft exhibits, 35-plus food booths and a free Tucson Children’s Museum hands-on-art pavilion.



All Night Screen-O-Rama Holiday Horror Show

Dec. 13

Wear pajamas and bring your favorite blanket while enjoying holiday horror screenings at The Loft Cinema from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Movies will include “Black Christmas,” “Santa’s Slay,” “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” “Gremlins” and “Jack Frost.” Advanced admission costs $13 and day-of admission is $15, with a discount for Loft members.



Downtown Tucson Parade of Lights

Dec. 21

Kick off your holiday celebration downtown with a day out to shop, eat, visit Santa Claus and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will lead a Holiday Tree Lighting in Armory Park at 5:30 p.m. End the evening watching a lighted parade filled with bright, shimmering floats. The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. on 17th Street. It runs along Stone Avenue to Ochoa Street, and ends at 13th Street and Sixth Avenue.



Winterhaven Festival of Lights

Dec. 14-28

For more than 60 years, the Winterhaven Festival of Lights has brought the wonder of holiday lights to the Old Pueblo. This winter wonderland in the desert has entrances at Fort Lowell Road and at Prince Road. Most nights, visitors walk through the neighborhood to view lights, but Dec. 17, 27 and 28 have been designated for cars to drive through. Along with a wide array of holiday-themed homes, Winterhaven offers hayrides and trolleys. There are no entrance fees, but donations of canned food or money for the Tucson Community Food Bank are encouraged.




Compiled by A. Greene


Nov. 16

Tucson’s third annual SlutWalk will take place Saturday, Nov. 16, beginning at the University of Arizona’s Women’s Plaza of Honor. Participants will gather at 4:30 p.m. and march at 5 p.m. from the UA to the Joel D. Valdez main library downtown.

SlutWalk is an international movement that aims to prompt discussion about rape culture and victim blaming, the tendency to blame the attacked instead of the attacker for sexual violence.

There will be speakers at the beginning and end of the march.

An open-mic survivor speakout and afterparty will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Fluxx Studio, 414 E. Ninth St.

The SlutWalk movement started in 2011 in Canada, after a police spokesman said that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

Outrage at the comment spawned SlutWalks around the world, as people aimed to show that the word “slut” could be arbitrarily applied to anyone and that it is never an excuse for sexual violence.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Bicycle Swap

Nov. 16

The Greater Arizona Bicyle Association’s semi-annual Bike Swap will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at 400 N. Fifth Ave.

Participants can buy or sell all types of bicycle-related items. Local bike shops and individual vendors will be present, along with Bicycle Inter-Community Arts and Salvage.

El Grupo Cycling will offer valet bike parking.

For more information, visit

Science Expo

Nov. 16-17

The Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo will feature exhibits, hands-on displays, interactive activities and talks from professional astronomers, TV personalities and astronauts.

The expo takes place Saturday, Nov. 16, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave.

Featured speakers include retired astronaut Story Musgrave and Alexei Filippenko, an astrophysicist and professor at University of California-Berkeley.

Panels will discuss comets and science. There will also be daily solar observing through high-quality solar telescopes.

Professional astronomy exhibitors and manufacturers will display astronomical tools from around the world. More than 100 vendors will sell items including telescopes, cameras, mounts and binoculars.

Tickets cost $10 each day. They can be purchased online at, or day-of at the TCC. The TCC charges a $1 surcharge.

For more information, visit

Tour de Tucson

The 30th annual Tour de Tucson will be held on Saturday, Nov. 23. Participants must register before Thursday, Nov. 21, or by Monday, Nov. 18 if registering online.

Held annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, El Tour began in 1983 and is one of the largest road cycling events in the United States. In recent years, El Tour de Tucson has drawn in more than 9,000 riders.

Participants bike main event distances of 111, 85, 60 or 42 miles, or can opt for a Fun Ride of 10 or five miles. A quarter-mile activity course is another option.

All routes offer aid stations with water and snacks, and are spaced approximately seven to 10 miles apart. The Fun Ride offers an easy route along the Santa Cruz River path.

The start and finish line for El Tour is located at Armory Park, 220 S. Fifth Ave. After crossing the finish line, participants can join an El Tour Downtown Fiesta afterparty, with food, music, swag, kids’ activities and more.

For more information, or to register online, visit

Unique events fill November calendar

Unique events fill November calendar

Celtic Festival/Scottish Highland Games: Nov. 1-3


The festival celebrates the cultures and heritages of Scotland, Ireland and Wales with musical performances, vendor booths, bagpipes, athletics and a dance stage. It also hosts games, jumping castles, storytelling, crafts and a petting zoo.


Friday is Pub Night from 5-10 p.m. Pub admission costs $5. Saturday hours are 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Evening performances include a Celtic fire concert from 6-10 p.m., with fire dancers from 7-7:30 p.m. Sunday hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with a closing ceremony at 4 p.m.


Festivities take place at Rillito Raceway Park, 4502 N. First Ave. Festival admission is $15 for ages 16 and up, with discounts available. A two-day ticket costs $20. Parking is $3.





All Souls Procession: Nov. 2-3


This unique Tucson event honors departed loved ones. Artists, performers and creators of all sorts have worked together for almost six months to prepare for the celebration.


Numerous activities take place on Saturday and Sunday.


A children’s event, the Procession of Little Angels, takes place Saturday from 3-7 p.m. at Armory Park, 221 S. Sixth Ave. Activities include workshops, art tables and sugar skull decorating. The costumed procession concludes with Stories that Soar.


Presidio Walls Talk, a Dia de los Muertos celebration, gets underway Saturday from 6-9 p.m. at Presidio de San Agustin del Tucson, 133 W. Washington St. Highlights include reinactments of early Tucson life, altars, an art exhibit, dance performances, puppet theater, a levitation show, a fortune teller, and children’s activities.


Festivities culminate on Sunday with a non-motorized parade. Elaborately costumed participants will walk along a two-mile route through downtown, carrying mementoes and displays.


The grand finale at Mercado San Augustin includes the ceremonial burning of a large urn filled with offerings, hopes and wishes for lives lost.


Parade participants will gather at 5 p.m. on North Sixth Avenue, north of the underpass and south of Sixth Street. The procession will leave the underpass at 6 p.m. and proceed south on Sixth Avenue to Alameda. It will continue west on Alameda, wrap onto Congress Street and travel west to Mercado San Augustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento.



Tucson Comic-Con: Nov. 2-3


This two-day event, filled with guests from the comic book industry, celebrates local comic book shops and an array of independent authors. A costume contest has been added this year.


Tucson Comic Con 2013 will be held at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Day passes cost $8, and a weekend pass costs $10.



Loft Film Fest: Nov. 7-11


Now in its fourth year, The Loft Film Fest showcases foreign, independent and classic films. It also celebrates emerging and established producers, directors, actors and writers.


The festival’s goal, according to the Loft website, is to expand the Tucson market for innovative cinema and to honor talented, passionate artists.


Tickets cost $100 for Loft members and $125 for the general public. Buy tickets online or at The Loft Cinema box office, 1103 N. Camilla Blvd.


Details: or 322-5638.

TusCon: Nov. 8-10


This convention, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, gives visitors opportunities to interact with guest artists, authors and panelists in sci fi, fantasy and horror genres.


Bestselling novelist Juliet Blackwell will be the author guest of honor, while freelance illustrator Jessica Feinberg will be the artist guest of honor. Ed Bryant, a two-time winner of the Nebula Award for works of fiction, will serve as toastmaster.


Panelists will include actors, filmmakers, artists, authors and top scientists in many fields, including space science.


The event will take place at Hotel City Center, 475 N. Granada Ave. Tickets cost $55 for ages 13 and up.


Details: or 622-3000.



The Misfits: Nov. 11

Compiled by Rachel White


The musical mayhem of “punk rock’s monster squad,” the Misfits, will bring anarchy to Tucson’s Rialto Theater on Nov. 11. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the all-ages show.

Deviating from the original lineup when the band formed 30 years ago in the small New Jersey town of Lodi, the Misfits now consist of front-man Jerry Only performing vocals and bass, guitarist Dez Cadena and drummer Eric “Chupacabra” Arce.

The Misfits carved their way to cult-following fame with unconventional punk rock and costumed performances. Each bandmate plays in sinister character, from skeletal heads to ironclad toes.

Presentation is a point of pride when it comes to the band’s live portrayal of their “surrealistic and highly theatrical persona.”

The concert will also showcase performances by local up-and-coming punk artists SLUG, The Attack, Three White Lies, sinphonics, Hotchicks AZ Pop Punk, LLL and Deceptively Innocent.

Tickets purchased in advance cost $27 for general admission. Tickets purchased day of show cost $30. Call the box office at 740-1000.


Details: Click on “Calendar” and then on the Nov. 11 “Misfits” link.