RSSAll Entries in the "Best Bets" Category

Best Bets: Oktoberfest, opera and outfits galore!

Best Bets: Oktoberfest, opera and outfits galore!

Compiled by Audrie Ford

With the season of pumpkins and ghouls just beginning, Tucson is already rolling out the Halloween festivities. If you’re hoping to be scared out of your wits or simply want to enjoy time with your family in the warm autumn air, this month is ripe for the picking.

Mt. Lemmon Oktoberfest:

Sept. 19-Oct. 11

The Mt. Lemmon Oktoberfest is known as one of the most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations in Arizona. It will feature specialty beverages and foods, such as Bavarian Bratwursts and live music from talented acts such as the John Prokop Band. The event is sponsored by the Ski Valley and the Iron Door Restaurant, and is held in the scenic Santa Catalina Mountains. The remaining dates are Oct. 3-4 and Oct. 10-11.


Halloweek at Hotel Congress:

Oct. 1-31

Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., is hosting a 21 and over event to celebrate the paranormal history of the Hotel Congress. After the fire of 1934, the “Hidden Room” of Congress was left mysteriously undamaged and Hotel Congress has brought in occult experts Magic Kenny Bang Bang Macabre and Midnight Malanga to summon the spirits of the ghosts that still lurk the halls. The event will kick off at 7 p.m. on Oct. 1 and the festivities will run all month long.  Tickets are $15 at the door. Shows will last 45-minutes with a limit of 30 guests per performance.


Arizona Opera with Arizona Lady: Oct. 10-11

The Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., along with the Arizona Opera, will be the first major U.S. opera house to premiere Hungarian composer Emmerich Kálmán’s love letter to the Wild West with “Arizona Lady.” This musical treasure features lively, upbeat music and a wacky libretto. First written in 1954, “Arizona Lady” brings audiences back to the tale of leading lady Lona Farrell and her dreams of winning the Kentucky Derby with a horse named Arizona Lady. The show will be performed in German, Spanish and English with English subtitles. Prices vary based on seating.


Tucson Fashion Week: Oct. 15-17

Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Tucson, this Fashion Week event will cater to a wide variety of audiences. Fashion industry leaders from Derek Gores to Stevie Boi, as well as some talented up-and-comings, will be participating in the main venue. The event will begin at the Moen Mason Gallary, 222 E 6th St., for the kickoff party at 6 p.m. The main fashion venue, on Oct. 16, will be held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, 160 S Scott Ave. On Oct. 18 the event will conclude with fashion inspired culinary tastings at the University of Arizona Old Main from chef and restauranteur Joseph Keller and other local talents. Tickets for each day are sold separately with significant student discounts available.


Walk For Wishes: Oct. 18

At 7:30 a.m. on the University of Arizona Mall, wishes will become reality. Make-A-Wish Arizona will be hosting Walk For Wishes to raise funds to help local children with life threatening diseases. This event will not only provide children with the medical funding they need, but will encourage and inspire them. Registration is free for individuals and teams, but participants are encouraged to raise funds for the campaign. The event will feature both a 3k and one mile run.



Films! Beer! Art! And a taste of the circus!

Films! Beer! Art! And a taste of the circus!

 Compiled by Travis Braasch

Summer may be winding down but there’s no shortage of fun in Tucson. When it’s time to take a break from all the books and studying, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor events this coming month to take your mind off all of the stresses of school and work. From music and beer festivals to art exhibits and even theater, Tucson always has something for everyone.

Born & Brewed Local Beer Festival: Sept. 18-19

Club Congress, 311 E Congress St., is hosting the fourth anniversary local beer festival from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday celebrates all things locally brewed with a competition for this year’s Beer Cup, along with live music provided by LeeAnne Savage & The Curveball Cowboys. Saturday will have an open beer garden from 1 to 5 p.m., locally made food, music and other entertainment. The event is 21 and over and tickets are available for $30 at the Club Congress Hotel and online at

Tohono Chul El Dia de los Muertos Art Exhibition:
Aug. 28-Nov. 8

Tohono Chul is hosting an art exhibition in honor of El Dia de los Muertos at the Tohono Chul Main Gallery, 7366 N Paseo del Norte, from Aug 28 to Nov. 08. The large gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with other exhibitions throughout the month. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for children and children under 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased at the Tohono Chul Main Gallery. For more information contact the gallery at 520-742-6500.

Arizona Underground Film
Festival: Sept. 8-26

The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St., is hosting the 8th annual Arizona Underground Film Festival. There will be several cult films screened over the course of the month, with tickets available for $8 per screening or $45 for an all access pass for the length of the festival. Tickets are available online at or at the box office of the Screening Room.

Philabaum Glass Gallery & Studio Exhibition: May 02- Sept. 26

The Philabaum Glass Gallery & Studio, 711 S Sixth Ave., is celebrating 40 years with an exhibition featuring work by local artists in blown glass, hand built and painted glass. Admission is free to this exhibitio and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 11a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit or call 884-7404.

The National Circus and
Acrobats of the People’s
Republic of China “Peking Dreams”: Sept. 24

The National Circus and Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China will be performing an amazing combination of acrobatics and Peking Opera at Fox Theatre, 17 W Congress St, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $21 to $49 and are available at the Fox Theatre box office or at

Pg10-Best Bets 01

Best Bets: School kicks off with art and music

Best Bets: School kicks off with art and music


Complied by Anna Stiltner

The days of hanging out pool side, sipping cool beer and enjoying homework-free days are now behind us. Though we have only been back a short time, most of us are already busy working away and beginning new projects. Tucson offers us welcomed fun, music, theatre and a little mystery to reward us for our efforts. So, if you can peel yourself away from that textbook, get yourself into a seat at one of these fall events.

HoCo Fest Music Festival: September 4-6

Club Congress, 311 E Congress St., is celebrating its 30th anniversary with local, national and international music acts. HoCo is Tucson’s oldest indoor/outdoor solar-powered multimedia festival. This event is 21 and over and doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the Hotel Congress lobby or their website for $10 to $12.


Who Dunit?: Sept. 4-Nov. 14

Based on the iconic board game,  “Who Dunit? Or They Haven’t Got a Clue” is a musical, mystery comedy, now showing at The Great American Playhouse every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 14.  The venue is located at 13005 N Oracle Rd. in Oro Valley. Admission is $18.50 for adults, $16.50 for seniors, active military, or students, and $8.50 for children 12 and under.   For a complete schedule of show times please visit their website.


Invisible Theatre –“Tru”: Sept. 1-13

“Tru” is a poignant comedy that takes a fascinating look inside the mind of controversial American author Truman Capote. The show will be put on by Invisible Theatre, 1400 N 1st Ave., at 7:30 p.m. each night, with a special 3 p.m. showing on Sept. 13. Tickets are sold at the theatre and admission is $30 per person.     


Rendezvous on 4th: Sept. 12

The Fourth Avenue Merchants Association welcomes back Tucson’s student population with a night filled with music, deals and fashion. From 5 to 9 p.m. there will be a merchant sidewalk sale, games and giveaways. A fashion show featuring local boutiques will take the main stage at Mike Haggerty Plaza, 316 N. 4th Ave., at 7:30 p.m. The event is free to all.

A Bead Carnival: Sept. 8 – 12

One of Tucson’s largest events, the gem and mineral show, returns for its fall season Sept. 7 to 13. A bead showcase will be held from Sept. 8 to 12, conveniently located in the Palo Verde Corridor of the show at 3301 E. Pennsylvania. Vintage beads and buttons, Swarovski crystal beads, stringing materials and more will all be availble for purchase by the public and wholesalers. The showroom will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.


Space, Art and Music Festival: Sept.12

Music and art meet with space at The Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., for Bennuval. The live show will feature galexy themed acts by eclectic, local performers. Comedy group Tucson Improv Movement, acrobats Flam Chem and  a unique music project ChamberLab will all perform. The Art of Planetary Arts will display work inspired by science and space and meterorites will be displayed. The event will start at 7 p.m. and admission will range from $18 to $55. Tickets are availble at the Fox Theatre box office or on their website.


Best Bets

Compiled by Deanna Sherman

It’s almost summer time in Tucson! Be prepared to step outside and enjoy the dry heat for an array of food, music and activities.

‘Newsies’ – April 21-26

Disney’s “Newsies” is coming to Tucson. The popular and wildly entertaining musical will be performed at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. The times vary and will include matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $31.50 to $111.80. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the box office at 621-3341.


Beer with the Bard – April 25

Join local Shakespeare lovers for a day of bar hopping and performances. They’ll begin at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., at 2 p.m., work their way to The Shanty and Surly Wench on Fourth Avenue before ending the crawl at Flycatcher. It will cost you $5 to join the fun, and participation is limited to those 21 and older.


Pima County Fair – through April 26

Rides, music, food and entertainment continue at the Pima County Fair through April 26. Gates open at 1 p.m. Monday- Friday and at 10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. The fairgrounds are located at 1120 S. Houghton Road. General admission costs $8, and children 6-10 are $4. Children 5 and under get in free. There is also a $5 parking fee.


‘Near to Here’ reception – May 2

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, will feature a gallery of four West Tucson artists, including Pima Community College art instructor Christina McNearney, in a “Near to Here” exhibit May 2-July 12. The gallery will explore the “wonder and wilderness of the Sonoran Desert.”

The opening reception will take place May 2 from 1-3 p.m. Gallery entrance is included with museum membership or the price of admission. General admission is $19.50, seniors $17.50, youth $15.50, children $6 and children under 3 are free.


Tucson Folk Festival – May 2-3

The first weekend of May belongs to the 30th Annual Tucson Folk Festival. Free festivities at El Presidio Park, 160 W. Alameda, run Saturday from noon-10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. There will be multiple stages to visit with tons of bands and lots of food. It can be difficult to find parking, so be prepared to walk.


Cinco de Mayo – May 3: Party at the Park

A Party at the Park celebrating Cinco de Mayo will take place at Kennedy Park, 3359 S. La Cholla Blvd., from 2-5p.m. Activities include music, games, food and drinks. Purchase tickets at the Viva Performing Arts Center.


Best Bets: Spring festivals bloom

Best Bets: Spring festivals bloom

Compiled by Pablo Espinosa

Festivals offering activities ranging from carnival rides to bicycle rides fill the April calendar.

International Film Festival: April 9-26

The 24th Arizona International Film Festival will show films for two weeks at the Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Screenings will cost $8 for one evening admission and $6 for one matinee admission. Opening night celebrations will be held April 9 at the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St. Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is $10, which includes the first screening.

Details: or 207-3378

Spring Fling: April 10-12

It’s the time of year for the largest student-run carnival in the nation, on the East Mall at the University of Arizona. Spring Fling has more than 35 rides and 20 food booths. It will run on April 10 from 4-11 p.m., on April 11 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and on April 12 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. General admission is $5, free with UA Cat Card or military ID. Tickets and wristbands may be purchased at the event; 2015 prices are yet to be posted.


Pima County Fair: April 16-26

The Pima County Fair, located at 11300 S. Houghton Road, returns with family-friendly events such as carnival rides, food vendors, concerts and entertainers. Carnival hours are from 3 p.m. to closing on Mondays through Fridays and 11a.m. to closing on Saturday and Sunday. General admission is $8, children 6-10 years old are $4 and kids under 5 are free. Parking costs $5.

Details: or 762-9100

Earth Day Festival: April 18

Tucson has held an Earth Day Festival since 1995. This year’s festival will be at Reid Park from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. It will feature exhibits such as environmentally friendly products and water conservation tips. The festival will also include a parade. Admission is free to the public.


Barrio Hollywood Fiesta Grande: April 18-19

The 13th annual Fiesta Grande will have hundreds of vendors, live music, food, arts and crafts, car shows and a parade. More than 50,000 people are expected to attend. There is no admission or fee to enter the Fiesta Grande. The event’s address is 100 S. Church Ave., but there is no real address because the whole neighborhood becomes part of it.


Cyclovia Tucson: April 19 Come ride your bike from Downtown to South Tucson on Sunday, April 19, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The first event started in 2010 and Tucsonans have been riding their bikes around the city ever since. It is free and open to all ages. Donations are appreciated and needed to keep these events going.


Best Bets: Multiple outdoor events abound

Best Bets: Multiple outdoor events abound

Compiled by Deanna Sherman

Mexican Baseball Spring Training:  March 13-29
Four Triple-A teams from the Liga Mexicana De Beisbol league of Mexico will play in a series of 12 exhibition games at the Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way. Check the website calendar for dates. Fans can purchase tickets at the Kino box office.
Details: or 434-1011

Spring Artisans Market:  March 27-29
Hundreds of Southwestern artisans will sell their works from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day in the courtyards of Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave. There will also be live music, food vendors and activities for children. Admission is free.
Details: or 624-2333

Seventh Annual Tucson Tattoo Expo: March 27-29
Live tattooing, tattoo contests, a fashion show, a car show, an art gallery and more will be on display at Hotel Tucson City Center, 475 N. Granada Ave. Tickets cost $10 a day, or $15 for the weekend. See the website for a detailed list of events and times.

Southwest Indian Art Fair: March 28-29
The Arizona State Museum, 1013 E. University Blvd., will host “Southern Arizona’s premier Indian art show and market” on its front lawn from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday. Some 200 Native artists will discuss their pottery, katsina dolls, paintings, jewelry, baskets, rugs, blankets and more. Other activities include artist demonstrations, live music and dancing. Admission costs $10.

“Once”: March 31- April 5
As part of Centennial Hall’s “Broadway in Tucson” series, the winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical will be in town through April 5. Check the website below for times and details. UA Centennial Hall is located at 1020 E. University Blvd.

BEST BETS: Celebrate diversity, creative expression

BEST BETS: Celebrate diversity, creative expression

Compiled by Danyelle Khmara

Get outside this March, and ring in the spring with cultural, art and literary events.

Tucson Festival of Books: March 14-15

Arizona’s largest literary event kicks off Spring Break. See discussions and readings with renowned authors such as Joyce Carol Oats and Noam Chomsky. Participate in free workshops and literary activities for all ages.

Volunteering at the Festival of Books is a great way to get involved and interact with literary figures. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from to fit individual interests.

The festival takes place at the University of Arizona, from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. both days.



Wa:k Pow Wow: March 14-15

The annual gathering of American Indian tribes from across the United States will spotlight Southern Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Nation. Activities include traditional dances and music, contests, and craft and food vendors.

Gates open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday at Mission San Xavier del Bac, 1950 W. San Xavier Road. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children and free for children under 6 years old.



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

Celebrate Irish heritage with live music, dancers, vendors, children’s games and cultural tables. The 28th annual festival starts at 10 a.m. in Armory Park, on Sixth Avenue downtown. Admission is free.

The parade begins at 10 a.m., at Stone Avenue and 17th Street, and ends at the park.



Tucson Cine Mexico: March 19-22

This film festival showcases some of the best in contemporary and classic Mexican-made cinema. The movies will be in Spanish with English subtitles.

All screenings are free and will be shown at the Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. For movie times and dates, click “show times” at



Fourth Avenue Spring Street Fair: March 20-22

Tucson’s largest art venue, the bi-annual Street Fair, runs along Fourth Avenue from Ninth Street to University Avenue and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More than 400 art and craft vendors will be there, along with food vendors, a main stage with live music, street performers and kids’ activities.




Civil War re-enactors gather at Picacho Peak State Park in 2014. (Nick Meyers/Aztec Press 2014)

Civil War re-enactors gather at Picacho Peak State Park in 2014. (Nick Meyers/Aztec Press 2014)











Civil War in the Southwest: March 21-22

Hundreds of spectators visit Picacho Peak State Park every year to watch re-enactments of local civil war skirmishes. Re-enactors come from all over, complete with authentic Civil War camping gear. Park admission is $10 per vehicle. Gates open at 9 a.m. Be there by 3 p.m. to catch the last battle.

Details: or call 466-3183



Pg10-Book Festival

Aztec Press 2014 file photo
Visitors throng to the 2014 Festival of Books at the University of Arizona


Best Bets

Best Bets

Compiled by Katie Stewart Vacio

Upcoming events ranging from the rodeo parade to a steam punk convention adopting a western theme, but other festivals emphasize peace and artistic endeavors.

La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Rodeo:

Feb. 21-March 1 

Events from rodeo competitions to barn dances will take place at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. Sixth Ave. Daily admission prices range from $14 to $28. Parking costs $5.

Details: or 741-2233

Night at Trail Dust Town: Feb. 25 

The Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo returns to Trail Dust Town and Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. The event starts at 5 p.m. with a petting zoo and dining specials at the steakhouse. Loop Rawlins-Wild West will perform trick roping, whip cracking and gun-spinning during two shows at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. A rodeo dance starts at 7 p.m. in the Savoy Opera House with a local favorite, the Jack Bishop and the Robert Moreno Band, playing country tunes.

Details: or 296-4551


Rodeo Day Parade: Feb. 26

The world’s longest non-motorized parade celebrates its 90th

anniversary this year. The annual Rodeo Day Parade will begin at

9 a.m. The 1.5-mile route starts at Park and Fair avenues, goes south on Park to Irvington Road, west on Irvington to Sixth Avenue and north on Sixth to the north side of the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. Tickets for grandstand seats on Irvington Road cost $10 for adults and $5 for children under 13. For tickets, call 294-1280.

Details: or


Annual Peace Corps Fair: Feb. 27

The Peace Corps program at the University of Arizona is sponsoring this event, held at the UA Student Union North Ballroom from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., to celebrate the founding of the Peace Corps more than 50 years ago. Festivities include interactive exhibits, an African market and a Pacific Island village. Local organizations will also be available to provide information about how to get involved in the local community.


Peace Fair and Music Festival: Feb. 28

The Tucson Peace Center will host its 33rd annual free festival at Reid Park, near 22nd Street and Country Club Road, from 11 a.m.-

4 p.m. Festivities include live music, entertainment, displays,

children’s activities and food vendors.



Oro Valley Spring Festival of the Arts: 

Feb. 28- March 01

The Oro Valley Festival of the Arts at Oro Valley Marketplace will feature works by regional artisans and craftspeople at 12155 N. Oracle Road from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. with free admission for the public.

Details: or 797-3959


Wild Wild West Steampunk: March 6-8

Old Tucson will transform itself into a western-style steampunk theme park when the Wild Wild West Steam punk convention returns for its fourth year. Activities include concerts, street performers, special events, panels, workshops, rides and games. Online ticket sales end March 1. Event times and ticket prices are available on the website. Old Tucson is located at 201 S. Kinney Road.


Arizona Renaissance Festival:

Through March 29

The 26th annual event takes place every Saturday and Sunday through March 29 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. It will also be open on

President’s Day, Feb. 16.

Tickets cost $20-$22 for adults, with various discounts available. Parking is free.



Pg06-Rodeo cartoon-Sierra




Spring means festival time

Compiled by Kit B. Fassler

2nd Saturdays

Downtown: Feb. 14

The free monthly street fair will take place from 3-7 p.m., with live music on the 94.9 MIXFM Scott Avenue Stage at Congress Street. Featured performers include Hank Topless, Tucson Circus Arts Stilt Dance and Santa Pachita.

Vendors will offer food for sale, and downtown venues will feature special events. Free street parking is available.


Classic Car Show, BBQ & Blues: Feb. 21

View more than 50 classes of antique, classic and muscle cars and trucks, while sampling barbecue and enjoying both live music and DJs.

The festival will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Oro Valley Marketplace, on the southwest corner of Tangerine and Oracle roads.

Admission costs $5 for adults. Proceeds benefit the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.

Details: or 797-3959

Rodeo Parade: Feb. 26

The world’s longest non-motorized parade celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. Pima Community College will cancel classes Feb. 26-27 for a rodeo holiday.

The parade will begin at 9 a.m. at Park and Fair avenues. The 1.5 mile route goes south on Park to Irvington Road, west on Irvington to Sixth Avenue and north on Sixth to the north side of the Tucson Rodeo grounds.

Tickets for grandstand seats on Irvington Road cost $7 for adults and $5 for children under 13. Call 294-1280 for tickets. Street spots along the route are free.

Details: or 797-3959

Additional listings at

BEST BETS: Worldly winter events

BEST BETS: Worldly winter events

Compiled by Pablo Espinosa

The beginning of the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase on Jan. 31 marks the start of a two-week period filled with festivities.

Brazilian Carnival: Feb. 7

Live music by Sambalanço and a costume contest highlight the annual event celebrating Brazilian culture. Festivities at Club XS, 5851 Speedway Blvd., will also include a Hot Rhythm DJ.
In addition, Brazilian food and drinks will be offered. Tickets cost $12 at the door or $10 with costume or with advance purchase at Antigone Books. Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Details: Carolina Ibanez-Murphy,, 206-7026


Tucson Plein Air Painters Society Exhibit: Through Feb. 28

Local artists will exhibit their landscape paintings at Plaza Palomino, 2960 N. Swan Road. All paintings will be “plein air,” a French phrase meaning they were created outdoors.
The exhibit will be open daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free and all paintings will be available for purchase.
Artists are encouraged to come and join the fun.

Details: or 603-5666


Chinese New Year Festival – Year of the Sheep: Feb. 7

The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Road, will celebrate the Lunar New Year to welcome the Year of the Sheep. Highlights include Chinese arts and crafts, performances, children’s games and food for sale.
The festival will take place from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission costs $2 for adults, and $1 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. Free parking.

Details: or 292-6900


Arizona Renaissance Festival:  Feb. 7-March 29

The festival just outside of Phoenix is a 30-acre medieval amusement park with 12 stages, an arts/crafts fair and jousting tournament.
The 26th annual festival runs every Saturday and Sunday from Feb. 7 through March 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will also be open on President’s Day on Feb. 16.
Parking is free.
Tickets cost $20-22 for adults, with various discounts available. From Tucson, take Highway 70 to Florence Junction. Go west 7 miles on Highway 60 to Festival Village.



Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase: Jan. 31-Feb. 15

More than 40 shows set up across the city in tents, hotels and exhibit halls. Items on display range from precious jewels to mineral crafts to dinosaur fossils.
Most citywide shows are free and open to the public.
The main event is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Feb. 12-15 at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. Admission to the convention center show costs $10, with discounts available.

Details: or or 622-GEMS (4367)


Tucson Sculpture Festival: Jan. 31-Feb. 14

The Tucson sculpture center will be hosting its sixth annual sculpture festival at The Art Gallery, 1122 N. Stone Ave.
The opening reception will be from 6-9 p.m. on Jan. 31 and the show will continue for another two weeks.
The festival will include sculptures, paintings and metal work and feature artists from Texas, New York, Germany and China as well as submissions from three local galleries. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Details: or 304-8869

Pg16-Best Bets-Brazilian carnival








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. 523

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.