"It's important for people to understand the flavor of what the West used to be," says Jim Ballinger, director of the museum. "This is really the only event we do on an annual basis, and it has become a part of the community."
One of the requirements of the Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition is that the 120 works up for sale have not been exhibited anywhere else prior to the event. That, along with the images represented in these amazing pieces, makes for a very exciting show. The exhibition runs Saturday, October 18, through November 16. For further information, call 602-257-1222 or visit www.phxart.org. - Maidi Terry
Handmade works of art for sale
In the olden days, people used to buy goods directly from the artisans who made them. Quaint, but strangely cool -- because sometimes folks would get a free jolt of inspiration from the artist. Experience the original marketplace economy at this year's Harvest Festival, Friday, October 17, through Sunday, October 19, where costumed craftspersons sell handmade art, jewelry, pottery, and clothing. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Phoenix Civic Plaza. Admission is $8 for adults and $4.50 for children 6 to12. Youngsters 5 and under get in free. For more information, call 1-800-321-1213 or visit www.harvestfestival.com. - Kim Toms
Vocalists share African tradition
Sweet music is coming from Scottsdale, and the source is Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Although the 10-member group primarily performs in Zulu, the songs break language barriers with a stirring mix of bass, tenor and alto harmonies. Keeping alive a musical tradition that originated in South African gold and diamond mines, Ladysmith enchants audiences the world over. The members of Ladysmith are internationally regarded as South Africa's cultural emissaries. Nelson Mandela even had the group join him at the Nobel Peace prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway. However, what really brought the amazing vocalists into the public eye was their collaboration with Paul Simon on his album Graceland, which helped boost the popularity of World Music.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo performs two shows at Scottsdale Center for the Arts on Friday, October 17, at 5 and 8 p.m. Tickets, $32 to $34, can be purchased by calling 480-994-ARTS (2787). - Eric Schandel
A chill is in the air at Doomtown
Welcome to Doomtown, dwelling place of the Old West's restless spirits. Creepy cowhands, sinister saloon girls and ghostly gunfighters haunt Rawhide from 5 to 10 p.m. starting Thursday, October 16. Catch the Train of Terror, descend into the Mine of Misfortune, and check into the Haunted Hotel, where room service is the terminal kind. Join the other pre-dead at the Six Gun Theater for Forsaken Souls of Vengeance, a spooky showdown more chilling than Thanksgiving with the in-laws. For little ghoulies, Rawhide provides a non-scary Halloween night, where youngsters paint pumpkins and gather treats from shopkeepers. Admission is $5 to 8. For more information, call 480-502-5600. Rawhide is located at 23023 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. - Kim Toms
All the world's a kitchen at global food fest
We have a taste for adventure . . . even after finding a bone in our apple strudel at Oktoberfest. International dining can be an experience -- no bones about it. Bite off a meaty chunk this weekend, when the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission stages its second annual International Culinary Festival. Setting up booths at Heritage and Science Park, Seventh Street and Monroe, Valley restaurants dish up the flavors of Phoenix's nine sister cities: Calgary, Canada; Catania, Italy; Chengdu, China; Ennis, Ireland; Grenoble, France; Hermosillo, Mexico; Himeji, Japan; Prague, Czech Republic; and Taipei, Taiwan. The food awakening begins Friday evening, October 17, with a program of music from Ireland and Mexico; family festivities on Saturday, October 18, include cooking demos, children's activities and an Italian puppet show. Admission is $5 Friday and free Saturday, with food and drink coupons available for purchase. Call 602-534-3751 for more information.- Jill Koch