Drop into the weekend's wildest wing ding: the Arizona Powered Paraglider National Fly-In, starting Friday, January 30, at Maricopa's Phoenix Regional Airport. Hosted by Arizona Powered Paragliding -- a "cactus-roots" group of PPG flying enthusiasts -- the three-day event provides an action-packed introduction to the high life, with performance competitions, pilot seminars, kiting wars, a thrust contest and cross-country flights. Equipment manufacturers and flight-school reps will be on hand to enlighten the PPG-curious about the ultralight aircraft, which resembles -- in the simplest of terms -- a parachute with an engine. Wearing a motor backpack, the pilot is suspended by lines and strapped into a simple harness -- no pre-boarding security wand, no in-flight beverage service. PRA is located 25 miles south of Phoenix, just off Highway 238. Registration fees, $30 to $65, cover all planned activities, RV and tent camping, insurance and parking. Admission is free for spectators and "PPG wanna-bes." Call 602-692-7995 or see www.azppg.com for more information. - Jill Koch
Exhaust is in the air at PIR
No one remembers who finished second, right? Well, there's hope for at least one runner-up out there. The inaugural Phoenix Historic Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway hosts three days of qualifying and racing, from Friday, January 30, through Sunday, February 1. Sunday's reunion race of PIR's first IndyCar clash of 40 years ago features Roger Ward's rear-engine four-cam speedster that crossed the finish line just after A.J. Foyt. Classic Porsche and Jaguar races highlight Saturday's events, with practicing and qualifying runs on Friday. Call 602-252-2257 or see www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com. - Joe Watson
A Noble MISSion
Give back to those who have lost a loved one
This year's water safety efforts get a running start on Saturday, January 31, when the MISS Foundation sponsors its first Children's Memorial Walk/Run. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit organization's programs for families that have lost children to drownings, as well as Phoenix Children's Hospital's Water Watchers drowning-prevention efforts.
Registration -- $25 in advance, $30 on race day, and free for children under 10 -- begins at 8 a.m. at downtown's Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 West Culver. A kids' fun run takes off at 9 a.m.; a 5K walk/run follows at 10. Awards recognize the day's top athletic and fund-raising achievements, and attendees can learn CPR, pick up water safety information, and check out fire, police and Native Air emergency vehicles.
Call 602-367-4626 for more information, or register online at www.missfoundation.org. - Jill Koch