On Saturday, April 16, the two-day "Great Arizona Picnic" begins. Don't bother packing a basket, because there will be tons of salacious samples from local chefs. And you can unpack the kids at Kids Zone. Admission costs $5.
For the yeasty beasties, the Southwest Festival of Beers has a head for you. Frolic through the Beer Garden amongst more than 200 specialty brews and kick some ass at a belching contest. Admission ($5) includes a souvenir mug.
Call 480-945-7193 or visit www.ScottsdaleCulinaryFestival.org. -- Niki D'Andrea
Got Underground Art?
Shake your bones at hip-hop art thing
When we were children, our parents would preach the importance of drinking milk for our developing bones. It's a shame we never learned about underground hip-hop's nutritional value -- until now, that is. On Friday, April 15, Mainstay Art Space, 412 East Garfield, hosts its monthly "Leche Art Lounge" show. Featuring independent art and progressive hip-hop, "the event is a big all-night party," says Craig Turner, owner of Mainstay. DJ Uriah will spin hypnotic beats while partygoers can enjoy the works of six different emerging artists. The event lasts from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., and is ill-advised for the independent intolerant. Admission is $3. Call 602-252-0792. -- Steve Jansen
Beer and Skittles
Free outdoor films are a Steele
Tom Simplot credits the success of his "Moonlight Movies" series to its venue: Steele Indian School Park at Third Street and Indian School. But it was Simplot, the District 4 Phoenix city councilman, who raised $70,000 to finance the three-story-tall movie screen, and whose office got an all-important liquor license for the event. "If you want to bring a six-pack, feel free," says Simplot, who hosts the series, which begins its second year on Saturday, April 16, with a 7 p.m. free showing of the 1939 black-and-white classic The Women, starring Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and Rosalind Russell. Big, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and The Sandlot will also show during the series, through July 23. Call 602-262-7447. -- Joe Watson
Fame-crazed starlets are given a break at the first "For the Advancement of Music and Entertainment" (F.A.M.E.) Fest, which celebrates all genres of music to open doors for aspiring artists. The festival, organized entirely by students, has gained national attention, receiving donations from all corners of the industry. "I wanted to show the business firsthand," says Irin Daniels, instructor of music business at Phoenix College, 1202 West Thomas. The event, held on campus, runs Wednesday, April 20, through April 23, offering industry workshops, a DJ and MC battle, live graffiti, a record swap meet, and a Saturday performance by the Phunk Junkeez -- all for free. Call 602-518-4608 or see www.famefest.com. -- Austin Head