In 1978, Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt formally established an event that had already gained a foothold in the Phoenix area: the Annual Hohokam Commemoration and Indian Market Days Celebration. That year's event drew more than 3,000 people, establishing itself as one of the best markets in the nation. Now in its 27th year -- and now called the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Indian Market -- the event has found a home at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School. The park has its own history, as it was home to the Phoenix Indian Boarding School, where Native American children were sent to "assimilate." It is appropriate, to say the least, that the Indian Market has taken this space back.
This year's event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14, offering works by 500 certified Native American artists from 60 different tribes. Renowned Navajo folk singer Sharon Burch will be on hand to share her modern renditions of traditional songs. Admission is $7 for adults, children under 12 admitted free. Call 602-495-0901 or visit www.pgmarket.org for more information.- Maidi Terry
Cat Show downtown
Heed the cat call this Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14, when Arizona's biggest cat show struts into the Phoenix Civic Plaza, 225 East Adams. The 11th annual "It's Feline a Lot Like Christmas" all-breed show is a veritable fur ball, with catty competition, pet products and adoptable kittens. Admission is $6 for adults, $2 for children. See www.phxfeline.com or call 623-776-2085 for details. - Jill Koch
The Bright Stuff
Tempe Town Lake gets lit for the holidays
Catch this year-end sail -- or miss the boats. At 7 p.m. Saturday, December 13, the Holiday Boat Parade cruises Tempe Town Lake, while the concurrent "Light Up a Luminaria" event -- also part of the APS Fantasy of Lights -- lines Tempe Town Lake and Beach Park with thousands of luminarias. From 5 to 9 p.m., the light-minded can delight in hot cocoa and cookies, caroling and musical groups, and a visit from St. Nick. Admission is free. See www.lightupa luminaria.com or call 480-444-2151 to dedicate a luminaria; proceeds benefit Friends of the Orphans.- Jill Koch
Elixir makes a comeback
While the literature of the 19th century still captivates readers, the drink that inspired many of those writings is shrouded in mystery. Perhaps it's because absinthe - the strong, herbal liqueur savored by creative geniuses such as Arthur Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe - was banned in 1912 due to its alleged hallucinogenic qualities, confining the "Green Fairy" to the imaginations of modern-day drinkers. But absinthe has been making a comeback in recent years among connoisseurs who say the beverage got a bad rap. In her new book, Absinthe: Sip of Seduction, Betina Wittels reveals the history and culture of this elusive concoction, complete with details on the traditional ways to consume it and photos of vintage accoutrements. Wittels discusses and signs the book at 3 p.m. Saturday, December 13, at Borders Biltmore Fashion Park, 2402 East Camelback. Call 602-957-6660 for details.- Michele Laudig
The Yore, The Merrier
Get in the past lane
Here's hoping the fun and games at this weekend's Victorian Holiday Celebration won't be too authentic. We would pass, for instance, on a Victorian parlor game called "Snap Dragon," which required players to snatch currants from a flaming bowl of spirits and pop them into their mouths. (We can hear Ralph Wiggum now: "These berries taste like burning!")Snap Dragon or no, the annual event, set for Saturday, December 13, is sure to get families fired up about the holidays. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Historic Heritage Square, 115 North Sixth Street, will run amok with carolers in 19th-century dress, living history demonstrations, craft and food vendors, live music, and dozens of vehicles dating from the early 1900s through 1973. The Historic Rosson House, decked in Victorian-era decor, will be open for tours ($4 for adults, $1 for children), and kids can get in the spirit with hands-on activities and a visit from Father Christmas. Call 602-262-5029 or see www.phoenix.gov/PARKS/heritage.- Jill Koch
The treasure's ours at AZ Antique Show
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How many times have you been nagged for being a pack rat? Well, all that hording might pay off: Clear out the garage and attic and take those items down to the Arizona Antique Show. Appraisers from the Valley of the Sun Antique Dealers Association will let you know if what you've been saving is treasure or trash, offering their expertise for $5 an item. Or if you're looking for a unique gift for that special someone, more than 80 exhibitors offer fabulous finds, including early American and European furniture, depression glass, collectibles, costume jewelry, pottery and more. The Arizona Antique Show sets up shop Saturday, December 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, December 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, 19th Avenue and McDowell. Tickets are $3; call 602-717-7337 or see www.azantiqueshow.com.- Eric Schandel
How Does Your Garden Glow?
Seek enlightenment at the Botanical Garden
The holiday season in Arizona has often been about luminarias, and nowhere is this tradition more elaborate than at the Desert Botanical Garden. For the past 26 years, it's been almost impossible to see Las Noches de las Luminarias due to the throngs of people that have attended. But this year, the DBG has extended the event from three nights to 12 nights in order to accommodate the demand -- and a limited number of tickets will be offered each night, so it will be possible to enjoy the sights without having to elbow someone out of the way. The first of these magical nights is Thursday, December 11, starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 480-481-8188 or visit www.dbg.org. - Maidi Terry