Perhaps it's because we appreciate the sheer everyday practicality of their design, or maybe they just appeal to our Wild West mentality. Whatever the case, Arizona has always served as a sort of unofficial Ground Zero for monster trucks and the people who love them. It's all about the kind of family fun only lift kits, 10-foot-high tires, and the trampling of smaller, defenseless cars can bring; the kind certain to be on display at the Sixth Annual Tire Pros Truckin' 4x4 Nationals, Saturday, October 23, and Sunday, October 24, at Firebird International Raceway, I-10 and Maricopa Road. A Monster Truck Freestyle Competition, 4x4 Toughest Truck Championship, High Speed Truck Side-by-Side Drag Racing, and Pavement and Off-Road Spectator Test Drives highlight the weekend's festivities. Tickets, $20, are available through Ticketmaster at 480-784-4444 or the Firebird Raceway ticket office at 602-268-0200. -- Craig Wallach
Get off yer tush for the Frank Kush walk
The folks at the Frank Kush Youth Foundation are trying to get you off your lazy ass. But they're being nice about it at the Frank Kush Family Fun Walk and Run and health fair at 7 a.m. Saturday, October 23, at Tempe Beach Park, 620 North Mill Avenue. There will be a 5K run/walk, a 1-mile run/walk and a pet walk. "Our theme is 'cross the line,'" says Andy Dzurinko, foundation spokesman. "It doesn't matter if you are first or 101." As motivation, participants will receive T-shirts and kids also get medals. To register, $5 to $12, visit www.events.gearwerks.com or call 480-921-9341. -- C. Murphy Hebert
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Olympians swing into AWA
We've got a fever, and the only prescription is more Olympic action. Luckily, we won't have to wait another four years to fill it now that the T.J. Maxx 2004 Tour of Gymnastics Champions takes over America West Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street, on Friday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. The stars of the 2004 men's and women'sU.S. Olympic teams will tumble into Phoenix during their 40-city tour with a live show combining Cirque-style modern performance art and their medal-winning gymnastics skills. With no judges in sight, the athletes will swap the dull leotards and classical music for elaborate costuming and pop tunes. Plan on showing up early, by 6 p.m., for a "Behind the Team" pre-show where the athletes will talk about their experiences in Athens. Ticket prices range from $18 to $85, call 602-379-7800. -- Erika Wurst