Thursday, July 3
Make the most out of your long weekend on Thursday, July 3, when the Lake Pleasant Fireworks Show offers a head start on Independence Day festivities. Starting at 4 p.m., head to either side of the lake (Pleasant Harbor to the east or Maricopa County Park to the west) for family activities and food vendors. Keep on partying until 7 p.m., when four Air Force F-16's do two dramatic fly-overs. Then Chuck E. Baby and the Allstars perform a free concert leading up to the 9 p.m. fireworks display, which boasts 40 minutes of flash from more than 5,000 shells. Admission is $6 per vehicle and $6 per boat at Pleasant Harbor, and $5 per vehicle and $2 per boat at Maricopa County Park. To get to the lake, head north on I-17 or 99th Avenue to the Carefree Highway, then drive west and follow signs. For information, call 602-269-0077.
Friday, July 4
Patriotism and Old West nostalgia make the perfect Independence Day combination for the Scottsdale Jaycees, who have been presenting Scottsdale Lights it Up for 34 years. This year, their July 4 celebration at Rawhide Western
Town features a dazzling two-part pyrotechnics display following an F-16 fly-over in the Rodeo Arena. Throughout the evening, visitors can enjoy live musical performances, a Sundown Cookout and Kid Zone games and rides, along with Rawhide's popular cowboy attractions. Activities start at 5 p.m. at
Rawhide, 23023 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Admission to Rawhide is free, but admission to the pavilion and arena, which open at 6 p.m., is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Call 480-502-5600.
Saturday, July 5
The roots of modern popular music are deep, going back several centuries to the time when African slaves first brought their musical traditions to the Americas. Percussionists Emilio Caruso and Eric Udell, founders of performance group Anya, have spent years studying this cultural heritage to perfect the complex rhythms and joyful melodies of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian folkloric music. On Saturday, July 5, feel the beat when Anya performs at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $10.
To find out more, visit www.modified.org or call 602-462-5516.
Sunday, July 6
Offering a refreshing cinematic alternative to the summer blockbuster season, No Festival Required Part 9 presents film and video work from nine directors on subjects as diverse as "homeland security, a persistent nightmare, an occurrence at Tempe Bridge and a Christmas favorite to beat the heat."
Of particular interest is Looking for Yoko Ono, local artist Gregory Sale's film documenting his artistic intervention at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's "YES YOKO ONO" exhibition, held last year. Somehow Sale managed to obtain the number of a telephone included in an interactive part of the show, resulting in conversational hijinks with the museum's visitors. Screenings are at 6 and 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 6, at Modified Arts, 407 East Roosevelt. Admission is $5, and doors open 15 minutes before each showing. To find out more, visit www.modified.org or call 602-462-5516.
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Monday, July 7
FirstMondays Art Salon, held on the first Monday of every month, has always been a big promoter of local artists' work. On Monday, July 7, the event's focus is newer, younger homegrown talent represented by Art One. The Scottsdale gallery specializes in art by emerging artists and student artists from Arizona's universities and community colleges. Ernest McIntyre from ArtsAZ hosts the casual, interactive presentation, which starts at 7 p.m. Aside from snagging a good seat, another incentive to show up early is the 6:30 p.m. pre-lecture reception, where visitors can chat with the artists over coffee and cookies. Admission is free at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue. For more information, call 602-256-3521.
Tuesday, July 8
"Insurmountable." Now there's a five-dollar vocab word that'll come in handy on the S.A.T. For high school kids, it's also they way they often feel about the lengthy list of stuff to do to get into college. Keeping an eye on the grade point average, shopping around for schools, writing admissions essays, filling out complicated financial aid forms, taking standardized tests it all sounds like a formula for a teenage crisis. But miraculously, thousands of kids pull it off every year. The Princeton Review presents "Roadmap to College" on Tuesday, July 8, offering information and advice for students and their parents on how to make the whole process go smoothly. The free seminar starts at 7 p.m. in the Roadrunner Room at the Foothills Branch Library, 19055 North 57th Avenue in Glendale. Call 623-930-3844 for further details.
Wednesday, July 9
Multi-tasking mommies and daddies will love Drivetime Stories: Making the Most of Moments on the Go, Kelly Lingerfeldt Stille and Patricia Wachter's new book about taking advantage of the time spent carting the kids around from school to soccer practice to piano lessons. The authors explain how those fleeting, often-wasted moments can be full of valuable parent-child conversations. Lingerfeldt Stille and Wachter conduct a special workshop and booksigning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9, at Borders Books and Music, 1361 South Alma School Road in Mesa. To find out more, call 480-833-2244.
Those hard-working personal shoppers at Uh-Oh Clothing Boutique are asking Valley fashionistas to give "piece" a chance on Wednesday, July 9, when they host their first "Piece Party," a free event that challenges women to bring in an article of clothing that doesn't go with anything else in their closets. Uh-Oh's fashion gurus will then personally hunt down the perfect clothing match for the problematic piece, or else they promise to offer up a match to "burn it in true protest fashion." Along with designer threads up to 75 percent off, it's a smokin' deal. The event runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Kierland Commons, 15210 North Scottsdale Road. Call 480-991-1618 for details.