5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

This weekend's happenings are anything but weak. From arts festivals and a '90s throwback to checking early holiday shopping off your to-do list, here are our top picks for things to do in and around metro Phoenix this weekend.

2014 CALA International Festival

Finally, Phoenix is starting to cool down and catch up to the rest of the country's seasonal changes. But this weekend, the Valley of the Sun is about to heat up once again thanks to the 2014 CALA Alliance International Festival. The Celebración Artística de las Américas Alliance will take over Civic Space Park, 424 North Central Avenue, to fill it with Latin American-themed music, performances, and art. This two-day festival offers everything from a silk screening workshop to a kids' Cumbia dance party to some chido Mexican electronica beats being spun by Mexican Institute of Sound creator Camilo Lara.

See also: Phoenix New Times' Calendar of Events

Friday night, November 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. will feature light snacks, drinks, and an all-star lineup of speakers, including International chef Javier Plascencia discussing the food and wine movement in Baja California and conductor and director Tito Arturo Muñoz sharing his new direction for the Phoenix Symphony. Tickets for CALA Lab are $35, but the rest of the festival is free to attend. For more information and to buy tickets, visit calaalliance.org or call 602-279-9925. Evie Carpenter

"Jungle Box"

We'd trade all the leftover Halloween candy sitting in our freezer to spend a couple hours inside the creative mind of Phoenix artist Sarah Hurwitz. Lucky for our sweet tooth, her latest exhibition gives a glimpse.

Hurwitz's "Jungle Box" is a birdwatching safari experience that just so happens to take place inside a shipping container gallery. With crafted foliage that drapes from the ceiling and two sets of binoculars for viewing, the show is every bit as whimsical and fun as we've come to expect from the artist. It's the latest show from Halt Gallery, which recently opened the new shipping container at Roosevelt ARTS Market as a long-term exhibition space for its shows, which will feature artists both local and national.

Take an adventure to the "Jungle Box" during its closing reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, November 7, at 408 East Roosevelt Street. Admission is free. Visit www.haltgallery.com for more. Becky Bartkowski


Before writer, film director and all-around renaissance man Kevin Smith was "too fat for 40" (his words), he was too cool for school. In the early 1990s, Smith's low budget celluloid gem Clerks put Hollywood on notice. Shortly thereafter he wrote and directed Mallrats. Like Clerks, his follow-up (technically a prequel) told a tale of post-adolescent angst and heartache that was masterfully underpinned with the 20-something disarray that '90s flicks seemed to capture so well. Despite being a box office disappointment, Mallrats played a pivotal role in launching Smith's career, not to mention the illustrious career of Ben Affleck.

Smith's unique ability to spin the mundane into a perverse tangle of hilarity and hope has earned him a ravenously loyal fan base, many of whom are sure to turn up at Mesa's National Comedy Theatre, 1111 South Longmore, for the venue's midnight screening of Smith's second feature film. Enjoy your Mallrats with some popcorn on Saturday, November 8, at 11:45 p.m. Admission is $8. Visit www.nctphoenix.com or call 602-374-5638 for details. Rob Kroehler

Grand Avenue Festival & PAPA

There was a time not too long ago when heading to Grand Avenue between McDowell and Van Buren roads was a no-no. However, with all of the new life breathed into the stretch of street in recent years, there's no better time and place to celebrate Phoenix's rise than this year's Grand Avenue Festival and Phoenix Annual Parade of the Arts.

To truly get all that Grand has to offer, the festival this year will include food, arts, crafts, walking tours of historic and vintage buildings, fashion shows, music performances, and more. Best of all, the event is focused on promoting recycling and adaptive reuse. Though the event runs all day and into the night, you'll want to be there for PAPA, from 6 until 7:30 p.m., to really experience this year's offerings.

Join in on the celebration of all things Grand on Saturday, November 8, from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. The free festival will take place between ninth and 15th avenues off of Grand Avenue. For more information, visit www.grandavephoenix.com. Heather Hoch

See also: Your Guide to the 6th Annual Grand Avenue Festival in Phoenix

Spanish Market

Sure, it's the beginning of November, but is it ever too early to start your holiday shopping? We didn't think so. Lucky for you, the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, is offering the perfect chance to check your family, friends, and even that co-worker who you drew in the office Secret Santa exchange off your gift-giving list with its Spanish Market.

This annual mercado de las artes boasts work, including jewelry, paintings, and pottery, from over 65 artists. Speaking of pottery, this year's Spanish Market featured artist is international lecturer Isabelle Collins, who aims to perpetuate the history and appreciation of colonial Mexican pottery.

And don't worry about losing steam while you make your way through the Heard's central courtyard Sunday, November 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Courtyard Café will offer appropriately themed fare to boost your energy and mariachis will play to boost your spirit. The event is free, but a $10 donation, which includes museum admission, is suggested. Visit www.heard.org or call 602-252-8840 for more information. Evie Carpenter

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