Nerd Culture

7 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

When you’re awake at 4 a.m., you’re better off having fun than lying there contemplating mortality. And so there’s Ghostfest, an annual tradition at The Torch Theatre, 4721 North Central Avenue. (Full disclosure: New Times contributor Jose Gonzalez runs Torch.) The performance marathon runs for 32 straight hours starting at 6 p.m. Friday, October 23. That’s two entire nights (and one day) to test-drive your Halloween costume, stretch your stamina, and immerse yourself to the nostrils in improv comedy. Highlights of the 80-odd shows include Mike & Chris of San Diego’s Finest City Improv and J. H. Deathrattle and Flakey Jake from San Francisco; Ghostfest Jr., a participatory kids’ event; and Björkfast, which, as you might expect, combines Björk (note: not Björk) and breakfast. Admission ranges from $10 to $15 at or 602-456-2876. Julie Peterson

Otsukimi Moonviewing Party
This month, howling at the moon isn’t your only option. Experience a traditional Otsukimi, a Japanese Moonviewing Festival, at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, 1125 North Third Avenue. The garden will be illuminated by candles and there will be live entertainment and traditional food available for purchase. You can even experience a full Japanese tea service under the moonlight.

Otsukimi, the Japanese Moonviewing Festival, will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Japanese Friendship Garden. General admission is $25 in advance and $30 at the door with discounts available for members and children. Traditional Japanese tea service is an extra $5, and space is limited. For more information, call 602-274-8700 or visit Katrina Montgomery

"Yours Truly"
Joseph “Sentrock” Perez may have flown Midwest to Chicago, but his particular brand of inspired street art is alive and thriving in the “bird city” he hails from.

Presented by Sentrock’s Bird City Saints, “Yours Truly,” is poised to be a love letter to Phoenix and an exercise in creating meaningful art with substance, rather than hype. The collaborative exhibition features graffiti artists, illustrators, and photographers from around the Valley, including Kevin Aviles, Zee Peralta, Adam Wayne, David Arujo, and Manuel Tony Salazar, and Sentrock himself. The names may not conjure up instant recognition, but chances are you’ve seen the work, whether in galleries around Roosevelt Row or on the buildings surrounding them.

“We’re just a group of artists trying to represent Phoenix as best and raw as we can,” Salazar wrote on an Instagram promotion for the show.

The free opening reception starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, at Palabra Collective, 630 East Pierce Street. For details, visit Janessa Hilliard

Zombie Walk 7
You’d think after the better part of a decade we’d have learned how to keep these damn zombies away. But every year, thousands of groaning, biting undead return to shuffle through the streets of downtown Phoenix. It could be that becoming a zombie is so simple — just $5 or a donation of five non-perishable food items in the Goodwill Zombification Zone gets you the hair, makeup and attitude you need to be a proper zombie. Could be that Alien Ant Farm is performing after the 1.5-mile zombie limp through downtown. Could just be that brains are delicious.

Become part of the zombie horde during Zombie Walk 7 from 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday, October 24, at Heritage and Science Park, 115 North Sixth Street. Visit for more. Zach Fowle

Star Wars Trivia
Whether you fancy yourself one with The Force as an expert in George Lucas’ other universe or you’ve seen just a single original film, one watering hole wants to put your Star Wars knowledge to the trivia test.

Plus, consider the all-things-Star Wars night a precursor to Halloween. Prizes are available not only for those winners crowned Jedi masters, but also for those dressed in their best, and most accurate, costumes from the galaxy far, far away.

Brainteasing begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 24, at Kobalt Bar, 3110 North Central Avenue. There’s no cover charge for the 21-and-over event. Call 602-264-5307 or visit Janessa Hilliard

Chalk the Block II
Spend a few seconds looking at chalk art on Pinterest if you’d like to feel spectacularly inferior. Once relegated to hopscotch creations and demarcating your side of the driveway to doodle on, chalk art is now a thing that — like Kim Kardashian and Jared Leto — you are free to take as seriously as you please. Test out your skills during Chalk the Block II, a neighborhood event where all ages are welcome to show off or hone their public art making abilities.

Chalk it out at the Coronado Historic Neighorhood along Mitchell Street between Oak and Monte Vista from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 25. See Becky Bartkowski

Seth's Big Fat Broadway Show
Seth Rudetsky, who somehow combines the attributes of a musical prodigy and a sassy-yet-cuddly, starstruck gossip, hosts Seth’s Big Fat Broadway on SiriusXM’s On Broadway channel. He’s also played the piano for dozens of New York shows and now writes books, which is good, because boy, does this man have stories. Hear some of them at Seth’s Big Fat Broadway Show, a live appearance presented by Desert Foothills Theater on Sunday, October 25. Rudetsky specializes in “deconstructions” of numbers from hit shows and also presents rare video of stars doing perplexing things on stage. (Like Cher performing all of West Side Story.) The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at 33606 North 60th Street in Scottsdale. For tickets ($45 to $60), visit or call 480-488-1981. Julie Peterson

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski
Zach Fowle
Contact: Zach Fowle
Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard
Katrina Montgomery
Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson