9 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Monday, September 5, through Thursday, September 8. For more options, see our curated calendar of events

Labor Day Divas
While yes, for most people, the Labor Day holiday means an extra day off work, if you’re planning on attending Kobalt Bar’s Labor Day Divas Show you better be prepared to work (it), honey.

Hang out with the boys of summer for a day for drinking — and drag — during the afternoon party, which starts at 1 p.m. on Monday, September 5, at 3110 North Central Avenue. Hosted by TC Taylor, a former Miss Gay Arizona, the annual revue features lip syncing and signature sass from some of the Valley’s favorite queens, Aimee V. Justice, Lady Christian, Payda Parc, and Barbra Seville.

There’s no cover for the 21-and-over event, and the party runs all night when Seville guest hosts weekly Naughty or Nice Bingo at 9:30 p.m. Happy-hour drink specials are available from open until close, and finger foods will be provided. For more information, dial 602-264-5307 or visit Janessa Hilliard

The Marry Mart
By modern bride-to-be standards, the Dixie Cups’ “Going to the Chapel of Love” is nothing short of shocking. Gee, they just were in love, went to a chapel, and then got married? Certifiably insane.

Nowadays, you need an Instagram-famous photographer, the perfect dress tailored to allow for last-minute pounds gained or lost, and a really good story to cover up the fact that you and your betrothed met on Tinder. More like going to the Chapel of the Patron Saint of Stress Acne. And yet, for Phoenicians in the midst of wedding planning (or Pinteresting), there’s hope by way of The Marry Mart, a wedding marketplace founded by makeup artist Stephanie Neiheisel and multi-hyphenate creative Amelia Walsh that brings together some of the Valley’s top “I do” experts. Think indie dressmakers, florists, and bakers all under one roof at the Vintage 45, 45 West Buchanan Street, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, September 5. Tickets are $5 to $20 via For details and the complete vendor lineup, see Becky Bartkowski

J.A. Jance
Bestselling mystery author J.A. Jance divides her time between Arizona and Seattle, depending on the series she’s working on. She’s back in Arizona at 7 p.m. on Tuesday for a release party for her latest Joanna Brady novel, Downfall. She will sign copies at the Poisoned Pen, 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard in Scottsdale.

Downfall finds the Bisbee sheriff caught in a tight re-election campaign while investigating the possible murder of two women who fell to their deaths from a local mountain.

Downfall is currently available for pre-order for $26.99, and hits stores on September 6. Admission is free, but purchase of Downfall is requested. Call 480-947-2974 or visit for more information. Michael Senft

Phoenix International Folk Dancers
Some of you gym rats have no social life. Work that body, sure, but it’s also important to make friends. Swap one day of treadmill time for collaborative cardio by joining Phoenix International Folk Dancers on Tuesday evenings at the Irish Cultural Center.

Folk dance originates among ordinary people, not professionals, so it isn’t too tricky, though it can be challenging. The fun begins at 7 p.m., and includes instruction and a set of requested dances, in case your tour of such dance havens as Armenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Macedonia wasn’t sufficient and you’re still hankering for a tarantella or Morris dance. Skip over to 1106 North Central Avenue and offer up a $3 to $5 donation. For more info, visit or call 623-428-9666. 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
Melissa Campana is a freelance writer, stay-at-home mom, and all-around decent human being. She enjoys playdates, cocktails, and playdates that involve cocktails.
Contact: Melissa Campana
Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
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
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
Michael runs the Sci-Fridays Book Club at the Poisoned Pen, and volunteers at local pop-culture conventions. He can be found at the occasional prog-rock concert.
Contact: Michael Senft