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Five Must-See Arts and Culture Events This Week in Metro Phoenix

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We know, the beginning of the work week sucks. But if you take a quick look at the calendar, you'll see we're off to a pretty good week of art events, sports games, dance parties, and more. Here are our must-see events from now to the weekend...

Monday, February 18: Arizona Renaissance Festival @ Renaissance Festival Grounds If you thirst for time travel, shuffling through the ages will probably be complicated, cost-prohibitive, or random if you heed H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, Back to the Future, or Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Don't get too down about it, though. The Arizona Renaissance Festival celebrates 25 years of going old school when it opens Saturday, February 9.

The annual faire brings back the cultural movement through entertainment that includes village idiots being jocular, jousting competitions, and Adam Crack, holder of nine Guinness World Records for whip-cracking. Food includes hockers of the traditional turkey leg and the decadent pleasure feast. The artisan marketplace features handmade wares, allowing patrons can take home part of their blast to the past. -- Jose Gonzalez

Tuesday, February 19: "Da Vinci - The Genius" @ Arizona Science Center Between keeping up with a Twitter feed, dreaming up new, creative, and offensive roles for Emojis, and constantly refreshing Instagram to check how many likes that pic of our pup has, it's pretty tough to imagine squeezing two or three of Leonardo da Vinci's hobbies into our Netflix-packed schedules.

Perhaps a trip to check out "Da Vinci - The Genius" will inspire us to actually do something. It features analysis of Mona Lisa, and explanations of the Renaissance Man's scientific discoveries, along with themed areas that delve into his passions for architecture, philosophy, and engineering - among other things. -- Becky Bartkowski

Wednesday, February 20: Live Bull Riding @ Buffalo Chip Saloon The charm of watching drunken bargoers take their turn on a mechanical bull wears off quickly. On their first spin they usually fall off easily because they've exchanged upper body strength for hands-in-hair sex appeal. It's all about practicality the second time as they cling to the grip for dear life, minimizing their sexy, sexy whiplash. A final defeated go ends their mechanical bull riding career, typically after underwear (or lack thereof) is accidentally exposed.

Sometimes it's smarter to leave it to the professionals. Each and every Friday (on Wednesdays, too), Cave Creek's Buffalo Chip Saloon packs in boot-scootin' patrons for live bull riding done by accredited cowboys. They might not wear midriff-bearing tops and cut-offs, but these rough-and-tumble fellas know how to handle a bucking bull with the best of them, all in the never-dull atmosphere of the old timey southwestern saloon. -- Christina Caldwell

Thursday, February 21: Geeks' Night Out @ Tempe City Hall Geeks come in all stripes, from those dedicated to science fiction to those entrenched in science fact. Downtown Tempe is the convergence point for the annual celebration where they all strike out on the town for Geeks' Night Out Thursday, February 21.

Local comics and gaming enclave Pop Culture Paradise stages a Star Wars vs. Star Trek trivia competition, while real-life robots from high-school robotics clubs, the University of Advancing Technology, and ASU's Fulton School of Engineering make tracks on the premises. The Tempe Maker Bench's Makerville welcomes DIY and hobbyist gadget tinkerers, while the Geeks Wanted: Tech Job Fair beckons those who want to go pro. The costumed fun ranges from those entered in the Phoenix Comicon-sponsored contest to local heroes like the Arizona Ghostbusters making an appearance. For more ghostly thrills, the Allied Paranormal Investigations Team leads a tour of Monti's La Casa Vieja. -- Jose Gonzalez

Thursday, February 21: ASU Snow Party @ Rocky Point Cantina College graduates are oftentimes filled with an overabundance of ambition as they prepare to leave school behind and take the world by storm. Anthony Correnti is no exception. Like many soon-to-be Arizona State University grads, the fifth-year Interdisciplinary Studies senior hopes to accomplish a lofty goal with his newfound swagger: restoring ASU as the nation's top party school.

"I was gonna try Wall Street, because I've got interviews and connections, but instead I'm gonna stay here and try to get ASU back to number one," he says.

Correnti aims to restore the former king to its notorious throne via major ragers that his new nightlife promotions company, TwonsWorld, will throw, starting with the ASU Snow Party on Thursday, February 21. The 18-and-over icy affair promises loads of the flaky substance flying through the air at Rocky Point Cantina, 1001 East Eighth Street in Tempe, which will transform into a "rave winter wonderland." Sexy snow bunnies, laser lights, and dance music from Trapzillas and DJ Phyr Fox will be in the chilly mix. -- Benjamin Leatherman

Check out more things to do today (and everyday) in our Calendar section ...

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