Knight Riders

We've swallowed the notion that a swath of desert near Gold Canyon transforms into a Tudor-style village every spring for the past 16 years. So it's no surprise the medieval merrymakers at the Devonshire Renaissance Faire have fooled us with their intricately crafted illusion that a 24-acre park in east Phoenix becomes an Elizabethan hamlet since the early '80s. Not that we mind being hoodwinked, especially since the 21st incarnation of the event, on Saturday, November 20, and Sunday, November 21, at Los Olivos Park, 2802 East Devonshire, boasts all of the touches of that other festival -- with vendors, musicians, craftsmen, combatants, amusements, and authentic grub -- at prices a peasant would love. Do the time warp from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $5, and children 5 and under are free. Visit -- Benjamin Leatherman

Flexible Writing

Free your inner author at yoga session

Sat 11/20
Let's see, the only two items left on your list of 2004 New Year's resolutions are to somehow touch your toes and compose the Great American Novel. Why not get a, ahem, late start on both by enrolling in a two-hour class combining yoga and creative writing? On Saturday, November 20, Balance: The Yoga Room, 100 West Roosevelt, is offering a special session alternating postures and composition titled "Opening the Heart to Creativity: Writing." The class, which starts at 10 a.m., costs $25. To register, call Wendy Reese at 602-570-8758. -- Douglas Towne

Ay Karamba

Who you foolin', turkey?

Wed 11/24
We know you're planning on calling in sick on the Friday after Thanksgiving, so you might as well dispense with the fibbery -- we're not your boss. In fact, we'll be kicking off our own bender on Wednesday, November 24, at Energy 92.7's Pre-Thanksgiving Bash at Karamba Nightclub, 1724 East McDowell. DJs Rod Carrillo, Lysa D, and Justin Dohman will man the cans and work the wheels of steel spinning everything from progressive house to techno all night long. Superstar DJ/remixer/producer Angel Alanis, who's collaborated with everyone from Charles Feelgood to Sinéad O'Connor, is also coming straight from the Windy City for the event. Doors open at 8 p.m., with 21-and-over until 2 a.m. and all ages thereafter. Admission is $5 before 10 p.m. and $7 afterward. Call 602-254-0231. -- Benjamin Leatherman

Hello Delhi

Discover the wonders of India at Heritage Square

Sun 11/21
Enjoy chatting with those polite and knowledgeable individuals on the other side of the globe when you call with computer problems? Take the long distance out of the relationship by attending the Discover India 2004 Festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 21, at Heritage Square, Sixth Street and Monroe. The festival showcases the food, crafts, music and culture of this incredibly diverse country. So leave the technology talk at home and enjoy the more sensual joys of naan bread and chicken tandoori, or perhaps embark on a spiritual quest with the assistance of a swami. The focus this year is the Diwali Festival of Light, an Indian celebration in which people give expression to their happiness by lighting lamps and fireworks. The festival is free. Call 602-262-5029 or see -- Douglas Towne

Maximum Velocity

Catch some extreme air

Fri 11/19
Intensity addicts, fire up those adrenal glands! On Friday, November 19, the Velocity Tour hits the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 South Houghton Road in Tucson. The three-day event reigns supreme in all things extreme, with competition drag racing, freestyle motocross, BMX and skateboard performances, fire breathers, contortionists, jugglers and more. Extreme sports superstars like 2004 X-Games gold medalist Nate Adams, skater Andy "Mack" MacDonald, and quad daredevil Jon Guetter will perform in the "Extreme Sports Exhibition," while rock bands shake the concert stage. Saturday's lineup includes Korn, Yellowcard, Chevelle, and My Chemical Romance, and Sunday night's roster boasts the Scorpions, and Tesla. There also will be several car exhibitions (including über-hot Euro cars and lowriders), a DJ stage, a "Virtual Behavior Zone" featuring the newest 3D gaming, a "Midway of the Monster Machines," where fans can meet and greet their favorite race car drivers and teams, and more than 200 vendors. Tickets are $28 to $35, and weekend passes are available for $100. Visit -- Niki D'Andrea

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Douglas Towne