Things to Do

Nine Things to Do This Weekend in Metro Phoenix

Horror film fanatics and actors will be at Mad Monster Party Arizona this weekend.
Horror film fanatics and actors will be at Mad Monster Party Arizona this weekend. Benjamin Leatherman
Think there’s nothing to do in metro Phoenix during the dead of summer? Think again. This weekend, you can view the latest work of a beloved local artist, hang out with horror geeks, or catch a game featuring the Valley’s best pro football team (spoiler: it ain’t the Arizona Cardinals). Details about each of these events — as well as others happening from Friday, July 8, to Sunday, July 10 — are below.
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Arizona artist Thomas "Breeze" Marcus.
Lynn Trimble

When Rez Dogs Howl

Friday, July 8
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, 4619 East Washington Street
Local artist Thomas “Breeze” Marcus, whose work can be seen on outdoor walls and inside museums around the Valley, debuts his latest exhibition at the Pueblo Grande Museum this weekend. Titled When Rez Dogs Howl, it features multiple pieces “[exploring] the layers, complications, and duality of juxtaposing contemporary O'Odham with traditional narratives and ancestral ties to the Phoenix basin and throughout the Sonoran Desert.” Museum hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for seniors 55 and up, $3 for kids 6 to 17, and free for kids 6 and under. Benjamin Leatherman
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The Van Buren heads back into the '80s for a Stranger Things night this weekend.

Stranger Things ’80s Night

Friday, July 8
The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street
With the second half of Stranger Things’ fourth season debuting earlier this month on Netflix, the folks at The Van Buren are cashing in on occasion with a dance night inspired by the show. The 18-and-over event will have DJs spinning ‘80s tunes and songs by musicians and artists who have been a part of the show’s soundtrack. We’re certain that includes Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” given how everyone's gone gaga for the 1986 track since it was prominently featured in an episode earlier this summer. There will also be an outfit contest, a photo booth, and giveaways. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $18. Benjamin Leatherman
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Stand-up comedian (and Arizona native) Pablo Francisco.
CB Live

Pablo Francisco

Friday, July 8, to Sunday, July 10
CB Live, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard
Before he starred on MADtv, appeared on The Tonight Show, or spoofed the overly dramatic narration in movie trailers (“In a world ...”), stand-up comedian and Tucson native Pablo Francisco made his bones performing at local comedy clubs like Tempe Improv. He’s come a long way since then, becoming known for his impressions of celebs like Keanu Reeves and cracking wise on shows like Last Comic Standing. Francisco returns to the Valley this weekend for a three-evening stint at CB Live. Set times are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night and at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $35 for VIP seating. Benjamin Leatherman
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A bloody good time awaits at Mad Monster Party Arizona 2022.
Benjamin Leatherman

Mad Monster Party Arizona 2022

Friday, July 8, to Sunday, July 10
Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel, 9495 West Coyotes Boulevard, Glendale
Strange, sinister, and scary creatures will be lurking out in the west Valley during the second weekend of July. (And no, we’re not referring to methheads.) It’s the Mad Monster Party Arizona, a weekend-long convention that’s aimed at fans of horror films and things that go bump in the dark, not to mention anyone who enjoys some frightening fun. As is the norm for the three-day event, it will include a multitude of programming, activities, and appearances by celebrities associated with horror. Special guests at this year's event include Scream's Neve Campbell, From Dusk Till Dawn’s Danny Trejo, and Sherilyn Fenn from Twin Peaks. Tickets are $40 to $50 per day or $90 for a "SHRIEKend" pass and are only available at the door with cash. Benjamin Leatherman
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The scene at Park After Dark.
City of Tempe

Park After Dark

Saturday, July 9
Sixth Street Park, 24 East Sixth Street, Tempe
It’s tough to enjoy much midday park time amid scorching summer weather, but nighttime outings offer a relaxing respite from the sun. Head to Sixth Street Park in downtown Tempe for their free Park After Dark event happening from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday evening. It’s an all-ages affair with where you can enjoy live music and outdoor activities including giant LED yard games. Pedal Haus Brewery will be selling craft beer and canned wine. While you’re in the area, check out the other offerings from local eateries to public artworks. Lynn Trimble
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A sign advertising Party Hard Wrestling.
Benjamin Leatherman

Party Hard Wrestling vs. Arizona Wrestling Federation

Saturday, July 9
AWF Arena, 3104 West Thomas Road
Weeks after AEW and New Japan went head to head on pay-per-view, two of the Valley’s most notable indie wrestling promotions will square off in a showdown of their own. Competitors from Party Hard Wrestling (which has been on hiatus since early 2020) and the Arizona Wrestling Federation will face off in a massive smackdown where honor and bragging rights are at stake. Subtitled “Unfinished Business,” the event will feature such matches as a triple-threat battle between Da Shade, Charles Cassus, and Alvaric Reiner for the AWF Heavyweight and PHW Charizona championships. Bell time is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20. Benjamin Leatherman
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Local comic book creator Russ Kazmierczak.
Shawnte Orion

Russ Kazmierczak’s 24-Hour Comic Challenge

Saturday, July 9, to Sunday, July 10
Drawn to Comics, 5801 West Glendale Avenue, Glendale
Depending on the particular artist, your average comic book can take anywhere from a few weeks to as long as a year to create. Local creative Russ Kazmierczak, however, won’t need that long. The artist behind Amazing Arizona Comics will write and draw an entire 24-page comic book in the span of a single day while sitting behind a storefront window at Glendale’s Drawn to Comics. “It's my David Blaine meets Jack Kirby impression,” Kazmierczak says. It's similar to the annual 24-Hour Comic Challenge, which was launched by famed cartoonist Scott McCloud in 1990 and takes place worldwide every fall. Kazmierczak says there’s no preparation involved and he’ll be starting from scratch. “I'm supposed to go in cold, with no conceptions of what my story might be, and just put pencil to paper [and] start storytelling,” he says. The challenge will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday and last until the following afternoon. The public can watch Kaz in action or sponsor an hour of the process, which benefits local charity Kids Need to Read. More info is available here. Benjamin Leatherman
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Crescent Ballroom turns 10 in early October and has a suitably big party planned.

Crescent Trivia Night

Sunday, July 10
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue
Trivia night has returned to Crescent Ballroom. Show up at the venue for an evening of questions about music, pop culture, and more. Hosted by DJ Hartbreaks and Compton, the evening will include music being spun between rounds. Attendees have the opportunity to win concert tickets, gift cards, and other prizes. Signup starts at 5 p.m. and the questions begin at 6. Visit the Crescent website for more info. Jennifer Goldberg
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Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix.
Benjamin Leatherman

Arizona Rattlers vs. Vegas Night Hawks

Sunday, July 10
Footprint Center, 201 East Jefferson Street
While the Arizona Cardinals have been dealing with offseason struggles, the Valley’s other pro football franchise has been quietly dominating their league. Since March, the Arizona Rattlers have amassed an impressive 12-3 record and are near the top of the Indoor Football League standings. They’re currently riding a seven-game win streak and have already secured a playoff berth. This weekend, the Rattlers hope to continue their winning ways when they host the Vegas Night Hawks (6-9) on Sunday afternoon at Footprint Center during the final game of the regular season. Kick off is at 3:05 p.m. and tickets are $11 to $95. Benjamin Leatherman
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Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble