Best Things to Do This Weekend: Hell City Tattoo Festival, Get Weird, Beth Cato

Setting off down the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Trail toward Phantom Ranch Canteen.
Setting off down the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Trail toward Phantom Ranch Canteen.
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Say hell no to FOMO. This weekend you can gawk at great ink at the Hell City Tattoo Festival, Get Weird with ASU Art Museum's mystery event, and travel to Arizona's national parks. You can't go wrong. For more things to do, visit New Times' curated calendar.

National Park Service Birthday
Arizona’s national parks and monuments offer sights you can’t see anywhere else, including the majestic Grand Canyon and stunning Petrified Forest. Besides taking in the scenery, visitors can go exploring, hiking, boating, or fishing, and learn about the state’s history, plants, and wildlife.

On Friday, August 25, you can visit the state’s national parks and monuments for free as part of the National Park Service Birthday. Developed to conserve and protect such spaces, the park service started in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson signed an act forming the organization. Other key figures, including President Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Stephen Mather played roles in the establishment and growth of the national organization.

In honor of the annual day of celebration, national parks in Arizona will waive entrance and vehicle fees for the day. Camping, reservation, and tour fees aren’t included. For more information about Arizona’s national parks, visit the NPS website. Laura Latzko

It's probably going to get weird.
It's probably going to get weird.
Lamp Left Media/Courtesy of ASU Art Museum

Get Weird
Remember the “mystery flavor” Dum Dums sucker? The wrapper was all purple and enticing, with little question marks all over it. Well, that’s exactly the vibe ASU Art Museum is going for with Get Weird.

You know about its Escape the Museum events? This is supposed to be bigger, badder, and, as you might’ve guessed, weirder. No one is giving away any details beyond that. Though we can tell you there’s free admission, free food, games, and photo ops galore.

Get Weird from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, August 25, at 51 East 10th Street in Tempe. Attendees are asked to register at eventbrite.com. For more information (good luck with that), call 480-965-2787 or see the ASU Art Museum website. Lauren Cusimano

The Cemetery Club
The three old friends who constitute The Cemetery Club are widows who meet for tea each month before visiting their husbands’ graves. This sounds, frankly, like a rockin’ social event: Tea is good, friends are good, and we probably wouldn’t have cemeteries if people didn’t want to visit them. (Not nice cemeteries, anyway.)

But every person compares themself to others to some degree, so our Queens-dwelling heroines, Ida, Doris, and Lucille, are a tad competitive about who’s grieving/moving on better. Throw in an eligible man (a butcher, yet!), and insecurities rage, to often comic effect.

In 1993, Ivan Menchell’s play became a niche film featuring Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, Diane Lane, and Ellen Burstyn. The stage version continues at Theatre Artists Studio through Sunday, September 17. On opening night, Friday, August 25, showtime is 7:30 p.m. at 4848 East Cactus Road. Admission is $15 to $25. Visit the Studio website or call 602-765-0120. Julie Peterson

Read on for more of the best things to do in metro Phoenix this weekend, including Hell City Tattoo Festival, Beth Cato, and a fight viewing party.

It's not a bad thing to go to Hell City.
It's not a bad thing to go to Hell City.
Susumu Kumatsu

Hell City Tattoo Festival
Back in the day, the ultimate comeback when instructed to “go to hell” was to reply, “I’ve been there and I was so bad that I got kicked out.” Here’s an opportunity to go to hell and see what kind of mischief you can get into, as the annual Hell City Tattoo Festival is upon us.

Minus a break last year, the event has happened annually in the Valley since 2007. Hosted by Columbus, Ohio, tattoo artist Durb Morrison and crew, the three-day tattoo fest gives visitors a chance to get permanently adorned by artists from around the world. There are also contests, live music, live painting, vendors, and seminars.

Have inky, devilish fun from noon to 11 p.m. on Friday, August 25, at the Arizona Biltmore, 2400 East Missouri Avenue. Admission is $25, or $22 for presale tickets. Two-day and weekend passes are available. The event runs through Sunday, August 27. Visit the Hell City Festival website. Amy Young

Beth Cato
Valley steampunk author Beth Cato is back with Call of Fire, the sequel to her Dragon Award-nominated fantasy, Breath of Earth. Set in an alternate America in 1906, where Japan and the U.S. are allied against the Chinese, the novel follows the powerful geomancer Ingrid Carmichael as she flees the wreckage of post-earthquake San Francisco in search of the magical diplomat, Theodore Roosevelt.

Joining her are Cy, the pacifist son of a munitions manufacturer; Lee, the missing heir to the Chinese imperial throne; and Fenris, a transgender airship mechanic. Hunted by a powerful Japanese fox spirit, Ingrid must come to terms with her growing power and mysterious family tree.

Cato will be signing copies of Call of Fire at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 26, at the Barnes and Noble Desert Ridge, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard. Paperback copies are $14.99. For more information, call 480-538-8520. Michael Senft

Fight Party
On Saturday, August 26, the greatest boxer alive will battle a man who has zero professional boxing experience. Each will walk away with millions.

Understandably, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is heavily favored in The Money Fight, but mixed martial arts fans are salivating at the thought of their champ — Conor McGregor — beating the world’s best boxer at his own game. To be fair, Mayweather wouldn’t last a hot Vegas minute in an MMA fight against McGregor. And surviving two rounds in Mayweather’s domain will be a victory of sorts for the brash Irishman, though he’d never admit it.

Catch the carnage of Mayweather versus McGregor at Bar Smith’s Fight Party, 130 East Washington Street, from 2 to 11 p.m. Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $45. Visit the Bar Smith website or call 602-465-1991 for details. Rob Kroehler

Who will take home the crown?
Who will take home the crown?
Melissa Fossum

Miss Native American USA Pageant
Pageantry isn’t defined by one look, body type, or personality. Different qualities, including a community-driven spirit and openness in sharing one’s culture and learning about others, make a strong titleholder, particularly in the Miss Native American USA Pageant.

During the sixth annual pageant on Saturday, August 26, Ashley Nailihn Susan of the White Mountain Apache and Walker River Paiute tribes will step down as a new winner is crowned. The contestants, who hail from different states and tribal communities, will compete for the title and scholarships. The pageant takes place at Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center, 1520 South Longmore. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the pageant starts at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for students. For more information, see the Miss Native American USA website. Laura Latzko

Yes, Ogasawara is about a wedding. But it’s also about dynamite fishing. So something for everybody.EXPAND
Yes, Ogasawara is about a wedding. But it’s also about dynamite fishing. So something for everybody.
Frame from Ogasawara, directed by Tato Kotetishvili, courtesy of No Festival Required

Rural Route Film Festival
Created in 2003, NYC’s Rural Route Film Festival has become a three-day binge celebrating movies from all over the planet that don’t take place in big cities. Documentaries, animations, and films fictional and fantastical focus on farmers, flora and fauna, folkies, fishermen, faraway stars, natural disasters, coal miners, and various quirky hermits.

Each year, festival organizers send a Best Of program of shorts out into the world, and it visits Phoenix on Saturday, August 26, courtesy of No Festival Required.

The current program spotlights, among other things, heirloom seed preservation, scallop diving off Maine, and the mysterious science of starling murmurations, the eerily perfect Blue Angels-like choreography of massive flocks.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. screening at Phoenix Center for the Arts’ Third Street Theater, 1202 North Third Street. Advance tickets are $10 at the No Festival Required website. Day-of seats go for $12, or $11 for students with ID. Julie Peterson

Law lovers and movie buffs welcome.
Law lovers and movie buffs welcome.
Courtesy of Phoenix Educational Programming

The Storrs Objection: Film
Films about lawyers are known for their dramatic courtroom monologues. Now, comedians will turn this trope on its head in The Storrs Objection: Film, which takes place on the Kax Stage at the Herberger Theater Center. The show draws on local comedian Matt Storrs’ legal experience to confrontationally cross-examine stand-up comics about the humorous monologues they have written about movies. Storrs’ co-counsel will be Broadway legend “Patti LuPone.” The evening of hilarity should appeal to law buffs and movie lovers alike.

Laugh like you’re guilty at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 26, at 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit the Herberger Theater website. Jason Keil

How pompadorable.EXPAND
How pompadorable.
Tara O. Photos

Sip & Shop Sundays
Shopping for a retro wardrobe is fun, but you’ll have to make a lot of stops to check out all the rad vintage shops in town. That is, unless you attend Sip & Shop Sundays at DeSoto Central Market, 915 North Central Avenue.
Also known as the PinUp PopUp, this retro and vintage-inspired marketplace and shopping event brings together vintage and retro reproduction clothing and handmade items like jewelry, dresses, and upcycled accessories.

You can shop, sip cocktails, and grab lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 27. Sip & Shop Sundays: PinUp PopUp is hosted by Tara O. Photos (a Valley pinup portrait photographer), and entry is free. For more information, see the Facebook event page. Lauren Cusimano

Imperial Assault Championship
You may have heard of Dungeons & Dragons, The Settlers of Catan, or Ticket to Ride. But what about Imperial Assault?

The Star Wars-themed board game was released in 2014 and features role-playing gameplay. If you’re ready to get down and nerdy, get to Imperial Outpost, 4920 West Thunderbird Road, #121, in Glendale, for the Imperial Assault Championship. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 27, gather your troops for a board game beatdown. Admission is $20. For more info, visit the Facebook event page. Lindsay Roberts

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