Pic Hits for the week

december 5
Baby, It's Bright Outside: Fiesta of Light and Downtown Holiday Tree Tour, Ahwatukee-Foothills Festival of Lights: The City of Phoenix's free Fiesta and its second annual, self-guided Tree Tour continue nightly, through Wednesday, January 1; guided excursions start at 6:30 p.m. each Saturday, through December 28. For details or a free tour brochure, call 534-3378 or 254-8696. Ahwatukee's bounteous, white-lights-only bonanza can be viewed from 6 to 11 nightly, through Sunday, January 5; take Chandler Boulevard west about three and a half miles from the street's intersection with I-10, and follow the signs. Hay rides and "luminary" hikes are scheduled each Friday and Saturday, through December 28; call 460-6169.

Deathtrap: Veteran actors Elliott Gould and Mariette Hartley star in this touring production of Ira Levin's comic, sometimes startling, play about a murder plot most foul. Final performances are at 2 and 8 p.m. Thursday, December 5; 8 p.m. Friday, December 6; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, December 7; and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 8, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Tickets are $36 and $40, available at the center and Ticketmaster. For details call 994-2787 or 784-4444.

Festival of Trees & Marketplace: Phoenix Art Museum's 28th annual show and sale of donated trees, wreaths, garlands, centerpieces, ornaments and other holiday staples continues daily, through Sunday, December 8, at the museum, 1625 North Central. Special admission is $5, $4 for seniors, $2 for kids under 12. For details call 257-1880 or 257-1222.

december 6
Noche de las Luminarias: Desert Botanical Garden's phenomenally popular fund raiser, in its 19th year, features an elbow-to-elbow stroll on luminaria-lighted paths, music and more. It's scheduled for 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, December 6; and the same hours Saturday, December 7, at the garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, in Papago Park. If tickets are available, they're $10, $4 for kids ages 5 to 12; all proceeds benefit DBG. Advance purchase is required, and early arrival is recommended. Park at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 East Van Buren; free shuttle service is available. For details call 941-1225.

Tumbleweed-Tree-Lighting Ceremony: Chandler's annual Doo Dah Days Parade is butterfly-net nutty, and its traditional Tumbleweed celebration also displays a touch of that signature Western otherness. Inaugurated in 1957 by relocated Indianan Earl Barnum--who, bless his heart, saw a need--the free ceremony features the lighting of a 40-foot-tall tree constructed of chicken wire, adorned with Salsola kali tenuifolia (a.k.a. those nasty, rolling Russian thistles), then doused with paint, flame retardant, about 50 pounds of silver glitter and, eventually, lights. The fun begins at 6 p.m. Friday, December 6, at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, located on Arizona Avenue between Buffalo and Boston streets. The seventh annual Parade of Lights follows at 7:15, traveling north on Arizona Avenue from Chicago Street to Buffalo Street; the "tree" is plugged in immediately afterward. For details call 786-2518.

Jennifer Harbury: The author, lawyer and widow of Guatemalan rebel leader Efrain Barnaca Velasquez takes pot shots at an ever-deserving target--the CIA, whom Harbury fingers in her husband's death--in a speech co-sponsored by the Valley Religious Task Force on Central America and the Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church. The event starts at 7 p.m. Friday, December 6, at Unitarian Universalist Church of Phoenix, 4027 East Lincoln Drive in Paradise Valley. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Special tickets that include a prelecture dinner with Harbury are $40. Proceeds benefit the task force. For more information, call 840-8400 or 265-9800.

MARS Blu-Lite Invitational: The annual fund raiser at MARS Artspace, 126 South Central, in Luhrs Office Center, features reasonably priced contemporary artwork, ornaments and other stuff. It opens with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, December 6, and continues through Saturday, December 21. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free; all proceeds from ornament sales go to AIDS Project Arizona. For more information, call 253-3541.

Arizona State University "Pass in Review": The Rose Bowl-bound Sun Devil marching band reprises the top performances from its fall halftime shows in concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 6, at Gammage Auditorium, Mill and Apache in Tempe; and 3 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at the Sundome, 19403 R.H. Johnson Boulevard in Sun City West. Tickets are $5, available at Gammage, the 'dome and Dillard's; proceeds go toward ASU music scholarships. For details call 965-3434, 975-1900 or 678-2222.

Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts: The 28th annual blowout, featuring artisans and craftspeople from across the country and tons of family-style fun, is scheduled on Friday, December 6; Saturday, December 7; and Sunday, December 8, in Old Town Tempe. Daily hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 967-4877.

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Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear