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The Best Free Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

When dance meets Shakespeare.
When dance meets Shakespeare.
Ballet Arizona

It’s about time y’all had some fun for free. This week, you can browse rows on rows of hogs during Motorcycles on Main, celebrate a rich community culture at Dia de Guadalupe, and treat yourself to something sweet at The Chocolate Experience, For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk is coming to Phoenix.EXPAND
PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk is coming to Phoenix.
Lynn Trimble

Ingrid Newkirk

Ingrid Newkirk, founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is coming to Changing Hands, 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. She’ll be talking about her new book written with Gene Stone, which is titled Animalkind: Remarkable Discoveries about Animals and Revolutionary New Ways to Show Them Compassion.

It’s a chance to hear her take on animal intelligence and emotions, and get practical tips for ways to lessen human harm to animals. Newkirk’s talk will address animals and medical research, product testing, food, clothing, entertainment, and more. Hear her speak at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 3. You can buy her books while you’re there, of course. Lynn Trimble

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Jillian Barrell has danced some plum roles since joining Ballet Arizona in 2007. Now she’s getting ready for the premiere of the company's production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is based on William Shakespeare’s tale of love and mischief set in a fairy-filled forest. It was choreographed by Ib Andersen, artistic director for Ballet Arizona.

Hear Barrell talk about the story behind the ballet and how Ballet Arizona will be bringing it to life during a free presentation from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4. It’s happening at Tempe Public Library, 3500 South Rural Road in Tempe, where you can also explore books about ballet, Shakespeare, and fairy lore. Lynn Trimble

Look for Bill Dambrova's painting at Center Space.EXPAND
Look for Bill Dambrova's painting at Center Space.
Lynn Trimble

‘I hear what you’re seeing’

Artists and community members descended on a new exhibit space inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts recently, eager to hear musical compositions and the artworks that inspired them. You can do the same, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4. Admission is free for the “I hear what you’re seeing” exhibition, which is on view inside the Center Space gallery, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale.

The exhibit includes work by several artists, plus several ASU graduate students. While you’re viewing each artist’s piece, you can don headsets to hear a corresponding composition. Featured visual artists include Bill Dambrova, Monica Aissa Martinez, and Laura Spalding Best. The exhibit continues through April 26. Lynn Trimble

Motorcycles on motorcycles.
Motorcycles on motorcycles.
Phoenix New Times Archive

Motorcycles on Main

You could take that sweet hog of yours out on Arizona’s many scenic open roads. Or, just save yourself some gas and general wear-and-tear by taking part in Motorcycles on Main. This annual gathering features bikers of all backgrounds and experience levels celebrating all things motorcycle right there on Main Street in Mesa. If that weren’t enough of a draw, the event also features live music, food trucks, a free raffle, and shopping at nearby stores. Why drive endlessly when street tacos are right there?

The free event is set for 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, February 7, at Desert Wind Harley-Davidson, 922 South Country Club Drive in Mesa. Chis Coplan

Join the celebration in Guadalupe.
Join the celebration in Guadalupe.
Town of Guadalupe

Dia de Guadalupe

The town of Guadalupe is celebrating its rich history with Dia de Guadalupe, a free community gathering happening from 4 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, February 8. Head to the Guadalupe Mercado at 9201 South Avenida del Yaqui to join the festivities, which will celebrate the confluence of diverse cultures. The town was founded by Yaqui Indians and continues to be a hub for indigenous and Hispanic cultures.

Saturday’s event recognizes 45 years since the town, which was named for the Virgin of Guadalupe, was incorporated. Expect live music, crafts, bounce houses, food vendors, and pinatas. The music kicks off at 4 p.m. with a performance by Mariachi Juvenil de Mi Tierra. Lynn Trimble

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Chocolate time at Cerreta Candy Company.
Chocolate time at Cerreta Candy Company.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

The Chocolate Experience

Whether your taste runs toward hollow bunnies or decadent truffles, you’ll find something to love during The Chocolate Experience happening in downtown Glendale. It’s a new spin on the city’s Chocolate Affaire tradition, which is transforming from outdoor festival to indoor experience. Day two happens on Sunday, February 9, when you can explore all things chocolate between noon at 5 p.m. at Glendale Civic Center, 5750 West Glenn Drive in Glendale.

Expect live music, tastings, performances, artisans, and more. Or you can hop a shuttle over to Cerreta Candy Company for a fabulous tour. Festival admission, including the tour and shuttle, is free. Lynn Trimble

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