Your plans have arrived. This week, you can geek out at Arizona Game Fair, enjoy plenty of rockabilly sounds at Arizona Rockabilly Bash, or stay comfy at Scottsdale Pajama Bar Crawl. For more things to do, visit
Kokopelli the Legend, a Native American Opera
It’s been more than four decades since Phoenix artist Jim Covarrubias and a small group of Chicano and Native American artists started the MARS arts collective in downtown Phoenix, eager to create places to show their artwork. Their art space shuttered in 2002, but several MARS artists, including Annie Lopez and Joe Ray, remain staples of the local arts scene. And now Covarrubias’ artworks are featured in Kokopelli the Legend, a Native American Opera. The production, set in 13th-century Arizona, features Arizona singers, dancers, and musicians. It’s a chance to explore early cultures in what became metro Phoenix, and reflect on their ongoing influence and importance today. It’s being performed at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 East Monroe Street. Tickets are $34. Visit herbergertheater.org. Lynn Trimble
Forget about trying to drain the Washington swamp. You can escape all that with a screening for Shrek Retold, a 2018 film inspired by the tale of an ogre eager to drain his own swamp of pesky fairy tale characters. Shrek originated in a 1990 book by William Steig, then morphed into film and musical theater. Now the ogre is celebrated once each year during Shrek Fest, a gathering of artists who recreate the Shrek story using various animation techniques. Shrek Retold recounts their efforts, as well as the absurd results. Check it out at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street, on Thursday, March 28. Doors open at 9:30 p.m. for the 10 p.m. screening, and you can only get tickets at the door. Fairy tale costumes are entirely appropriate, but only people in the 21-plus crowd can attend. It’ll cost you whatever you decide to donate at the door. Visit filmbarphx.com. Lynn Trimble
Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts
The 42nd annual Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts will boast do-it-yourself creatives selling their wares along with great food and entertainment. To celebrate art’s ability to bring us together, visitors will also have the opportunity to enter the Portal. Inside one of the gold-painted shipping containers you can meet someone else from across the nation or around the world. You’ll be able to talk with them as if they are in the same room. The conversations can range from what a day in each other’s life is like to what your favorite cereal is.
The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 29, through Sunday, March 31, along Mill Avenue in Downtown Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit tempefestivalofthearts.com. Jason Keil
Arizona Game Fair
So you say you want to get into tabletop gaming and RPGs but don’t know a Warhammer from a claw hammer? Join the party at the Arizona Game Fair, taking place from Friday, March 29, to Sunday, March 31, at Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. The geek-friendly event is a good place to get a crash course in gaming of the board, tabletop, miniature, collectible card, and role-playing varieties.
Attendees can choose from a library of more than 800-plus games, ranging from old favorites like Clue and Monopoly to the ever-popular Settlers of Catan, to try for themselves during open and scheduled gaming sessions throughout the weekend. Other activities will include a crossword puzzle championship, miniatures-painting station, a tabletop traders flea market, various game rooms, and more. Special guests include famed tabletop gaming designers Vital Lacerda and Vincent Baker.
Doors open at 8 a.m. each day. General Admission is $15 to $20, a full event badge is $45, and kids under 12 are $5. See arizonagamefair.com for full details and the complete schedule. Benjamin Leatherman
Art and Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon
Every March since 2014, the Art + Feminism campaign has organized hundreds of Wikipedia editing sessions around the globe. They’ve got a laser focus, described by organizers as “improving coverage of cis and transgender women, non-binary folks, feminism and the arts.” ASU has participated for several years now, inviting interested community members to come together for the cause. This year’s Art and Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon happens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 29, at the ASU Design and the Arts Library, 810 South Forest Mall, on the Tempe campus. It’s free, and experienced Wikipedia editors will be on hand in case you need a crash course. Visit asuevents.asu.edu. Lynn Trimble
Arizona Rockabilly Bash
If you can’t get a hold of your rockabilly pals on the blower this weekend, don’t sweat it, daddy-o. They’re likely hanging out at this year’s Arizona Rockabilly Bash up at Lake Pleasant. The weekendlong hepcat hullabaloo at Pleasant Harbor Marina and RV Resort, 8708 West Harbor Boulevard in Peoria, which runs from Friday, March 29, to Sunday, March 31, will feature three days of souped-up thrills, classic vehicles, and plenty of rockabilly sounds. Local bands like VooDoo Swing, Rhythm Dragons, and The Devillains will perform while activities like a vintage car and motorcycle show, pinup and tattoo competitions, and even a flamethrower contest will take place. Overnight camping will also be available.
Things get going at 3 p.m. on Friday. Other times vary. General admission is $15 and its $20 in advance to register your ride, $25 at the gate. Call 480-225-1666 or see azrockabillybash.com for more info.? Benjamin Leatherman
Arizona Dragon Boat Festival
In the highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones, viewers will witness knights and dragons battling alongside and against each other to discover who is worthy to sit on the Iron Throne. The 16th annual Arizona Dragon Boat Festival will also feature winged serpents engaged in conflict, but it will be about as far as you can get from a Westeros bloodbath. Rooted in ancient Chinese tradition, athletes will paddle lavish dragon boats across Tempe Town Lake to the beat of a drum as they try to prove whose dragon flies the fastest.
The races run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, through Sunday, March 31, at Tempe Town Lake Marina, 550 East Tempe Town Lake in Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit azdba.org. Jason Kiel
Scottsdale Pajama Bar Crawl
Deciding on the perfect look for going out can be a lengthy and expensive endeavor, sometimes involving tearing through your closet or taking a trip to the mall. The folks involved with this weekend’s Scottsdale Pajama Bar Crawl, however, needn’t look any further than their dresser drawers.
As the name of the event implies, participants will ditch clubwear for sleepwear as they spend the afternoon and evening of Saturday, March 30, drinking and carousing in Scottsdale’s downtown bar district while in their jammies. Think of it as a massive slumber party of sorts, albeit with adult beverages.
The crawl starts off at Maya Day & Nightclub, 7333 East Indian Plaza in Scottsdale, before making stops at several other nearby bars and clubs. Registration begins at 1 p.m. and branded merch and a variety of food and drink specials will be offered to those who register by 4 p.m. The crawl goes until 10 p.m. Early bird tickets are $10, general admission is $20, and last call admission is $25. See facebook.com/events/2097305463659187 for more info. Benjamin Leatherman
Changing Hands 45th Anniversary Celebration
In today’s increasingly digital world, it seems that brick-and-mortar bookstores are slowly being wiped out by online retailers. Thankfully his hasn’t been the case with the Valley’s own Changing Hands. For 45 years, this independent business has united the community with weekly poetry readings and visits from authors. The store’s Tempe location will celebrate its anniversary with mini tarot card readings, activities for kids, complimentary cake, and a toast with the owners. The Phoenix venue will feature extended happy hour prices at the First Draft Book Bar.
The Changing Hands 45th Anniversary Celebration runs from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe, and 300 West Camelback Road in Phoenix. This is a free event. For more information, visit changinghands.com. Jason Keil
Uncorked Wine Festival
Uncorked Wine Festival is returning to Arizona. You can sip over 100 varieties of vino from more than 40 vendors against the backdrop of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Pair your selection with an entree from the variety of gourmet food trucks on-site. This 21-and-over event will also feature a photo booth and a live DJ spinning some smooth jams. Proceeds will benefit STARS, an organization that works to improve the lives of those with developmental and cognitive disabilities.
The fun pours from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at 7555 North Pima Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $55 to $65. For more information, visit uncorkedwinefestivals.com. Jason Keil
Fountain Hills Dark Sky Festival
From meteor showers to blood moons, there is no shortage of astronomical activity in Arizona. It’s too bad bright city lights of Phoenix make it difficult to get a full view of the heavens. Thankfully, Fountain Hills, which is located about 30 miles east of Phoenix, was designated a Dark Sky Community last year. The second annual Fountain Hills Dark Sky Festival is a celebration of the city’s efforts to curb light pollution, featuring presentations from educators, a virtual reality exhibit, a star tour, and live entertainment.
Look up to the stars from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at the Fountain Hills Community Center, 13001 North La Montana Drive in Fountain Hills. This is a free event. For more information, visit FHDarkSky.com. Jason Keil
Maybe all you know of Walter Productions is its giant, lighted art cars shown from everywhere from Phoenix’s own Grand Avenue Festival to Burning Man. Turns out, it’s also big on music, yoga, and other creative pursuits you can explore during its next arts party. It’s called Bloom, and it’s happening at the Walter crew’s massive Where?House creative space, 702 North 21st Avenue. The event starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, and ends at 3:30 a.m. Expect plenty of light and lasers, along with performances by Nic Chavez and Vessel. More than a dozen artists will be showing work that night, including Margarete Beeson, Lisa Von Hoffner, and Kristin Wesley. Bring out your inner flower child by dressing in “spring pastels, floral prints, and anything bouncy and bright.” This is an age 21 and up event. Tickets are $25 online or $35 at the door. Visit wherehousegallery.com. Lynn Trimble
Bell Lexus North Scottsdale Copperstate 1000
For nearly three decades, vintage and race cars have added a grand’s worth of mileage to their speedometers for a four-day springtime drive through Arizona. The 29th annual Bell Lexus North Scottsdale Copperstate 1000, put on by the Men’s Arts Council, raises money every year for the Phoenix Art Museum. Their four-day journey kicks off at Tempe Diablo Stadium with a world-class car show where you can get up close to over 80 cars and talk shop with their owners.
Start your engines from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, at 2200 West Alameda Drive in Tempe. This is a free event. For more information, visit mensartscouncil.com. Jason Keil
D-backs Race Against Cancer
Lace up your running shoes and stride over to Chase Field for the 2019 D-backs Race Against Cancer. The 5K course goes through the heart of downtown Phoenix. You can bring your favorite four-legged friend to the one-mile Family Fun Walk. All participants receive a commemorative T-shirt, drawstring bag, finisher medal, and a ticket to a Diamondbacks game. Proceeds benefit cancer research.
The starting gun for the 5K goes off at 7:15 a.m. and the Family Fun Walk begins at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, at 401 East Jefferson Street. Registration for the 5K is $40 and $20 for the Family Fun Walk. For more information, visit dbacks.com. Jason Keil
The Phoenix Suns are starting to show some signs of life. As of the time of this writing, they have a winning record for March and shocked the NBA with huge wins against the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks, the two teams to beat when the playoffs come around. The Cavaliers, who are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, will have their work cut out for them when they come in from Cleveland to take on Devin Booker and the guys.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 1, at Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Jefferson Street. Tickets are between $14 and $1,800. For more information, visit suns.com. Jason Keil
ASU West has gathered more than a dozen experts in diverse fields for its TEDxASU West event, inspired by the TED Talk videos anyone can view online. They’re working with the theme “Talking Back,” hoping to explore and share ideas related to “dialogue, power, community, and discovery.” Featured speakers have expertise in areas including relationship ethics, organizational dissent, rural sustainability, performance art, molecular genetics, feminist theology, and poetry. See how it all gets thrown into the mix, and find your own takeaways, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2. The free event happens in the La Sala Ballroom on the ASU West campus, 4701 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale. Registration is required. Visit newcollege.asu.edu/tedxasuwest. Lynn Trimble
The Arizona Coyotes are in playoff contention as of this writing. Sure, snagging a wild card spot does seem like a lucky break for a team that has spent years at the bottom of the rankings. But they’ve gotten to this point despite myriad injuries to their lineup. This is due in no small part to the stellar work of Rick Tocchet, who is a strong contender for head coach of the year. Even when the Coyotes are playing a team with a record as pitiful as the Los Angeles Kings, victory is never guaranteed.
The puck drops at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, at Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale. Tickets cost $21 to $322. For more information, visit coyotes.nhl.com. Jason Keil
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Arizona Bike Week
According to the people who keep track of such things, there are an estimated 160,000 motorcycle riders revving around Arizona at any given time. And over the next several days, it might seem like most of ’emm will be in heading for WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road in Scottsdale, for Arizona Bike Week.
Each year, tens of thousands of riders climb atop their choppers, cruisers, crotch-rockets, hawgs, and steel steeds and head for the biker-friendly bash, which offers four days of vendors, builders, and dealers showing off their stuff. There are also freestyle and stunt shows, group rides, and tons of bands.
Arizona Bike Week 2019 kicks off on Wednesday, April 3, and runs through Sunday, April 7, at WestWorld, offering all the aforementioned attractions, as well as nightly concerts headlined by such rock bands as Buckcherry, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Godsmack, and others.
Event hours vary. Daily tickets are $31 to $36 from April 3 to 6 and free on April 7. Visit azbikeweek.com for a complete schedule and full details. Benjamin Leatherman
AZ Speaks: LGBTQ — A History in Arizona
Keith Haring, the brilliant graffiti artist, supervised the painting of a 150-foot-long mural by high school students in downtown Phoenix in 1986. The story of the activist’s work and the saga behind its disappearance is one of the surprises in store for attendees of AZ Speaks: LGBTQ — A History in Arizona. Hip historian Marshall Shore will uncover the Grand Canyon State’s background with this timely subject with rare photos, music, and videos.
The presentation begins at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3, at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central Avenue. This is a free event. For more information, visit phoenixpubliclibrary.org. Jason Keil