Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

All decked out.
All decked out. Courtesy of Peacock PR

Hey Phoenix, your plans have arrived. This weekend, you can watch some sweet tricks at PHXAM, support a good cause at Phyre Festival, or enjoy dumplings at Arizona Bao Fest. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

click to enlarge Studio time for Fausto Fernandez. - COURTESY OF THE GALLERY AT TCA
Studio time for Fausto Fernandez.
Courtesy of The Gallery at TCA
Fausto Fernandez
Pairing wine with artworks is always in good taste. Take it to the next level at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway, when The Gallery at TCA presents a free artist salon and wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 22. Artist Fausto Fernandez will be discussing his work along with curator Michelle Nichols Dock, inside the gallery where Fernandez’s work is part of an exhibit called “Retro Reactions.” It’s a casual way to learn more about abstract expressionism and a talented Phoenix artist, whose creative influences include Jim Dine, Pablo Picasso, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. While you’re there, check out artworks by other local creatives, including Malena Barnhart, Kristin Bauer, Jacob Meders, and Rembrandt Quiballo. Visit Lynn Trimble

Pho Cao Seventh Anniversary Celebration
The Pho Cao Seventh Anniversary Celebration will commemorate the Scottsdale restaurant’s lucky number of years in business, but also feature a great lineup of local bands the establishment has featured over the years. Over a two-night period, performers ranging from the bizarre (in a good way) Bear Ghost to the bluesy jams of Banana Gun will take the stage. Also appearing will be Ali A and the Agency, Jake Dean Band, The Sugar Thieves, The Woodworks, The Whitherward, Southwest By Midnight, Break the Robot, and Ben Anderson.

The bands take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on both Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at 7436 East McDowell Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $8 to $12, which includes complimentary food. For more information, visit Jason Keil

It’s time to strap on your helmet and hop on your deck. Some of the best amateur skateboarders in the nation will compete for a piece of a $20,000 prize purse at Cowtown Skateboards' 18th annual PHXAM at Desert West Skateboard Plaza. If seeing some sweet tricks isn’t enough to blow your mind, be sure to stop by the after-party at The Pressroom on Saturday, March 23, to see Method Man and Redman perform onstage.

The gates are open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 23, and 10 a.m. on Sunday, March 24, at 6602 West Encanto Boulevard. Tickets are $5 for each day, with the first 500 people in line each morning getting some great swag. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Time to clean up your act. - COURTESY OF LOCAL FIRST ARIZONA
Time to clean up your act.
Courtesy of Local First Arizona
Downtown Phoenix Clean-Up
Admit it. You’ve left behind seemingly harmless trash like a gum wrapper before, without giving it much thought. But if everybody did it, we’d all be awash in gum wrappers. So knock it off. Then vow to change your ways, and head over to Phoenix Market, 14 East Pierce Street, for the first Downtown Phoenix Clean-Up of the year. It’s being presented by Local First Arizona, which says event volunteers got 320 pounds of trash off the streets last year. This year, the goal is 680 pounds. Help make it happen between 9 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 23. They’ll provide the maps, gloves, garbage bags, and trash-grabbers. And you’ll get a free late breakfast provided by Phoenix Public Market. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Checking out one of Zarco Guerrero's masks. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Checking out one of Zarco Guerrero's masks.
Lynn Trimble
Mask Alive! Festival of Masks
If hearing the word “masks” makes you think of bad guys, you might be watching too many crime shows. Put down the remote and make your way to Pioneer Park, 526 East Main Street, in Mesa. That’s where Cultural Coalition, an arts organization focused on indigenous artists and community engagement, is presenting its Mask Alive! Festival of Masks, from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 24. The free event includes music, dance, and puppetry celebrating the neighborhood’s diverse cultures. Participating creatives include Zarco Guerrero, a Mesa artist who honed his talent for mask-making in countries from Mexico to Japan. Other festival offerings include food trucks and children’s activities. Visit Lynn Trimble

Phyre Festival
Jokes and memes about Fyre Festival producer Andy King’s job dedication aside, Billy McFarland’s deception didn’t just affect those who were unfortunate enough to buy a ticket. Locals were never paid for their hard work. To help reimburse them, The Van Buren is putting on the Phyre Festival, with DJs Hartbreaks and Kim E. Fresh spinning music from the lineup that never was. Two dollars from every ticket sold goes to the Exuma Foundation, which helps to improve the way of life for the islanders.

The cheese sandwiches will be served at 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at 401 West Van Buren Street. Tickets are $8 to $18 with VIP packages available. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge Strolling through Hance Park. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Strolling through Hance Park.
Lynn Trimble
Sunday in the Park
Crescent Ballroom is taking the music outdoors as part of a free event called Sunday in the Park. It’s happening at Hance Park, 1242 North Central Avenue, from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 24. Bring a blanket so you can sit awhile to enjoy music from the Hi-Dreams vinyl DJ collective. You might want to tuck a favorite book, ball, or board game under your arm before you head out. Bring money if you want to buy beer, wine, coffee, or eats. You can work it off on the volleyball court. (Or not!) Pets are welcome, of course, but maybe don’t bring the goldfish. Visit Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Stronger together. - COURTESY OF PEACOCK PR
Stronger together.
Courtesy of Peacock PR
DC Wonder Woman Run
The DC Wonder Woman Run is not just for girls — it’s for anyone who wants to feel like a superhero. Lynda Carter, the star of the ’70s television series, will virtually kick off the race at Tempe Beach Park and Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas will make an appearance before the race. Runners can choose either a 5K and 10K course that runs along the Mill Avenue Bridge. Awaiting striders at the finish line is entertainment and a gold medal to celebrate your triumph. A portion of the proceeds benefits WISE Arizona, an organization that supports women in sports.

Lasso up some gumption at 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 24, at 80 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Registration for the 5K is $59. The 10K is $79. Both distances include a tote bag and a Wonder Woman race shirt. For more information, visit Jason Keil

click to enlarge So many dumplings. - BONZAI BOYS
So many dumplings.
Bonzai Boys
Arizona Bao Fest
Many moviegoers were introduced to steamed Chinese dumplings by the Academy Award-winning animated film Bao, which played before Incredibles 2. If you’ve been curious about the Asian delicacy since watching the heartwarming short, stop by the Arizona Bao Fest. Ten local businesses will serve their spin on the delectable dish in addition to boba teas and desserts.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, at Unexpected Art Gallery, 734 West Polk Street. Tickets are $12 to $15 and admission times are staggered for both lunch and dinner. For more information, visit Jason Keil
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