The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend: September 20-22 | Phoenix New Times

The Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

It's the freakin' weekend.
Style on point at last year's Necrotek Night.
Style on point at last year's Necrotek Night. Michelle Sasonov
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Hey Phoenix, get ready for a good time. This weekend, you can enjoy some industrial beats at Necrotek Night, try culinary hybrid treats at the Peanut Butter and Jelly Throw Down, or treat your sweet tooth during the Arizona Donut and Ice Cream Festival. For more things to do, visit Phoenix New Times’ calendar.

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Take me to your leader.
New Times Archive

Area 51 Bar Crawl

The “Storm Area 51” event is canceled, but there’s still time to jump on the bandwagon with Mill Avenue’s Area 51 Bar Crawl. The extraterrestrial festivities begin at Varsity Tavern, then they move to a variety of downtown Tempe hotspots before finally beaming down to The One One Bar for a special rooftop shindig. Just don’t forget to bring your alien antennae and “Take me to your leader” sign (and some Uber money).

The Area 51 Bar Crawl cruises from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, September 20, beginning at the Varsity Tavern, 501 South Mill Avenue in Tempe. There’s a $20 admission charge, or just skip everything for the free afterparty at The One One Bar. Chris Coplan

Check out Catherine Slye's work in Scottsdale.
Walter Gallery

‘Joyland Toyland’

Seeing the art cars Walter Productions takes to Burning Man and other creative gatherings is bound to put a smile on your face. But there’s more to Walter Productions than Big Red, Heathen, and Kalliope. They also have a gallery located off the beaten path at 6425 East Thomas Road in Old Town Scottsdale. That’s where the “Joyland Toyland” exhibit featuring photographs by Catherine Slye opens this month. Slye used macro lenses, filters, and other techniques to highlight the playful features of her collection of more than three dozen vintage and antique toys. See the results during the free opening reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, September 20. Lynn Trimble

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Lookin' great at Necrotek Night.
Michelle Sasonov

Necrotek Night

Rivetheads of the Valley have been flocking to industrial dance nights around town for decades. Back in the day (specifically the early- to mid-’90s), they were held at bygone nightspots like The Atomic Cafe and Anderson’s Fifth Estate. These days, fans of the genre can be found getting down at the gothy dance parlor Club Palazzo, 710 North Central Avenue, during the monthly Necrotek Night.

Serving up “dystopian beats for a necrotic society,” the dance party features local DJs //SHE//, The Rev. DJ Razorslave, and special guests spinning a mix of industrial, EBM (a.k.a. electronic body music), and “necro techno” for anyone in the mood to stomp. This month’s edition takes place on Friday, September 20, and will feature a guest set by DJ Zander. Drink specials include $3 wells until 10 p.m. The 21-and-over event goes from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Admission is $5 before 10 p.m., $8 thereafter. Benjamin Leatherman

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Beat the heat on the shady patio at Chelsea's Kitchen.
New Times Archive

Arizona Restaurant Week

You could spend your whole life eating at the same four restaurants — no judgments. Or you could live a little and dive headlong into the Valley’s gargantuan scene by celebrating Arizona Restaurant Week. Over nine full days, 150-plus eateries, cafes, and other culinary establishments will present prix-fixe dinners to help raise awareness while also filling bellies. So whether it’s Nuevo Latin from Deseo, Italian at Alexi’s Grill, American at Chelsea’s Kitchen, steak and seafood at Buck & Rider, or Cuban from the Canal Club, there’s plenty of options for overeating.

Restaurant Week runs September 20 through September 29 at restaurants Valley-wide; for a full list of venues, head to Dinners run either $33 or $44 per person, though not including beverages, taxes, and (a big fat) gratuity. Chris Coplan

Check out all the great murals while you're in South Phoenix.
Lynn Trimble

Urban Arts Market

You could spend your Saturday morning buying fresh quinoa at a farmer’s market. Or, just head downtown for the Urban Arts Market to celebrate a real slice of city life. A slew of local vendors and artists will be taking over a chunk of South Phoenix all day, including Dreamerslove clothing, Creativo Duro jewelry, and That Good Good skin/health care. Plus, food trucks galore and a playground to dump the kiddies.

Urban Arts Market runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, near the crossroads of 16th Street and Southern Avenue. The event is free. Call 602-919-0139 for info, updates, and other handy tidbits. Chris Coplan

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Food trucks ahead.
Melissa Fossum

Margarita, Mojito, Craft Beer, and Food Truck Festival

You don’t need much promotion with an event like the Margarita, Mojito, Craft Beer, and Food Truck Festival. It’s a “build it and they will come and enjoy the 40 tasting stations in addition to arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, and live music” kind of situation. But in case you needed more, this a dog-friendly event will have a Great Arizona Small Dog Race with proceeds benefiting the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control Department. The only way to make this better? Call it “Margs and Pups.”

The good times commence from 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, at Riverview Park, 2100 West Rio Salado Parkway in Mesa. Tickets are $25 for general admission and please for the love of everything, bring your adorable puppies. Chris Coplan

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Share the Polaroid love with Nissa Kubly.
Practical Art

Polaroid Transfer Workshop

Ever wished you could take that old prom picture and slap it onto a coffee mug? Probably not, right? But you might like learning how to transfer Polaroid images onto paper to create unique works of art that don’t conjure memories of life’s most embarrassing moments. Think serene desert landscapes, cherished family gatherings, or playful family pets.

Artist Nissa Kubly, who uses Polaroid photographs to create jewelry and other art objects, can show you how it’s done, during her Polaroid Transfer Workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue. The class costs $40, and includes all materials. Lynn Trimble

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Would you try peanut butter whiskey?
Courtesy of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey

Peanut Butter and Jelly Throw Down

There’s a reason peanut butter and jelly are the de facto choices for “two great things that go together swimmingly.” But what happens if you take that magical combo and cram that into other foods? Guess you’ll have to find out at the first-ever Peanut Butter and Jelly Throw Down, wherein a slew of food trucks — including The Family Grind, When Pigs Fly, Munch Box, and The Patty Wagon — spice up their usual fare with these sweet, sweet condiments. Then, enjoy your tasty culinary hybrids alongside a few cocktails and live music, plus balloon art and a bounce house for the kids (or the young at heart?)

History happens from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, at the Arrowhead Country Club, 19888 North 73rd Avenue in Glendale. Admission is free. Chris Coplan

Mr. Phoenix Prime Beef

Want to stick it to our youth-obsessed culture, help a great cause, and have a good time? Then spend your Saturday evening at the Mr. Phoenix Prime Beef contest. Already in its fourth year, the event’s heralded as a celebration for Valley men aged 50 and older, with a silent auction, live entertainment, and plenty of surprises (feel free to guess wildly). Proceeds from the event benefit Bikers Against Child Abuse, which means any debauchery or judgmental behavior doesn’t actually count against your mortal soul.

Get your prime beef on starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, at Pat O’s Bunkhouse Saloon, 4428 North Seventh Avenue. There’s no admission, but attending and not donating is a classless move. Chris Coplan


Throw on your browncoat, grab ol’ Vera, and get ready for a shiny time with a charity screening of Serenity. Not only will you enjoy the excellent 2005 film adaptation of the criminally underrated FOX series Firefly, but there’ll be merchandise galore, a raffle, and a costume contest. Plus, enjoy a hearty meal or an adult beverage — sorry, no Mudder’s Milk or hodge berries.

This trip to Rim planets runs from 3:30 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 22, at Studio Movie Grill, 15515 North Hayden Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $15 for general admission, or just pay a few gorram bucks extra for admission and a raffle ticket. Chris Coplan

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Anything can happen at The Comedy Spot.
Evie Carpenter

The Most Peculiar One-Night Traveling Show

If politics has been making you laugh until you cry lately, it might be time for a bit of comic relief. The Comedy Spot, 7117 East Third Avenue in Scottsdale, can help you with that. That’s where a vaudeville-inspired bit of musical comedy will take to the stage at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 22. The Most Peculiar One-Night Traveling Show is billed as “a story about show biz, love, and paying rent.” And it’s got an eclectic mix of talent, from Pandora DeStrange to Eve Ossian. You can thank Parrish Spisz for writing and directing it, just in time to give you a refreshing break from all the surreal, reality-show leanings of current events. Tickets are $12, which is a small price to pay for changing the channel in your brain. There’s a two-drink minimum and seating is first-come, first-served. Lynn Trimble

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Sometimes only pink donuts will do.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Arizona Donut and Ice Cream Festival

Some of the best foods around are, well, round. Think bagels, pizza, pancakes, and tortillas. But when you’ve got a sweet tooth, it’s all about the donuts and ice cream. Celebrate both during the Arizona Donut and Ice Cream Festival happening from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 22, at the Pressroom, 441 West Madison Street. Tickets are $8, unless you want to pay $13 for a ticket that gets you early access at 11 a.m. You’ll need money to buy food and drinks, which will include offerings from more a dozen purveyors of donuts and ice cream. Lynn Trimble
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