Top 5 Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

MLK Festival @ Margaret T. Hance Park Once a year we celebrate the man with the most famous dream in the history of our country. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work changed the face of the country forever using nonviolent activism and peaceful protests.

Following a march from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, 1401 East Jefferson Street, thousands will gather at Margaret T. Hance Park on Monday, January 20, for a celebration of the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King's life and work will be remembered though performances from local singers, spoken word artists, rappers, dancers, and more. The event will also include vendors, food and a health fair.

See also: 7 Free Fitness Events in Metro Phoenix

Gates open at 10 a.m. for the Martin Luther King Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 North Third Street. The event ends at 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit or call 602-534-2406. -- Lauren Saria

Center for Meteorite Studies Collection @ Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV So you got a rock on your finger? Big deal. This season we're skipping the engagement photos and looking at the big picture: outer space. Home to the largest university-based meteorite collection in the world, the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University is a source of new and insightful findings for both academics and the general public. Here at this showcase of space debris, visitors can view acquired samples and learn about the Center's advanced conservation efforts, the origins of meteorites, and, in turn, the formation of our planetary systems.

The Center for Meteorite Studies Collection is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the second floor of the ASU Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB4), 781 East Terrace Road in Tempe. Admission is free. For more information, visit or call 480-965-6511. -- Katie Johnson

"The Year of The Horse" @ Practical Art Heather Kirchhofer's exhibition at Practical Art is perfectly fitting as the gallery's first show of 2014. It's titled "The Year of the Horse," a reference to this year's position on the Chinese Zodiac. There are plenty of parallels between the two. People born under the horse are deemed energetic, bright, intelligent, warm, loving and capable. Kirchhofer's art captures all of those qualities and more in her steeds, showcasing the power, grace, serenity, and beauty of majestic animals through photographs transferred onto reclaimed wood panels. These panels also hint at the wild, Western environment associated with horses, as wood grains blend fluidly with hides and hair, while piercing eyes reflect years of deep wisdom.

Are you a horse? Yes or no, see Kirchhofer's vision 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 22, at Practical Art, 5070 North Central Avenue. Admission is free. The works are on view through Friday, January 31. Visit or call 602-264-1414. -- Glenn BurnSilver

Steampunk Ball: Sketch and Snap Night @ Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts On Thursday, January 23, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is hosting a Steampunk Ball. If you happen to be a steampunk fan, then you're probably quite well aware of this and may kindly excuse yourself from the following description, which you're likely to scoff disapprovingly at anyway.

For you remaining novices, steampunk refers to a genre of science-fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery and is often set in some sort of Victorian Era-meets-Mad Max alternate history. Not surprisingly an entire subculture of steampunk, from the genre's murky anachronisms and fantastical imagery, has emerged. So if you own a monocle, routinely don a frock coat, can quote the movie Brazil ad nauseam, and own a very dog-eared copy H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, then ponder no more, you're probably a steampunk. And by golly, you've got a ball to go to. Kick up your heels from 7 to 11 p.m. at 7380 East Second Street. The free event is for those 18 and older. Visit or call 480-8744-4645 for details. -- Rob Kroehler

Nitro Circus @ Arena The Nitro Circus is just like any other circus you've been to, with a few minor differences. Like, instead of three rings inside a giant tent, the Nitro Circus features a dozen steep ramps inside a packed stadium. And, instead of four or five leotarded carnies doing a few flips on the trapeze, the Nitro Circus features more than 40 of the world's greatest extreme sports athletes attacking those ramps on BMX bikes, skateboards, dirtbikes, razor scooters, big wheels -- we think we even saw a guy on a wheelchair -- and pulling off some of the craziest stunts you'll ever see a human perform. Also, there's quite a bit of pyrotechnics. Totally normal circus stuff, right?

The Nitro Circus lands at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 24, at Glendale's Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue. Tickets start at $48. Call 877-686-5366 or visit for more. -- Zachary Fowle

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