Just 'cause it's cold doesn't mean you should chill at home. Here are Jackalope Ranch's top five picks for things to do in and around Phoenix this weekend.
Phoenix Festival of the Arts @ Margaret T. Hance Park Downtown becomes a destination art haven for the second annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts, a weekend of creatives and culture sponsored by the Phoenix Center for the Arts and Arizona Humanities. The three-day festival includes the Mayor's Arts Awards, presented by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton to the Valley's prominent and influential artists and cultural organizations.
Booths include Admir Tetaric with Artisan Cutting & Serving Boards, artist Audrey Tate, Gordon Searle of Hidden Valley Farms Soap, Kath Zimmerman of Kathy Zimmerman Photography, and Julie Pallissard with Bejuled.
Live entertainment from the likes of Almost Famous Theater Company, City Jazz, Great Arizona Puppet Theatre, and artist Sean Deckert add another dimension to the festivities, extending hours beyond the booths' 5 p.m. curtain call. Food trucks are in on the fun, too, and though the line-up varies daily, staples like Paletas Betty and DGP Gourmet Fry Bread will be on hand to satisfy munchies.
Festivities start at 10 a.m. daily Friday, December 13, through Sunday, December 15, at Margaret T. Hance Deck Park, 1202 North Third Street. Admission is free. Visit www.phoenixfestivalofthearts.org. -- Janessa Hilliard
Yuletide @ Hotel San Carlos Every holiday season there is an abundance of shows from which to choose, and any number of the usual suspects. This year, opt for the unusual with Yuletide, a time-traveling adventure that, though music and words, unlocks a history of holiday traditions.
Meet Saint Nick's evil friend, German fairies, wounded Celtic warriors, hungry Saturnalians, and an Italian Christmas witch, all brought to life via poetry and readings from Arizona Curriculum Theater actors. Meanwhile early music ensemble Bartholomew Faire traverses the centuries with ancient seasonal music. The songs -- performed on bagpipes, drone ocarina, Gothic harp, lute, recorder, and other classic instruments -- may not be immediately recognizable, but they carry plenty of cheer in the form of Spanish cantigas, French noels, and other international refrains.
Experience something new this holiday season with Yuletide, 8 p.m. Friday, December 13, at Ghost Lounge at the Hotel San Carlos, 202 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $15 to $20. Visit www.azyuletide.org or call 888-343-4228. -- Glenn BurnSilver
Pueblo Grande Indian Market @ Pueblo Grande Museum The Valley of the Sun is home to a number of Native American communities, and there is no better way to discover their culture than at the 37th Annual Indian Market. The market offers a rich array of sensory delights, from native foods to colorful music and dance. Expect a performance from the Apache Crown dancers and insightful cultural exhibits to American Indian fine art, including sculptures, paintings, baskets and jewelry from more than 200 artists. New at this season's market is a Ki:him, the O'odham word for community village. The Ki:him is intended to present market attendees with a glimpse into the way of life past and present for Native Americans through cultural presentations, demonstrations, song, dance, storytelling and games.
It's market time 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 14, at the Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 East Washington Street. Tickets are $5, children 12 and younger get in free. Admission includes museum entry. Visit www.pueblogrande.org/indian-market or call 602-495-0901. -- Glenn BurnSilver
Tellin' It on the Mountain @ Black Theatre Troupe Center for the Performing Arts If you're not feeling suicidal around the holidays (we've heard it's common), there's always homicidal. Though the family in Black Theatre Troupe's new musical Tellin' It on the Mountain isn't quite trying to kill each other, the Deans are a tempestuous bunch -- and trying to reunite the girl group Sister Dean for a Christmas album brings old conflicts bubbling to the surface for what the show's publicity materials describe as a "not-so-silent" night.
BTT hopes this première, created by a superpowered team of local writers and musicians, will become an annual tradition on a par with Langston Hughes' Black Nativity, the company's longtime holiday mainstay that's just been released in a major motion picture version. Be there for the birth of new theater at 1333 East Washington Street through Sunday, December 22. Tickets are $35, and Saturday, December 14's performance begins at 8 p.m. Visit www.blacktheatretroupe.org or call 602-258-8129. -- Julie Peterson
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Maria Bamford @ Tempe Improv We're sure we aren't the first wordplayers to realize that comedian Maria Bamford's last name is made up of the complimentary acronym BAMF, which stands for, ahem, badass motherfucker. And we can't be the only ones who've found the lettering coincidence fitting.
Bamford is a BAMF for plenty of reasons, but mainly because her comedic mix of tragic stories, dissatisfaction, and inimitable delivery make us laugh our asses off. Bamford impersonates her mother and father (and all their dysfunction), riffs on her dealings with depression and anxiety, and does it all with a delicate voice that makes the material all the more hilarious.
Catch her one-night-only set at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 15, at Tempe Improv, 930 East University Drive. Get tickets, $22, to the 18-and-over show via www.tempeimprov.com or by calling 480-921-9877. -- Becky Bartkowski