First Friday Night Live SEASON FINALE @ The Firehouse Gallery
As if giving New Times contributor Leslie Barton a sex change and pulling a burlesque star in a golden chariot wasn't over-the-top enough, this uninhibited, uncensored variety/improv show finishes out its inaugural season with host Ryan Avery and comic band, Hooves. It will definitely be a love or hate evening. The laughs start at 11 p.m. tonight at 1015 N. 1st Street. Tickets at the door are $7. Check out www.firstfridaynightlive.com.
Downtown Mardi Gras Parade & Bar Crawl @ various
Look for beads, beads and maybe even a fleshy flash or two as downtown Phoenix breaks out of its stiff conservative shell and gets down n' dirty, New Orleans style. The free parade kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight, starting on First Street between Jefferson and Madison. Afterwards, head to CityScape at 1 E. Washington Street for a party with beer garden, Cajun food and music from Bad Cactus Marching Band.
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If you're still up for more, a Mardi Gras Pub Crawl Trolley will shuttle guests to Seamus McCaffrey's, Rose & Crown, Bar Smith, Coach & Willie's and Ghost Lounge for some heavy purging of sins (read: getting wasted before stupidly resolving to give up alcohol for Lent). Cost for crawl is $10-15, including hangover breakfast at Steve's Greenhouse Grill.
Red Hot Robot Grand Re-Opening Party
Phoenix's favorite toy shop for grown-ups closed the curtain on their Central & Camelback location a week ago, but as of this Saturday, March 5, they're back in action (figures) at 6042 N. 16th Street. Peep some new vinyl toys and plushies, and enjoy nibbles and giveaways from noon-7 p.m. Free admission; visit www.redhotrobot.net.
Matthew Inman of "The Oatmeal" at Changing Hands
The artist and author of 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth visits Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive in Tempe, at 7 p.m. on Saturday. If you're not familiar with his bold, graphic and humorous characters, go to theoatmeal.com -- we're hoping he'll assist with the next Cardinals logo redesign, since he does angry red birds so well. Check out our interview with Inman and purchase a Dolphin book at Changing Hands for admission.
Heard Museum Indian Fair & Market
New York may claim to be the nation's Melting Pot, but Phoenix has its fair share of cultures; and the festivals to prove it. Catch over 700 Native American artists and craftsmen, plus Pee-Posh dancers, classical guitarists and artist demos, at the Heard Museum at 2301 N. Central Avenue. Event takes place from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6. Cost is $15 adults; $5 students; children 16 and under free. View a list of artists here.