Wing Ding

SAT 3/19
Grandpa's been acting kookier than normal lately, whistling "Pennsylvania 6-5000" to himself, and doing a solo Charleston in the mirror. But don't up his dosage of Xanax just yet, as the old coot's probably just aching to skedaddle to "A Night in the 40's" Big Band Dance and USO Show on Saturday, March 19, at the Arizona Wing Commemorative Air Force Museum, 2017 North Greenfield in Mesa. In fact, you'd better give him a heaping helping of Celebrex, since he'll need to be limber for this wingding, where plenty of cats, both young and old, will be swinging to a hit parade of World War II-era tunes in separate sets by the Sun Lakes Big Band Orchestra and the vocal ensemble La Petite Ja'Zaz. You and gramps can also compete in costume and age-specific swing dance contests and maybe take home some sweet mamas (better bring the Viagra, just in case). The joint starts jumping at 6 p.m. Tickets are $28 in advance, $35 at the door. Call 480-924-1940 or see -- Benjamin Leatherman

Wheel Women
Don't wear tiaras

SAT 3/19
Take away that hip-swinging glam-gam strut, and many beauty pageant contestants would be at a loss for merit. But the Ms. Wheelchair Arizona Pageant, taking place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 19, at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 North Central, isn't a beauty contest. To qualify, contestants must be females between the ages of 21 and 60 and use a wheelchair as their primary source of mobility. Contestants are judged in three areas: personal interviews, platform speech presentation, and onstage interviews. And the stock "I'd wish for world peace" answer won't work here. Contestants must present a plan of action for educating the public about disability issues, and whoever wins the title of Ms. Wheelchair Arizona will put her advocacy plan into action through public speaking engagements and fund raising. Tickets cost $10. Call 602-952-8474. -- Niki D' Andrea

Poker? I Just Met Her!
Choppers pursue luck of the draw

SUN 3/20
The leather-clad easy riders of Hardtailz Bar & Grill and Glendale Active 20/30 are making a "Poker Run" across the West Valley on Sunday, March 20. What's that, you ask? Well, 200-plus bikers, and their babes, set out on a motorcade stopping five places to get a playing card. At the finish line, a poker hand emerges. "The high/low hand wins a cash prize," says Bob Allard, a coordinator for the event. Lunch, a raffle, and live music with Shut Up and Drive follow the run. But this gang of hawg hounds isn't just ridin' for fun -- all proceeds go to local children's charities. It's always nice to see tough guys with big hearts. Tickets are $15 to $25, and the run starts at 10 a.m. Call 602-863-4374 or see -- Austin Head

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
Austin Head
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.