Things to Do

The Best Things to Do in Phoenix This Weekend

It's a big weekend in Phoenix: Celebrations are beginning for the 50th anniversary of the Alwun House, plus there's a Body Art Expo in Scottsdale and a local author fair for both readers and aspiring writers. And Phoenix Pride is finally happening after being rescheduled a couple times due to the pandemic. Whatever you do, make it a weekend to remember.
click to enlarge The tattoo artists at the latest Body Art Expo will get under your skin. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
The tattoo artists at the latest Body Art Expo will get under your skin.
Benjamin Leatherman

Body Art Expo

Thinking about getting some ink done? You’re not alone, as it’s estimated that Americans will spend more than $1.65 billion this year on tattoos. This weekend, thousands of locals will exchange their hard-earned cash to get needled during the annual Body Art Expo at WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road. More than 250 tattoo and body-mod artists from throughout the U.S. will be slinging ink and piercing skin at the three-day event, which takes place from Friday, November 5, to Sunday, November 7. If you’re already sporting an amazing-looking sleeve or backpiece, tattoo contests in multiple categories will be held throughout the weekend. Live music and performances by sideshow entertainers are also planned. Hours are 2 to 11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $19.99 per day or $45 for the weekend. Tickets and more information are available here. Benjamin Leatherman

Scottsdale International Film Festival

Cinephiles can indulge in their favorite activity when the Scottsdale International Film Festival returns for its 21st year this month. The eight-day event will include both virtual and in-person screenings of 22 different films, including flicks of the independent, foreign, and documentary variety. In-person showings will take place Friday, November 5, to Sunday, November 7, at Harkins Shea 14, 7354 East Shea Boulevard, and Monday, November 8, and Tuesday, November 9, at Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square, 7014 East Camelback Road. (Online screenings will happen from Wednesday, November 10, to Friday, November 12, through the SIFF website.) Highlights of this year’s lineup include the Julia Child-focused documentary Julia, the Netherlands-produced drama Do Not Hesitate, and the French rom-com My Donkey, My Lover and I. The full schedule can be found here. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Celebrate 50 years of the Alwun House this weekend. - JENNIFER GOLDBERG
Celebrate 50 years of the Alwun House this weekend.
Jennifer Goldberg

Alwun House Exhibit

The offbeat arts venue launched in 1971 as a way to emphasize the “all one” approach to making and experiencing art is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year with a series of events showcasing local talents. The Alwun House Foundation opens its 50th Anniversary Invitational Art Exhibit on First Friday, November 5, when the free opening reception takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Expect an impressive lineup curated with assistance from Ted Decker, as the gallery highlights artists who’ve had a significant impact on Alwun House and the Phoenix arts community during the past five decades. Head to 1204 East Roosevelt Street to take it all in. The exhibition continues through November 20, with regular viewing hours from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Lynn Trimble

Pride party goers - MELISSA FOSSUM
Pride party goers
Melissa Fossum

Phoenix Pride 2021

When Phoenix Pride returns this weekend, organizers, attendees, and the Valley’s LGBTQIA community will have a lot to celebrate. It will not only be the first time the event has been staged in two years (thanks to COVID-19) but the 40th anniversary of Phoenix’s first Pride march in 1981. As such, this year’s event will feature a mix of history and revelry over two days.

The celebration begins with the Phoenix Pride Parade on Saturday, November 6, which departs from Third Street and Thomas Road at 10 a.m. It will be followed by the Pride Festival at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road, which will run through Sunday, November 7, and offer vendors, multiple stages of entertainment, local and touring drag performers, an art expo, the adult-oriented “Erotic World” area, and more. The main stage’s lineup will include sets by singers and bands like Jody Watley, Neon Trees, and Deborah Cox. Hours are from noon to 9 p.m. on both days. General admission is $30 to $35 daily or $50 for the weekend. VIP tickets are $100 to $150. Full details and a complete schedule can be found on the official website. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Good writers read a lot of books. - BOOKMANS
Good writers read a lot of books.

Local Author Fair

Newbie scribes participating in National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo) in search of some tips can head for the Phoenix location of Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, 8034 North 19th Avenue, and this author event from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 6. Authors from around Arizona and across a number of literary genres will participate in the afternoon event. There will be a chance for kids and teens to create their own comic books with sci-fi/fantasy graphic artist and writer Kayla Shaggy, a reading by poet Madison Meadows, and an appearance by Feminine Archetypes and Journey to Soul author Courtney Tiffany. It’s free to attend. More details are available on the Bookmans website. Benjamin Leatherman

Vintagepalooza 5

If you graduated from the old school or are a firm believer in the old chestnut about how “they don’t make things like they used to,” Vintagepalooza 5 should be right up your alley. Ditto for anyone in the market for some throwback apparel, accessories, or collectibles. The one-day retro flea market on Sunday, November 7, inside the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street, will be populated by more than 80 vendors selling vintage clothing, footwear, toys, and various and sundry items for pickers to peruse. Food trucks will also be available. Hours are from noon to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Benjamin Leatherman

All Villains Eve

Local dudes who are either growing out their facial hair (it’s No-Shave November after all) or already sport a full set of whiskers are encouraged to attend this charity celebration from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, November 7, at The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue. The members of the Bearded Villains Phoenix group are putting on the event, which will feature lucha libre wrestling, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle for various items, kids crafts, and drink specials. If you’d still like to show off your get up from Halloween, a costume contest is also planned. Admission is $5 per person and all genders are welcome. Proceeds will benefit the Phoenix Children's Hospital. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge We spotted this artwork by Lalo Cota while exploring murals in the East Valley. - LYNN TRIMBLE
We spotted this artwork by Lalo Cota while exploring murals in the East Valley.
Lynn Trimble

Lowrider Show

You’ll find more than 200 lowrider vehicles in the west parking lot of Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 North Chandler Avenue, Chandler, when the center presents a Lowrider Car and Art Show with Original Street Life. It’s happening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 7. Expect vintage vehicles in 18 classes from trucks to low rods, dating from the 1930s through the 2000s. The show also includes a 20-foot wall of art and photography, plus food trucks and DJs spinning music. Artist Cain Carias and his puppet El Triste will be holding a meet and greet. And artist Lalo Cota, whose lowrider murals dot the metro Phoenix landscape, will be doing a collaborative project with a pop-up barbershop. The event is free, although you do risk getting home to find you have an uncontrollable urge to buy yourself some new vintage wheels. Also that night, the band War, whose hits include the 1975 song "Low Rider," will perform during a ticketed concert at the center, where there will be an ofrenda honoring the group's co-founder B. B. Dickerson who died earlier this year. Lynn Trimble