Row With the Flow

Sat 3/27
The water levels of the Verde River, which snakes through the town of Camp Verde, about an hour and a half north of downtown Phoenix, fluctuate like the psyche of a bipolar schizophrenic. Yet the Verde River Canoe Challenge has steadily built a loyal base of participants from all skill levels, growing from 18 boats and 27 racers back in 2000 to 88 boats and 124 racers last year. Shoving off from White Bridge Park, just east of Camp Verde, at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 27, the race finishes at Beasley Flats, about 10 miles downriver. Categories include men's and women's solo and tandem competitions, men's and women's kayaking, coed tandem canoeing, and family canoeing. The entry fee -- which includes an event tee shirt -- is $20 for adults, $18 for kids 12 and younger. For registration or more information, call 1-928-567-0535 or visit -- Joe Watson

Please, Hammer, Don't Hurt Him
The bell tolls for a night of boxing

Fri 3/26
Local boy Jesus "The Hammer" Gonzalez doesn't have the Golden Boy's face, but he's so pretty in the ring. Gonzalez (7-0, 7 KOs) headlines a night of Top Rank Boxing on Friday, March 26, at the Dodge Theatre, 400 West Washington. Ringside seats are $55, general admission is $25. For tickets, call 480-784-4444. -- Joe Watson

Look, Ma - one Hand
Family night features rock climbing

Fri 3/26
All the fun of rock climbing without the fear of death! AZ on the Rocks indoor gym, 16447 North 91st Street in Scottsdale, hosts a family night Friday, March 26. A massage, snacks and door prizes, as well as all the necessary gear, are included in admission -- $20 for adults, $15 for kids. Call 480-502-9777. -- Joe Watson