Nerd Culture

7 Things to Do this Weekend in Metro Phoenix

The Caribbean comes downtown.
Vasco Dixon Photos
The Caribbean comes downtown.
Consider your weekend planned. Get a green thumb, down burritos for cash prizes, try your hand at identifying butterflies, or watch locally made movies at FilmBar. The choice is yours. For more things to do, see our curated calendar of events.

Caribbean Carnival
A single style of music, dance, or dress can’t be used to describe the Caribbean. But Phoenix’s Caribbean Carnival will celebrate the diverse sights and sounds of the islands. The celebration of cultures kicks off on Friday, May 26, at 10 p.m. at Club Palazzo, 710 North Central Avenue, with the International Flag Party, an event where attendees showcase flags from around the world. The festivities will continue at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, at Michael’s at Park Central, 3110 North Central Avenue, with the All White Masquerade Affair featuring live music from “Queen of Soca” Alison Hinds. On Saturday, May 27, people of all ages can experience the flavors of the Caribbean during a street parade with bands, dancers, and spectators decorated in paint and powder. The parade runs from Third Street and Thomas Road to Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road. Also slated for Saturday is a Carnival Village at the park, featuring performances from stilt walkers, fire breathers, and Latin and steel drum bands.

Tickets for the All White Masquerade Affair cost $25 at the door, and admission for the Carnival Village is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and up, and free for children under 12. For more information, go to the Phoenix Carnival website. Laura Latzko

click to enlarge Check out the new location for Roosevelt Growhouse during the next Garden Volunteer Day. - COURTESY OF ROOSEVELT GROWHOUSE.
Check out the new location for Roosevelt Growhouse during the next Garden Volunteer Day.
Courtesy of Roosevelt Growhouse.
Garden Volunteer Day
Ever wish your skill set included gardening? Try learning by doing at Roosevelt Growhouse, 1025 North Second Street, where you don’t need a green thumb to make good things happen. Join fellow volunteers for Garden Volunteer Day between 8 and 11 a.m. on May 27.

It’s a great excuse to play in the dirt while helping beautify a formerly vacant lot. In case you missed it, the Growhouse recently moved to the grounds of the historic Leighton G. Knipe House.

Saturday’s lineup includes spreading mulch and watering plants. And there might be some painting, too. While you’re there, check out a new mural by Isaac Caruso, whose giant sunflowers grace the nearby monOrchid building. Visit the Roosevelt Growhouse Facebook page. Lynn Trimble


In addition to creating a ton of ridiculously killer music in his many years as a celebrity, Prince managed to keep facets of his life out of the public eye. His deep affinity for the color purple, however, was not even close to a secret.

The Purple Rain artist often was clad head to toe in the color. So it makes perfect sense that an event honoring his talents would pay homage to his signature shade. The Automatic Response Performance Company’s production Purple tells stories about the musical legend through the art of dance. Performers include Krista Barker, Kaitlyn Conley, Ricky Maalouf, Jose Soto, and Jayar Fernandez.

Shows take place at 1 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Admission is $20. Call 480-499-8587 or visit the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts website. Amy Young

Arizona State Parks & Trails
Butterfly Walk
We all know the ’90s are back, but thank God the decade’s resurgence hasn’t resurrected the butterfly tattoo. Well, not yet, anyway. Real rhopalocera fans don’t go for ink, but instead education and up-close experiences like the Butterfly Walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, 37615 East US Highway 60 in Superior.

Summer at the arboretum brings monthly butterfly walks, this year starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 27. The slow-paced tour is guided by ASU professor Ron Rutowski, and hits the Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden, and Children’s Garden collections — all via accessible trails.

Participants can see, photograph, and learn about butterfly species like Empress Leilia, Queen, and Spring Azure. Entry is $12.50 for adults, and includes the walk. Call 520-689-2811 or see the Arizona State Parks website for more information. Lauren Cusimano

Phoenix Mercury v. Dallas Wings
Unlike the ad nauseam pundit projections and hoopla surrounding the NBA and NFL drafts, the WNBA draft registers little more than a blip on the media radar. If it had, you would know that the Dallas Wings hauled in three of the top 10 picks. Not bad in a league with just 12 teams. And the Wings’ coveted rookies wasted no time in proving their value, leading their new team to a season-opening victory over the Phoenix Mercury on May 14.

Having their home opener spoiled by a coupla spry rookies, expect Brittney Griner and company to exact their revenge when Dallas returns to Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 East Washington Street, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 27. Tickets are $9 and up. Visit the Mercury website or call 602-379-7800 for details. Rob Kroehler

click to enlarge Meet the official nerd king, Brian Posehn. - COURTESY OF STAND UP LIVE
Meet the official nerd king, Brian Posehn.
Courtesy of Stand Up Live
Brian Posehn
If ever an official nerd king was to be named, stand-up comedian and actor Brian Posehn could rightfully rock that crown.

His 2006 debut comedy album was titled Nerd Rage, after all. And if that’s not testament enough, he hosts a podcast called Nerd Poker, where dorky warriors have gathered for the last five years to play Dungeons & Dragons. His hilarious and self-deprecating narratives combined with a distinctively slow delivery style have helped cement his status as a top-notch funnyman. Prior to his stand-up career, Posehn appeared on such TV shows as HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob and David, where he was also a writer. Opportunities to geek out with Posehn happen at 7:30 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, at Stand Up Live, 50 West Jefferson Street. Admission to the 21-and-over event is $22, and seating is first-come, first-served. All tickets require a two-drink minimum. Call 480-719- 6100 or visit the Standup Live website. Amy Young

click to enlarge See Indigenous Evolution (20014) by Tony Jojola (Isleta) and Rosemary Lonewolf (Santa Clara Tewa) at Heard Museum. - LYNN TRIMBLE
See Indigenous Evolution (20014) by Tony Jojola (Isleta) and Rosemary Lonewolf (Santa Clara Tewa) at Heard Museum.
Lynn Trimble
Free Summer Sunday
Sometimes the herd mentality is good, like when you’re flocking to your local art museum for a free day of exhibitions, performances, and artist demonstrations. Sunday, May 28, is your chance. That’s when the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, opens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Free Summer Sunday.

You’ll get free museum admission, and pay $7 if you want to explore the “Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera” exhibition, featuring works by the renowned 20th-century Mexican artists. There’s also a gallery filled with interactive activities for kids — all inspired by Frida and Diego.

Other highlights include contemporary art by Rick Bartow, sculpture gardens, artwork from the Heard’s collection, and more than 400 katsina dolls. For more information, visit the Heard Museum website. Lynn Trimble

click to enlarge Get ready to burri-go. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Get ready to burri-go.
Benjamin Leatherman
Burrito Eating Contest
Do you refer to your stomach as a bottomless pit? If you can eat a lot of food, and fast, the Crescent Ballroom’s second-ever Burrito Eating Contest is a chance for you to show off your devouring skills. Men get three minutes to down as many burritos as possible, while women get five minutes to test their talents. Prizes are awarded to the top three winners in each category: $250 in cold hard cash for the number-one eaters; second prize gets a $100 Crescent gift card; and third place means a $50 gift card to the music venue. Start chomping or cheering at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 28, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue. Admission and contest entry are free. Call 602-716-2222 or visit the Crescent Ballroom website. Amy Young

click to enlarge We want you to know we have a choice when we select photos for this section, and we chose this profoundly creepy still from The Amazing Mortimer, screening in the Arizona Filmmaker Showcase. You’re welcome. - COURTESY OF ERIC LUCE
We want you to know we have a choice when we select photos for this section, and we chose this profoundly creepy still from The Amazing Mortimer, screening in the Arizona Filmmaker Showcase. You’re welcome.
Courtesy of Eric Luce
Arizona Filmmaker Showcase
Reasons for checking in on FilmBar’s monthly Arizona Filmmaker Showcase are myriad:

• A juried group of short films that are bound to be entertaining;

• A one-stop shop where local arts and media professionals can scope out new partnerships

• An audience full of the people noted above, who are also interesting socially, shall we say

• Prudently consumed alcohol (see below).

This month’s five moviettes include something post-apocalyptic, something ventriloquist-based, and, just to shake things up, a documentary about luthiery. Queue up for the mini-festival at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. Admission is $7, and patrons younger than 21 are admitted only with a parent. Because of the alcohol. That’s why it’s called FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. See the FilmBar website. Julie Peterson