Best Annual Festival

Tucson Folk Festival

READERS' PICK: This free festival, coming up on its 17th year, is the crowning achievement of the all-volunteer Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association. Now up to three stages stretching from Presidio Park over to the Tucson Pima Library plaza, the two-day lovefest the first weekend in May has developed a well-deserved national reputation among performers. Mixing the best local folkies with breakout recording artists warming up for the summer festival season, it's a loose-feeling, but tightly-run, affair. Kids events, workshops, food and craft vendors all add to the event, but the focus is on handmade Americana music. Other events may be larger, but TKMA seems to have managed growth without ever losing sight of its unique, happy-go-lucky vibe.

STAFF PICK: We vote for the day the Arizona Wildcat football team is officially eliminated from Rose Bowl contention. Face it, folks: the odds on the Wildcats winning a Rose Bowl are about as good as Robert Downey Jr. passing a drug test. So what do you do about it? Well, do what every other red-blooded American would do: profit. Find yourself a bar loaded with naive Wildcat fans and prepare yourself for the next tax bracket. We suggest wagering on UCLA, USC, Oregon State, Oregon, Cal or anybody else in the Pac-10 for that matter. Then sit back, relax and let money cushion the impact of seasonal disappointment. Go Cats!

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