City Week » Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills

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BALLROOM BLITZ: Pull on your spankiest spats and catch some high-steppin' action with The Arizona Ballroom Company.

Every Friday and Saturday night, these smooth operators dance the night away on the best floor in town. Group classes run from 8 to 8:30 p.m. (beginners on Friday and intermediates on Saturday), followed by dancing until 11 p.m. Join them at 5536 E. Grant Road. Admission is free. For details, call 290-2990.

TWO-WHEELED NIRVANA: Inhale some fresh air and cardio-vascular thrills on Sunday, June 10, with the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists.

Put your pedals to your mettle when this group makes a "very gorgeous, colorful" 12-mile pilgrimage over Red Springs Pass near Tumacacori. The Sunday ride is among a series of free outings open to the public.

Starting time is 7 a.m. Call 398-2268 for meeting place location and other information.

LYRIC BOOST: The UA Poetry Center will host a free reading with Jonathon Keats on Friday, June 9, at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave.

Winner of the center's 2000 Summer Residency Program, Keats is the author of The Pathology of Lies: A Novel, and a senior editor of San Francisco Magazine.

Now in its eighth year, the Residency Program dishes out a $500 stipend to winners, and a quiet place to write for a month with access to the center's extensive collection of books, periodicals, audio-visual recordings and photos.

The free reading is at 7 p.m. Call 321-7760 for information.

HOT STALK: Burn your buds with a visit to the Santa Cruz Chili and Spice Company. The capsicum outpost serves up endless varieties of homemade salsas from its homey, territorial-style headquarters near the Tumacacori Mission, 40 miles south of Tucson.

A table in the center of one room is adorned with corn chips and bowls of exotic concoctions. It's likewise surrounded by herds of hungry visitors, and a gallery of historical photos, yellowed newspaper clippings and mementos from the family-owned company's 40-year history.

Like fiery magnets, these green salsas, red salsas, exotic fruit numbers and even "Ass Kick'n' Salsa" lure folks right off I-19. In an adjoining room, more than 130 varieties of herbs and spices, potpourri and chili-related gifts line the shelves. For the entomologically minded, we recommend the chili-spiced grubs called "Larvets." Bon apetít!

To reach the Santa Cruz Chili Company, take I-19 south to Tumacacori, Exit 29. Call 1-520-398-2591 for details.

HARMLESS HUMOR: Family fun takes center stage at the Red Barn Theater, which is holding forth with the Good Clean Comedy Night, an ongoing series presenting amateur humorists, skits, song, dance and stunts promising "an evening of comedy that won't curl your hair." In other words, no offensive or disturbing content allowed.

Good Clean Comedy Night runs from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Wednesday in the Red Barn Theater, 948 N. Main Ave. Admission is $1. For information, call 622-7856.

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