Return of the Mermaids: Celebrate the monsoon with this annual festival and parade. Dress up and join the mermaids as they make their way through 4th Avenue and Downtown Tucson. Families are welcome at this multi-venue event, but mermaids are known to get "a little racier" as the evening goes on, so parental discretion is advised. Follow the link for details on where to find your favorite under the sea activities, including: the mermaid pageant, the kids costume contest, a dinglehopper workshop, and the SURFBROADS. Noon-2 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.
Laid Back Spanish Class: Get your español on without the stress of a traditional classroom setting—or the ever rising cost of tuition. This is a beginners course which will look at culture and verbal and written communication. The first class is Monday, Aug. 15 at 6 p.m.—though participants are also expected to attend the second and third lessons on Aug. 22 and Aug. 29. Buy tickets here. Southern Arizona Work Space, 403 N. 6th Avenue. $45.
Iskashitaa Refugee 101: Attend this interactive workshop, which will focus on global, national and local aspects of refugee settlement. Learn about the ways Ishkashitaa enhances the Tucson community through food-based programming and explain how anyone can become a volunteer. 6-8 p.m. Thursday. Aug. 11 Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. Free.
Food & Booze
Culinary Boot Camp 101: Chef Janos Wilder is inviting us over for a cooking class. The James Beard award winner will teach the public basic knife skills, how to make simple vinaigrettes and salads, how to break down a chicken, skinning and cooking fish, making stocks and sauce and how to make easy summer desserts. Contact Megan Noli, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-6100. 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 17. Carriage House, 125 S. Arizona Ave. $120 per person.
Bacon, Blues, & Brews: The name itself sounds like a recipe for a good night. The event, billing itself as the first annual Bacon, Blues & Brews, will feature savory and sweet selections from local restaurants, live blues and local brews. 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14. Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ, 1801 N. Stone Avenue. $20, buy tickets online.
Kingfisher Bar and Grill continues its Summer Road Trip with a visit Back East. A taste of the special menu items: tempura-battered fried soft-shell crab, cedar-planked sea scallop, grilled swordfish with cranberry-walnut quinoa, and a steamed Maine lobster alongside roasted rosemary potatoes and creamed corn. The Back East menu continues through Aug. 23 at Kingfisher, 2564 E. Grant Road.
Rio Bravo: See John Wayne, Claude Akins, Dean Martin, John Russell, Walter Brennan, Ricky Nelson and Angie Dickinson on the big screen when the Fox screens Rio Bravo. The film, a good-old-fashioned classic western, was filmed at Old Tucson Studios. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress Street. $7 general admission, $5 for students/seniors/military.
Wild & Scenic Film Festival: Take in a collection of films focusing on the environmental concerns and celebrations of the Earth. The Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection is promising an evening of music, prizes and environmental activism. What more could we ask for? 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway. $8.
The Princess Bride: Is there a better way to come down from a stressful week of work than watching a classically charming movie? Inconceivable! Join the good folks at the Loft for an evening of battling Rodents of Unusual Size, humiliations galore and, of course, popcorn. Showings: 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12-13, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway. $6, $5 for Loft members. The Loft also brings you John Water's legendary Multiple Maniacs starting Friday, Aug. 12. Mondo Monday will feature Ghost Town (also shot at Old Tucson Studios) on Monday, Aug. 15.
The Boob Tube Review: The Community Playhouse will give you a hefty dose of nostalgia with theme songs from favorite television shows from days gone by. 7:30-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Sundays through Aug. 21. The Community Playhouse, 1881 N. Oracle Road. $10.
Silversun Pickups: Head to the Rialto on Wednesday to catch the first Silversun Pickups show in Tucson not taking place at the Pima County Fair. Check out our music feature to learn more about the band and speculations on upcoming music.
Old Crow Medicine Show with Brandi Carlile: Old Crow Medicine Show and Brandi Carlile co-headlining this week at AVA. Yes, you read that right. Old Crow member Critter Fuqua says the combination may look weird on paper but it all comes together on stage: "It really shows that there aren't really walls when it comes to music." Head to the show and tell us if he's right. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W. Valencia Road. $36-$52.
Tribute to Mike Bartlett: In honor of the late and great local music staple Mike Bartlett, his Tucson friends will be coming together for a night of camaraderie, laughter, memories and music. To celebrate all that Bartlett gave to Tucson and the Monty head over to this tribute. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 Free. Monterey Court, 505 W Miracle Mile.
IBT's BIG Gay Weekend: Two nights of parties, drag, music, dancing, and drinks with the stylings of Tempest DuJour, Shannel, The Haus of Kunt—and that's just the first day. Free giveaways and drink specials will be sure to please over the course of the weekend. 9 to 2 p.m. Aug. 12-14 IBT's, 616 N. Fourth Avenue. $5 cover starting 8 p.m.
The Estrogen Hour Summer Sizzler: Celebrate funny women and donate some cash to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at the Estrogen Hour Summer SIzzler. Host Nancy Stanley and local female comics will perform. Be sure to reserve a seat. Ages 21+. 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14. Laffs Comedy Caffe, 2900 E. Broadway. $12.
Interactive Comedy Show: Look out! The Personal Space Invaders are serving up comedy realness whether you wanna be part of the show or not. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14. The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. $7.
Madagascar: Take the kids to the zoo without braving the sun when the Loft Jr. Series presents the crackaliackin' Madagascar.Make sure it to one of the two showings: There's one at Trail Dust Town, 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road, at 7:30 pm. on Friday, Aug. 12, and another at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13. Both are free.
Once Upon This Time: Forgo the classics and enjoy a modern twist in this tale of “princess meets present.” Can Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella still happily ever after in the 21st century? 12:30 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 25 at Live Theatre Workshop,
5317 E. Speedway Blvd. $7 for kids, $10 for adults.
Twilight Thursdays: The Botanical Gardens are beautiful year-round, but the intense summer sun makes daytime summer visits a little more painful. Never fear! The gardens are open in the evenings on Thursday during the summer to help Tucsonans get their nature fix without instant dehydration. Thursdays through Sept. 15. 5-8 p.m. Tucson Botanical Gardens, $9, free for members.
Pokémon GO in the Gardens: Nature loving Pokémon trainers, get excited. For a few hours this weekend, Tohno Chul is offering half-price admission for all Pokémon GO players to their gardens (featuring 13 PokéStops and a gym). The weekend deal is good through through the end of August. Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte.
Summer Reading with Vickie Vértiz & Erin Stalcup: UA Poetry Center summer resident Vickie Vértiz will share the reading stage with fiction writer Erin Stalcup. Both authors will stick around for a Q&A. 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11. University of Arizona Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St. Free.
The Death Monologues: This one-woman show, written and performed by Giselle Suarez, offers perspective on a commonly dark subject subject that permeates the life of everyone. The show bills itself as a unique and uplifting experience that will change your relationship with our destiny: death. 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14. Galactic Center, 35 E. Toole Avenue. $10.
Beach Blanket Be-Bop! Grab your board and hang ten, because surf's up for this family-friendly, fun-filled musical comedy. 7- 9 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 25. Gaslight Music Hall, 13005 N. Oracle Road. $18.95.
The Freedom League! In need of a good laugh? Last chance to head over to Gaslight Theatre and check out The Freedom League. Enjoy free popcorn as you boo the bad guys, cheer the heroes and sing along with the olio show. The run wraps on Aug. 13. The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway Blvd. $19.95.
4x4: Artifact Dance Project's summer intensive showcase will features performers dancing to choreography by José De La Cruz, Joshua Blake Carter, Ashley Bowman and Claire Hancock, all set to the music of classical composers. 7:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 and Saturday, Aug. 13. Artifact Dance Project Studios, 17 E. Toole Avenue. $15.
Bike to MOCA: If you bike to MOCA and prove your cycling commute by showing off your helmet, admission is free for the day! All in honor of MOCA being a recognized Bronze Seal Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14. MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. Free.
Milagros: Featuring artists Lucia Bigalow, David Contreras, Neda Contreras, E. M. Contreras, Nina Duckett, Juan Enriquez, Jeff Litvak, Marcy Miranda Janes, Ruben Urrea Moreno, David Scott Moyer, Pauline Pedregon, Hector Perez, Carolyn Sotelo, Mano Sotelo and Martin Quintanilla. The exhibition runs through Aug. 27. 6 to 9 p.m. Contreras Gallery And Jewelry, 110 E Sixth St.
DeGrazia's Navajo Collection: The exhibition will feature scenes of daily life on the Navajo reservation, with 17 oil paintings dating from 1960 to 1966 depicting the Navajo people at work, in tribal gatherings and on the trail. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Continues through Jan. 25. DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, 6300 N. Swan Road.
Flight and Moving Water: An art exhibit by Lonedove, who has been a painter for more than 20 years. Through form, formlessness, color, pulsation and rhythm, the audience will be able to enter into the natural world. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31. Kirk-Bear Canyon Branch Library, 8959 E. Tanque Verde Road. Free.
Sightlines: A group photography show courtesy of Etherton Gallery. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Continues through Sept. 30 at Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Regular admission prices.
Living River of Words: Local children share the view of the natural world in the exhibition of youth poetry and mixed-media art. Continues through Aug. 31. Murphy-Wilmot Branch Library, 530 Wilmot Road. Free.
Solo Exhibition by Glenn Thompson: Features a photographic journey, documenting 20 years of underwater adventures with more than 30 fine art prints. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibition continues through Aug. 28.