Welcome to the Dark Side: Modern Times Edition.
Celebrating their second annual Dark Side event, Arizona Beer House is inviting Modern Times Beer to the party. This party features 40 taps, with 40 Modern Times beers. Plus, brewery representatives will be in to talk shop and guide you through the many flavors of dark beer available on this spacey day. The event also features Food Groupie Cafe food truck and Sarge’s Cheesecakes. Noon to midnight, Saturday, May 4. 150 S. Kolb Road. Details here.
Mexi-Festi Beer Garden.
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, Nuptials by Brenda and Americano Mexicano restaurant are hosting an event at Main Gate Square with beer, food, games and craft booths. VIP package includes a T-shirt, mug, koozie and special entry to bar area. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4. 800 E. University Blvd. $25. Ages 11 and under free. VIP $75. Details here
Brain Freeze Ice-Cream Festival.
Just in time for the days getting warmer, multiple local ice creamers are gathering for the Brain Freeze festival at Rillito Park. And tickets won’t just get you a lot of ice cream, they’ll get you unlimited ice cream at the event! Plus foam parties, face painting and music. This event is also a fundraiser for the Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome. Participating restaurants include Cashew Cow, The Screamery and Blue Bell Ice Cream. Noon to 5 p.m. May 4. Rillito Park. $12. $10 for ages 4 to 12. Details here.
Ina Road Reopening Celebration.
Didn’t you hear? The construction on Ina Road is nearly finished, and the I-10 exit is now open! To celebrate the end of this headache, lots of local businesses are celebrating the return of their customers and convenience. The festivities are happening all weekend May 4 and May 5. Participating restaurants include Donut Wheel, Chickenuevo, Crema Coffee and more. May 4 and May 5. Ina Road. Details here.
Cinco de Mayo Celebration at Tohono Chul.
Part of the Agave Heritage Festival, this free event at the northside’s favorite botanical gardens features plenty of Southwest traditions. There will be mariachi band performances, agave spirit tastings, food vendors, artist displays and a local produce farmers market. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5. 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte. Free. Details here.
Local musician seanloui put together this recurring event throughout the month of May to celebrate and shine a light on black creativity in Tucson! Many of us don’t realize the influence black artists have on mainstream culture, and this is an opportunity for all of us to explore, learn and appreciate. Each week is centered around a different artistic theme, and this week is hip hop! The night features artists Jaca Zulu, Cash Lansky, Chakara Blu and Kazier. The audience features you! 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Hotel McCoy, 720 W. Silverlake Road. Details here.
Gatos & Galleries.
Wow, need we even say more about this event than that involves cats and art? The Wilde Meyer Gallery and Jane Hamilton Fine Art will be hosting an evening of art, raffles, refreshments and—best of all—adoptable kitties! Second best of all? A cat mask contest, which makes this one of the few places where you can wear a cat mask and not only be accepted, but win a prize! The event benefits the Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter, and it benefits you too, because you get to hang out with cats surrounded by works of art. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive. Details here.
Thinking about hunger in your local community is no fun. Sometimes it’s so not fun that it can leave you feeling paralyzed by the possibility of trying to do anything about it. This event to support the Community Food Bank is your solution. It’s an evening of interactive art, entertainment and food trucks coming together to foster an open dialogue about hunger in the community AND to support local artists. They created art with the theme “what is hunger” or “what is nourishment?” to get the conversation started. 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Steinfeld Warehouse Community Arts Center, 101 W. Sixth St. Details here.
PCC Digital Arts Media Fusion.
There’s a demand for creativity in every field, but in this community, there’s an especial demand for creative workers to work in the areas of game design, animation, film and web design. Our local community college is determined to train people in just these areas, and this is your chance to see how some of their efforts are going. A main show will feature highlights in game design, animation and film, and a 6 p.m. preshow event will get the audience involved in interactive gaming and give them the chance to see some work not in the main show. Four-piece folk-rock band Smallvox, featuring faculty member Greg Loumeau, will play onstage before and after the event. 6 p.m. preshow, 7 p.m. screening. Friday, May 3. PCC Center for the Arts, West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road. Free and open to the public. Details here.
Wake Up Your Weekend With Sunrise Pilates.
Waking up early to do yoga is exactly the type of thing a lot of people like to think they will someday do, but don’t get around to actually doing. Why not make this Saturday the day you actually do it? In honor of World Pilates Day, Body Works Pilates is hosting a 7 a.m. Pilates class in the courtyard at St. Philip’s Plaza, followed by equipment demonstrations from 8 to 10 a.m. World Pilates Day is going to be your day! And then you’ll feel energized and ready to go full speed ahead on the weekend. 7 a.m. Saturday, May 4. St. Philip’s Plaza Courtyard, 1980 E. River Road. Details here.
Dr. Gann’s Diet of Hope Cinco de Mayo 10K, 5K & FitKidz Mile.
If you’re going to do a 5K, you might as well do one that’s been going on annually for 39 years, and which winds its way through the gorgeous area around Starr Pass. AND you might as well do it on Cinco de Mayo, so that you can enjoy a performance by the Cholla High School mariachi band afterward. There will be a jumping castle, piñatas and a water-balloon toss, among other activities, for the kids. And there will be post-race eegees and breakfast burritos from El Saguarito Mexican Food! 6:30 a.m. Sunday, May 5. Cholla High School, 2001 W. Starr Pass Blvd. $40, or $35 for Southern Arizona Roadrunners members (unless registering at packet pickup or day-of—then it’s $40 for everyone). Details here.
A Sea Symphony.
Do you ever think about how common it s for writers and other artists to compare the journey of life to a journey at sea? It’s a good metaphor: There are calm waters and stormy waters, and there’s so much that’s out of your control. But there is endless potential for adventure and beauty. Ralph Vaughan Williams’ work, using text from Walt Whitman, is yet another example of a piece of art designed to recreate both the turbulence and tranquility of an ocean voyage. And the Tucson Masterworks Chorale, now in its 70th season, is sure to perform it beautifully. 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St. $18 in advance or $20 at the door. Details here.
Sounds of Spring.
Have you heard of the Tucson Girls Chorus? Founded in 1985, the program works with girls in kindergarten through high school to make seriously beautiful music (go to their website, tucsongirlschorus.org to hear a sample of their advanced choir singing). The different levels will be performing as individual choirs and also as one big, soaring voice. Why miss a chance to hear some beautiful music and to support more than 200 young women and girls who represent our future? 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $15 to $18. Details here.
Tucson Boys’ Chorus Pops Concert.
’Tis the season for the angelic voices of singing children, apparently! The Tucson Boys’ Chorus was started about 80 years ago, when tenor Eduardo Caso came to Arizona to recover from his tuberculosis, and established the nonprofit educational organization. So, to open the show, they’ll be singing the lively “80 Years of Song.” All eight groups within the chorus, made up of boys and men ages 6 to 21, will be performing. And, since it’s May 4, the Young Men’s Ensemble will do a John Williams medley, including the Star Wars theme. Closing out the night is chorus members and alumni singing, “Tucson–Arizona’s Favorite Child.” 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Catalina Foothills High School Auditorium. $15 to $20, or $8 for kids under 12. Details here.
Mariachi Women’s Festival.
Hooray for strong and successful women! Especially those who have fought for more than a century to make their way in a male-dominated field. This could apply to all sorts of fields, but this week, it’s about women mariachi performers. Come see stunning talent like two-time Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas (in from LA), Mariachi Rubor (in from Phoenix) and Tucson’s very own Monica Trevino kick some ass and pluck some strings at this concert and celebration. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $30 to $75. Details here.
Pops in the Park.
This annual event by the Civic Orchestra of Tucson features both popular music and classical music under the stars at Reid Park. On the program this year are pieces from Pirates of the Caribbean and Fiddler on the Roof, as well as Eric Coates’ London Suite, Mikhail Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture and Johannes Hanssen’s Valdres March. Jacqueline Rodenbeck, winner of the junior strings division of the 2019 Young Artists’ Competition, is the featured soloist, playing the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. 7 p.m. Sunday, May 5. DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, 1030 S. Randolph Way. Free. Details here.
Tucson Sugar Skulls vs. San Diego Strike Force.
Tucson’s favorite indoor football league is continuing their season with a San Diego team that’s also relatively new. The Sugar Skulls had their first home game loss back in April, so you’d better believe they’re not going to want it to happen again. So head on down to the Tucson Arena to watch the team get their sugary heads in the game for a taste of sweet, sweet victory. 6 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $17 to $99. Details here.
May the Fourth Be With You.
You know the twin suns on Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine? And the frozen snowfields on Hoth where the Rebel Alliance built their secret base? These planets beyond our solar system were imagined in the Star Wars Universe, but years after the original films came out, astronomers discovered exoplanets—planets orbiting other stars beyond our solar system, with properties similar to Tatooine and Hoth. Learn all about them in this show at Flaundrau, “Life Beyond Earth: The Search for Undiscovered World.” Plus, check out special guided activities like building a glowstick light saber or a spaceship, and be sure to dress up as your favorite Star Wars character to be entered in a drawing for a family membership to Flandrau. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with special activities 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. $4 exhibit admission and $4 for planetarium shows. Details here.
Kentucky Derby Party at Rillito.
Put on your biggest, fanciest hat and grab yourself a mint julep, because the Kentucky Derby is here! Can’t make it over to Kentucky? Rillito Race Track is bringing the festivities to you. They’ve got a southern style buffet, a hat contest (with categories for best western hat, best outrageous hat, best traditional hat and best kids hat) and a necktie contest (with categories for best Western/horse tie, best vintage/historic tie and best flamboyant tie. The post time for “Run for the Roses” is 3:40 p.m. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Rillito Park Race Track, 4502 N. First Ave. Free and open to the public, or $50 to reserve a table in advance. Details here.
Free Comic Book Day!
Quick! Head over to Heroes and Villains Comic Book Store, because they’re literally giving away more than 10,000 free comics! 10,000! Superhero, manga, action, comedy, adventure, you name it. They’ll also have preview books for the summer’s blockbuster event books from Marvel and DC, costumed characters and special figures available only that day. AND if you take a photo of yourself waiting in line before they open and post it to their Facebook wall, you’ll be entered for a chance to win free comics for a YEAR. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Heroes and Villains Comic Book Store, 4533 E. Broadway Blvd. Details here.
Stepping Stone Paver Workshop.
You ever just get the urge to make your garden more welcoming to any potential fairies that might be considering settling there? If you don’t, maybe you should! Green Things has got you covered with this workshop on how to make lovely, colorful stepping stone pavers that will add some oomph to your outside. The fee is $25 for one stepping stone or $40 for two, and includes all the materials you’ll need. Noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Green Things, 3384 E. River Road. Details here.
First Friday Shorts Golden Gong Year-End Showdown.
It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of local madness! The Loft Cinema’s First Friday Shorts series is hosting its year-end awards. That means they’re screening 12 short films, one winner from every month of the past year. And you get to decide which local filmmaker made the best of the best, and is deserving of the $1,000 grand prize, plus endless bragging rights. Get out there and see the best shorts Tucson has to offer. 9 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, May 3. 3233 E Speedway Blvd. $8. Details here.
Future of Film in Arizona: Young Filmmakers Event.
Independent Film Arizona is hosting a gathering at the Fox Theatre to discuss the future of local film. This also includes a program of locally made short films. Hosted by Maria Powell and Tucson.org, featuring the film Zapata. Get out there and support local film! 6 p.m. Friday, May 3. 17 W. Congress St. Free. Details here.
Young Guns II.
Continuing their Old Tucson film series, the Loft Cinema is screening Young Guns II, which (SURPRISE!) was filmed at Old Tucson studios. Besides recognizing some famous local buildings on-screen, you also get to see Emilio Estevez and Kiefer Sutherland shoot it out in this Oscar-nominated 1990 retelling of a plot to kill Billy the Kid. 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 4. 201 S. Kinney Road. $5. Please bring your own seating. Details here.
Who doesn’t like it when science and art unite? This family-friendly event at the Loft Cinema features astronomy documentaries as well as live performances. It also features an introduction and Q&A with astrophysicist Stéphanie Juneau, filmmaker Bryan Nelson and circus director/performer Stephanie Cortes. This event is part of Science On Screen, an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Be entertained and educated at the same time! 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $8. Details here.
Events compiled by Tirion Morris, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.