Entrance to the City
Fourth-Annual Miracle Mile Open House and Tour
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 30
1601 N. Oracle Road
Before the creation of Interstate 10, Miracle Mile was the northern entrance to the city of Tucson.
Much of the history from that time is still visible today, from the old neon signs that rise into the air, to the motels that line the street.
Rebecca Ruopp, manager of the Oracle Area Revitalization Plan (OARP) project, said this history was something that the OARP committee built upon when planning the first Miracle Mile tour.
"This area has a bad image," said Ruopp. "(That image) was sort of out of proportion. We wanted to play up the positive aspect of the area—and the history is what was attractive."
The first tour brought out about 200 people, many of whom had stories to share about the places featured. It was then that the planners knew they were on to something.
"Over the years, we've had people come for a second or third time," said Ruopp. "People will say, 'Every time, I learn something new.'"
This year, the event kicks off with an optional tour of Evergreen Cemetery at 8 a.m. The cemetery, located at Oracle and Fort Lowell roads, has been in operation since 1907. The guided tour will lead participants through one of the oldest parts of the cemetery.
Speakers will start at 9 a.m., with R. Brooks Jeffery, the director of the Drachman Institute. Other speakers will include Carlos Lozano, Demion Clinco, and the Tucson Weekly's Dave Devine.
Throughout the day, there will be tours of old motor-court motels and the Ghost Ranch Lodge. Historian Ken Scoville will be leading tours, which leave from College Place.
Ruopp believes that Tucsonans should take this opportunity to "celebrate themselves and honor their history."
The event is free. —A.G.
Honest and Poignant
Young at Art
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 30
UA Poetry Center
1508 E. Helen St.
The UA Poetry Center does a lot of work with K-12 students, be it through their Poetry Joeys program, Poetry Out Loud, or their Corrido-writing contest; the center also provides space for a number of groups' activities.
The Poetry Center works to teach kids about writing creatively—and the Young at Art festival is a celebration of that.
"The day is dedicated to highlighting youth voices," said Renee Angle, program coordinator for K-12 education at the Poetry Center.
The schedule is packed full of fun activities. From puppet shows and Stories That Soar! shows to chalk art and live performances of all kinds, there will not be a dull moment.
Angle said that in particular, she is looking forward to some of the improv opportunities—like haiku improvisation, in which middle school students are encouraged to come up with a haiku on the spot.
"It will be great to watch the creative process happen," said Angle. "(The improv activities) are a great opportunity to contribute."
The Silver Thread Trio, DJ Carl Hanni (a Weekly contributor) and Mr. Tidy Paws and the Funtime Orange Band will be performing and participating as well.
The festival will end with the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam championship, in which students 18 and younger will read original poetry and compete against each another for cash prizes. The poetry slam will also feature a performance from renowned poet Roger Bonair-Agard.
Angle praises youth writing for being honest and poignant. "I think all youth have access to a kind of language that fully dissipates as we get older," she said. "They have access to a part of their brain that I don't."
The event is free. —A.G.
The UA School of Music presents: "Celebrating a Royal Wedding"
7:30 p.m., Friday, April 29
UA Crowder Hall
Speedway Boulevard and Park Avenue
Royal weddings call for royal music.
That's why Dr. Thomas Cockrell, director of orchestral activities at the University of Arizona, has prepared a celebration of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, featuring an all-British program, as performed by the UA Philharmonic and Arizona Symphony orchestras.
"This is really the culmination of our year," Cockrell said. "This is one concert, set to introduce students and audiences to a broad music history and tie in to the current event."
Cockrell explained that Friday's sounds will be multi-disciplinary—yet fun for anyone trying to ride the wave of the royal wedding, which will take place on the same day.
"We are also very excited to include our two principal choirs from the (UA) School of Music," Cockrell added.
Two works of Sir Edward Elgar will open the festivities. Audiences may recognize Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance March" No. 1 from commencement ceremonies.
Cockrell is especially excited about the latter half of the show, which will feature music from Sir William Walton's score of Sir Laurence Olivier's Henry V.
"This was music originally composed around 1944, during the height of World War II, and was used to inspire the British people to victory over the Nazis," Cockrell said. "The music draws off British history and none other than William Shakespeare. New audiences may also be attracted to the dynamic battle-scene scores."
Tucson on Two Wheels
For a Few CC's More: Sky Island Riders Tucson Scooter Club Three-Day Rally
Friday, April 29, through Sunday, May 1
Starts at Scoot Over
4534 E. Broadway Ave.
Howard Rains believes scooters are the way to go.
"They're all about the journey and roads less traveled," he explained.
For three days this weekend, Rains and other members of the Sky lsland Riders Club will be traveling all around Tucson, exploring historic sites and playing scooter-themed games.
"We make up an incredibly diverse group of riders," he said, "We've got everyone from university students to 60-year-olds. The best part is you get the feeling you're breaking the law, but you're not! Twenty mph on a scooter feels more like 65!"
This year's rally begins at 5 p.m., Friday, with a meet-and greet at Scoot Over.
"Friday is supposed to be appealing to everyone, as we will be taking a ride through Tucson Mountain Park, Picture Rocks and finishing with a night ride through the foothills," Rains said. Dinner and dessert will be included as well.
Saturday will start with breakfast at Scoot Over, followed by a special Rains creation: the Tucson Oddities Ride.
"Basically, it's a day to show people interesting places in Tucson from a scooter perspective," Rains said. "We will be stopping at all kinds of local sculptures, murals and old hotels. There will even be some fun trivia."
Saturday will conclude with the Scooter Rodeo. Rains described it as Western-themed scooter games, complete with prizes.
The premiere ride will take place Sunday, when riders are challenged to make the voyage up Mount Lemmon.
"We'll be going up together, as a group, but will be riding down solo so people can go at their own comfort and preferred speed," Rains said.
For a complete schedule and recommended scooter-engine sizes for each ride, visit the website. The entry fee is $30. —T.K.