A Shocking Good Time
Electrical Storm on the Moon
6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3
2544 E. Allen Road
Check out this shocking event, and you'll have the chance to safely conduct 500,000 volts of electricity through your body.
Tucson's historic Valley of the Moon park is hosting an electrical show involving a real Tesla coil, which shoots tremendous electric sparks, said Randy Van Nostrand, president of Valley of the Moon.
Local business-owner Carl Noggle is offering the use of his Tesla coil, a type of transformer invented by Nikola Tesla in the 1890s. As part of the show, a woman, whose stage name is Electrice, "wears a metallic outfit. When she stands on top of the Tesla coil, electricity shoots out from her fingertips and her hair," said Van Nostrand. "The electricity can flow even a few feet away from the coil; if you hold up a light bulb, it lights up."
After the show, bystanders can get inside a special enclosure called a Faraday cage and safely experience the electricity up close.
"You can fit inside, and the electricity can spark and go all around you," Van Nostrand said.
The event may seem like an odd fit for the whimsical fairyland that is Valley of the Moon—but it's a perfect fit to Van Nostrand.
"It's actually very old technology, and to me, that fits in really well with being a historic site," Van Nostrand said. "This isn't state-of-the-art stuff; this was stuff they were doing actually around the turn of the century."
Valley of the Moon was begun by George Phar Legler in 1920s. The park has special events every Saturday and is devoted to promoting Legler's belief that "kindness to all is the golden key to happiness."
The event is free; it costs $5 to get into the Faraday cage. —K.M.
Live From Tanzania
World AIDS Day 2011 Event
4 p.m., tonight, Thursday, Dec. 1
311 E. Congress St.
Check out a local AIDS event that's got a global reach—and then dance the night away for a good cause.
This year's World AIDS Day observance at Hotel Congress has two parts. Starting at 4:30 p.m. outside, Church Key, Quieres Mas, Salvador Duran and other groups will perform. At 10 p.m., attendees can participate in a live Skype call to Tanzania, where Tucsonan Jeremy Isajiw is doing outreach work. He will be joined by a mother who is HIV-positive and a newly diagnosed 16-year-old.
"The people from Tanzania are all going to be able to see us, too," said Heather Moroso, organizer of this year's event and CEO of Positively Beautiful, an outreach group that provides makeovers for women and men struggling with HIV. "It's pretty cool for them. They sometimes don't even believe that HIV even exists in other countries."
Following the Skype call is the weekly Optimist Club dance night at Club Congress.
Moroso stressed that people should be there by 10 for the live feed from Tanzania.
"The only thing that might postpone it is there might be a rolling blackout or brownout," Moroso said.
David Slutes, of Hotel Congress, said the evening should offer a mix of fun and reflection.
"It's probably going to be really busy and a heck of a lot more fun," Slutes said.
Overall, the event is a "way to get information and have fun and enjoy yourself," Moroso said. "Some other events are more-subdued. This is more of a celebration of how far we've come, whether it comes to medicine or knowledge of what the disease is."
The early events are free, and there's a $3 cover for the Optimist Club. —K.M.
'Tis the Season for Shopping and S'mores
Tree-lighting: 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
Festival: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4
Oro Valley Marketplace
Oracle and Tangerine roads
The twice-a-year Oro Valley Festival of the Arts is back—just in time for the holidays. It's a perfect event for holiday shopping—or a chance to get outside and enjoy some fine entertainment.
On Saturday and Sunday, the 115-acre festival grounds will include up to 120 artists. Crafts for sale range from jewelry and woodwork to pottery and photography. The event will also feature an eclectic lineup of live entertainment, ranging from rhythm and blues to mariachi music, as well as a performance by Catalina Foothills High School's steel drum band, as well as the Old Arizona Brass Band.
"I think it's a really great and energetic community event," said Chelsey Killebrew, of the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, which puts on the festival. "The outdoor atmosphere really adds to it."
The festival also will serve food that's "not just hot dogs," Killebrew said. Philly cheesesteaks, gelato, kettle corn and fruit smoothies are also part of the fare.
A ceremony featuring the lighting of Oro Valley's 25-foot-tall Christmas tree on Friday night kicks off the festivities. Children can enjoy cookie-decorating, arts and crafts, and s'mores-making, as well as a visit from Santa Claus. A photographer will be present to capture the children with St. Nick. Some participating arts vendors will also be open for business during the Friday festivities.
All the weekend events are free. For a complete entertainment schedule, a list of participating artists, vendor lists and more, go to orovalleyfestival.org. —J.B.
Winter Arrives at River and Campbell
St. Philip's Plaza's A Winter Night's Dream
4 to 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3
4280 N. Campbell Ave.
Help support local businesses this holiday season at St. Philip's Plaza's A Winter Night's Dream event.
The free, one-night event is sponsored by Yelp.com as part of its "shop local" campaign. The evening will feature pop-up boutiques and booths where visitors can peruse wares from the plaza's stores. Attendees can also enjoy a runway-style show put on by Paula Taylor Productions that will feature more fashions—and the show won't stop there: Items from St. Philip's Plaza stores such as Arizona Cyclist and Bahti Indian Arts will also be part of the show.
"It's going to be a beautiful event—a winter wonderland experience," promised Alexandra Selby, St. Philip's Plaza director of marketing.
Longtime plaza restaurant Vivace will join the plaza's new American-fare eatery, Union Public House, to serve food, and a $5 wine and cocktail tasting will raise money for the Junior League of Tucson. The organization teaches women leadership skills and ways to give back to the community through volunteer and service activities.
Selby, who is a new member of the Junior League of Tucson, said most of the money raised at the event will go toward the organization's project to help independent seniors in Tucson.
Live music is also part of the event, with Rescue Lights and American Idol finalist Crystal Stark performing. Guests can also enter a raffle, and some stores will give away prizes.
The event will be held outdoors, and guests are encouraged to dress accordingly. —J.B.