Every year, those New York folks light up a gigantic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center to show just how much money America really has, or something. However, a far more admirable Christmas tree lighting right here in Tucson is now going into its 15th year. The event is the LoveLight Ceremony, and it will take place this upcoming Wednesday at the Lifegain Park on the Tucson Medical Center campus.
The event gets its name from the white, red and green lights that are currently on sale at TMC. According to the press release, the white lights represent loved ones we hold close in our hearts and memories, while the red and green lights honor family, friends or co-workers. Lights can purchased one for $5, or three for $10.
If you don't get your lights before Dec. 7, fret not, as they can also be purchased at the tree-lighting ceremony. All proceeds will go to benefit TMC's hospice, and they promise it is "an awesome sight when the tree glows with a myriad of colors and white lights" realizing "that each light is for someone special." Attendance is free, and the Jovert Steel Drum Band from the Tucson High Magnet School will provide the entertainment. Plus, there will be hot cider, snacks and door prizes. Go on, let that little light of yours shine, shine, shine. --M.P.
If your ideal holiday shopping plans don't involve driving to the mall, parking 12 miles away and fighting your way through violent crowds, then St. Michael and All Angels' 10th Advent International Bazaar is perfect for you. While the rest of Tucson attempts to keep it cool fighting through the mall crowds, you can enjoy international and local holiday goodies, music and food.
St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church will host the two-day bazaar in its Parish Center and adjacent patio. Saturday is the preview sale/opening reception for the bazaar and offers the first choice of gifts from some of the featured groups. You can also get your music on--Balkan traditional music, that is--with Mzekala, an eight-woman ensemble that performs the choral music of Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Russia.
The bazaar continues on Sunday with the addition of regional foods (like Indian tacos and holiday tamales), additional groups (selling their goods) and more live music. The press release notes that typically 20 or more nonprofit groups are represented, along with parish artists. It further notes that St. Michael's Social Concerns Committee arranges this bazaar as a community service with not-for-profit groups and refugees offered free space to sell their goods and promote their work. Truly the holiday spirit in action.
To sweeten the deal, Azure Skies Global Gifts will be on hand with fair-trade items from 10,000 villages and representing artisans from 30 countries. Whether you're looking for international jewelry, tamales, Balkan tunes or an escape from hectic holiday shopping, this bazaar is for you. Plus, it's free and billed as "holiday shopping with a conscience." --M.P.
With the help of many local artists and musicians, Paul Mirocha and his ex-wife Kay Sather have come together to put on an art party for a good cause. Their daughter, Anna Mirocha, needs help with her anorexia-related medical costs, and the Tucson Pima Arts Council is trying to help. Happening this Sunday, the benefit will try and raise the necessary funds while providing an array of entertainment for those attending.
According to the party's Web site (www.paulmirocha.com/artparty), there will be eats ("delectables made from local ingredients by Tucson chefs and local food aficionados"), drinks ("exquisite Sonoran Desert beverages like jojoba coffee, prickly pear punch, Arizona wine, and bootlegged bacanora") and bidding (via silent auction on art by local artists like Paul Mirocha, Kay Sather, Rhod Lauffer, Royce Davenport, Tama White and many, many more) for all attending.
Attendees can make an evening of it, because there will also be music by Mark Holdaway (who will be playing a kalimba set) and Vicki Brown and Chuck Kaplan (who will be playing violin and mandolin duets), as well as a book-signing and reading by author Gary Paul Nabhan. Although this party may be free, it is, you know, a benefit, so it wouldn't hurt to bring some extra pocket change to, forgive me, arty hard. --M.P.
There's a character on The Simpsons (Cat Lady or Crazy Cat Lady, depending on whom you ask) who is slightly fond of cats and completely nuts. In fact, she is often seen in a ratty dress, chucking felines at other characters while babbling nonsensically. This character seems to be the stereotype often associated with "cat people."
However, the International Cat Association and Coatimondi Cat Club look to shed this eccentric image with their Christmas in the Desert Cat Show. The press release notes that the event will feature "14 continuous judging rings with international judges" and "exhibitors from all over the world." I, personally, can't shake the image of a cat dressed up like the Grinch, but there's no word in the press release about whether the cats in the show will dress up in holiday garb.
On the other hand, there will be many new breeds represented in the show, including strangely named ones like Pixie-Bob (in my mind: a cat in overalls and a torn hat who loves Surfer Rosa) and Munchkin (insert your own Wizard of Oz joke). There will also be "exotic" breeds like Bengals (the getting-better AFC North team?) and the Sphynx, as well as classics like the Siamese and Persian.
Sweetening the deal--for your cat--will be the free samples offered by pet food companies. Some exhibitors will even be selling kittens. For a ticket discount, check out www.coatimondi.com. For the rest of you, admission will be $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for kids; kids under 6 get in for free, and it's only $16 for four adults. No word on the price for crazy cat ladies. --M.P.