If the plants around your house seem a bit dull, the Tucson Botanical Gardens might have a solution: This Saturday, the gardens will hold the 10th Annual Weird Plant Sale, offering up odd plants from around the world.
"Most of them are not native plants," says Michael Chamberland, the gardens' curator of horticulture. "These plants tend to be more of the kind of plant you'd have on your patio or windowsill; you're less likely to have landscape-type plants. Many of the weirder plants tend to be from Saudi Arabia, South Africa, even Madagascar--places that are deserts, but tend to be mild, more tropical type of deserts."
While the plants at this sale come from across the globe, they are being sold by local vendors, according to Chamberland. This sale is different than most at the Botanical Gardens, in that it doesn't involve plants sold directly from the gardens. However, he also says that all the plants for sale are appropriate for Tucson's environment.
Although he can't guarantee that a specific type of plant will be present at the sale--the vendors decide what to bring--Chamberland mentioned several unique plants that are likely to be offered, such as the lithop.
"A lithop is a little plant that might show up, and they look like rocks," he says. "They very cleverly camouflage themselves to look like a rock. They're from South Africa and are called living stones. They have two fat leaves that are pressed close together to make it look like a pebble, and a flower will emerge from a crack in the middle."
Admission to the Weird Plant Sale is free. There will also be pottery available for sale. --J.G.
Tucsonans looking to continue a weekend of binge-drinking now have a safe haven at the Doubletree Hotel, thanks to the summer Liquid Sunday pool parties. Every Sunday afternoon, all legal drinkers are invited to lounge, eat, swim and--of course--drink while enjoying the newly renovated hotel.
The concept for Liquid Sundays came from the Rehab pool parties at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The Doubletree's lounge area boasts a pool, shaded areas, a fenced-in Jacuzzi and a large grass area. After paying a cover charge--$5 for ladies and $10 for guys, though all hotel guests get in for free--party-goers can lounge and enjoy a variety of drink specials and a poolside menu that includes everything from chips and salsa to sandwiches, says SueAnn Lemon, the Doubletree's director of sales and marketing.
"It's something different for a summer activity for Tucson," Lemon says. "We wanted to think outside the box."
The hotel is expecting a very nice turnout for the pool parties and anticipates the attendees will predominantly be between the ages of 25 and 40, Lemon says.
Guests wishing to get a head-start on the partying can benefit from special $89 (plus tax) room rates on Saturday and Sunday nights.
The hotel tentatively plans to continue Liquid Sundays through Sept. 14, with different drink specials, prizes and giveaways available each week.
"It's a fun and relaxing way to wind down from the weekend," Lemon said. --C.E.
Amid the dizzying myriad of traffic and construction downtown, the shop and restaurant owners that constitute the Presidio Historic District want the community to know that they are ready for business--so they are introducing Presidio Nights, a series of weekend evenings meant to highlight the greatness that is the "birthplace of Tucson."
The inaugural event kicks off on Friday, June 6, and will focus on the release of the new Arizona state quarter, which officially went into circulation earlier this month. The San Agustin del Tucson Garrison living-history re-creators will be on hand, marching around to distribute vouchers for a new Arizona quarter (displayed in keepsake packaging). Vouchers can be redeemed at any Old Town Artisans business and the nearby El Charro Café, which will be featuring 25-cent specials.
The Tucson Museum of Art will debut its new exhibit, Mexican Photographers Today: Facing a World in Transition, Selected Works From the Margolis Foundation. In the Old Town Artisans courtyard, Irish/Celtic singer and guitar player Jamie O'Brien will perform at 5:30, and bluegrass band Crystal Ridge will perform from 7:30 to 9:30.
"The (Presidio) Historic District is a part of the downtown, but we are looking to market ourselves as a separate faction," says Nelson Warnell, public relations director for Old Town Artisans. "We are the only area in the downtown that hasn't been affected by the construction and traffic."
Presidio Nights is free and open to all ages. The events are after 5 p.m., so downtown street parking is free.
"The downtown has been looked at as a no-man's land for the last two to three years," Warnell says. "This is an opportunity to have people in Tucson discover what's going on in the true birth place of the city." --C.E.
The St. Andrew's Bach Society is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the celebration begins with My Thinge Is My Own: A Raucous Renaissance With Musica Sonora this Sunday.
Part of the celebration is a focus on the contributions of the Rev. Dr. Charles Ingram. The society began 20 years ago, when Ingram primarily wanted to celebrate the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and the Baroque period, according to Dr. Lindabeth Binkley, the artistic director of the society.
"Dr. Ingram was a pianist and noticed that there wasn't a whole lot going on in the summer, and thought, 'There's a great deal of professional musicians who are living and working year-round; why not give them an opportunity to share their music with the community?'" Binkley says. Hence, the Summer Concert Series was born.
As the society went forward, the focus moved away from strictly Baroque music. Today, the purpose is simply to feature high-quality performances by local musicians, Binkley says. And My Thinge Is My Own has a focus on raunchier topics.
"It's very tongue-in cheek," says Binkley. "This is looking at basically the rock 'n' roll of the Renaissance and the Renaissance period. This is the common music that people were listing to and singing. It's not serious; some of the lyrics are quite risqué, and I think it's going to be a great deal of fun, because there's a great deal of humor."
Binkley says the show will include both fart jokes and the appearance of a Wookiee. Yes, the kind from Star Wars.
Tickets are $10 for adults, with discounts available. Tickets will be available at the door an hour before the event. There will also be a cake reception and presentation following the concert. --J.G.