DESERT DANCE PARTY: Our region's most distinctive homegrown music returns to the local stage this weekend, when the Arizona Historical Society hosts the 10th annual Waila Festival.
Created by the Tohono O'odham people, the unique music blends the traditions of Mexican norteño with German polka, resulting in a sound that lurches along to the wails of saxophone, accordion and guitar. This year's lineup includes Southern Scratch, the Santa Rosa Band, the Tohono O'odham Veterans, and a reunion appearance by the Joaquin Brothers.
Along with music on indoor and outdoor stages, the festival will include the usual array of Native American crafts, chow, and a special exhibit entitled One Hundred Years of Change: Tohono O'odham Basketry in Transition.
Free event runs from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, and 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 17 and 18, in the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St. For details, call 628-5774.
NOCTURNAL WIZARDS: Springtime skies play host to musical rhapsody--and a refreshing bit of fantasy--when the Civic Orchestra of Tucson plays music from The Wizard of Oz. Under the hand of Artistic Director Herschel Kreloff, the orchestra will also perform a string of light classics, pops, and other "all-time favorites."
Free performance is 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 19, in the Reid Park DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, located at 22nd Street and Country Club Road. Bring a blanket or something to sit on. For information, call 791-9246.
FOR MOM: The mother of us all gets her just recognition on Saturday, April 18, with a variety of events celebrating Earth Day. The Tucson Children's Museum marks the date with a festival and parade designed to "enhance environmental awareness through education, and to promote southern Arizona's rich cultural heritage," according to festival co-chair Christina Bickelmann.
The mile-long parade starts at 10 a.m. at the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., and travels north on Stone Avenue, east on Broadway; south on Sixth Avenue; and then returns to the Children's Museum, 200 S. Sixth Ave. The free festival runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the museum grounds, and will include numerous educational booths and activities for kids. For more information, call 795-9985, ext. 112.
Recycled clothing retailer Buffalo Exchange, 2001 E. Speedway, celebrates in style with a free, in-store performance from 2 to 4 p.m. by local musicians Sapphire Kieft and Annie Hawkins. The store will also host a Dollar Day sale, with proceeds benefiting the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity. Call 622-2711 for details.
ARBORETUM ARDOR: Boyce Thompson Arboretum's eucalyptus forest will be the setting for the fourth-annual Arbor/Earth Day extravaganza, featuring family-oriented activities including tree planting, paper making, leaf printing and branch weaving. Dr. Frank Crosswhite, Arboretum curator of botany, will discuss the importance of trees in a traditional "stump oratory" at the state park.
Events run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, located near Superior. Take Highway 79 north to Highway 60, and head east for approximately 10 miles. Drive time is 90 minutes. Admission is $5, $2 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for children 4 and under. For information, call (520) 689-2811.
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