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Thursday 31

ALL ABOUT EVE. Tucson reaffirms its status as southern Arizona's party hub with a raucous, ornery, and occasionally elegant smorgasbord of New Year's Eve parties.

Here are just a few highlights:

• The Tucson Symphony Women's Association and the Arizona Opera League of Tucson will host Spotlight '99, their New Year's Eve Gala Dinner Dance. At this black-tie-optional soirée, guests will enjoy "mingling, dining and dancing on-stage with the beautiful sets of the opera Die Fledermaus." Music will be provided by the Homero Cerón Quartet. The party begins 8 p.m. in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $100, available by calling 318-3223. Proceeds will benefit the Women's Association and the Arizona Opera.

• Trail Dust Town presents A Cowboy's New Year's Eve, a little boot-kicker of an event featuring musical legends The Desert Sons, special guests Tom Chambers and Jorge Bejarano, and cowboy poetry by Jon Richins. That's in addition to an open western jam session. Party time here is 6:30 p.m. Trail Dust Town is located at 6541 E. Tanque Verde Road. Advance tickets are $20, and include dinner, champagne and the jam session. You can get them in advance at Pinnacle Peak and El Corral restaurants, or at the Trail Dust Town offices. Tickets are $22 at the door, $5 for the jam only. Call 296-4551 for details.

• For a more participatory experience, dance your way into 1999 with the Tucson Friends of Traditional Music, the hosts of another New Year's Eve Contra Dance. These folks will cut the rug on one of the best dance floors in town, with top-roster talent accompanying them with live music and experienced callers. They'll also provide munchies and a cider toast at the bewitching hour. The dance runs from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in the Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave. Admission is $6, $5 for TFTM members. Call 327-1779 for information.

• Tucson's favorite hometown success story, the Mollys, fire up a semi-traditional transition with a wild New Year's Eve bash in the Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. The party starts with a buffet at 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $10 and include the buffet, champagne and party favors. They're available by calling 690-0991. Tickets will be $12 at the door.

• Club Congress rings in the New Year with its biggest indoor bash ever, under the banner of Congress Royale '99. This gambling blast will include musical sensations The Zsa-Zsas as well as several high-rolling motifs, including the Monte Carlo Lounge, Copacabana Ballroom, The Orient, and much more. Plan for early arrival at 8 p.m. in the Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Tickets are $15, and include a champagne toast. Formal attire is preferred. For information, call 622-8848.

Friday 1

POWWOW PARTY. Get some fresh air and welcome 1999 at the annual New Year's Competition Powwow and Indian Craft Market, sponsored by the North American Indian Information and Trade Center. The colorful scene will bustle with dancers from more than 50 tribes, with a wide range of handmade crafts and traditional Indian foods.

Apache hoop dancer John Sneezy is slated to attend, along with the Aztec traditional dancers from Mexico, the Jeddito Public School Dancers and Drum, and Hopi flute player Ernie Northrup. As always, there will be plenty of good food.

The event runs from 4 to 10 p.m. today, noon to 10 p.m. tomorrow, and noon to
6 p.m. Sunday in Rillito Park, on the northeast corner of River Road and First Avenue. Admission is $7, free for children ages 6 and under. Call 622-4900 for information.

ANOTHER TAKE. The Barbea Williams Performing Company provides another holiday perspective with Kwanzaa: Mask Folklore with Dance, Song and Story.

In recognition of the holiday, Williams and her troupe will present a performance using Kwanzaa songs, symbols, rituals and principles intertwined with traditional folk tales. The production will include masks designed by Roosevelt Smith, and will feature Eno Washington and Tariq Rasool.

Performances are 8 tonight, 3 and 8 p.m. tomorrow, and 3 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, in the Tucson Center for Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. Advance tickets are $10, $8 for students and seniors, $5 for children under age 12, and available at Al's Barber Shop, Antigone Books, Hair on Wheels, and Rainbow Accessories, or by calling 298-4772. Tickets are $2 more at the door.

Saturday 2

MUSICAL CREATURES. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra brings neighborhood critters to life in the latest Just for Kids concert. The program will feature "A Stray Cat Asleep on the Roof in the Spring Rain," "The Swan," and "Three Blind Mice." The audience will be invited to participate in some songs.

Free performances are 10 and 11:15 a.m. in the Tucson Center for the Performing Arts, 408 S. Sixth Ave. For information, call 792-9155.

GREAT DIGS. Located only a mile away from the Sabino Canyon Visitor's Center, the Sabino Canyon Ruin was a vibrant village of Hohokam Indians--ancestors of the modern Pima and Tohono O'odham Indians--between A.D. 1000 and 1350. The Old Pueblo Archaeology Center has been busy uncovering the site, and so far has revealed pottery, stone, bone and seashell artifacts, along with prehistoric pit houses, ancient canals, even a dog burial.

Now you can get in on this earthy action when the center hosts guided tours and dig sessions at the site today, and on Saturday, January 16. Tours begin at 9 a.m. The cost is $10, $2 for children ages 12 and under. The digs run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and cost $35 per day, or $50 for both Saturdays. For reservations, directions and other information, call 798-1201.

Sunday 3

MAJOR PIPES. Frederick Swann is the organist in residence at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, where he plays one of the largest pipe organs in the world.

Now he brings that big-city talent to Tucson for a performance in Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church--home to southern Arizona's largest pipe organ. The recital will present a wide range of traditional and 20th-century Christmas and Epiphany music.

The performance is 7:30 p.m. in Grace St. Paul's, 2331 E. Adams St. Admission is $7. For details, call 327-6857.

VINTAGE VIEW. Forget Target, Wal-Mart and all the rest, and take a gander at some little things with lasting integrity. Scads of them will be on the block when Pima County Parks and Recreation hosts another antique fair.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Tanque Verde Center, 2300 N. Tanque Verde Loop Road. Admission is free. Call 740-2680 for information.

Monday 4

STREET SCENES. There's no doubt that North Fourth Avenue holds plenty of creative fodder for the artistic mind. Now the Tucson General Store Gallery taps into that picture with Visions On or Of the Avenue.

Local artists with plenty of avenue experience contributed to the exhibit, with the common theme of interpreting, defining and suggesting the artist's interaction with the funky thoroughfare. That talented roster includes Lisa Blanton, Kristi Spillman, Kurt Tallis, Matt Foote, Texas Probate and Lucas Cammack.

The exhibit runs through January 15 in the Tucson General Store Gallery, 415 N. Fourth Ave. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Call 882-0085 for details.

Tuesday 5

URBAN SERENITY. Connie Mayhew is a staffer at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. On weekends, it's her job to stand behind the gift shop register and chat with visitors, ring up sales, and hand out maps and juicy tidbits of flora-related information.

She calls the gardens one of the most charming spots in Tucson. "There are a lot of private little nooks and crannies," she says. "Folks just like to sit out there on the benches for a little lunch. Lots of times we'll see cute couples all over the place."

The mood is enhanced by delicate herb gardens, carpets of purple heart of Mexico stretching alongside the stone path, carefully tended earthen walkways, and the tropical exhibit. The sensory garden is filled with aromatic, fascinating plants that'll fire up your sense of smell and touch.

And there's an added bonus: At 9 a.m. every Tuesday, TBG offers Birds and Gardening Tours. These 45-minute outings explore the plants and gardening practices that will attract birds to your backyard.

The Tucson Botanical Gardens are at 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission is $4, $3 for seniors, and free for members and children under age 12. Call 326-9686 for details.

Wednesday 6

PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE. As an artist, Gary Swimmer focuses on merging themes of beauty, awkwardness, imperfection and the complexity of form. His paintings become balancing acts of abstract expression and formalist concerns. Those perspectives are display in New Paintings: Abstractions on an Intimate Scale, now showing in the Dinnerware Contemporary Art Gallery.

With this exhibit, Swimmer presents a new body of small works, contemporary abstraction which taps a rich variety of color, mark-making and form.

Abstractions on an Intimate Scale continues through January 29, with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, January 16, in the Dinnerware Gallery, 135 E. Congress St. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday during the weekly downtown Art Walk. For information, call 792-4503.

WALLED WORLD. Since the days of the Hohokam people, Sabino Creek has been a hub of local life. It flows past forested hillsides, gathering in smooth-rock pools where prickly-pear cactus spread their pads towards the sun, and hikers pause to enjoy hawks swirling slowly overhead.

Adding to its draw are rides on the moonlight shuttles traveling up the canyon. "The canyon definitely looks different at night," says shuttle operator Don Ricketts. "How much you can see varies with how full the moon is. (Depending on the time of year) we see a lot of nocturnal animals crossing the road, everything from tarantulas to coyotes. And it's just awfully pretty up here."

Sabino Canyon is at 5600 N. Sabino Canyon Road. It's always open. For information, call 749-8700. TW

City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Tim Vanderpool. Event information is accurate as of press time. The Weekly recommends calling event organizers to check for last-minute changes in location, time, price, etc. To have material considered, please send complete information at least 11 days prior to the Thursday issue date to: Tucson Weekly, P.O. Box 2429, Tucson, Arizona 85702, or fax information to 792-2096, or email us at

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