Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Posted on Tue, Apr 6, 2021 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge Don't forget to pack sunscreen, a towel and sassy sunglasses. - BIGSTOCK
Don't forget to pack sunscreen, a towel and sassy sunglasses.

The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation department will open three more extended-season pools and all splash pads on Monday, April 19.

For more information on pools, go to the City of Tucson website.

City splashpads are:

  • Catalina Park Splash Pad, 925 N. Fourth Ave.
  • Clements Splash Pad, 8155 E. Poinciana Drive
  • Naida Jane Baker Splash Pad, 2536 N. Castro Ave.
  • Palo Verde Park Splash Pad, 355 S. Mann Ave.

City officials recommend that groups are 10 or fewer people, visitors should stay 6 feet away from anyone they do not live with, stay home if feeling sick and follow all other CDC guidelines to keep safe. Masks are required when not in the water.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Posted By on Thu, Mar 25, 2021 at 4:59 PM

Photo by Marine 69-71, Wiki. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International.
On Thursday, March 25, the Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board unanimously decided to relocate the Arizona State Fair to a larger location for 2021 after 116 years.

The state fair, set for last fall, was cancelled due to the pandemic. The Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) offered to host the 2021 fair on the Wild Horse Pass Development Authority (WHPDA), larger than the State Fairgrounds in Phoenix.

In a letter to the board, GRIC stated, “WHPDA has the space and the know how to host and deliver a meaningful, safe and appropriately scaled outdoor event. It would be their honor to work with State and outside medical professionals to develop a plan to safely host the Arizona State Fair.”

GRIC Governor Stephen Roe said “Safety has been our number one priority during the pandemic and we are prepared to carry on this legacy for all of Arizona in the most supportive way possible.”

The GRIC offered to host a March fair; however, as the State works to finalize the date, it will likely be later this year, according to a release from Gov. Doug Ducey’s office.

Since last year, the State Fair has been a location for mass testing and vaccine distribution, by relocating temporarily, this would allow them to continue.

“While we are hopeful that vaccine distribution will mean a return to normality, this temporary location gives us the ability to plan and ensure the Fair goes on no matter what,” said Jonathan Lines, Chairman of the State Fair Board.

Ducey applauded the decision by the board.

“The Arizona State Fair is a beloved annual tradition for countless Arizona families,” said Governor Ducey. “This gracious offer by the Gila River Indian Community and today’s decision by the Arizona State Fair Board ensures that another year won’t pass without a State Fair.”

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Mar 16, 2021 at 1:06 PM

Visitors to Downtown Tucson will again hear children laughing and playing when the Children's Museum Tucson reopens on March 25.

While the Museum may have been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Executive Director Hilary Van Alsburg said that the staff has been busy working on activities, exhibits and attractions.

“We have spent the past year developing new programs, expanding our exhibits and gearing up for reopening - we are so ready for families to come back to play. Our focus is on fun engagement and welcoming families back to in-person experiences safely.”

The Museum, 200 S. Sixth Ave., will be limited to one-third capacity, with timed admission at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m.  and 3 p.m. Admission is $9 per person and visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at ChildrensMuseumTucson.org. Discounts are available for military and visitors on public assistance.

Anyone 5 and older will be required to wear masks inside the Museum. The extended outdoor space and visitor limit ensure there is ample room for social distancing while allowing children to explore and play.

The Museum's other location, 11015 N. Oracle Road, will reopen on April 1. They've added a new train table, updated Toddler Town and new outdoor play activities. This Early Childhood Education-focused space will be open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday-Sunday with limited capacity. Admission is $7 per person with advance tickets available online and discounts available.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Posted By on Wed, Mar 10, 2021 at 10:55 AM

click to enlarge HOTEL CONGRESS
Hotel Congress

Now that COVID-19 cases are trending downward across Pima County —and the governor has removed business occupancy restrictions—Hotel Congress is looking to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

"We are not idiots. A traditional green beer and Irish whiskey-drenched bacchanalia is not an appropriate option, but maybe—just maybe— we do a little more than a "tip o' the hat" to St. Patrick's Day," according to a recent Hotel Congress release.

The hotel's Cup Cafe will begin serving traditional Irish fares like corned beef and cabbage, Guinness beef stew and Irish cream cupcakes until 3 p.m. Wednesday. Then the party kicks into full swing at 5 p.m. on the hotel's plaza as the Plaza Eats food truck serves up all your Irish food favorites, Irish coffee, Irish whiskey flights, along with specials on Guinness pints and Jameson shots.

DJ PC Party will be holding down the ones-and-twos, complimentary party favors will be handed out to partygoers and the evening is set to crescendo with the Great Guinness Toast at 10 p.m.

Hotel Congress will be adhering to COVID-19 protocols during the celebration. For more information, visit the Hotel Congress website

Monday, November 9, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 2:12 PM

Tucson Weekly file photo

The Children’s Museum in downtown Tucson has announced their plans to reopen with limited admission on Wednesday, Nov. 11. The Museum will be open with two two-hour play sessions from 9-11 a.m. and from 2-4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Visitors will have access to all indoor exhibits, as well as their outdoor “curiosity courtyard.” Museum admission, including the courtyard, will be by timed ticket only, with a limit of 50 visitors at the museum at once.

Visitors ages 5 and older will be required to wear masks while at the museum. There will also be sanitation stations in the courtyard for visitors, and staff will clean and disinfect activities and areas between sessions.

The Curiosity Courtyard is filled with activities, crafts and games, including a cactus ring toss and animal-themed beanbag toss. A dig pit with backhoes has also been added to the courtyard.

The Children’s Museum in Oro Valley will continue with virtual programming only as part of their phased reopening plan.

Admission is $9 per person, with discounts available for military and visitors on public assistance. The Children’s Museum is located at 200. S. 6th Ave.

For more information, visit ChildrensMuseumTucson.org

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Sep 9, 2020 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge WHISKEY DEL BAC
Whiskey del Bac
You don't have to be a dowager socialite to entertain guests like a pro. You just quality provisions and a certain culinary skill set.

Flying Aprons is moving their in-person cooking classes online via Zoom starting Thursday, Sept. 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This week's class, Shaken Not Stirred-Single Malt Whiskey Tucson Style & Savory Bites—featuring Tucson's own Whiskey Del Bac—pairs Phoenix mixologist Jax Donahue with beloved Tucson chef Devon Sanner to produce three delectable food and libation experiences you'll learn how to recreate at home:

First Cocktail: The S.S.S with Whiskey Del Bac Dorado, honey syrup, citrus bitters and other ingredients.
First Savory Bite: Prosciutto-wrapped fig, honey + chamomile goat cheese, thyme, prickly pear gastrique.

Second Cocktail: The Lawless Drinker, using Whiskey Del Bac Old Pueblo, passion fruit, vermouth and lemon.
Second Savory Bite: Ginger and lemongrass shrimp spring rolls with coconut and peanut dipping sauce.

Third Cocktail: Stone Fashioned, features Whiskey Del Bac Classic, peach syrup and other ingredients.
Third Savory Bite: Pecan and basil pesto bruschetta with heirloom tomato, balsamic agrodolce.

Registration for the Zoom class is $40 per screen and ready-to-go kits for the cocktails and savory bites are available to preorder and pick up before the class begins.

Click here for more information.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 3:22 PM

click to enlarge Artist John Benedict—pictured with Angelica—will be on hand to meet with guests on Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 12, at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. - HACINDA DEL SOL
Hacinda del Sol
Artist John Benedict—pictured with Angelica—will be on hand to meet with guests on Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 12, at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Comedy at the Wench: A Virtual Funnyraiser. Fourth Avenue staple the Surly Wench Pub has been closed for almost six months now! While they’ve adapted to the times with their weekly comedy special, “Comedy Away From the Wench,” event is specially designed to help raise much-needed funds. Tune in for two hours of sketches, stand-up routines and other bits that are both live and prerecorded. They’ll also be auctioning off one-of-a-kind portraits of some local comedy icons. 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7. Tickets start at $10 and come with a sticker, but paying more gets you more treats—all the way up to $100+ donations, which get you a sticker, a pin or magnet, a mug or face mask, a t shirt or cap, and a limited edition Surly Wench 16th anniversary logo T-shirt. Details here.

Garden Bistro at Tohono Chul. Tohono Chul’s Garden Bistro is reopening this Friday, Sept. 3. What could be fresher than dining in a garden? They’ve got brunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Sunday out on their patio. Plus, there’s a bottomless prickly pear mimosa & margarita deal that we could all probably use right about now. While you’re relaxing, you can take in either a view of the gardens or of art by local and regional artists hanging in the dining rooms. See their website for an updated menu and more details.

Art as Resilience, Resistance and Respite. Local artist-run exhibition space Untitled Gallery is holding a virtual opening for their new show designed to connect artists and art lovers. David Andres of the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery will be serving as guest judge at the Facebook Live event, and you’ll get to see the fantastic selection of art which will be on sale until Oct. 30. Perhaps the best part of a gallery opening from home is that you get all the hors d'oeuvres to yourself. 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. Details here.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2020 at 4:37 PM

click to enlarge JEFF GARDNER
Jeff Gardner
El Jefe Cat Lounge. El Jefe Cat Lounge opened up last year, but, for obvious reasons, was shut down the past few months. But they just reopened! And if you haven’t been yet, for god’s sake, go check it out and go get some of the serotonin we all need so desperately right now. It’s a beautiful, three-story facility with dozens of kitties that are available to snuggle with, and to adopt! Wear a face mask, observe social distancing with other humans and head on over. Reservations at eljefecatlounge.com are recommended, but not required. 3025 N. Campbell Ave, suite 141. $12/person/hour. Details here.

Taste of the Fair & Drive-In Movie Weekend. Ahh, remember the fair? Remember being in crowds of people, touching door handles and sitting at dirty picnic tables? The cool thing about this weekend is that it has the good parts of the fair without so many of the bad parts: Just visit the five concession stands and pick up some treats, then enjoy them either at spaced out picnic tables or on your own lawn chairs. Entry and admission are free! If you want to stay late and pay $15 per vehicle, check out this week’s drive-in movies too: Friday is Secret Life of Pets 2 (8 p.m. showtime) & The Karate Kid (10:30 p.m. showtime), and Sunday is Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (10:30 p.m. showtime). Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday, Aug. 30. Doors for Taste of the Fair open at 5 p.m. Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road. Details here.

Sculpture Showing: The Return of Angelica. Back in May, local artist John Benedict had one of his statues, Angelica, stolen. Angelica was recently recovered, and will be on display for the public at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Inner Courtyard through Saturday, Sept. 12. This is the last time to see the statue before John places it in his permanent collection! He’ll be around on select days for a socially-distanced meet and greet, including from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 28. While you’re there, enjoy a special Angelica’s Revenge cocktail. In honor of Angelica, and of justice, of course. On display 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily through Saturday, Sept. 12. Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, 5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Road. Details here.

The Positivity of Art. What’s been keeping you sane these days? For us, one of those things is art, and thank goodness for the local artists who still have it in them to create during these crazy times. The Wilde Meyer Gallery is featuring a group show of gallery artists throughout August and September, in a space that’s carefully following COVID-19 guidelines. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive, suite 170.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge JIM NINTZEL
Jim Nintzel

The Oro Valley branch of the Tucson Children’s Museum launching a fundraiser that will allow families to have play time in the museum by themselves for a donation fee.

The program, called Oro Valley Outing, is intended to allow families to have a fun and enriching time away from the home while staying safe from COVID-19 and supporting the museum financially.

Beginning Sept. 9, families and social bubbles of up to 10 people can sign up for private 1.5 hour reservations at the museum for a $150 donation. While it seems like a steep price, the museum had to close back in March when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and hasn't been able to bring in the admission revenue that helps them pay the rent and other expenses, so the donations keep the museum going until it can fully reopen.

Oro Valley Outings follows the museum’s successful summer fundraiser at the downtown Tucson location, which raised more than $20,000.

“It’s important to younger children to have an outlet for curiosity and play, and we know that some parents are anxious to get out of the home,” said Executive Director Hilary Van Alsburg in a press release. “With its focus on Early Childhood Education, Children’s Museum Oro Valley offers a great opportunity for those parents to visit a place that’s safe, fun and advances learning for their kids.”

The museum will be cleaned for each visiting group, allowing children to have the full hands-on experience of the museum. Oro Valley Outings will be available Wednesdays through Sundays from Sept. 9 to Sept. 30. Families who are unable to donate the $150 can register to win a free session on Give Back Tuesdays.

Find details here.

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story

I’m a major Ren and Stimpy Show fan. Love the first two seasons to death. Not crazy about what happened after its creator, John Kricfalusi, left the series; he didn’t make it past the second season. The quality dropped off in a big way.

Also, I’m not at all happy that it turns out John K. was a pedophile—a story that came out two years ago. (John K. seduced a teenaged Tucson girl, Robyn Byrd, who would later move in with him after she graduated high school at age 17 and go to work at his animation studio; you can read the details in this Buzzfeed report.)

This new documentary, Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story, which includes John K.’s participation, wouldn’t delve into his issues with underage girls, right? That would be crazy. Surely John K. would avoid any film that paints him as the sicko that he apparently is. Right?

For a large part of the 104-minute running time, it seems as if the subject won’t be breached. Directors Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood interview John K. and his colleagues about his rise and fall in the animation world. He was a genius, but he had a crazy attention-to-detail obsession that got him in trouble—along with a nasty temper.

But then, lo and behold, the movie goes there—not only speaking to some of the women who were victimized by John K. as girls, but talking with the man himself about what happened—and not in a whitewashed sort of way. They go right at him; he answers; his answers are not good. It’s really quite remarkable.

So, the movie is two things: It’s a really cool look at the institution that is Ren and Stimpy—which is being rebooted by Comedy Central without John K.’s involvement—and it’s a surprisingly daring character profile of John K. and everything he did to mess up the show, his life and the lives of others. He’s a mess, but this movie isn’t.

Available for rent and download on Apple TV and Amazon