STAFF PICK: This is more of a celebration than a festival, but it proves the adage that big things do come in small packages. In this case, we're talking about 5 inches of guinea pig covered with black-and-tan fur, and her name is Emily.
Last month (August 21 to be exact), this little piggie celebrated her fourth birthday at home at the Clues Unlimited bookstore in the Broadway Village Center, a festive occasion that raked in nearly $500 (and one guinea pig adoption) for the Humane Society of Tucson.
For three years running, Emily's birthday party has strategically coincided with Homeless Animal Day, a national event recognizing the plight of the millions of domesticated animals who die homeless each year.
Emily, her three caretakers and merchant neighbors in the Broadway Village Center applauded the society's efforts with birthday and carrot cake, on-site adoptions of small critters, and a silent auction (the donated spoils included a peridot necklace -- Emily's birthstone -- from Patania's; blown glass from Albo Glass; a gift basket from Aroma Tree; and cookies from the Cottage Bakery). "(Emily's) sort of like the Queen of England," says Clues co-owner Christina Acevedo. "She likes to celebrate her birthday on a national holiday." (She was actually born in February, her keeper admits, "but you know how celebrities are.") Anything for you, Em. You're a real star!