Bottom’s Up!

Tequila, mescal, bacanora— these all come from agave. And if that were all that this thorny plant gave us, it would be enough. But agaves also provided desert dwellers with food, medicine, artistic material, thread, building material and more. And those stalks are magnificent!

It’s time again to celebrate the Agave Heritage Festival. Centered at Hotel Congress, the festival focuses on the many uses of the agave, with talks, presentations and, of course, tastings of the different spirits that are produced by the plant. There’s plenty of live music and dancing on the agenda. Managing editor Jeff Gardner does his usual specular job of rounding up the details in this week’s cover story. I gotta say I’m just delighted to see these community gatherings sprouting up again.

Elsewhere in this week’s issue: Regular contributor Emily Dieckman gets mindful at the latest edition of Science of Consciousness Conference; UA School of Journalism intern Jillian Bartsch previews the upcoming fundraiser for vital nonprofit Literacy Connects; arts writer Margaret Regan takes a look at the delightful display of Tohono basketry at Tohono Chul Park; XOXO columnist Xavier Omar Otero tells you about all the great acts coming through town, including Lila Downs at Hotel Congress, Igor and the Red Elvises at 191 Toole, Keb’ Mo’ at the Fox Tucson Theatre, and Mammoth WVH (featuring Eddie Van Halen’s kid, Wolfgang Van Halen) at the Pima County Fair; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott looks at whether Tucson can get the right zoning for new cannabis dispensaries as they race a deadline to open; sex columnist Dan Savage tackles your burning questions; and there’s plenty more, so down a shot of tequila and sink in.

Jim Nintzel

Executive Editor

Hear Nintz talk about how to have fun this weekend at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings during the world-famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.

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