FEMME FEST: Commerce-minded gals from across the land gather today for the 14th annual Business Women's Expo.

The annual event features a bevy of products and services offered by businesses owned and served by -- you got it -- women. Anchoring this year's event are two tables with information on "Connecting Business Needs With Business Leads," a theme trumpeted by Rhonda, Norman and Nicole Krinsky of Resources for Women, the group sponsoring the event.

There will also be more than 100 display tables with details on everything from home-based start-up businesses to larger national corporations. Representatives will tout products ranging from educational books and games to fitness and nutrition programs.

But the bottom line is simply making contact, says Donna Reed, president of Resources for Women. "We want to showcase business women in southern Arizona as well as provide an instant target market for businesses that provide products and services specifically designed for women."

The Business Women's Expo runs from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, October 7, in the TCC, 260 S. Church St. Admission is free. For details, call 881-4506.

PATAGONIA PAST-TIME: Enjoy precious relaxation small-town style at the Patagonia Fall Festival.

The annual party in the verdant southern Arizona hills is a wonderful escape offering good music, gourmet chow, and enough crafts to rattle your Kokopelli. And this year's musical lineup is top-notch, with the gazebo stage hosting big-time artists Mariachi Saldiver (you've seen 'em in those Saturn commercials); Tucson's own Latin/flamenco master Ismael Barajas; music of the Andes with Ancient Winds; singer/songwriter Howe Gelb; and gritty desert rockers Greyhound Soul.

That's just the beginning. On Saturday, the Old Pueblo's long-beloved bluesman, Sam Taylor, will appear in a special performance from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A $5 donation is requested.

The Patagonia Fall Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, in the Town Park. Admission is free. To reach Patagonia, take I-10 east to the Sonoita exit. Drive south to Sonoita, and turn right on Highway 82. Travel time is approximately one hour. Call (888) 794-0060 for information.

LAST G.A.S.P: It's your last chance to catch Arizona Storybook Art, a charming exhibit on display in The G.A.S.P. Gallery.

Part of the Traveling Exhibition Program of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, this show celebrates artists and illustrators who create original work for children's picture books. Curated by Lennee Eller of the Phoenix Sky Harbor Art Program, the display includes 40 original pieces alongside the published picture book in which it appeared.

Arizona Storybook Art runs through Saturday, October 9, in The G.A.S.P. Gallery inside Utterback Middle School, 3233 S. Pinal Vista. The gallery is open during regular school hours. Call 617-6100 for details.

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