Cheap Thrills

HOWDY, PARDNER: It's hip to be square--or round--depending on your dance preference at the 53rd Southern Arizona Dance Festival.

There's also clogging at the event, which is expected to attract 3,000 dancers from across the country. Organizers for the festival at the Tucson Convention Center say they've booked the best callers and cuers.

You can't beat the price. Just $1 gets you unlimited access for all four days. The music starts Thursday. There are morning, afternoon and evening sessions Friday and Saturday, and farewell dances Sunday. For more information, call 795-8288 or 885-6273.

SCI-FI FANTASY: Ten local fantasy and science fiction authors will touch down at Reader's Oasis Saturday to meet fans, sign books and discuss their work.

The writers, who include Judith Tarr, Dennis McKiernan, Kate Daniel and William Hartmann, have a variety of styles within the genre. Hartmann, for example, writes classic science fiction and non-fiction about Mars.

The event is from 2 to 4 p.m. Reader's Oasis is located at 3400 E. Speedway Blvd., No. 114. For more information, call Charlene Taylor at 319-7887.

THIS BUDD'S FOR YOU: Born in London, raised in Toledo (Ohio), singer-guitarist Stephen Budd is in Tucson for a free performance at Bookman's.

Budd, who has been strumming his acoustic guitar through the Midwest, writes introspective songs with a witty, sincere touch.

Budd will play from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Bookman's Used Books, 1930 E. Grant Road. For more information, call 325-5767.

WALK ABOUT: A walking tour of Tucson's historic warehouse district is a great way to learn more about old neighborhoods that ring the downtown area.

The one-mile tour covers El Presidio, West University, Armory Park, Barrio Viejo and Dunbar Spring, all part of the warehouse district that in 1999 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The tour on Saturday is from 9 to 11 a.m. People interested in the area, creative home to more than 100 artists, should call 624-9977 by 5 p.m. Thursday. Space is limited to 20. The group will meet in the lobby of Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. at 8:50 a.m.

ROMANCING THE STONE: The Southwest's first family of turquoise brings its Indian jewelry trunk show and sale to Arizona State Museum.

UA alumni and gemstone expert Gene Waddell of the Waddell Trading Co. will showcase the works of acclaimed Native American jewelers Donnie Supplee, Phil Poseyesva, Lucy Lucas and Mitchell Sockyma.

Turquoise, originally considered a mere by-product of copper mining, was vigorously promoted by Waddell's father, B.C. Waddell, who founded the trading company.

During Saturday's show, Gene Waddell will answer questions about jewelry production techniques, stone quality, mining and gemstone origination points in Arizona. The public is invited to bring in jewelry for identification.

The show and sale is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum, just east of the main gate at Park and University on the UA campus.

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