Cheap Thrills

HORSING AROUND. Whether you ride, or just like horses, this weekend's American Quarter Horse Association show is for you.

The show tests horses' ability in jumping, reining, barrel racing, cutting roping and pole bending. Muscling, balance and breed characteristics are judged in halter classes.

Riders earn points that can result in cash and prizes, as well as the opportunity to qualify for world championship competition. The event is open to the public, something organizers stressed.

"We welcome all quarter horse owners as well as anyone who has a passion for horses," said Bill Brewer, AQHA vice president. "AQHS shows are fun, and anybody who has ever wanted to get involved with horses or compete -- is encouraged to come."

The show begins Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to about 8 p.m. The show is free. For more information, please call 623-551-8381, or visit

A LOT OF ART AND MUCHO MUSICA. Take in the ballet folklorico, opera and jazz as you investigate the sculpture, paintings, functional art, mixed media and photography.

Continuous live music on the main stage and kids stage begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and runs through 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Oro Valley Art and Music Festival.

More than 50 artists will set up shop to show off their works in the seventh annual event. The event starts with a juried fine art show at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The budding musician or artist in your family will be right at home in Oro Valley this weekend. The kids stage gives youngsters a chance to interact with musicians and learn how to dance or try out an instrument. Also, the kids art tent will be manned by CDO Art Club members who will help kids create masterpieces they can take home with them.

The festival at Dennis Weaver Park is free, but a non-perishable food item or a $1 donation is appreciated. The park is located at 23 W. Calle Concordia. For more information, please call Anita Burns at 797-3959.

INDIAN CELEBRATION. Exhibits and educational demonstrations, including a rousing game of Toka are on tap for the 11th annual O'odham Day celebration.

Take off for the day to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, where native dancers will entertain the crowds. Eat Indian tacos and try out some tepary beans and squash as you wander the grounds and look at basketry and pottery and learn about traditional dryland farming and native plant use.

"The event is the highlight of our visitor season," said monument superintendent Bill Wellman. "We always look forward to working with our O'odham neighbors, to share in the interpretation of the rich heritage and traditions of their culture."

Archaeologist Adrianne Ranking will give a slide presentation on the desert people who have lived in the Organ Pipe Cactus area for the last 12,000 years.

One of the weekend's more interesting activities may be the Toka game, which is played by women and is similar to field hockey, said Judy Thompson, visitor use assistant. The players use long, hooked mesquite sticks to hit a rawhide or wooden ball on a playing field that includes goals at each end.

The event is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the campground. No entrance fees will be collected during the celebration. The Organ Pipe National Monument group campground is located in the vicinity of the visitor center 35 miles south of Ajo, just off Highway 85. Visitors should park at the visitor center and wait for a shuttle ride to the event. For more information, please call 520-387-6849.