Cheap Thrills

POWER STRUGGLE. Feeling frustrated about George W. Bush's "energy policies," his lack of emphasis on efficiency, conservation and alternative fuels? If so, join the world in a voluntary rolling blackout tonight (the first day of summer and the solstice), from 7 to 10 p.m. across all time zones.

Turn out your lights, unplug whatever you can safely unplug in your house, light a candle, kiss and tell (or not), take a stroll in the dark, invent ghost stories -- anything that's not electric. Just have fun in the dark!

Regardless of your politics, consider participating in this demonstration of conservation -- it might be a thought-provoking experiment in how we can each make a difference in our world of precious resources.

TRADITIONAL ENTERTAINMENT. Pull up a lawn chair and enjoy a Saturday afternoon of storytelling, dancing and kachinas.

Sacred Traditions: A Hopi Summer Solstice is Arizona State Museum's summer season kickoff.

The free, family-oriented solstice celebration features Hopi traditions, starting with storytelling. Author Gerald Dawavendewaís will read at 5 and 6:45 p.m. from his newly published children's book, The Butterfly Dance. Dawavendewaís will sign copies of the book, which will be offered for sale at the museum store.

Dancing will take place throughout the afternoon--at 4, 6, and 7:30 p.m. The Hopi/Tewa Senom Dance Group from Phoenix will perform traditional Hopi social dances including the Butterfly Dance, the Water Maiden Dance and the Hunter Dance. Dance troupe members' ages range from 3 years to high school age.

Don't forget to check out the Hopi Kachinas from the museum collection, which will be on display. The museum's associate director, Hartman Lomawaima, will be on hand to discuss them in relation to the Hopi summer solstice.

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and come celebrate the solstice from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday with Arizona State Museum, located just east of the Main Gate at Park Avenue and University Boulevard on the University of Arizona campus. Covered parking is available at Tyndall and Fourth Avenue. For more information, call 621-6302 or visit

REWARDING READING. Send your kids to France or Italy this summer. Better yet, what about the Mount Everest or South Pole?

OK, so you know the adage that if something sounds too good to be true --

At least your kids can get a taste of the world out there (and stay out of your hair in the process) through a new summer reading program at Barnes and Noble at the Foothills Mall.

Young readers--grades 1-6--can even win valuable prizes in Traveling through Books. All they have to do is read any eight books. Then they can choose a free book from more than 25 titles. No purchase is necessary, but book coupons are limited to two per child.

The deal runs through September 8 at 7325 N. La Cholla Blvd. For more information, call 742-6621.

LAST CHANCE. A summer screening series of 16mm films that pays tribute to several Hollywood genres wraps up Sunday.

Destry Rides Again (1939, 94 minutes) and Bugs Bunny Rides Again are the last in the Genres of Hollywood lineup that has included many great flicks.

Introductory comments will be made by UA media arts faculty and series co-curators Michael Mulcahy and Barbara Selznick.

Popcorn and refreshments are available for the screening, which begins at 3 p.m. at Harvill Auditorium, Room 150, on the UA campus, at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway Boulevard east of Park Avenue. Tickets cost $3 general admission, $1 students. For more information, call 626-2847 or visit

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