City Week: Weekly Picks

July 4 IndepenDANCE Party at MSA Annex. At this point in the heat of summer, and as we continue emerging from the pandemic, surely there is no small number of us who feel that a dance party for the Fourth of July is just what the doctor ordered. With the high energy cumbia of Tucson's Los Esplifs, DJ Herm and the Flam Chen Fire Dancers, you'll find yourself bopping along and shaking your troubles off. There will also be food trucks and a bar by Westbound, to keep you fueled through all the partying. Because this party is at the festival grounds at the MSA Annex, you'll have a great view of the A Mountain fireworks as well. 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday, July 4. MSA Annex, 267 Avenida Del Convento. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

One-on-One Writing Consultations. Calling all writers! The Pima County Public Library's writer-in-residence, Marge Pellegrino, is generously offering virtual office hours this summer, for anyone looking for advice, feedback, pointers and tips on writing. Pellegrino left the business world to be a writer since 1984, and she's been writing and teaching about it every since. She's led workshops for people of all ages, coordinated programming for the Owl & Panther Project for 20 years, and developed the library's Word Journeys program for 12 years. She's also the author of Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing. 2 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10 to 11 a.m. on Thursdays. Sessions are half an hour, and limited to one per person per week. Be sure to register in advance at the library website!

Summer Safari Nights. Even the wildlife at the Reid Park Zoo is getting in the spirit this Independence Day! This week's theme is American animals, including alligators, grizzly bears and certain species of birds. Come hang out for an evening full of interactive activities and live music by Mama Coal Country Band. There are also carousel rides and plenty of food and drink specials – including craft beer, prickly pear margaritas, wine and White Claws, for those gearing up to start the Fourth of July festivities a little bit early. See ya later, alligators. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 3. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 kids ages 2 to 14.

2021 Star Spangled Spectacular. Feel like going on a bit of a staycation for the Forth of July? Head over to Marana for this fun-filled event, featuring more than two dozen food vendors! Bring the kids so they can play on the playground and splashpad, bring the cooler full of drinks and water so you can stay hydrated, bring your dancing shoes so you can get your boogie on to the music, and bring sunblock so you don't roast to death in the heat. 5 to 9:30 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m. Crossroads at Silverbell District Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road.

Desert in Bloom. This month at the Madaras Gallery, they're celebrating the beauty of the desert in bloom, from prickly pear blossoms to wildflowers and poppies. The explosions of color that happen in blooming season are perhaps both one of the most surprising and most wonderful parts about living here in the desert. And when the going gets rough with that desert heat, it's always a good idea to take the time to focus on the good stuff. The exhibit will be open throughout the month of July. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Madaras Gallery, 3035 N. Swan Road. Free.

CAPTRUST Community Gallery: Arizona Landscapes. The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance has partnered with CAPTRUST on this gallery celebrating the work of Arizona artists. It's located in Phoenix, but it's easy peasy to make a virtual visit at saaca.org/captrustcommunitygallery.html. The summer 2021 exhibit focuses on art inspired by Arizona landscapes, across multiple mediums and styles. Barbara Garber, for example is a natural light fine art photographer. Casey Cheuvront does painting, drawing and ceramics. Ira Beckway works in ink, oil and etching, among other mediums. And Nancy Breiman does everything from graphic design to woodworking. Come see the exhibit and celebrate our lovely state!

Akira. Let's go to the movies! This treasure of a film helped introduce anime to Western audiences. These days, the dystopian story based on Katsuhiro Otomo's comic book is a cult classic. Set in 2019 (the distant future, from when the film was made in 1988), the story takes place in Tokyo, post World War III. When motorcyclists Kaneda and Tetsuo accidentally discover a secret government project to create and weaponize telekinetic humans, they end up in a big, violent, beautifully animated mess. Don't miss a chance to get back to The Loft. 8 p.m. Saturday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 6. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $10 GA.

Artists Among Us. Hell yeah, there are artists among us! Tucson seems to attract them. You're probably an artist of some sort, aren't you? This exhibit features work by Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum employees who moonlight as artists, and includes drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics and crochet. There's something powerful about being reminded that we are not defined only by our day jobs, and that the people around us aren't either. So cheers to viewing and enjoying the work of these folks in this exhibit by the Desert Museum's Art Institute. On display through Aug. 1. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Baldwin Gallery at the Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. $23.95 G, with discounts for seniors, youth, children, Arizona/Sonora residents, and military.

Yoga for Greater Good. The nice thing about this yoga class is that, even if you find yourself unable to focus or excel at the actual yoga, you still have the chance to do some good. Donations for organizations supporting the causes of peace, justice and liberation are encouraged, but not required, so you can make your own positive impact on the world. The other nice thing about this yoga class is that it's virtual. I know I'm not the only one who is still getting used to going outside, and feel a real sense of relief at the prospect of easing back into human interaction with virtual events. Do some self care and look out for your own well-being before kicking off the workday! 7 to 8 a.m. Friday, July 2. Visit their Facebook page at Yoga for Greater Good to tune in.

Cardio Party-O. So, maybe you're not in the best shape of your life right now. Don't worry, we're in this together. If you're looking for a fun way to get your body moving, but don't love the gym or know how to dance, this might be what you're looking for. This high-energy dancerobix class strives to emulate the atmosphere of a house party. Dance along to old school hip hop, punk, disco, Latin and pop with easy-to-follow moves and lovely instructor Marina. Don't you love getting sweaty without getting miserable? Masks required for now, and the class is open to ages 16 and up. 7 p.m. on Mondays and 5:30 p.m. on Fridays. Floor Polish Studio, 930 N. Stone Ave. $7 to $10 drop in (sliding scale).

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