And they’re off!
Quarter horse racing is back for another season where it started, at the 80-year-old Rillito Park Racetrack. Opened in 1943, Rillito Racetrack is considered the birthplace of modern, formalized quarter horse racing. It was also home to the innovations of chutes and photo finishes. Find the details at rillitoparkfoundation.org/history. Find the ponies at the track, from now through April 2.
11 a.m. admission, 1 p.m. post time, every Saturday and Sunday from Saturday, Feb. 4, to Sunday, April 2, Rillito Park Racetrack, 4502 N. First Avenue, rillitoracetrack.com, $6, $5 parking
44th Annual Ajo Old Time Fiddlers Show and Contest
Road trip! There will be jamming, dancing, food, contests, a gospel sing and lots of shared fun in Ajo this weekend. Make it a day trip or take your RV, but by all means take your fiddle. If you don’t play a fiddle a mandolin will probably do fine, but why not just take any acoustic string instrument? You might even get away with a wooden drum or hand-held percussion. This music will be more righteous hillbilly than hippie hill, but if jam is your jam, see info below on the Gem & Jam Festival.
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, to Sunday, Feb. 5, 7 p.m. fiddle show and dance, days and times for other activities vary, Ajo Golf Course, 77 Mead Road, Ajo, ajochamber.com, $8 for show and dance, $8 entry fee, dry RV parking available for a fee
“The Glass Menagerie”
Family. It’s amazing that anyone writes plays about anything else. Or it’s amazing anyone has tried to write about families since Tennessee Williams’ sublime rendering of their complex dynamics in “The Glass Menagerie.” Productions notes from Arizona Theatre Company promise original staging to amp up that tension and intimacy. It could give us a fresh perspective on how Williams changed the way we tell stories. Chanel Bragg directs.
Various times and days through Saturday, Feb. 11, Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Avenue, atc.org, ticket prices start at $25
15th Annual Gem & Jam Festival
Tie dye? Wear it if you got it. Pima County Fairgrounds will be chock-a-block with jam bands for days. Literally, three days. You may need reading glasses for the complete roster, but the only band that plays more than once is the one that tops the bill: String Cheese Incident, with The Floozies and emancipator. Besides music, there will be loads of food and craft vendors plus drumming sounds workshops and healing practitioners including acupuncture, yoga therapy, massage therapy and a Hanna Somatic educator.
Friday, Feb. 3 to Sunday, Feb. 5, Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road, gemandjamfestival.com, single-day tickets start at $75, car camping options are available at extra cost.
“The Happy Show”
Oracle’s “Art Ranch,” the Triangle L Ranch, has for decades made space for art that doesn’t fit in elsewhere. Their annual, “Glow” experience, for example, displays large-scale light sculptures. The Sculpture Park is a year-round attraction, and the Adobe Barn Gallery features a revolving selection of local artists. The current exhibit highlights work we almost never see. It’s a selection of art, in a range of media, intended to make us laugh, think silly things and, yes, be happy.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, Adobe Barn Gallery, Triangle L Ranch, 2805 N. Triangle L Ranch Road, Oracle, trianglelranch.com, free
“Hand Puppets for the Stage:” Workshop for ages 8 to 18
Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre Company presents a workshop series to introduce young imaginations to materials and techniques for creating creatures large and small. The group also will compose a script, create a score and learn to voice their creations. Taught by Lisa Sturz of Red Herring puppets, the course runs from Feb. 11 to March 25 and concludes in a performance. Sturz is a career puppet master, having worked with Walt Disney Imagineering, Jim Henson, PBS and Lucasfilm.
10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Saturdays, Feb. 11 through March 25, The Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre, 738 N. Fifth Avenue, Suite 131, scoundrelandscamp.org, $180 plus $15 materials fee
Senior Pride Tour: “Cecilia Vicuña: Sonoran Quipu”
MOCA and Southern Arizona Senior Pride host a free tour of the museum’s new exhibit, “Cecilia Vicuña: Sonoran Quipu,” featuring abstract interpretations of 3D space defying lines by interacting with frayed edges of fiber. The tour also includes the popular continuing exhibits, “Kenneth Tam: Silent Spikes” and “Plein Air.” MOCA Education Manager Harrison Orr will be the guide.
2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), 265 S. Church Avenue, moca-tucson.org, free, registration required
After a four-year hiatus, Tucson’s only Jamaican Reggae night returns Sunday with music by DJ Jahmar and special guests. Get your dance on and make some new friends. You don’t want to be out of shape for the Steel Pulse concert coming to the Rialto Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 19.
9 p.m. Sundays starting Feb. 5, DLux Lounge, 1901 S. Fourth Avenue, free admission and weekly drink specials
“Dances of a Painted Warrior”
Presented by Amerind in Tucson, this special event features members of the Duncan family. Tony Duncan, a dancer and flautist, shares traditions from his heritage, San Carlos Apache and the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Violet Duncan is Plains Cree and Taino from Kehewin Cree Nation. A former “Miss Indian World,” she writes children’s books representing native children. They’re published by Penguin. A champion hoop dancer, Tony Duncan has performed at The National Museum of the American Indian, the White House and The Tonight Show. The family’s performance tells stories of native warriors through both traditional and modern set to a wide range of music.
2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress Street, foxtucson.com, $35
FST Live! The return of Female* Storytellers (FST)
“Swipe Left” is the theme, and Valentine’s Day (gone bad?) is the inspiration when FST returns to live performance in a new location, The Rock. Proceeds for this month’s event benefit the Women’s Foundation. Since 2012, FST has offered a way for female and female-identifying story tellers to share their voices. A new prompt is chosen each month and storytellers submit their 10- to 15-minute monologues two weeks ahead. The prompt for March is “If Only . . .” Find guidelines on the website.
7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, The Rock, 136 N. Park Avenue, fstorytellers.com, $10, age 21 and older