Thursday 17

HOPS AND VINES. Sip fine brews amid lush fauna when the Tucson Botanical Gardens presents its Enchanted Summer Evening Beer Tasting.

That venerable local hop-house known as the Nimbus Brewing Company hosts this sudsy soirée. Owner Nimbus Couzin will be on hand to discuss the art of making beer--and perhaps the craft of drinking it, though most of us have that skill sufficiently honed.

As you tempt your taste buds, treat the rest of your senses with the luxurious fauna at this lovely midtown oasis.

The Enchanted Summer Evening Beer Tasting runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Admission is $10, or $7 for TBG members. For details, call 326-9686.

ZINN MASTER. Catch the sound of many hands clapping when bluesman Rusty Zinn roars into town.

Called the "rising star of West Coast guitar" by Blues Access, the California native was weaned on Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf recordings, and later influenced by Robert Jr. Lockwood and Jimmy Rogers. In recent years he's played alongside harp-men Kim Wilson and Mark Hummel, and he went on to release two CDs of his own on the Black Top label.

Show time is 9 p.m. in the Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Advance tickets are $8, available at the Boondocks and Hear's Music. Tickets are $10 at the door. For information, call 690-0991.

Friday 18

OLD TOWN SHINDIG. Tucson's historic heart skips a beat with a rollicking 225th birthday party.

The momentous date is marked by a weekend of festivities, from dancing, movies and historic tours to a craft market and groundbreaking for the Presidio Museum.

It was on August 20, 1775 when the intrepid Don Hugo O'Conor, commandant inspector of the northern presidios, selected and marked out the site on the east side of the Santa Cruz River as a new Spanish fortress. The original presidio walls stretched roughly along modern-day Congress Street to Church Avenue, and from Alameda Street to Granada Avenue. Remnants of the original presidio wall have been excavated over time, most recently in the early 1990s during work on the old Pima County Courthouse.

The birthday celebration unfolds at 8 a.m. today with a flag ceremony on the east side of the courthouse, followed by a 10 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony for the archaeological dig on the corner of Washington Street and Church Avenue. Artifacts at the site include the remains of a Hohokam pit house and items dating to Tucson's Spanish colonial times.

The party continues tomorrow with Celebrando el Presidio, in Presidio Park on the north side of City Hall. Highlights include music, plenty of food and crafts booths. And La Placita Village, 110 S. Church Ave., will feature an outdoor screening of The Gay Desperado at 7:30 p.m. Filmed in Tucson, the movie won the 1936 New York Film Critics Award for best direction. Check out the scenes set in Tucson's Barrio Historico.

From 4 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, La Placita Village will also host the party's culmination, the Fiesta de San Agustín, with a smorgasbord of entertainment, food and crafts.

For a complete listing of times and events, call 547-3338, or visit the website at

DRUMMED OUT. Feel your primal beat with the Community Drumming, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Pounders of all ages--men, women and children--are invited out for this ancient form of therapy, communication and expression. And all are urged to bring drums, rattles and anything else percussive.

The free Community Drumming is at 7 p.m. in the church's Servetus Room, 4831 E. 22nd St. Call 790-4933 for information.

Saturday 19

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. Sleight-of-handers take center-stage at Stars of Magic 2000.

Presented by the Society of American Magicians, this gala of the mysterious will feature a slew of national and local acts, including Tucson's very own comedic magician, Eric Buss. A regular performer at the world-renowned Magic Castle and at Wizard's, both in Hollywood, Buss scored the coveted Magic Hands Award in Germany last summer. And he's currently booked as a headliner at the upcoming Montreal Comedy Festival.

For its part, the Society of American Magicians has been a Tucson mainstay for 22 years and counting. It provides a forum for local professional, amateur and budding magicians to hone their skills in the ancient art of prestidigitation (simply spelling that is a feat!).

Stars of Magic 2000 will be performed at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. Tickets are $8, $5 for children ages 12 and under, and are available at Williams Magic and Novelties, 6528 E. 22nd St. For details, call 790-4060.

MOONLIGHTING. Journey into one man's rampant imagination when Valley of the Moon opens its doors for Moon Stroll.

Legacy of the late, eccentric visionary George Phar Legler, the Valley is a midtown wonderland of eerie rock formations, charming pathways, shady caverns and luminescent pools. The fantasy is overseen by a cast of volunteers dedicated to keeping Legler's legacy alive.

Moon Stroll runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road, north of Prince Road and east of Tucson Boulevard. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Call 323-1331 for details.

Sunday 20

WHODUNIT WING-DING. Antigone Books hosts its monthly Mystery Group with a discussion of Sinclair Browning's The Sporting Club.

Browning has lived, ranched and ridden the Sonoran Desert rangeland for most of her life, and it shows when she brings back detective Trade Ellis for another outing. Part cowgirl, part Apache, the gumshoe has her hands full solving mysteries in addition to running her ranch. This time she's wrangling for additional headaches when she's hired by a best-selling romance author to solve a 25-year-old mystery. Plenty of questions soon arise: Is it possible to base an investigation on childhood memories? And is this client playing with a full deck? The deeper Trade digs, the more dangerous the pieces that begin falling in place.

Share the mystery at 2 p.m. at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave. Call 792-3715 for details.

PULLING STRINGS. Sneak a peek at prime-time puppetry with a performance by Stuff Theater.

These finely honed string-pullers mix puppets and live actors in comedic skits and old classics geared for the whole family.

Catch the action at 1:30 p.m. every Sunday through September 17 in the Red Barn Theater, 948 N. Main Ave. Admission is $3, and two children under age 13 get in for $5. For information, call 622-6973.

Monday 21

WELL-DRESSED. Feast your eyes on elaborate costumes from frontier days with Trajes, now on exhibit at the Arizona Historical Society.

In Spanish, "trajes" means formal gowns or dress, and that's just what this display of textile pageantry is all about. The exhibit consists of mid-19th-century Mexican folk costumes and lithographs from the museum's permanent collections. Highlighting the show are approximately six period costumes, supplemented with 15 original lithographs dating from 1829 to 1865 by artists Carlos Nebel and Casimiro Castro.

Trajes runs through next July in the Arizona Historical Society Museum, 949 E. Second St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Call 628-5774 for details.

Tuesday 22

PARENTAL GUIDANCE. Life's toughest assignment is discussed in Positive Parents, Positive Kids: Back to School.

Parents today often hear that their teens face increasing risks, from violence and drugs to ditching school and pregnancy. What's often muffled by this din is the number of positive things parents can do--and are doing--to help develop resilient, positive children who succeed. This session focuses on how to help your own kids deal with the social complexities of school.

Sponsored by the Tucson-Pima Library, the free discussions are at 6:30 p.m. today in the Valencia Branch, 1607 S. Sixth Ave.; 6 p.m. tomorrow in the Woods Memorial Branch, 3455 N. First Ave.; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 29 in the Mission Branch, 3770 S. Mission Road; and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 30 in the Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Call 791-4391 for details.

ISLAND FEVER. High seas get a Tucson twist with the Island Dance Party, hosted by Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's Toys.

Anchoring the party is local recording artist Jess Hawk Oakenstar. Not surprisingly, she's a longtime islander herself, having spent a decade in New Zealand before performing and working her way across the briny deep on a German freighter.

Since arriving on these shores, she's continued her global odyssey with the release of two acclaimed albums. Tonight's appearance will be spiced by dancing, singing and playing, along with a little limbo and shell-animal creations.

Oakenstar performs at 7 p.m. in Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's, 4811 E. Grant Road in Crossroads Festival. Tickets are $6, $4 for children ages 12 and under, and are available by calling 326-0188.

Wednesday 23

THE GIPPER'S WAR. A dark time in our global history is revisited with Reagan and the New Cold War, the final installment of the Arizona Historical Society's Cold War and Hot Politics in the Old Pueblo summer lecture series.

The featured speaker is Michael Schaller of the UA history department. He'll take aim at the collapse of détente and the brief flare-up of the Cold War just before the Soviet Union issued its death rattle. Schaller will plumb the effects this brinkmanship--including the still-living Star Wars program--on Tucson's defense industries.

The lecture runs from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. Second St. Admission is $6, and $5 for AHS members. Proceeds benefit the society's educational programs. Call 628-5774 for details.

CREATIVE FLOW. The Hazmat/Museum of Contemporary Art gallery swims against the tide with Giú la Testa!, featuring new works by members of the artists group Flashflood.

The exhibition title is a reference to classic spaghetti western films. And the show features the diverse work of Flashflood's up-and-coming artists, along with pieces showcasing the creative talents of many other Old Pueblans. The art ranges from traditional photographic prints, mixed-media installations and performance video to a variety of experimental photographic alterations.

In conjunction with the show, Hazmat will also feature several events, including performance art and readings at 8 p.m. today, experimental film and video screenings tomorrow, and a 7 p.m. reception on Friday featuring "fabulous music," along with chow and refreshments provided by the Nimbus Brewing Company, Trader Joe's and Small Planet Bakery. The party continues with a print sale by members from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Giú la Testa! runs through August 31 in the Hazmat/MOCA gallery, 191 E. Toole Ave. Regular gallery hours are noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 624-5019 for details.

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