Fourth of July Festivities
A Salute to America. If you thought the Gaslight Theatre wasn't going to do anything for the Fourth of July, we don't know what you were thinking, but you were definitely wrong. They're going all out with this tribute to all of the brave members of our country's armed forces, hosted by Armen Dirtadian and with a world-class band. You'll hear all of your favorite patriotic hits, from "America the Beautiful" to "You're a Grand Old Flag," and everything in between. The Manhattan Dolls and Robert Shaw will make special guest appearances, and...well, let's just say there might be a few other special guest appearances as well. 7 p.m. Monday, July 2. The Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. $22.95 adults, $12.95 children, $20.95 seniors/students/military.
A Mountain Fireworks. The big show for most Tucsonans features fireworks atop A Mountain, followed by the firefighters putting the blazes of various size around the mountain. You can enjoy the rocket's red glare when the show starts shortly after 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4. There are plenty of places to see it all from downtown, including convention center parking lots and various parking garages. Just bring your own chair!
Star Spangled Spectacular in Marana. Looking to spend your Independence Day in Marana? They've got just the event: Live music, tons of food trucks and, of course, a fantastic fireworks display. While you wait, the kids can play on the inflatables, while the adults can exercise their childlike sense of wonder by exploring the on-site beer garden. Bags and containers will be checked prior to entering the park, and this year, there are designated smoking areas. Oh say does that star-spangled Marana yet wave? Yes! It does. 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Crossroads at Silverbell District Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road. Free.
Diamonds in the Sky Celebration. As we celebrate our country's 242nd birthday, we can also come together to celebrate the third annual iteration of this Independence Day event at Kino Sports Complex. With an All-Star game by the Sun Belt College Baseball League, live music by Rhythm Edition, and as many $1 hot dogs as you could ever want (well, four per transaction), this isn't the sort of thing you want to miss. Of course, games, face-painting, bounce castles and a fireworks display are also on the agenda for the evening. Make sure to adhere to the clear-bag policy! 5 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way. $4 GA, free for kids 5 and under. Parking free for people who buy tickets in advance (at the Kino admin office or box office), and $2 otherwise.
Tucson Saguaros vs. Ruidoso Osos. Okay, we have to admit that this week, our beloved baseball team's opponent has a team name that fits perfectly with their city name. But somehow, the "Tucson Fawns" or the "Tucson Prawns," just doesn't have the same intimidating effect. Let's stick with the majestic, impressive team name we already have. Anyway, these two teams are playing a Fourth of July game at Reid Park, from which you'll be able to see the A Mountain fireworks perfectly. All of the truly patriotic Americans will be at baseball games on the Fourth... don't you want to be one of them? 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. $7.50.
10th Annual Fourth of July 5K Freedom Run/Walk. If you have the day off for Independence Day, it might be tempting to sleep in. But think of it this way: The earlier you get up, the longer your holiday will last. This short race takes you through the Golf Links Sports Complex, so you can start your day the scenic way. Event host Tag Run has once again partnered with the That Others May Live Foundation, a nonprofit that provides support, scholarships and immediate tragedy assistance for the families of U.S. Air Force rescue heroes. It's a run that will have you feeling good in more ways than one. 6:30 a.m. (bib pickup begins at 5:30) Wednesday, July 4. Golf Links Sports Complex, Ramada #3, 2400 S. Craycroft Road. $35.
Celebrate 4th of July, Old West Style. It's hard to believe it's been nearly 250 years since our Founding Fathers looked Great Britain in the eye and said, "They're ain't enough room in this continent for the two of us." And so it is in their honor that you might consider spending your holiday in the wild, wild West. Kids 11 and under get into Old Tucson for free from July 4 through 8, and there will also be a pie-eating contest, a special Independence Day show in the Grand Palace and an all-American menu that includes smoked turkey legs and lots of other barbecue selections. Oh, and don't forget about the daily patriotic flag ceremony, to help your holiday live on into the weekend. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 through Sunday, July 8. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. Adult tickets are $19.95, with discounts for seniors, military and Pima County residents available.
Let Freedom Sing. One of the best things about America has always been its diversity. And the diversity of our nation's cultures and backgrounds will be mirrored in this star-spangled event, which features everything from patriotic standards to all-American pop hits. The Arts Express choir and band will be making music alongside stars like Armen Dirtadian, Crystal Stark, Chach Snook, Dennis Tamblyn, Domingo DeGrazia and you (because there's no way you're going to make it through this whole show without singing along at least a little bit). 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. GA is $10 adults, $5 teens 12 to 18 and free for kids under 12. Reserved seating in the front is $25 for adults, $10 for teens and $5 for kids.
Mediums James Van Praagh and Deb Sheppard. What do you get when two mediums are sharing the same stage? That's right: A large. Just kidding. There isn't a real answer to the question, because who can say? Van Praagh, who has appeared on Oprah, Dr. Phil and 48 Hours (so you know he's legit) is a "survival evidence medium," which means he provides evidence of life after death through detailed messages from the great beyond. Sheppard is an "evidential medium," which is pretty much the same thing, but she connects to unseen realms using emotions and feelings in her body. Whether you believe in ESP or not, this will, at the very least, be an entertaining evening. And if you do, you may even have an opportunity to speak with a loved one who has crossed over through these mediums. Worth a shot, right? Show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday June 30. Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment Sahuarita, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road, Sahuarita. $15 to $37.50.
Roots & Boots '90s Electric Throwdown. Are you ready to be transported back to the '90s? More specifically, are you ready to be transported back to the '90s via three of the voices that ruled country music during the decade? We've got Sammy Kershaw, the man behind the pre-One Direction song "She Don't Know She's Beautiful," who blends Southern rock with just a hint of Cajun spiciness. There's Aaron Tippin, whose breakout hit, "You've Got To Stand For Something" was only the beginning. And there's Collin Ray, the soulful crooner behind songs like "Love, Me," as well as the classic rocker behind tunes like "Man of My Word." Between the three of them, these guys have sold more than 25 million albums and have more than 40 Top 10 radio hits. This event is practically Coachella for '90s country fans. 8 p.m. Thursday, June 28. AVA Amphitheater at Casino Del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road. $25 to $35.
Joe Rogan: Strange Times 2018 Tour. You may know him as an MMA guy, you may know him as the guy from Fear Factor, you may know him as the host of your favorite podcast or you may know him as the host of a podcast you've listened to a couple times when there are guests you're interested in. But chances are, you probably know about Joe Rogan. It turns out, Joe Rogan knows about Tucson, too! He's swinging by on his Strange Times comedy tour, because he's also been a standup comic for more than two decades. 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 29. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $43 to $63.
Big Fish. Yeah, like the Tim Burton movie! It's always been exactly the kind of story that would do well as a stage musical, and now this "little-bit-of-Wizard-of-Oz, little-bit-of-the-Music Man" show is hitting a Tucson stage for the first time ever. Follow the story of traveling salesman Edward Bloom, a spinner of tall tales, and his straight-laced journalist of a son, Will (those journalist people are so boring), now with more music and spectacle than you've ever seen it before. 7 p.m. on Friday, June 29 and Friday, July 6. 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 30 and Saturday July 7. 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 1 and Sunday, July 8. Stevie Eller Theatre, 1737 E. University Blvd. $20 GA, $15 senior/students/military, $10 kids. Ticket prices increase by $5 at the door.
Rockin' Cinderella. Cinderella is an interesting story, sure. But are you ever watching the movie or reading the story to a kid and thinking to yourself how much better it would be if it just had more rock music? Say no more. With this original adaptation by Richard Gremel, Live Theatre Workshop is putting on a version of Cinderella that takes place in the 1950s—complete with poodle skirts, malt shops and a sock hop at a place called Burger Palace. In this version, the handsome prince is the Burger Palace king's son, the fairy godmother is a fairy godfather and there's way, way fewer mice than in the movie version. Showing at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays through Aug. 19. Live Theatre Workshop, 5317 E. Speedway Blvd. $7 kids, $10 adults.
The Best Show... Period. The funny ladies over at Tucson Improv Movement are taking the stage to deliver what they're confident is going to be LITERALLY the best show ever. On this night with TIM, there may be no such thing as TMI. Say, did you ever hear the one about the middle school girls who were sticking sanitary napkins onto lockers in the locker room, so their gym teacher called them into a group to give them a talking to? "This behavior is so immature!" she shouted. "You should know better, and this is absolutely going to stop. You need to behave yourselves. PERIOD." Legend has it, the group of girls is still laughing. We're expecting that this show will be much better than that joke. 9 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 30. Tucson Improv Movement, 414 E. Ninth St. $5.
Fun in General
Asteroid Day. Everyone knows June 30 is International Asteroid Day! And if you forgot to plan a big party this year, don't worry: Flandrau Planetarium has got you covered. An array of hands-on activities will inform and entertain (did you know that there are more than 17,000 Near Earth Objects that fly close to Earth at some point in their orbit?), and exhibits about asteroids and meteorites will really get you in the Asteroid Day spirit. At 2 p.m., there's a screening of the planetarium show ASTEROID: MISSION EXTREME (to which members get in free). It will be immediately followed by an update from scientist Bashar Rizk on the status of the OSIRIS-Rex mission. Heck, even if you did plan an Asteroid Day party of your own, this one is going to be hard to beat. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 30. Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. Tickets to the show are $16 adults, $12 seniors/military/college students with ID/kids 4 to 17 and free for kids 3 and under.
Cool Summer Nights at the Desert Museum. It's Dino night, and the feeling's right, oh what a sight. Head on over to the Desert Museum for the evening, where you can cool down, check out some of the desert nightlife, enjoy the Packrat Playhouse and enjoy their ongoing art exhibit, "Becoming Animal." This week, you'll also have a chance to hear some Native-American inspired flute music, and then hear some presentations about the Sonorasaurus, Arizona's new official state dinosaur (every state has to have one). You'll hear from Senator Steve Farley about the importance of our new state dinosaur, a proponent of the bill to have the Sonorasauras named our state dinosaur and from Rich Thompson himself—the guy who discovered it! 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 30. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road. $22 GA, $20 seniors 65 and up, $9 kids 2 to 12, $18 military, $17 Arizona/Sonora resident.
Summer Safari Nights at Reid Park Zoo. Is your hair going gray from the stress of trying to make it through a whole week without going to the zoo? Well, you're in good company. This week's theme is "Saving Wild Places," and will be filled with information about how our local zoo is helping to conserve nature for animals that are black and white and gray all over. We're talking rhinos, elephants, zebras, anteaters, armadillos and tropical birds covered in dust (just kidding about that last one). In addition, you can soak up some entertainment from the Freddy Parish Band, check out local vendors and—if you wear gray—enjoy $1 off admission. 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 29. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 kids 2 to 14. Half off for zoo members!
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