Solar Solstice Fair
4 to 7 p.m., next Thursday, June 17
Santa Cruz River Farmers' Market
Speedway and Riverview boulevards
622-0525, ext. 242
Just a few days before the Summer Solstice—the longest, sunniest day of the year—the Santa Cruz River Farmers' Market will demonstrate how the sun can be used as a cooking source.
The Solar Solstice Fair will feature an assortment of solar-powered ovens, and offer fun activities for the whole family.
According to market manager Sara Rickard, the market has a history of hosting events dedicated to educating members of the community on how to better use local resources; topics have ranged from growing gardens to raising chickens.
"Every year, we have workshops on ... showing the community how to save water," Rickard said. "We usually have a very good turnout, and we're hoping this year is no different."
Children who attend will learn about different ways to use the sun as an energy source—including a tutorial on how to dry fruit.
Adults will get to see how to operate a solar oven—yes, that means an oven powered by the sun—and will receive information on discounted solar ovens from Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture.
"More people are getting interested in using fewer resources like gas and electricity," Rickard said. "With solar ovens, a person can cook food without using (nonrenewable) resources, and it's a way for people to go green."
Admission to the market—which takes place just west of Interstate 10 between the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind and the El Rio Neighborhood Center—and all of the demonstrations are free. Call for more information. —D.O.
The photos of Bart Jennings
On display daily, through Wednesday June 30
Joel D. Valdez Main Library
101 N. Stone Ave.
Experience the culture and people of Ghana through the photography of Bart Jennings.
Jennings, a Peace Corps volunteer and professional photographer, spent two years in the country teaching visual arts to students at the Wa School for the Deaf, located in the Upper West region of Ghana, near the border of Burkina Faso. He observed and photographed the ways of locals, and said his time in the country is the most amazing experience of his life.
Jennings' photos are on display at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library throughout June. Jennings said he sent his Ghana photos to the Tucson Pima County Library's call for artists, and a jury of local professional artists then picked his work to be shown at the library.
Jennings is excited to be showing his work there, he said.
"People from all walks of life walk through this library lobby," Jennings said. "Hundreds of people walk through that lobby every day, and some of these people will never leave the country, and others may never even leave Arizona. I can expose these people to cultures outside of our world."
Jennings says he wants viewers to recognize just how different and similar we are to the people of Ghana.
"You look at my picture I have displayed of the mother and baby," he said. "You can see, just like any mother, this woman cherishes her baby more than anything else in the world. But at the same time, you see this woman's surroundings, and it is undeniable that she is living in squalor."
Admission is free. —A.L.
The Firefighter Combat Challenge
7:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 12; 7:30 to 10 a.m., Sunday, June 13
Desert Diamond Casino
1100 W. Pima Mine Road
The Firefighter Combat Challenge offers an example of what you can get when you ask a group of athletic, motivated people to compete in events that are related to the career that they love.
This weekend, Desert Diamond Casino and On Target Challenge Inc. will again join forces to sponsor the ultimate clash of Southern Arizona's firefighter titans.
Let's make it clear: The competing firefighters will not be engaged in mediocre challenges such as, say, saving a kitten stuck in a tree. No, sir. Instead, they will be competing in challenges that will show off their true athleticism—like climbing a five-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a 175-pound victim—all while outfitted in full gear (which is rather heavy and hot). Talk about a full week's worth of working out, done in a mere couple of hours!
The agencies that will be represented in the event include Tucson Fire Department, the Green Valley Firefighters Association, the Three Points Fire Department, the Sierra Vista Fire Department, the Bisbee Fire Department and Rural/Metro Fire.
Treena Parvello, a spokesperson for Desert Diamond Casino, press-released her excitement about the event.
"Desert Diamond Casino couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring the best of the best together again in an ultimate showdown of talent and athleticism," she said.
Best of all, admission to the event is free. Visit the website to learn more. —D.O.
Pima County Public Library GLBT Author Presentation: Sonia Sanchez
5:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 16
Dunbar Cultural Center Auditorium
325 W. Second St.
The 12th annual author presentation of the Pima County Public Library's Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Services Committee will feature renowned poet Sonia Sanchez.
Sanchez began teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1965, and was in the forefront in developing African-American studies courses at what has since become San Francisco State University. She also joined the Nation of Islam, but decided to part ways with the organization because of its treatment of women.
She has written and published numerous plays and books of poetry, including Under a Soprano Sky, I've Been a Woman: New and Selected Poems and her newest work, Morning Haiku. Sanchez has received numerous awards and honors for her art.
Sanchez will be reading from Does Your House Have Lions?, a book-length poem that focuses on the life and death of her brother, who died from an AIDS-related sickness. Does Your House Have Lions? was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award.
The event is free and open to the public; doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the event will begin at 6 p.m. Laura Markowitz, of Arizona Public Media, will interview Sanchez; afterward, Sanchez will take questions. Sanchez' books will also be on sale before and after her presentation, and the event will include a signing party.
Visit the website for more information. —D.O.