Catalina Organ Festival. This festival started in 2014, and has since brought in performers from all over the world to play the Rank Shirley and Ralph Morgan Memorial Organ. The theme of this concert is "Celebrating Notre Dame." It felt like the whole world's attention turned to Paris last year when this Catholic cathedral, home to one of the world's largest organs, caught fire. Kimberly Marshall, Goldman Professor of Organ at Arizona State University, pays tribute to the beautiful building with this Valentine's Day concert. 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. $20 in advance/online and $25 at the door.
Feeling the Love. Love and art are both wonderful things that make life worth living. Celebrate them both this Valentine's Day by heading over to the Wilde Meyer Gallery for a little party. They'll have food, fun and works by artist such as Cathy Carey, Peggy McGivern, Jim Budish, Yvonne Mendez, Adam Thomas Rees and Ken Kasten. If this doesn't already sound like a remarkably pleasant way to spend a Friday evening, did we mention there's going to be a live harp performance by Vanessa Myers? See ya there. 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Wilde Meyer Gallery, 2890 E. Skyline Drive. Free.
Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival & Car Show. Even if you're not very into cars, you've gotta admit that they're pretty marvelous feats of engineering. They're such an integral part of our everyday lives that it can be hard to remember to step back and appreciate just how much design and craftsmanship goes into each one. And that goes double for classic cars! This Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance is here to celebrate all of this. Live music, yummy barbecue and more than 30 different classes of awards will keep your day, your heart and your belly full. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road. $5, with $1 discount for veterans and military. Free for kids 10 and under. Cash only.
Shows & Performances
The Light Princess. This show, a musical adaptation of a George MacDonald fairytale, is full of magic and delight and everything you could ask for in a fairytale. When a king and queen desperate to have a child turn to a witch for help, their daughter is born without gravity (classic witch move). If they don't get this girl grounded before her 16th birthday, the kingdom falls into the hands of the witch. Princes, wise men and a cast of other characters take the stage in this adaptation by award-winning duo Lila Rose Kaplan (book) and Mike Pettry (music & lyrics). 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 23. Scoundrel & Scamp Theatre at the Historic Y, 738 N. Fifth Ave. $30 GA, $28 seniors 55+, $15 student & teacher.
The Capitol Steps. There's a lot that's depressing about following politics. But these days, there's also a lot that's entertaining. The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation wants to focus on the entertaining part of things by bringing this group (founded by a group of Senate staffers back in '81) back to Tucson. As one performer puts it, "If we insult a person you like, be assured that the next person we insult will surely be someone you do not." They'll be poking bipartisan fun at headlines and some of politics' biggest personalities. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $50 to $65.
Black Renaissance: Black Museum. In honor of Black History Month, a group of black creatives in Tucson have put together a series of events around the theme "The History of Us," designed to remind us that black history is the history of all of us. And not to mention the present! The work of black individuals throughout history has been key in shaping popular culture. This week, the spotlight is on contemporary spoken word artists, who will be performing their work at 191 Toole. All ages are welcome, and all ages should be there! 8 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. 191 Toole, 191 E. Toole Ave. Free.
Men Are From Mars–Women Are From Venus LIVE! Ah, you remember when this book came out, and made you think, if nothing else, "Well, there's one explanation for why my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend seems so absolutely insane to me sometimes." In this one-man show, Ryan Drummond presents a series of vignettes about everything from dating to marriage to the bedroom. It's definitely for adults only, but visitors from any and every planet are welcome. Come laugh your way through date night with your favorite interplanetary visitor. 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Temple of Music & Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $60.
Valentine's Day at Flandrau. Looking for a unique place to take your date this Feb. 14? Flandrau has got you covered. Send your romance into orbit with their special planetarium shows. "Lovers in the Sky," at 6 and 8 p.m., tells the tale of star-crossed lovers immortalized in the constellations, from Cassiopeia and Cepheus, Andromeda and Perseus, and Zeus and Callisto. If you're looking for something a little less on-the-nose, they also have two screenings of their "Laser Beatles" show at 7 and 9 p.m., where you can enjoy some of the world's best-known songs about love. Friday, Feb. 14. Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. $16 adults, $12 kids 4 to 17. If you want to see both shows, the second is just $3!
Learn Something New
Southern Arizona Transportation Museum Lecture Series. This lecture series is a great way to learn more about all of the events in Tucson's history that brought us to where we are today. This week, you'll hear from Gene Caywood about 140th anniversary of the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad to the Old Pueblo. The Southern Pacific built its first locomotive in Sacramento in 1873 and started expanding from there. On March 20, 1880, the first SP train reached Tucson. 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave.
Wondering About the Wild Things. In this event hosted by Pima County Parks & Rec and Historic Canoa Ranch, naturalist Jeff Babson will give a talk called "Owls: Masters of the Night Skies." It's followed by a Q&A where you're free to ask questions about any nature topic you're curious about—whether it's "Can you identify this photo of a tree I took at work last week?" or "Where do snakes sleep?" 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Historic Canoa Ranch, 5375 S. 1-19 Frontage Road, Green Valley. $5, & register online in advance at apm.activecommunities.com.
The Wild West
Tucson Rodeo. It's rodeo season again! The first Fiesta de los Vaqueros was back in 1925, with three days full of events. Since then, it's grown to a nine-day bonanza that's one of the top 25 professional rodeos on the continent. Every day is jam-packed with fun stuff to do. On opening day this Saturday, gates open at 11 a.m. for a day including the Justin Junior Rodeo, the ProRodeo Competition and the Coors Barn Dance. On Sunday, Feb. 16, wear pink to support breast cancer initiatives and check out the Chicks 'n' Chaps Women's Rodeo Clinic starting at 8 a.m. Monday and Tuesday feature barrel racing, steer wrestling and more starting at 8 a.m. See tucsonrodeo.com for the full schedule! Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. Sixth Ave. Event ticket prices start at $16.
Arizona Civil War Days. Every trip to Old Tucson is like going back in time, but this weekend, go back to a very specific time to see what life was like in the Arizona Territory during the Civil War. Visit soldiers' camps and watch re-enactments of battles like the Battle of Golden Gate Peak. New this year is a chance to meet the real-life descendants of the Hatfield and McCoy families. There will be presentations about the family's history, book signings and plenty of entertainment. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, and Sunday, Feb. 16. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. $21.95 GA, $10.95 kids 4 to 11 and free for kids under 4. Discounts available for seniors, military and Pima County residents.
Pure Prairie League with Michael Martin Murphey. If the rodeo has gotten you in the mood for an extra helping of the Wild West this week, don't miss this event at the Fox. Country rock legends Pure Prairie League are named after a 19th century Temperance Union, and you've no doubt heard their huge hit "Amie." Michael Martin Murphey is a Cowboy Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Awardee, known for pioneering the Austin music scene and forging "The Outlaw" movement in music along with Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker. Don't even bother changing out of your cowboy boots this week. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. $29 to $79.
Fun in General
Family SciFest. Remember when we all had to make volcanoes with vinegar and baking soda (or maybe you were in the Mentos and diet coke camp) for science class? There's nothing quite like hands-on experiments for getting kids excited about STEM, and that's exactly what this event at the Children's Museum Tucson is designed to do. Part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, it's got activities in robotics, astronomy, biology, engineering, environmental sciences, math and physics. Guest organizations range from the Arizona Canine Cognition Center to OSIRIS-REx reps to the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Hooray science! 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Children's Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Free.
Adiba Nelson Book Reading & Signing. Black Renaissance and Hotel McCoy always put on good events, and this is no exception. Adiba Nelson, who has delivered TED Talks, been published in places like the Washington Post and was featured in the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Full Nelson, just self-published her debut children's picture book, Meet ClaraBelle Blue. The first book in a series, it's based loosely on Nelson's own daughter, and is about how even though she has special needs, ClaraBelle is beautiful and so much like other kids. Come on down—free juice boxes for the kids! 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Hotel McCoy, 720 W. Silverlake Road. Free.
International World Market. This gem show is new to the Mercado District this year, and will be hosted alongside the African Art Village, which is making its annual return. They've got wholesale and resale prices with the ambiance of the Mercado District, which is always a win. Head on down to snag a last-minute Valentine's Day gift, or perhaps take your Valentine here and let them pick out a gift themselves. (Even more perfect if you're your own Valentine—treat yourself!) 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, to Sunday, Feb. 19. 279 S. Linda Ave.
Analog Hour at Exo Roast. When was the last time you went out without your phone? I'll go first and say, as much as I am ashamed to admit it, that I don't even remember. So thank goodness for events like this, a chance to leave your technology at home and commit to two hours of good ol' fashioned relaxation. Grab a book from the book bike and dive in, listen to some music, have a quiet chat with a friend, play a game, drink a coffee, journal. The possibilities are endless! 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Exo Roast Co, 403 N. Sixth Ave. Free.
Asian Lantern Festival. The Reid Park Zoo, Tianyu Arts & Culture Inc, UA Global and the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center are partnering to produce this cultural festival featuring more than 400 larger-than-life, interactive lanterns. Be transported across the world with Asian-inspired cuisine and culture, as well as live entertainment including dance, music and acrobatics. There are also weekly crafts and games like Mah Jong, Chinese Checkers and an origami station! 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, to Sunday, March 29. (Thursday through Sunday until March 1, then nightly from March 5 to March 29). Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $18 adults, $16 kids 2 to 14, free for kids 1 and younger, $2 off for members.