City Week
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Thursday 20

DA RODEO. Bootstraps and bruised backsides rule this week, as La Fiesta de los Vaqueros--that's the Tucson Rodeo for you newbies--kicks up a little traditional horse-puckey.

Whether you consider it ritualized animal abuse or rich cultural history, rodeo's been a western mainstay since political correctness was a glimmer in some tofu eater's eye. And that legacy unfolds today with the Tucson Rodeo Parade. Touted as "the world's longest non-motorized parade," the two-hour procession features floats and buggies, antique horse-drawn coaches, Mexican folk dancers, bands and riders. It begins at 9 a.m. at Park Avenue and Ajo Way, travels south on Park to Irvington Road, then follows Irvington west to Sixth Avenue, ending at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4823 S. Sixth Ave. For details, call 741-2233.

The venerable rodeo itself continues as well, with everyone from dewy-eyed tikes to grizzled cowpokes wrestling countless critters in a dusty corral. Arena action includes wrangler bullfights, children's mutton bustin' and the Arizona Junior Rodeo competition, with entertainment rustled-up by the Quadrille de Mujeres precision riding team.

Ranked among the top 15 rodeos in North America, this is a high-caliber event, with $200,000 in prize money distributed among the winners.

Competition runs from 1:15 to 4:30 p.m. daily through Sunday, February 23, at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. Tickets range from $8 to $14, and are available at the Tucson Rodeo Office, Dillard's, the TCC box office, or by calling 741-2233.

And if those events ruffle your refined sensibilities, you can still enjoy the fun in a charitable way at tonight's Rodeo Dance. Featuring country music by the Ronstadt Cousins, Tex-Mex from Latino Sólido, mariachi and folklorico, the gathering is a benefit to help Ballet Folklorico del Sudoeste and El Mariachi Tapatio fund their August junket to Hungary.

Dance is from 6 p.m. to midnight in the TCC Exhibition Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets are $10.75, available at Dillard's or the TCC box office. Call 321-8790 for information.

Friday 21

CANADIAN COSMONAUTS. You may know Quebec as a hotbed of ornery, croissant-munching separatists. What you may not realize is that Canada's French-speaking province is also a hub of fine, homegrown music. A taste of it comes to town tonight in the form of Ad Vielle Que Pourra. "Like troubadour cosmonauts, they transcend time and space while placing you in some idyllic setting that you'd rather be in anyway," Beausoliel's cajun songsmith Michael Doucet says of the band.

Tapping traditional styles with instruments like the hurdy-gurdy, diatonic accordion, guitar, bagpipe and fiddle, Ad Vielle Que Pourra is known to crank crowds into rapturous international frenzies. Join the action at 8 p.m. in the Universalist Unitarian Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. Advance tickets are $14, $12 for TFTM and KXCI members, and available at Hear's Music, Loco Music and Video, Antigone Books or by calling 881-3947. Tickets are $2 more at the door.

LUNAR ODDITY. The heirs-apparent to eccentric visionary George Phar Legler are back at it, as they present Quest for the Golden Key of Happiness tours at Legler's odd little Valley of the Moon.

The lunar loonies promise a chance to meet enchanting creatures as the journey gets underway, and that's an offer not to pass up--unless you consider Barney to be the highest form of weird entertainment. Free tours run every 30 minutes from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road, just north of Prince Road and east of Tucson Boulevard. Call 323-1331 for information.

GLOBAL TREADS. Motorheads from across the land descend on the Old Pueblo this weekend when the World of Wheels Car Show rolls into town. Bouncing low-riders, jiggling car-babes and quarter-midget races are only the tip of the celebratory piston, says spokesman Jerry Cross.

"Arlen Ness, a famous motorcycle customizer, will be here with a couple of his creations, like 'Ness-talgia,' shaped with '57 Chevy car fins," he says, "and George Barris--King of Customizers--will also be on hand."

That's in addition to the Budweiser All-Harley Review, a low-rider showdown and Leslee Bremer, a.k.a "America's Favorite Poster Girl."

"It's gonna be a great time for the whole family, with good food and sodas at great prices," Cross says.

Show runs from 5 to 10:30 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Admission is $8, $3 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under. Call 885-4284 for details.

Saturday 22

HILLS OF DESPAIR. It comes to us in stark TV images of genocide, mass upheaval, indomitable dignity and gutsy defiance. Now, even as the concept of multi-cultural government gains a fragile foothold in the former Yugoslavia, several Tucsonans are keeping their eyes glued to history unfolding, their hearts anchored in that troubled land.

Tonight the Tucson Balkan Peace Support Group dishes up the prettier side of the European hot-spot at their Balkan Peace and Culture Evening. The group invites everyone to "come sample the food, dances and arts" of the mountainous peninsula. The Tucson Ethnic Dance Ensemble and the Mzekala provide entertainment, along with Panathenian and Balkan high-steppers.

Free event begins at 5 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St. For information, call 623-8905.

HISTORY AFOOT. Juan Bautista de Anza inhabited these parts back when the Old Pueblo was still in the hands of indigenous city fathers. During his life, spanning 1736 to 1788, he became a noted Spanish military leader and explorer. Stationed at the Tubac Presidio, Anza spearheaded forays to Monterey, California, and earmarked the San Francisco Bay area as northern California's first European inholding.

Tonight the vaunted adventurer becomes the focus of the Tucson Branch of the Arizona State Poetry Society. Don Garate, park ranger at Tumacacori National Monument, leads the discussion, adding a personal touch with original poetry and a bit of 18th-century musical flair. Join him for this free presentation at 10 a.m. in the Northwest Neighborhood Center, 2160 N. Sixth Ave. Call 797-7287 for information.

SERENITY AND SUNSHINE. A cadre of local activists proves that we can all get along at Peace Fair '97. Tucson's largest gathering of folks working towards the laudable goals of social justice, environmental common-sense and old-fashioned harmony will feature music, beverages, dancing, and a whole bevy of kids' stuff.

Free event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Reid Park bandshell. For details, call 888-3498.

Sunday 23

TOT ARTISTE. Internationally known kids' entertainer Mary Rice Hopkins comes to town with her band, performing such high-on-the-tike charters as "Hip, Hip Hooray!" and "Create in Me."

"It's really fun stuff," said grown-up church spokeswoman Becky Deppe. "She usually tours with a keyboard and guitarist, and the kids get invited to join in."

Hopkins performs at 6 p.m. in Christ Community Church, 7801 E. Kenyon Road. Tickets are $6, $4 for kids, and available at Agape Christian Bookstore, Revelation Bookstore, all Gospel Supplies locations and Christ Community Church. Call 296-8501 for details.

SPIRITED SOIREE. Find creative renderings to hang on your walls, wrap around your neck or perch on a pedestal at the Spirit of the Southwest Arts and Crafts Festival, sponsored by Spirit Weavers.

Today's the last chance to visit this extravaganza, with a fashion show at 12:30 p.m., live performance by El Mariachi Tapatio at 1:30 p.m., and the Redhouse Dancers at 3 p.m. Free event runs from noon to 5 p.m. at El Con Mall. For information, call 529-2072.

Monday 24

ON THE JOB. Corporate America may still be slopping at the governmental trough, but lesser soup-liners are going to face big changes as federal welfare reform takes shape.

The Pima County/Tucson Women's Commission hashes out the massive public belt-tightening in a gender-specific way, with the Effects of the Welfare Reform on Women forum.

Locals smacked upside the fiscal head will be on hand to describe their experiences, says commission advocate Rosalind Diamond. "Women directly affected by the reforms will be speaking, and their comments will be put into a report and submitted to lawmakers and various government people. They are the public, and this is their chance to speak."

English/Spanish translation is available, and refreshments will be provided. Free event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Northwest Neighborhood Center, 2160 N. Sixth Ave. Call 624-8318 for details.

SONORAN DECKHANDS. Nothing quite like paddle-boating across Silverbell Lake's gleaming effluent, or bassin' at sun-shrunken Arivaca Lake, you say? Well, how about wandering the Oregon coastline, navigating Monterey Bay or scoping San Francisco's bare-bottom beaches from 50 yards offshore?

No match for open, urban brown-water, to be sure. But life on the high seas can still be a kick, according to Tucson sailors and dive instructors Nancy and Peter Hardy. They'll present a slide show of their own adventures, From Tacoma to Alaska--Ten Years of Cruising and Diving in the Pacific Northwest, at 7:30 p.m. in the back room of O'Malley's on Fourth, 247 N. Fourth Ave. Admission is free. Call 743-0519 for details.

Tuesday 25

WANDERING LENS. Gary Auerbach's stunning photography of exotic climes from Spain and France to Greece, Switzerland and Russia, are on display at the Platinum Gallery.

Auerbach's platinotypes--the medium of choice for early shutterbugs like Edward Stephen, Alfred Steiglitz and Clarence White--capture foreign shores as well as the American landscape, in a style employed by only a handful of photographers today. It's a painstaking process using long-lasting platinum and hand-made paper. The results are portraits that include celebrities, Native Americans and garden variety folks like us in the signature black-and-white sepia look.

Exhibit runs through February at the Platinum Gallery, located at the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, 5601 N. Hacienda Del Sol Road. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call 299-1501, ext. 115.

AMAZONIA IN ARIZONA. Ballet Nacional de Caracas danced their raucous way into Tucson hearts a few years back with a vibrant production of Don Quixote. This time they're again slated to bring the house down with a trio of Brazilian pieces.

Choreographer Vincente Nebrada taps a lush mixture of bird calls, whistles and twangs with eight solos and a group finale in Batucada Fantastica, while Inez de Castro tells the love story of two Portuguese nobles, set against a musical backdrop by Uruguayan composer Sergio Cervetti. Fiebre (fever) is described as a "visual and kinetic shock, danced to the haunting songs of Cuban-born torch singer La Lupe," and was most recently performed to raves in the Bay area.

"As La Lupe kept singing 'Adios, adios, adios,' I wanted to shout 'Bienvenidos, bienvenidos, bienvenidos,' " reports Allan Ulrich of the San Francisco Examiner.

Performance is 8 p.m. in the TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $18 to $28, with discounts for seniors and children, available at Dillard's or by calling 791-4836.

Wednesday 26

EARTH AND SKY. Photographer Richard Torchia takes camera obscura to new heights with The Waving of Foliage and the Coming and Going of Ships, now on display in the UA Center for Creative Photography.

Each piece is a live light projection detailing the beautiful oddities of Tucson's natural and manmade landscape, with Torchia playing up the primal elements of heat and sun off both desert cactus and our city's astronomical yearnings.

Blooming cacti magnified 24 times through as many lenses, water dripping from a palo verde branch into a puddle, and dust suspended in hot air like a peek into the cosmos, all combine in this unique, powerful revelation of our southwestern scene. Through it all, Torchia's work is marked by "a continued exploration between seeing and knowing, and how art, observation and contemplation can return us to a state of wonder."

Exhibit runs through April 13 in the UA Center for Photography, located at the south end of the pedestrian underpass on Speedway east of Park Avenue. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 621-79618 for details.

PUB CRAWLERS. Tucson's own Boondock's Lounge was once best known for that big old wine bottle perched outside a two-story, delirium tremens monster with plaster grapes cascading down its side, and a precarious cork popping out the top.

But more recently, the vino-adorned outpost has become better noted for teaming with Terry O' Productions to rein in a steady roster of heavy blues cats, from the Chicago R&B Kings to Big Jack Johnson and Gary Primich. The bad train rolls on tonight with Mike Morgan and the Crawl, a band of gut-wrenchers who'll make you mean enough to spank your grandma. Show is 8 p.m. to midnight in the Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave. Tickets are $6 in advance, $7 at the door, with a $1 discount for Tucson Blues Society members. Call 690-0991 for information.

City Week includes events selected by Calendar Editor Mari Wadsworth. Event information is accurate as of press time. The Weekly recommends calling event organizers to check for last-minute changes in location, time, price, etc.

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