Top 15 Things to Do

"Lizards and Other Critters AUGUST 15 Spot the natural desert wildlife of Arizona in this naturalist-guided tour of the Brandi Fenton Memorial Park. Peek under rocks, climb over ridges and spy in the trees for the lizards, birds and predators that roam the Arizona wilderness."

By Katie Sawyer

Abstract month

All Month Long

This month is abstract month at the Madaras Gallery. Owner, operator and — of course — painter Diana Madaras is showcasing her most abstract and colorful works in her 12-month gallery showing. She boasts accomplishments like the eight paintings she sold to the former president of Mexico, in addition to her art being hung in the Tucson Museum of Art. Check out her vibrant, desert-inspired art collection at her gallery this month.

Madaras Gallery, 3035 N. Swan Road, 615.3001, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, free, all ages.

World Margarita Championship


Try your hand at perfecting the Margarita at this championship event, or just enjoy the scenery and slurp custom-made beverages. Watch people duke it out for the coveted titles of People’s and Judge’s Choice for Margarita. Previous winners of the awards include The Tequila Factory at Casino Del Sol for its Hielo Verde Margarita and Rigo’s Restaurant for its Dragon Margarita. Looking for something to soak up that alcohol? There’s plenty of local restaurants in attendance too, including Fresco Pizzeria and Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ.

Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa, 245 E. Ina Road,, 797.3959, 6:30 p.m., $60 includes libation and food samplings, 21 and older.

Final Stop Wrestling Match


Watch wrestlers body slam, dive and break backs at this extravaganza. Choose your fighter wisely though, not everyone will make it out of the ring on top. Debuting at this event is Cactus League Wrestler and diva, Thunder Rosa. This is CLW’s last event before its one-year anniversary show, to be announced.

Hotel Tucson City Center, 475 N. Granada Avenue,, 622.3000, Doors open 4 p.m., bell time 5 p.m., $10, all ages.



Spend the day in outer space at the 10th annual Spacefest and be treated to seriously out-of-this-world speakers including RKA Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, astronaut and shuttle specialist Mario Runco Jr., Amy Shira Teitel, an author and space flight historian and Dave Scott, the Gemini VIII pilot and Apollo XV commander, among other stars. There will be plenty of time to explore and seek out new worlds over the course of the four-day space jam, so be sure to check out their schedule online.

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort, 3800 W. Starr Pass Boulevard,, 1.800.727.6682 (NOVA), times TBA, $60 a four-day pass, $10 Thursday, $30 Friday, $30 Saturday, $10 Sunday, children under 12 free, all ages.

Southeast Arizona

Birding Festival


This bird-watching festival has anything you could ever want in terms of up-close and personal bird watching. From overnight all-inclusive field trips to spot Sonoran birds, to educational talks with bird experts and a free community expo Thursday to Sunday. With live animals, vendors and food to enjoy, the four-day party is sure to have something for every member of the family. Trips are anywhere between $15 for a small guided hike and $275 for an overnight bird-watching experience with lodging, food and travel included. Spots are filling up fast. Complete schedule available online.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tucson – Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way,, 629.0510, prices and times vary according to event, all ages.



This funky, new wave artist has a quirky sound. Her soft vocals, shoegaze guitar and synth come together to create a style entirely her own. Grab a drink at the bar and then head to the floor to dance to the wavy music live at Club Congress.

Club Congress, 311 E. Congress Street,, 990.8134, 7 p.m., $10-$12, 16 and older.

Lizards and Other Critters


Spot the natural desert wildlife of Arizona in this naturalist-guided tour of the Brandi Fenton Memorial Park. Peek under rocks, climb over ridges and spy in the trees for the lizards, birds and predators that roam the Arizona wilderness. And don’t forget your sunscreen!

Brandi Fenton Memorial Park Visitor Center, 3482 E. River Road,, 724.5375, 7:30 a.m., children are free, adult nonmembers $5.

Lance Burton:

Master Magician


Lance Burton has been performing magic for decades, from the young age of 6 years old. Since then, he has competed in shows and competitions around the country and around the globe, sharing the magic and mystery of sleight of hand with kids and adults alike. His performances wow audiences, so much so that he was invited on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson 10 times. Be prepared to “oooh” and “aaah” as he performs live on stage at Casino Del Sol.

Casino Del Sol Event Center, 5655 W. Valencia Road,, 855.765.7829, 8:30 p.m., $15, all ages.

August Wine & Dine


This monthly get together for foodies and wine connoisseurs alike is kicking off this month’s Wine and Dine with executive chef Brian Smith’s masterful cooking. Guests will enjoy food and a portfolio of wines from top distributors. Receive 10% off for being a wine club member.

Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Avenue,, 545.0577, 7-9 p.m., $78.26, 21 and older.



If you weren’t able to attend Woodstock back in 1969, don’t worry, Woofstock is here to celebrate the 50th anniversary with all of the music you missed — plus dogs. The headliners are Leila Lopez as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Novelli as Jimi Hendrix, Keli and The Big Dream as Jefferson Airplane, Johnny Zapp & Nick Shelby as The Band, Ice-9 as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Southbound Pilot as Janis Joplin, Greyhound Soul as Richie Havens and The Wayback Machine as The Grateful Dead. Bring your pooch and enjoy the tunes with an adult beverage (or two). Don’t forget your blanket!

Kino Sports Complex North Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way,, 327.6088, 5 p.m., $19.69, all ages.

“Gutenberg: the Musical!”



This two-man musical comedy is back by popular demand. Two actors, Doug Simon and Bud Davenport, portray playwrights auditioning for “Guttenberg.” The show was critically acclaimed and debuted at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City, now these two local actors are bringing it to life again for Tucson theater lovers.

Unscrewed Theater, 3244 E. Speedway Boulevard,, 261.0915, various times, $25, all ages.

Three Sisters

Culinary Series: Part 3


The third in a delectable three-part series, this sampling brunch celebrates corn and all the tasty ways to incorporate it into your foods. Local chefs will showcase signature, corn-inspired dishes to display the history and importance of the staple food in indigenous cultures across the Americas. Tickets also include libations and menu samplings, and with over 65 local restaurant and alcohol makers in attendance, it’s sure to be a corny night.

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, 6200 N. Club House Lane,, 797.3959, 10:30 a.m., $45, 21 and older.

HOCO Music Festival


Show up for the musical acts, stay for the food and the art. This Tucson tradition is in honor of the Hotel Congress’ 100-year celebration, as it was founded in 1919. Just some of the hot lineup are Omar Apollo on August 29, Ms. Nina and Tomasa Del Real on August 30, Dana Dentata and Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra on August 31 and Bill Callahan and Injury Reserve on September 1. This, in addition to dozens of other artists, food vendors and artists that will be in attendance, makes for a festival to remember.

Hotel Congress, 311 Congress Street,, 622.8848, 7 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 at the door, 21 and older.

Willcox Flyer Bike Ride


The Willcox Flyer Bike Ride is back again this year and with a new ride. Don’t worry, your favorite scenic rides are still available, both the 33-mile round trip ($45) and the 66-mile round trip ($55). If you think these riders are cyclepaths, don’t fret, this year they’ve added an 8-mile course for kids, families and those new to the biking scene ($20). The morning starts at 6 a.m. with coffee and breakfast burritos for sale, then bikers will take off at 7 a.m. Water and snack stations are along the course, and music, vendors and food awaits the returning riders.

Historic Railroad Avenue Park, 100 S. Railroad Avenue, Willcox,, 444.8284, 7 a.m., $20-$55 depending on ride specified, all ages.

Urban Splash Music Fest


Just in time for the new school year, this pool party is a great way to cool off and show off your swim attire. Hip-hop and R&B artists will be featured, in addition to the food, drinks and vendors. Relax in a rented cabana or take a dip while basking in the Arizona sun and end summer with a bang — or a splash.

The Ranch at Star Pass, 41 S. Shannon Road,, 480.382.2690, 3 p.m., $15.