In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

15 ways to have fun this weekend

Monster trucks, soccer, wine and live music. Here’s some great ways to have fun this weekend.

Tournament of Destruction

Monster trucks, Demolition Derby, and Pit Parties. Friday and Saturday from 7-10PM at the Rodeo Grounds. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Get your tickets online here.

Locally owned and operated in Tucson since 1988 the Tournament of Destruction supports local Tucson businesses and various charitable organizations.

San Ysidro Wheat Harvest Festival

Relive history Saturday.  The San Ysidro Festival is the re-enacted, historic, annual wheat harvest festival in mid May. Staged at the historic Mission Gardens, the birthplace of Tucson.

FREE this Saturday from 8:30 – noon.

  • Harvest the garden’s wheat using traditional hand-held tools
  • Thresh wheat with Amy Star’s specially trained horses
  • Winnow to separate wheat from the chaff
  • We use the old millstone (tahona) to mill the wheat.
  • Special Presentation: “Wheat traditions in the Sonoran Desert: Trigo, tortillas y tradiciones” by Jesus Garcia, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
  • Traditional dance performances by Santa Rosa Basket
  • Dancers and Tucson Chinese Cultural Center’s Lion Dancers
  • Tasting traditional Sonoran pozole de trigo
  • Music by Gertie and the T.O. Boyz


Tucson Premium Outlets Concert – Black Cat Bones

Enjoy a FREE concert of blues and rock with Tucson-based Black Cat Bones. The band features Charles Pitts (vocals), Jeff Daniels (bass), Dan Laetsch (drums), Gary David (guitar), Richard Rivera (guitar). Fans of BB King and Johnny Winter will love this band.

The Tucson Premium Outlets and the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance have partnered to bring live music to Southern Arizona each and every week. The series supports a range in music genres, from country to rock and jazz to classical.

Black Renaissance Night 3: Black Museum

Black Renaissance spotlights black creativity in Tucson. Every Saturday in May from 8:00pm to 10:00pm, Hotel McCoy hosts these free events dedicated to the exploration of arts in the black community. This  is designed for the community at large to help in the learning of Black Artists and their steady influence on mainstream culture. See more details on the series here.

This evening is dedicated to mixed media visual art and includes appearances by:

Troy Miller-Perry
Elizabeth Denneau
Allison Miller
Sandra Taylor
Carl Euegene
JJ Williams
Vaune Suitt
Fiona Cadet
Christopher Berry

2019 Mariachi Festival and Wine Tasting at Patagonia Lake State Park

This Saturday, enjoy a wide variety of Southern Arizona Mariachi bands on stage and lots of fun family activities. The Mariachi Festival will also host a wine tasting area where you can sample a variety of special brews by local wineries, breweries, and distilleries. AZ Weekend favorites Elgin Distillery and Winery, Sonoita Vineyards, and Arizona Hops & Vines will all be there.

Admission is $20 per vehicle of up to four adults (fee per additional adult is $3). The fee for walk-in visitors is $3. Activities will run all day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will include Southern Arizona Mariachi bands and dancers, authentic Mexican food, hot dogs, kettle corn, shaved ice, and roasted corn.

And don’t forget to bring plenty of water, lawn chairs, sunscreen and a hat for those 90-degree days.

Noche De Las Estrellas

Enjoy a star-studded evening filled with Folklorico and Mariachi performances from various Sunnyside schools along with special guest performer, Alexis Montoya.

Proceeds of the event benefit student academic scholarships. Doors open at 4:00 p.m.; concert begins at 7:00 p.m. at the AVA Amphitheater.

Tickets available at Sunnyside High School or online at ($10)


TJI Spring Concert with guest vocalist Joe Bourne | FUNdraiser

As the temperatures rise Sunday, you’ll want to chill out to the big band sounds of the Tucson Jazz Institute. It’s  a concert that will engage your energy and emotions and leave you feeling happy and rewarded.

You’ll also be treated to the music of Nat ‘King’ Cole as Joe Bourne sings the classics with the TJI Ellington Big Band and Concord and Blue Note Combos.

Purchase your tickets in advance!

The Tucson Jazz Music Foundation will be conducting a RAFFLE & AUCTION with the TJI PARENT GROUP in conjunction with this concert. Bring your ‘address labels’ to affix to raffle tickets to make it easier to participate in this fun activity that engages our community in the Foundation’s mission of making ‘outstanding’ jazz music education accessible and affordable for Arizona’s youth.

Willcox Wine Country Spring Festival

Arizona’s largest and longest running festival is rated as one of the best wine festivals in North America by Fodor’s Travel. This Saturday and Sunday 11AM-5PM there will be over 60 artisan, craft and specialty vendors; multiple food trucks and our Willcox Street Bistro; and a few surprise activities for festival goers.

Pre-sale tickets are available at for $20, which includes a wine glass and six tasting tickets, or $25 which includes a wine glass and 10 tasting tickets. Tickets may also be purchased at entry. Designated drivers, underage family, and non-drinkers will be admitted at no charge.

The festival will feature over 18 Willcox-based wineries pouring their award-winning wines and top music acts hailing from Phoenix and Tucson.

Band Schedule:


  • 5:30-7:30pm – Serena Nicolle (solo)

Saturday, May 18, 2019:

  • 11am to 1:45pm – Cisco and the Racecars
  • 2pm to 5pm – Serena Nicolle Band

Sunday, May 19, 2019:

  • 11am to 1:45pm – Joey & the Gerber Babies
  • 2pm to 5pm – Mel Bridges Band

Creatures of the Night (Cool Summer Nights)

It’s Tucson nightlife like you’ve never seen! Bats, owls, and kangaroo rats are just a few of the animals that come out after dark. The desert comes alive at night as nocturnal animals awake. Bats perform aerial acrobatics in pursuit of dinner, beavers splash around in their pond, and scorpions glow green under black light. Bring your flashlight and explore, experience a live animal encounter, or participate in special nightly activities!

  • Experience live animal interpretations on grounds, enjoy art activities, and scamper in Packrat Playhouse.
  • Meet our Artist in Residence! Chris Maynard carves feathers into intricate art.
  • Create wonderful memories while learning about the relevance of Stingrays to the Sonoran Desert at the Stingray Touch Exhibit from 6:00 – 9:00 ($2 for members and $3 non-members)
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Solo Exhibition by Chris Maynard (Ironwood Gallery)
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Packrat Playhouse
6:30 PM
Desert Survivors Presentation (30 mins)
7:00 PM
Gallery talk with Chris Maynard (Ironwood Gallery)
8:00 PM
Desert Survivors Presentation (30 mins)


~ Arizona/Sonora Resident (ages 13+): $16.95
~ General admission (ages 13-64): $21.95
~ Senior (ages 65+): $19.95
~ Children (ages 3-12): $8.95
~ Children (under 3): FREE
~ Military (active/retired): $17.95
~ Members: FREE

You can see more info here (

The Undesirables: Reception & Program with Laurie McKenna

In 1917 in Bisbee, AZ, the Sheriff armed approximately 2000 citizens and rounded up 1,196 striking miners. The Undesirables is an installation that explores the story of the Bisbee Deportation of 1917.

Join the Arizona History Museum for a reception and program with artist Laurie McKenna.  1,200 individual rubbings of a 1917 penny commemorates each man banished from their homes in Bisbee.

The reception is Friday from 6-8PM. Free with paid admission. You can see the exhibit Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Saturdays 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

This program is part of Stories of Resilience, and runs from April to December, at the Arizona Historical Society’s Arizona History Museum in Tucson.

Young Composers Festival

Hear incredible new works composed by students of the TSO Young Composers Project, performed and recorded by the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. The Young Composers Project is a year-long course where students learn to compose for orchestra. A FREE festival pass gets you access to every event!

Friday, May 17
Tucson Symphony Center (2175 N. 6th Ave)

  • 6:00 pm – Introducing the Young Composers Project, with YCP Instructor Ilona Vukovic-Gay and Director of Education Alana Richardson
  • 7:00 PM – TSO String Quintet Performs YCP Compositions

Saturday, May 18
Catalina Foothills High School (4300 E. Sunrise Dr)

  • 6:00 pm – Young Composers Project and the Composition Process, with Maestro José Luis Gomez, YCP Instructor Ilona Vukovic-Gay, and YCP Student
  • 7:00 PM – Tucson Symphony Orchestra Performs YCP Compositions

Sunday, May 19
Catalina Foothills High School (4300 E. Sunrise Dr)

  • 1:00 PM – The Art of Performing New Works, with Maestro José Luis Gomez, YCP Instructor Ilona Vukovic-Gay, and YCP Student
  • 2:00 PM – Tucson Symphony Orchestra Performs YCP Compositions


Renegade Rollergirls Of Tucson

Just like mainstream derby, but a smidge different! Fewer rules, no penalties, just rock ’em sock ’em action! The LA Renegade Rollergirls invade Tucson to challenge our own Renegade Rollergirls of Tucson. Saturday at 7:30 at the Tucson Indoor Sports Complex. $10 for hours of rink wars!

Get your tickets early. Click here.

FC Tucson

THIS Saturday is $1 Hot Dog Night – FC Tucson battles Chattanooga Red Wolves at Kino North Stadium. Come for the $1 Hot Dogs and $5 Margaritas and stay for the non-stop action Saturday at 7:30.

Buy tickets here.


10 great things

Don’t miss the Gallery in the Sun’s new exhibit – Desert Blooms.

The flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert in Spring are celebrated in “Desert Blooms”, a selection of 1950’s watercolors by Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia. These colorful and playful paintings of cactus flowers and desert critters will be on display at the Gallery in the Sun from February 1st 2019 through September 4th, 2019.

Check out their Facebook page

Sharks Take Over Flandrau

Turn your fears into fascination at Sharks: Magnificent and Misunderstood. Interactive displays lead you to the IMAX showing of Great White Shark. There’s an additional fee for the movie.