Celebrate Wilbur’s 60th Birthday.It’s hard to believe that the University of Arizona’s beloved mascot is turning 60 years old this year, meaning he officially qualifies for exciting benefits like potentially having a higher deduction limit for his medical insurance premium! What better way to celebrate such a momentous occasion than by going down to the Reid Park Zoo, where Wilbur can celebrate with all of his fellow animal friends? A ticket to the party includes zoo admission, lunch, a wildlife carousel ticket and an animal encounter with a zoo animal ambassador. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 E. Zoo Court. $20.
Mercado Flea.After a summer hiatus, this market down at Mercado San Agustin and the MSA Annex is back! With more than 40 vendors selling vintage, antique and collectible items, it’s the sort of event that’s practically guaranteed to have you walking away with a one-of-a-kind find. Plus, there will be food and coffee on hand from Substance Coffee Diner, Bloody Marys from Westbound in the MSA Annex, and music in the Annex by Wooden Tooth Records DJs. There’s no entry fee, so there’s no reason not to go. We’ll see ya at the flea. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10. 100 South Avenida del Convento. Free.
Transit of Mercury. In one of those astronomical events that’s not extremely rare but still rare enough to be pretty exciting, Mercury will be crossing between the Earth and the Sun this Monday (this happens about 13 times each century). Head over to Flandrau to watch it using free solar telescopes out on the mall. In the planetarium, they’ll also be showing a NASA broadcast of the transit, as well as family-friendly planet activities, demos that explain how the transit works and information on how planetary transits can help us search for planets orbiting other stars. The day also features reduced admission for exhibits and free admission and planetarium shows for veterans (the veterans special is all weekend, Saturday, Nov. 9 to Monday, Nov. 11.) 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11. Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, 1601 E. University Blvd. Telescope viewing is free, and Flandrau general admission is free until noon.
Yolqui: A Book Release Celebration. One of the latest books out of the University of Arizona Press is by associate professor Roberto Rodriguez, who was beaten by LA County Sheriff’s deputies while working as a journalist 40 years ago. The violence was in retaliation for him photographing a beating by a different group of deputies. In his new book, Yolqui, a Warrior Summoned from the Spirit World: Testimonios on Violence, Rodriguez revisits that day. At this book release celebration, Elder Sylvia Ledesma of Kalpulli Ixcalli will open the evening with a prayer, Miroslava Alejandro provides music and Tania Pacheco will lead a guided meditation. 5 to 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7. The University of Arizona Bookstores, 1209 E. University Blvd. Free.
Living History Day at the Tucson Presidio. It’s time for another day of historical reenactments at the Tucson Presidio Museum, this month with the special theme of “Honoring Our Veterans.” Representatives of the military that have served in Arizona, from the time of New Spain to Arizona becoming a U.S. state, will be on hand. There will also be plenty of other sights to see, from watching demonstrations of children’s games and weaving, to witnessing soldiers fire their muskets and practice their drills, to tasting handmade tortillas and bread. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. Tucson Presidio Museum, 196 N. Court Ave. $5 GA, $1 kids 6 to 14, free for members and kids 5 and under.
Hats Off to Heroes. There’s never a bad time to express your gratitude to our veterans, but this week is an especially good time, and you can have fun doing it. Head over to this annual event to see a cross-section of U.S. military equipment on display, performances by artists including 80s and Gentlemen and singer-songwriter Jeordie, and a fireworks show at 6 p.m. If you’re a veteran yourself, don’t miss the veterans resource fair from noon to 4 p.m. full of info on everything from disability compensation to VA home loans to financial planning. Noon to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10. DeMeester Bandshell at Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Free.
Veterans Day Half Marathon & 5K at Tucson Mountain Park. Everyone Runs, Everyone Walks is a local group that puts on races for people of all fitness levels, from those who are brand-new to exercise to the most seasoned runners. This event, now in its 14th year, features gorgeous views of the Tucson mountains and something to brag about to your coworkers when you go back to work on Tuesday. There will be a stroller division for the 5K, and there are discounts available for veterans or active duty. 7:15 a.m. half marathon start, 7:25 a.m. 5K start. Monday, Nov. 11. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. $82 half marathon and $40 for the 5K. Registration ends at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10.
Shows and Spectacles
The Last Night of Ballyhoo. It’s 1939, and change is afoot all over the world. While Hitler is invading Poland on one side of the world, the Jewish community in Atlanta is making fervent preparations for Ballyhoo, a big cotillion ball that marks the social event of the year. The Freitag family is looking forward to finding some eligible bachelors for their two daughters to marry. But when a handsome bachelor who is also an Eastern European Jew enters the scene, the family is prompted to examine their biases, beliefs and Jewish identities. This comedy/drama won the 1997 Tony Award for Best Play. Saturday, Nov. 9 to Sunday, Nov. 24 with 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. showtimes. Tornabene Theatre, 1025 N. Olive Road. $15 students, $30 seniors/military/UA employees, $32 adults.
Tucson Roadrunners vs. Stockton Heat. It seems dangerous to have an ice hockey team whose mascot is a firebird, but our local team’s opponents this week like to take risks, apparently. Come watch the two teams face off at the Tucson Arena. Whether you’ve got on your UA colors or are sporting some PCC Aztec Pride, show your pride for your school for college night on Friday, Nov. 7. College students can take advantage of a special offer that includes a ticket, two drink tickets (for soda or beer) and a giveaway item for just $25 bucks. College budgets rejoice! You can also get a ticket for both the UA hockey game and this game, on the same day for $30. Saturday, Nov. 9 is military appreciation night, with specialty jerseys modeled after the A-10 Warthog Fighter Jets that will be auctioned off after the game. 7 p.m. both nights. Tucson Arena, 260 S. Church Ave. $12 to $61.
All the World’s a Stage. This week, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra is bringing you several treats as part of their Masterworks Series. The night begins with Rossini’s Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers, which he wrote when he was 21 years old. Then, enjoy Haydn’s Symphony No. 60 in C Major “II Distratto,” and Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte. Shaw wrote the Pulitzer-winning piece, inspired by Haydn, when she was just 30 years old. Closing out the night is Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, which he himself described as “the epiphany through which the whole of my late work became possible.” How could you miss that? 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10. Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. $45 to $56.
UA Presents: Farruquito. The New York Times once called Farruquito, heir to the world’s most renowned Gypsy flamenco dynasty, the greatest flamenco dancer of the century. He made his first international stage appearance at age 4, spent his formative years immersed in the Farruco school and has only gotten more out-of-control talented since then. Since the age of 11, he’s directed more than 15 works, having made it his life’s mission to share the purest form of flamenco with people all over the world. And now, he’s coming to Centennial Hall to share it with you! 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. $19 to $75+.
Fall Open Studio Tours. If you missed your chance last weekend to get a firsthand look into the place where some of our lovely local artists do their work, then don’t fret: You can do it this weekend, too! The Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is hosting this DIY tour through studios south of Grant Road. Painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramic, wood, photography, textiles, you name it. Tucson has got some seriously talented artmakers, and on this tour, you get to see where the magic happens—for free! 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 and Sunday, Nov. 10. Various locations. Free.
Opening Celebration of El Nacimiento & Second SundAZe Family Day at TMA. The holidays are here! How can we tell? Well, for one, El Nacimiento, the largest and longest-running nativity scene in the southwest, opens this weekend. Celebrations for the opening are at the Tucson Museum of Art, and will be accompanied by performances by Ballet Folklorico Tapatio and Los Changuitos Feos. Enjoy some Mexican treats and refreshments while you’re at it, then head over to an exploration station where you can create your own peg dolls. The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures will also be onsite leading a special activity from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10. Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, 140 N. Main Ave. Free.
15th Annual Tucson Record Show. Are you one of those people that could just listen to vinyl records for hours? Who views getting up to turn a record over as an integral part of the music-listening experience, rather than an inconvenience? Are you just getting into the record collecting game, or do you just like looking at old collectibles? Don’t miss this record show, featuring dealers from all over the Southwest selling records, CDs and music memorabilia. Presented by Cassidy Collectibles, it’s really an event for music lovers of all types. Saturday, Nov. 9. Fraternal Order of Police Hall, 3445 N. Dodge Blvd. Admission from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is $4, but to get in at 7:30 a.m., it’s $48.
Fun in General
Southern Arizona Senior Pride Speaker Series. Senior Pride is a local organization that supports and unites the local LGBTQ+ community. This speaker series is designed to be informative and to act as an opportunity for networking and discussion. This month, Abby Jensen, legal director of the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance and an attorney with the Pima County Public Defender, will be speaking about LGBTQ+ discrimination and legal updates with the Title VII cases currently before the Supreme Court. It’s an intense, but critical topic, and this is a great way to catch yourself on the ins and outs in one afternoon sitting. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12. Himmel Park Library, 1037 N. Treat Ave. Free.
Moonrise Over The Mountains. Now that we’re in the beautiful, cool fall season of Arizona, Saguaro National Park is offering all sorts of special programs for you to explore nature. And exploring nature doesn’t always have to mean taking a hike! For example, this Tuesday, head over to the Red Hills Visitor Center for a wheelchair accessible presentation about the moon, and watch the full moon rise above a gorgeous sea of saguaros. Dress for a cool desert evening and enjoy the music of two volunteer musicians. Bring your own chair and sense of wonder. 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12. Red Hills Visitor Center at Saguaro National Park West, 2700 N. Kinney Road.
Paper Airplane Contest. Maybe you need an opportunity to let the recently divorced accountant who you fathered a child with know that you’re still in love with her, even though you’re now dating the daughter of a fellow farmer. Maybe you are an aerospace engineer who finally gets to show his friends why he spends so much time doing math. Or maybe you just like origami. Whatever it is that brings you to this paper airplane contest, welcome! One airplane may be submitted per person, with categories for distance, hang time, constructive engineering and accuracy. Bon voyage! 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12. Crooked Tooth Brewing Co., 22 E. Sixth St. Free.