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Special Events


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Through May 13
Butterfly Pavilion
A butterfly-lover’s paradise, this exhibit features lush gardens full of flowers that are home to hundreds of colorful butterflies, as well as a caterpillar nursery and emergence chamber. Call for times and ticket prices. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,, 480-941-1225.

Through May 13
Jun Kaneko Exhibit
The garden’s desert flora provides a rich backdrop for approximately 20 monumental sculptures by the Japanese-American artist, who specializes in large-scale, hand-built ceramic sculptures. Call for times and ticket prices. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,, 480-941-1225.

Through May 31
Sights and Sounds Experience (FREE)
Guests are invited to stroll through the 4-acre Carefree Desert Gardens and meet local artists and musicians as they demonstrate their talents. F-Su, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy St., Carefree,, 480-488-3686.

May 3
Fundraising Brunch
A champagne brunch, shopping and auction highlight this fundraiser for Mother’s Grace, a nonprofit that supports mothers and children who have endured life tragedies. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Free; donations requested, El Chorro, 5550 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley,, 480-320-9466.

May 3
Meet the Author (FREE)
Jenny Milchman signs copies and talks about her newest suspense thriller, Wicked River, a powerful survival story of two newlyweds battling for their lives in the vast wilderness of the Adirondack forest. 7 p.m. The Poisoned Pen, 4014 N. Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale,, 480-947-2974.

May 3
Roars & Pours
Guests 21 and older sip and stroll select zoo trails while enjoying craft brews, wine and food, along with animal encounters, yard games, live music and entertainment. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,, 602-286-3800.

May 4
First Fridays Art Walk (FREE)
More than 70 Downtown art galleries and art spaces are featured. 6-10 p.m. Check website for maps, parking and shuttle service from five “park-and-ride hubs,”, 602-256-7539.

May 5
The Big Event
Guests enjoy an evening under the city lights at this fundraiser, which includes food, beverages, local entertainment and live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix. 6 p.m. $100, all-inclusive. Camelback Esplanade, 2501 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix,, 602-954-8182.

May 5
Cinco de Mario
TV star Mario Lopez puts his own twist on this Cinco de Mayo fiesta, which includes authentic Mexican street foods, icy margaritas and Mexican beers, a Saved By the Bell look-alike contest, VIP meet-and-greet, children’s activities, live entertainment and an authentic Mercado featuring a handmade tortilla station, ceviche bar and salsa section, as well as arts and crafts. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $15-$200. Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale,

May 5
D-backs Fiesta (FREE)
The Arizona Diamondbacks host this celebration with live music, a beer garden, food and family entertainment, plus a salsa showdown featuring top contestants from the Arizona Hemophilia Association’s My Nana’s Best-Tasting Salsa Challenge. 2-5 p.m. Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix,

May 5
GenU Fun Fest
Teams of community members gather for a day of fun and fundraising as they play human foosball, buddy ball, Frisbee hero, cornhole, balloon ball and more. Proceeds benefit the Valley of the Sun United Way’s goal of fighting poverty in Arizona. 9:30 a.m.-noon. $25 suggested donation. Margaret T. Hance Park (east side), 1202 N. Third St., Phoenix,, 602-631-4800.

May 5
Jerome Art Walk (FREE)
Meet the artists as 20-plus galleries and studios participate in this monthly night of art, music and gallery-hopping. 5-8 p.m. Jerome,, 928-634-0774.

May 5
Kentucky Derby Lawn Party
Guests enjoy frosty mint juleps, bourbon tastings, fashion contests, horseshoes and other lawn games while celebrating the 144th “Run for the Roses.” A brunch menu filled with Southern favorites, “selfie” photos with a thoroughbred racehorse, and complete Derby coverage indoors and out add to the festivities. 1-4:30 p.m., with estimated race time at 3:34 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Bourbon Steak, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale,, 480-585-2694.

May 5
Prescott Historic Home Tour
Twelve historic buildings and homes representing a variety of architectural styles are open to guests, including the Smoki Museum, First Congregational Church, Washington School, Prescott Armory and Citizens Cemetery. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $15-$17, adults; free, children 7 and younger. North Prescott Townsite Historic District, Prescott,, (928) 443-8503. Tickets can be purchased beginning at 9:30 a.m. the day of the tour at Smoki Museum, 147 N. Arizona Ave.

May 5
Rim Country Trail Race
Ranging from about 5,400 feet elevation to more than 6,300 feet, this 8.8-mile course follows a scenic forest route just below the iconic Mogollon Rim between Pine and Strawberry. The race is limited to 150 runners age 12 and older. 5:30 a.m. $60-$65. Pine Trailhead, Tonto National Forest, just off Highway 260 about a quarter-mile south of Pine,

May 5
Stella Artois Derby DayClub
Grab a mint julep and place your bets for the Kentucky Derby and other live races from a trackside air-conditioned tent or VIP lounge. 10:30 a.m. Tickets start at $30. Turf Paradise, 1501 W. Bell Rd., Phoenix,

May 6
Wanderlust 108
Described as a mindful triathlon, this event includes a 5K run or walk, large-scale outdoor yoga class and guided meditation. DJ-powered music, workshops and craft vendors add to the festivities. 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. $20-$150. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale,

May 10
Desert Night Cinema
Bring a blanket or low chair and enjoy a movie under the night sky as this monthly event continues with a Summer Dreamin’ theme. Live entertainment with JesterZ Improv Comedy, movie-related activities and food trucks add to the festivities before the film begins. The event is sponsored by PHOENIX magazine. 6:30 p.m.; movie starts at 7:30 p.m. $16, adults; $12, children. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,, 480-481-8188.

May 11
Stars on Ice
Relive Winter Olympic memories as this theatrical show features a cast of elite skaters who perform together in ensemble as well as solo numbers. Brother and sister Maia and Alex Shibutani, Nathan Chen, Adam Rippon, Bradie Tennell, Mirai Nagasu, Meryl Davis and Charlie White are among the athletes to be featured. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Ave., Glendale,, 800-745-3000.

May 11-13
Peach Festival
This annual festival includes a peach pancake breakfast, peachy treats and games, arts and crafts, amusement rides, entertainment, hayrides to the orchards and plenty of peaches ready for picking. 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. $5; free, children 10 and younger. Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Rd., Queen Creek,, 480-987-3100.

May 12
Bacon and Beer Classic
Guests explore the springtime home of the San Francisco Giants while indulging in samples of 100-plus craft beers from local and regional breweries, more than 30 bacon-infused dishes from local chefs, a bacon-eating contest, blind beer taste test, lawn games and live music. Noon-10 p.m., with VIP options beginning at 11 a.m. $49-$89. Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 E. Osborn Rd., Scottsdale,

May 12
Casino Night Fundraiser
Try your luck at Texas hold ’em poker, blackjack, craps, slots and roulette as former Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan hosts the fourth annual Celebrity Poker Tournament and Casino Night. Live music, dancing, a VIP lounge and silent and live auctions are included. Proceeds benefit the Care Fund, a local nonprofit that assists families while they care for their seriously ill or injured child. 4:30-11 p.m. $75-$200. Harley Davidson of Scottsdale, 15656 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale,, 480-305-8607.

May 12
Mama’s Makers Market (FREE)
Local artisans share handcrafted items, including furniture, home accessories, art, jewelry, food and clothing at this outdoor market presented by Local Trade. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Town & Country, 4771 N. 20th St., Phoenix,

May 12
Pond Tour (FREE)
Waterfalls, ponds, fish, turtles and lilies are in the spotlight as the Greater Phoenix Pond Society presents this fun and informative annual tour featuring a dozen backyards throughout the Valley. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Metro Phoenix area,

May 12
Staycay 5K
Winding through the Faldo course at Wildfire Golf Club, this 5K fun run/walk kicks off staycation season and includes a complimentary post-race pancake breakfast. A portion of proceeds benefits Children’s Miracle Network. 5:30 a.m. registration with race at 7 a.m. $25; staycation packages also available. JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, 5350 E. Marriott Dr., Phoenix, (username and password: cmnfunrun).

May 12
Verde Valley Wine Festival
Presented by Four Eight Wineworks, the festival features wine and beer tastings, food, live music, viticulture lectures and VIP experiences. A portion of proceeds benefits The Clarkdale Foundation’s philanthropic programs and Arizona Vignerons Alliance. Noon-5 p.m., $35; VIP admission at 11 a.m., $125. Clarkdale Town Complex, 39 N. Ninth St., Clarkdale,

May 12
Wig Out
I Want Candy is the theme of this fundraising dinner gala to benefit Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump! which provides free wigs to breast cancer patients and free mammograms to women in the community. A silent auction, dancing and live entertainment are included. All guests must wear a wig — the more outlandish, the better. 6-10 p.m. $125-$150. Pointe Tapatio Cliffs, 11111 N. Seventh St., Phoenix,, 602-688-5232.

May 4-13
Fantastic Planet (FREE)
Viewable from afar and illuminated from the inside at night, six gigantic, inflatable humanoid figures by Australian artist Amanda Parer make their U.S. premiere with an invasion of downtown Mesa. Strategically placed on buildings and the ground, the dramatic creations give the impression that they have just landed and are quietly and gently exploring the city. The Fantastic Planet installation is inspired by the 1973 Czech/French film of the same name. A kickoff celebration takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. May 4. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa,, 480-644-6500.

May 17

Birds ’n’ Beer (FREE)

Sip on a brew from AZ Wilderness Brewing Co. while enjoying an entertaining presentation on wildlife. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 S. Central Ave., Phoenix,, 602-468-6470.

May 18
We Are United
Vanessa Williams, an accomplished singer, actress and New York Times bestselling author, is keynote speaker at this luncheon, a Valley of the Sun United Way fundraiser to help fight hunger in the classroom. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $125. Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix,, 602-631-4800.

May 18-27
Arizona Restaurant Week
Diners enjoy signature dishes by some of Arizona’s top chefs at a special price as this biannual event showcases dozens of the state’s best restaurants. The Capital Grille, Carlsbad Tavern, Fleming’s, Beckett’s Table, Paul Martin’s American Grill, The Gladly, Bourbon and Bones, Famous 48 and Blue Coyote Cantina are among the participants. $33-$44 per person for a three-course, pre-fixe meal. Statewide,

May 19
Spark! After Dark (FREE)
Live music, art, food and drinks highlight this monthly event. 8-11 p.m. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa,, 480-644-6500.

May 19
Wedding Party
British pomp and pageantry take center stage as guests dress to impress and celebrate the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. A formal afternoon tea, royal wedding cake, photos on the red carpet with life-size cutouts of royal family members and wedding coverage on big-screen TVs are included, along with souvenir bags and a chance to win a replica of Markle’s ring. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $60. English Rose Tea Room, 201 Easy St., Carefree,, 480-488-4812.

May 19
Art of Wine and Tastes of Summer
Tastings of more than 40 wines, all personally rated and selected by AJ’s Fine Foods’ cellar masters, highlight this fundraiser for Scottsdale Arts programs. Gourmet specialties, live music and a silent auction are included. 2-4:30 p.m. $40. (VIP entry at 1 p.m., $50.) Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale,, 480-499-TKTS.

May 19-20
Jerome Home & Building Tour
Explore the back streets of this historic mile-high mining town as this 53rd annual guided tour takes a look at a variety of historic and significant homes. Ticket sales take place at the original J.C. Penney Co. on Hull Avenue, with vans transporting guests to most locations. Tour is not handicap accessible. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $25, adults; $10, children. Jerome,, 928-634-2900.

May 19-20
Willcox Wine Country Festival
Oenophilias gather in Arizona’s premier grape-growing region as more than 15 Willcox-based wineries pour their award-winning blends. A pop-up street bistro with foods from Dante’s Fire is included, along with live music and vendor booths featuring local artists, farmers and other purveyors with locally grown pistachios, pecans and other specialty items. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $15-$20; free for designated drivers, nondrinkers and children. Railroad Park, 157 N. Railroad Ave., Willcox,, 800-200-2272. A wine dinner to benefit Northern Cochise Community Hospital takes place at 6 p.m. May 19, $45, Willcox Community Center, 412 W. Stewart St.

May 24
Impact Awards
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce hosts this luncheon, which recognizes the accomplishments of local businesses and the positive influences they have made on the community. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. $80-$90. Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix,, 602-495-2182.

May 26
Cave Creek Balloon Festival
Colorful hot air balloons light up the night at this ninth annual festival, which includes live music, children’s activities and a fireworks finale. Proceeds benefit Cave Creek Museum and Cave Creek Unified School District. 5:30-10 p.m. Visit website for ticket prices. Rancho Mañana Golf Course, 5734 E. Rancho Mañana Blvd., Cave Creek,

May 26-28
Western Art Show & Sale (FREE)
A Memorial Day weekend tradition, this 44th annual event features works by established and up-and-coming Western artists from across the country. A quick-draw competition and artist receptions add to the fun. Call for times. Courthouse Plaza, 1205 S. Cortez St., Prescott,, 928-778-1385.

May 26-September 1
Flashlight Tours
Guests experience a magical twilight adventure during these self-paced tours, which provide an opportunity to see, hear and feel the desert night, including nighthawks, snakes, insects and night-blooming flowers. Sa, 7-9:30 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix,, 480-941-1225.