Celebrate Labor with these East Valley events, or get in the Halloween spirit with these scary things to do.
Labor Day the East Valley way
by Martin Cizmar
Monday is Labor Day, meaning, for most of the country, summer is over. The Valley still has a few weeks of triple-digit temperatures to look forward to, but that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating the end of summer. Here are a few ways to localize traditional end-of-summer events.
|SALT RIVER TUBING|
While temperatures will remain warm for another month or so, time for tubing the Salt River is running short, so get out there while you can. Bring a cooler, cash, beverages and plenty of sunscreen to give summer the wet, sloppy kiss goodbye it deserves.
>> Salt River Tubing and Recreation. On Power Road, north of Mesa. Tube plus shuttle is $14 plus tax. (480) 984-3305 or www.saltrivertubing.com.
In Chicago, Labor Day weekend is known for the annual Taste of Polonia festival, which draws huge crowds and, once in a while, a sitting U.S. president. If you want some authentic Polish flavor in the Valley, you’ll have to travel to Phoenix. Stanley’s Homemade Polish Sausage Co. on McDowell Road is known for its authentic Polish food, including 30 types of sausage handmade in the shop and pierogis stuffed with cheese, potato or kraut.
>> Stanley’s Homemade Polish Sausage Co., 2201 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix. (602) 275-7077 or www.stanleys-sausage.com.
PIMM'S AND LEMONADE
In England, the traditional summer drink isn’t a margarita or Malibu and pineapple juice, it’s a Pimm’s and Lemonade. Pimm’s is a gin-based liqueur that has a reddish tint and mild, spicy, citrus flavors. By lemonade, those crazy Brits don’t mean actual lemonade, they mean Sprite. The end result is something like an alcoholic Arnold Palmer. Mix one part Pimm’s with two or three parts Sprite and garnish with mint leaves, lemon, orange, strawberry or apple slices.
>> Pimm’s is available at BevMo, 21102 S. Ellsworth Loop Road, Queen Creek. (480) 888-7345.
Halloween in August: Be very afraid
by Albert Ching
Halloween is still more than two months away. But if Christmas ornaments can already be filling Hallmark stores, why not get into the Oct. 31 spirit a little early? Here are some things going on around the East Valley that may scare you, one way or another.
FEAR FILM FESTIVAL
For fourteen hours, you can completely immerse yourself in feature-length and short films with titles like “Brain Dead,” “Demon’s Kiss” and “Death Factory: Bloodletting.” There will also be special guests from the world of horror, like R.A. Mihailoff, who played the iconic Leatherface in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.” If that’s not all out there enough for you, freak show-esque Tempe-based performance troupe the Strange Family Circus will be there, doing their thing.
>> The Phoenix Fear Film Festival takes place noon Saturday until 2 a.m. Sunday at Chandler Cinemas, 2140 N. Arizona Ave. $15-$20. (480) 821-1605 or http://phxfearfilmfestival.com.
|FOUNTAIN HILLS COMMUNITY THEATER|
FEED ME, SEYMOUR
Though the original 1960 film (and 1982 off-Broadway musical, and 1986 film based on the musical) are all comedies, “Little Shop of Horrors” is at least a little scary. The word “horror” is right there in the title. Fountain Hills Community Theater Youth Theater is running a production of the musical, written by the legendary team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, that tells the story of a giant plant that, as things turn out, happens to crave human blood.
>> “Little Shop of Horrors” is staged 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Fountain Hills Community Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd. Through Sept. 7. $12-$15. (480) 837-9661 or www.fhct.org.
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
OK, contemporary art isn’t “scary” in the conventional sense (not usually, anyway). But a lot of it is very new and different for people, which can often be pretty scary. So the latest exhibit at the Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center, “Midstream: New Ceramics From the Heartland,” is a perfect opportunity to shake off that fear. It’s an exhibit of the ceramics work of three artists (Teri Frame, Alex Hibbitt and Liz Zacher) from the American heartland.
>> ”Midstream: New Ceramics From the Heartland” is on display 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Through Feb. 28. Free. (480) 965-2787 or http://asuartmuseum.asu.edu.