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Sun Link opening: Local businesses all aboard with streetcar events
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Sun Link opening: Local businesses all aboard with streetcar events

  • Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Stretching from the University of Arizona, down 4th Avenue and through Downtown to the Mercado District on the West Side, restaurants, clubs and businesses along the line of the new Sun Link streetcar will mark the opening of the route with a weekend of dozens of events, from the family-friendly to more adult pursuits. Here's a run-down of all the fun.

Ribbon cuttings & grand opening

It all begins Friday at 7 a.m., with the first ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Avenida del Convento and Congress Street streetcar stop. Following remarks by dignitaries, one of the new Sun Link streetcars will leave the stop and head to the east end of the line, the Helen Street and Warren Avenue stop, for the second of four ribbon-cutting ceremonies, at about 7:40 a.m. VIPs at each location will cut ribbons, say a few words, and board the streetcar for the next event. The third ribbon cutting will take place at the University Boulevard and Tyndall Avenue streetcar stop near Main Gate Square around 8:05 a.m. And the fourth ribbon cutting will take place, appropriately enough, at the 4th Avenue and 7th Street streetcar stop in the on 4th Avenue at about 8:28 a.m. All of this culminates with the grand opening ceremony at the Congress Street and Fifth Avenue stop at about 9 a.m.

After the grand opening, Tucson's fleet of streetcars will be "on the line, circulating, and carrying passengers" for free — all weekend long. And all weekend long, businesses up and down the streetcar route will be marking the occasion. Here's a list of places where you can join the festivities:

Mercado District

Friday

San Agustin Mercado — 100 S. Avenida del Convento

Mercado Courtyard and Agustin Kitchen — 6 p.m. to Midnight

Festivities will include a beer garden featuring local brews, bratwurst, and live music.

  • 6 p.m. — DJ Dirtyverbs
  • 8 p.m. — Hey Bucko
  • 10 p.m. — DJ Kidd Squid

Blu-A Wine and Cheese Stop Suite 126, 6-10 p.m.

Wine tastings with Magic Kenny Bang Bang, Arizona's only certified sommelier and working magician, $8 for four tastings. Food specials will also be available.

Gutierrez Bridge (where Cushing Street crosses the Santa Cruz River) — 6:30- 9:30 p.m.

5:30-6:30 p.m.– Groupo Coatlicue Native Amercian Dancers

6:30-9:30 p.m.–Viva Performing Arts Folklorico Dancers, wandering Mariachi groups, kids rides, and a food truck rally.

Cushing Street & Granada streetcar stop — Pop-Up Street Car Party — 4-8 p.m.

Step off the street car for a "pop-up" party hosted by Living Street Alliance.

  • DJ Alias will play a live set from 6-8 p.m.
  • Take a walking tour along the Southwestern and El Paso Greenway
  •  Sit down at the"pop-up" bistro and enjoy some free lemonade, cookies and snacks provided by Whole Foods
  •  Peruse bike-themed art at YAYBig's Pop-Up Art Gallery
  •  Make a homemade sign and cheer Yay! for the Streetcar
  •  Learn about Living Streets Alliance's Pedestrian Safety and Comfort Campaign and sign our "I Want to Walk" pledge
  •  Enter LSA's sweet bike gear raffle

Saturday

Mercado Courtyard and Agustin Kitchen— 6 p.m. to Midnight

Festivities will include a beer garden featuring local brews, bratwurst, and live music.

  • 6 p.m. — Salvador Duran
  • 8 p.m. — Chicha Dust
  • 10 p.m. — DJ

Blu- A Wine and Cheese Stop— Suite #126, Events from 11 a.m.—10 p.m.

  • 11 a.m.-1p.m. — Meet the Cheesemaker: Alethea Swift from Fiore Di Capra, Arizona, free
  • 1-3 p.m. — Olive Oil & Balsamic Tasting with Alfonso's, free
  • 3-6 p.m. — Wine Glass Painting Party. You buy the glass for $12 and they'll supply the paint and fill the glass with wine!
  • 6-10 p.m. — Arizona Wine Tasting with Blu's Cheesemonger-in-Chief, Tana Fryer

Gutierrez Bridge (where Cushing Street crosses the Santa Cruz River)

  • 4-6 p.m. — Tucson High Marching Band will perform
  • 10 p.m.-12 a.m. — Bridge Karaoke
  • 10:30-11:30p.m — Break dancers will perform near the Cushing Street Stop

Sunday

Agustin Kitchen

11a.m.-3p.m. – Beats & Brunch with Corbin Dooley

Blu- A Wine and Cheese Stop— Suite #126

11a.m.-3 p.m. — Build your own Mimosa & Sangria Bar 

Seis Kitchen11a.m.-3 p.m. —“Seis Asada” live grilling station featuring freshly grilled Carne Asada, fresh grilled veggies and chilis

Downtown

Friday

Roy Place Building — 44 N. Stone Avenue (corner of Stone Avenue & Pennington Street) 

10:30 a.m. — Streetcar History Presentation

2 p.m. — Streetcar History Presentation

The Hub — 276 East Congress Street 

The Hub will be open at 8 a.m. with lemonade stand out front and the Brunch menu being served inside.

Playground — 278  East Congress Street

The rooftop patio at Playground will be open to the public at 8am with a continental breakfast spread.

Maynard's Market & Kitchen — 400 North Toole Avenue

6-8 p.m. — "Put a Scoop on It" Ice Cream Social

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches  $6, Soda Floats  $6.50, Coffee Floats  $6.50, Affogato  $4.00,  and Beer Floats  $8.50

ConnectCoworking —Aloha Streetcar!— 314 E. Congress Street (between Diablo Burger and Good Oak Bar)—$2, 21+

Join the Tucson Young Professionals Alliance (TYP) as they celebrate Hawaiian style! Connect over cocktails on the Historic Rialto balcony. A prime location for people watching,  and soaking in the sites of Downtown Tucson. Enjoy beer and appetizers from Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ. Festive attire is suggested. Be ready to strike a pose and hashtag #thisistucson. The event is open to the public and tickets are $20.

MLK Parking Lot—corner of Fifth Street and Toole Avenue

4-11 p.m —The Downtown Tucson Partnership is throwing a Summer Beach Party complete with tons of sand, Astroturf, a stage, live music, food, and a beer garden; vendors  include Kona Berri and Boar’s Head.

Flash in the Past —  43 N. 6th Ave —7-10 p.m.

Grand opening of the new location. Come and see this studio and shop featuring 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s vintage pinup photography. Get a sneak peak at how a photo shoot is done. Wearing vintage/retro attire encouraged, but not required.

  • Champagne and treats
  • Gift bags for the first 20 guests
  • 8 p.m. — Classic Hollywood Trivia & Prizes
  • 8:30-9:30 p.m. — Pin-Up Girl Contest

Hotel Congress—311 East Congress Street —Streetcar Grand Opening Party 6 p.m., free 21+

HoCo will be providing free entertainment on the Plaza by Mik Garrison, Tom Walbank, & DJ Dirtyverbs.

Saturday 

Roy Place Building — 44 N. Stone Avenue (corner of Stone Avenue & Pennington Street) 

2 p.m. — Streetcar History Presentation

MLK Parking Lot—corner of Fifth Street and Toole Avenue

8 a.m. to noon — Farmer's Market

This event, hosted by Food in Root features fresh produce, baked goods, ready to eat foods — locally grown and canned honey, jams, and jellies — and local artists.

The Hub — 276 East Congress Street  — 8 a.m.

The Hub will be open at 8 a.m. with lemonade stand out front and the Brunch menu being served inside.

Playground — 278  East Congress Street — 8 a.m.

The rooftop patio at Playground will be open to the public at 8am with a continental breakfast spread.

Hotel Congress & MLK Parking Lot——311 East Congress Street —Wet Hot American Block Party 9 p.m., free entry, 21+

5th Avenue will be closed down between these two venues to make room for a waterslide, a pool lounge, a BBQ, a dunk tank, a mechanical bull, food trucks, giveaways and more. Musical performances include surf rock with Shrimp Chaperone, The Furys, DJ Jalph, Slobby Robby, Nathaniel Knows, DJ Bob Felix, and DJ Sid the Kid.

Sunday

Roy Place Building — 44 N. Stone Avenue (corner of Stone Avenue & Pennington Street) 

2 p.m. — Streetcar History Presentation

MLK Parking Lot—1 North Fifth Street (corner of Fifth Street and Toole Avenue)

12 p.m until after dark —Downtown Beach Experience complete with tons of sand. Play volleyball, build a sand castle, or just lounge in the sun.

All weekend long

MOCA: Museum of Contemporary Art — 265 S. Church Avenue          

12-5 p.m. —Free admission, plus all visitors will be entered into a raffle to win a month-long SunGO pass so you can enjoy the streetcar.

Ben's Bell's —40 West Broadway Blvd., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Self-guided streetcar route mural tours—Ben's Bells has created a self-guided tour map that you can use to locate and visit ten murals along the streetcar route. Stop in over the weekend and pick up a map. The murals were created by Ben's Bell in partnership with Tucson Unified School District's Community Transitions Program and a diverse group of Tucson artists, students and community members. Ben's Bell described the murals as "whimsical, brightly colored public art pieces [that] symbolize community connection and support and serve as a reminder to all to practice intentional kindness." The map contains a question for each stop on the tour. Return completed questions to either studio and get a kindness coin. You can also sign-up for the Ben's Bells mailing list for a chance to win to win daily-drawing for a limited-edition handmade Ben's Bells Sun Link Streetcar themed ornament!

Tucson Museum of Art —140 North Main Avenue, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 12-5 p.m.

Half price admissions all weekend, as well as a chance to win a Museum Sustaining membership. This membership level gets you into over 700 museums in North America. Cafe a la C’Art will also offer half price specials on wines and appetizers from 8 am.- 3 p.m. Take the Congress and Church street stop and walk north to Alameda and make a left. All aboard for art!

4th Avenue

Friday

The Mike Haggerty Plaza — 316 N. 4th Ave.

  • 7:00 p.m.  — Prickly Pair will play folk music
  • 8:00 p.m.  — The Jonestown Band will play rock
  • 9:30 p.m. — Mik Garrison –will play eclectic funk

Chocolate Iguana Patio — 509 N. 4th Ave.

  • 8 to 10 p.m. —  Jim Hecker will play piano favorites

Delectables Restaurant & Catering Patio — 533 N. 4th Ave.

  • 7 p.m. Free cake while it lasts
  • 8 to 11 p.m. — Neon Prophet will play reggae

Magpie’s Pizza Patio — 609 N. 4th Ave.

  • 7-10 p.m. — Adara Rae and the Home Wreckers will play

Other entertainment includes

  • Street Screen Towers in five location on the Avenue showing images from the past and present. Dusk till midnight.
  • A light show at Spencer Park (next to the underpass)
  • Four light towers at 6th Street and 4th Avenue
  • A giant blowup movie screen in the Antigone’s parking lot

Saturday 

The Mike Haggerty Plaza — 316 N. 4th Ave.

  • 7:00 p.m.  — Al Perry will play original music
  • 8:00 p.m.  — Still Satellite will play alternative rock
  • 9:30 p.m. — Shrimp Chaperone –will play surf music

Chocolate Iguana Patio — 509 N. 4th Ave.

  • 7 to 9 p.m. —  The Unusual Suspects will play bluegrass

Delectables Restaurant & Catering Patio — 533 N. 4th Ave.

  • 7 to 10 p.m. — Nathaniel Burnside will play folk music

Magpie’s Pizza Patio — 609 N. 4th Ave.

  • 8-10 p.m. — Dave Higgins will play classic rock

Other entertainment includes

  • Street Screen Towers in five location on the Avenue showing images from the past and present. Dusk till midnight.
  • A light show at Spencer Park (next to the underpass)
  • Four light towers at 6th Street and 4th Avenue
  • A giant blowup movie screen in the Antigone’s parking lot

Main Gate Square

Friday

Geronimo Plaza — 820 East University Blvd.

  • 7-8:30 p.m. — Live Jazz Concert featuring ForTheLuvvaMusic

Park Avenue, University Boulevard  & Tyndall 

  • 3:30 -7:15 p.m. — Street Troubadours

Kababeque Indian Grill845 East University Blvd.

  • 6-8 p.m.Live sitar music

Auld Dubliner Pub —   800 East University Blvd.

  • 10 p.m to close — DJ Manny and special guests

Saturday 

Geronimo Plaza — 820 East University Blvd.

  • 2-5 p.m. —One Heart Beat featuring Blackman Clay
  • 7-8:30 p.m. —Jazz concert featuring the Tanque Verde High School Jazz Band

Park Avenue, University Boulevard  & Tyndall 

  • 12 -7:30 p.m. — Street Troubadours

Swindlers — 906 East University Blvd.

  • 2-7 p.m. Vintage Truck Show

Kababeque Indian Grill — 845 East University Blvd.

  • 6-8 p.m.Live sitar music

Auld Dubliner Pub —   800 East University Blvd.

  • 10 p.m to close — DJ Manny and special guests

Sunday 

Geronimo Plaza — 820 East University Blvd.

  • 2-5 p.m. —Jazz pianist Larry Lowd & The Possibilities
  • 6-6:30 p.m. —University of Arizona Pep Band

Park Avenue, University Boulevard  & Tyndall 

  • 12 -7:30 p.m. — Street Troubadours

Swindlers — 906 East University Blvd.

  • 2-7 p.m. Vintage Truck Show

Kababeque Indian Grill — 845 East University Blvd.

  • 6-8 p.m.Live sitar music

Auld Dubliner Pub —  800 East University Blvd.

  • 4-6 p.m. — Irish Jam Session

All weekend long

Ben's Bell's —816 East University Blvd., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Mosaic Scavenger Hunt
  • Self-guided streetcar route mural tours—Ben's Bells has created a self-guided tour map that you can use to locate and visit ten murals along the streetcar route. Stop in over the weekend and pick up a map. The murals were created by Ben's Bell in partnership with Tucson Unified School District's Community Transitions Program and a diverse group of Tucson artists, students and community members. Ben's Bell described the murals as "whimsical, brightly colored public art pieces [that] symbolize community connection and support and serve as a reminder to all to practice intentional kindness." The map contains a question for each stop on the tour. Return completed questions to either studio and get a kindness coin. You can also sign-up for the Ben's Bells mailing list for a chance to win to win daily-drawing for a limited-edition handmade Ben's Bells Sun Link Streetcar themed ornament!

Dunkin Donuts —904 East University Blvd.,  Friday, 4-8 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 2-6 p.m.

2Eeee the Clown will be on hand for face painting and making balloon animals 

Civic Orchestra of Tucson — Instrument Petting Zoo — Friday & Saturday 5-7 p.m., and  Sunday 4-6 p.m.

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