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Tucson Meet Yourself kicks off weekend events
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Tucson Meet Yourself kicks off weekend events

Old Pueblo has plenty to offer with festivals, music and food

  • Tucson Meet Yourself
  • Dr. James
    Tucson Meet YourselfDr. James "Big Jim" Griffith
  • Elvin Bishop headlines the Blues & Heritage Festival on Sunday at Reid Park.
    Elvin Bishop headlines the Blues & Heritage Festival on Sunday at Reid Park.
  • Evanescence will perform at Casino del Sol's AVA Amphitheater on Saturday.
    Evanescence will perform at Casino del Sol's AVA Amphitheater on Saturday.

Tucsonans get to see what they are made of this weekend, with Tucson Meet Yourself festivities happening downtown Friday through Sunday.

The free festival covered new territory last year by expanding from El Presidio Park and Jácome Plaza to La Placita Village and the Tucson Convention Center Plaza.

The expansion not only allowed for more booths and stages, but room to roam, providing a less claustrophobic experience for festival-goers, who, in the past, had to fight their way through busy crowds for paella and fry bread.

The fest continues with the same layout this year and will feature its usual barrage of local performers, musicians, art demonstrations and cultural cuisine.

Special to the festival this year, is a tribute to Old Pueblo folklorist "Big Jim" Griffith, the father of Tucson Meet Yourself, who was honored with a NEA National Heritage Fellowship/Bess Lomax Hawes Fellowship Award, in Washington D.C., in September.

The tribute takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress. Tucson Meet Yourself runs 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit tucsonmeetyourself.org

Other things to do this weekend

Catch the blues

The Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation returns to Reid Park Sunday, with its annual Blues & Heritage Festival. The foundation started charging admission last year and it looks like that will be the norm from now on, with a $10 cover at the gate. But the event offers plenty for the money, including headliner Elvin Bishop, perhaps known best for being a founding member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The festival from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. is on the west end of Reid Park. Visit the Foundation's website for more information.

Show your pride

Pride in the Desert, the annual celebration for Southern Arizona's LGBT community, moves to Kino Memorial Stadium this year, with more than 6,000 people expected for a day of music, dancing and drag queen performances. Tucson's Dario returns to the Old Pueblo to headline the event. The fest runs from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and is $10 in advance, $11 online and $15 at the door. Visit tucsonpride.org for more info.

Dine on swine

The sparse culinary wasteland that is Tucson's southeast side got a bump up this week, when BrushFire BBQ Company opened its second location at 7080 E. 22nd St. The new digs, nestled comfortably in what used to be a Blockbuster Video, is significantly larger than the local chain's first location at 2745 N. Campbell Ave. The new place includes an expanded menu, as well as a "Meating Room" for private parties. Prices for individual meals range from $6-$20.

Rock on

Casino del Sol kicks out the jams with a double dose of modern rock this weekend at its AVA Amphitheater. Metal mavens Godsmack kick things off Friday, bringing tracks from the band's chart-topping 2010 album "The Oracle." Evanescence follows up with a concert Saturday. The group's self-titled album, its third release since 2003, hit shelves Tuesday. Both concerts start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28-$55 for Godsmack and $20-$39 for Evanescence, and are available through casinodelsol.com.

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