Bug Fest this weekend at Oracle park

Bug Fest 2009 runs this Friday night and Saturday, Aug. 21-22, at Oracle State Park and its Center for Environmental Education.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Friday, and extends through noon on Saturday.

Southeastern Arizona is home to some of the most spectacular insects in North America, and Oracle State Park sits on the boundary between the highlands of the Santa Catalina Mountains and mesquite grasslands. It has "an especially rich insect fauna," a release said, with large moths, beetles, katydids, tarantulas and other nocturnal creatures.

Casey Egan begins Friday night's program with a talk about scorpions. It's followed by a 7 p.m. slide presentation with entomologist Michael Wilson. People are invited to bring a flashlight to see which night bugs will be attracted to blacklit sheets.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, Marceline VandeWater leads a butterfly walk. A bee presentation starts at 9:30 a.m. with beekeeper Fred Terry.

Reservations are suggested for both days; call (520) 896-2425. There is a $5/car fee for each day.

New schedule for 'ask expert' at Tohono Chul

Tohono Chul Park has amended its schedule for "Ask the Expert," time with curator of plants Russ Buhrow.

Free sessions with Buhrow are now scheduled every other Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon on three Saturdays — Sept. 5, 19 and Oct. 3.

Buhrow can answer questions about under-performing plants, disease or pest problems, nutrient deficiencies and watering issues. "It is also a great time to seek advice on plant selection, getting help finding the perfect plant for your dream garden," a release said.

The talks are held at La Entrada at Tohono Chul Park, located at 7366 N Paseo del Norte, Tucson. The phone number is 742-6455.

UA Outreach Choir schedules Aug. 31 hearings

Tucson area high school students have been invited to join the Outreach Choir, a "premier auditioned ensemble" at The University of Arizona.

The group meets Monday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the UA School of Music to rehearse "exceptional choral literature for presentation in local area performances," a release said.

The ensemble is comprised of students from a number of varying educational backgrounds, including home-schooled students. Cost is $40 per semester, and includes scores for each student to keep as well as "incredible opportunities for making great music and meeting other motivated musicians."

Placement hearings for the group are Monday, Aug. 31, starting at 6 p.m. in room 162 of the School of Music building. Rehearsals begin Sept. 14.

For more information, contact Irene Kim,

ijkim@email.arizona.edu or call the School of Music at 621-1655.

New website dedicated to local festivals

A new website dedicated to annual festivals has been posted by the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance.

On the site, www.southernazfestivals.org, visitors can learn about the Southern Arizona Food & Wine Festival, ArtsFest at La Encantada, the Oro Valley Festival of the Arts, the Oro Valley Classic Car Show, BBQ & Blues Family Festival, the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Festival at Pima Community College's Northwest Campus, the Casa Grande Arts Festival, Oro Valley Arts in the Park and more.

Those who would like their events listed for free on the site may e-mail Kate Marquez at kate@saaca.org.

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