A Look Ahead


Group Free

April 5-8
Country Thunder
Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Cole Swindell, Brett Young and Big & Rich headline this year’s outdoor music festival, which also welcomes Cody Johnson, Michael Ray, Lindsay Ell, Bryan White, Michael Tyler, Tracy Lawrence, Neal McCoy and Lukas Nelson to the stage. Call for times and ticket prices. Country Thunder West, 20585 E. Price (Station) Rd., Florence, countrythunder.com, 866-388-0007.

April 6-8
Cactus and Succulent Show
Bizarre and beautiful cacti and succulents from around the world are featured at this show and sale presented by the Central Arizona Cactus & Succulent Society. F-Sa, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Su, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, centralarizonacactus.org, 480-941-1225.

April 6-15
Das Rheingold
When the dwarf Alberich steals the magical gold of the Rhinemaidens, he unleashes a power struggle with Woton, ruler of the gods, that will shake the very foundations of the world. Inspired by Norse mythology, the electrifying production is staged by Arizona Opera. Call for times and ticket prices. April 6-8, Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St., Phoenix, 602-266-7464; and April 14-15, Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., Tucson, 520-293-4336, azopera.org.

April 7
Garden Tour
Phoenix Home & Garden hosts this 20th annual self-guided tour featuring a variety of residential properties designed by landscape professionals and homeowners. Desert Botanical Garden volunteers, as well as several of the designers and homeowners, are on hand to answer questions. A portion of the proceeds benefits Desert Botanical Garden. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $50, advance purchase only. Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Phoenix area, phgmag.com/gardentour.

April 14-15
Salsa Challenge
The Arizona Hemophilia Association cranks up the heat as professional and amateur chefs prepare the hot – and mild – stuff on-site at the annual My Nana’s Best-Tasting Salsa Challenge. A margarita mix-off, live music and children’s activities add to the festivities. Sa, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Su, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $15-$55; free, children 11 and younger. Sloan Park, 2330 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Mesa, salsachallenge.com, 602-955-3947.

April 14-15
Scottsdale Culinary Festival
Scottsdale League for the Arts presents this culinary extravaganza, which features interactive experiences to taste, sip and celebrate Arizona food culture. Forty local restaurants, dozens of craft breweries, a teen cooking challenge, chef demos, 20 bands and family activities are among the highlights. PHOENIX magazine is among the sponsors. Sa, noon-9 p.m.; Su, noon-6 p.m. Visit website for ticket prices. Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, scottsdalefest.org.

April 17-22
The Color Purple
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this musical tells the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. Call for times and ticket prices. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, asugammage.com, 480-965-3434.

April 21
Pat’s Run 
More than 35,000 runners and walkers participate in this annual 4.2-mile run/walk honoring late football star Pat Tillman. The race, which winds through downtown Tempe and finishes at the stadium, includes a .42-mile kids’ run. The distance pays tribute to Tillman’s Sun Devil jersey number. Proceeds support the Tillman Military Scholars program. 7:05 a.m. Visit website for race fees. ASU Sun Devil Stadium, 219 S. Packard Dr., Tempe, patsrun.com.

April 28
Dinner on the Desert 
Guests enjoy an evening among the stars while celebrating the beauty of the desert at this annual fundraising dinner gala. Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and live music are among the highlights. 6-11 p.m. $600. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, dbg.org, 480-481-8182.