Laura Latzko Special for The Republic
Published 7:00 AM EST Feb 5, 2019
The beginning of February is a busy time in metro Phoenix, with arts, cultural, historical and hobby-focused events that appeal to people with many interests. If you are curious about hoop dancing, model airplane demonstrations, historical aircraft or fine art, check out one of these local events.
Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest
Traditionally, hoop dancing was performed at Native American healing ceremonies. The style of dance has continued to evolve throughout the years as more intricate hoop formations and movements have been developed.
In its 29th year, the Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest will showcase the artistry and athleticism of hoop dancing during a two-day competition Feb. 9-10.
Male and female dancers compete in youth, teen, adult and senior categories. Children 5 and younger will show off their skills in the Tiny Tots division. Last year, 90 dancers from around the country took part in the competition.
Some dancers travel from as far as Alberta, Canada, and Florida to compete. Cassandra Lofgreen, manager of audience development for the Heard Museum, said each dancer brings something distinctive.
“Everyone has such a different personality and a different take on it,” Lofgreen said.
Drumming groups will accompany the dancers throughout the weekend.
The judges, who come from hoop-dance backgrounds, consider performance aspects such as timing, creativity and showmanship to determine the top dancers.
While performing, the dancers create intricate shapes with their hoops. Often, they will form nature-focused shapes such as animals. The dancers use a varying number of hoops in their performances.
Each age category has three rounds of competition. If dancers tie, they compete in a dance off. Top competitors will win $150 to $3,500, depending on their age categories and placements.
For many families, hoop-dancing techniques are passed from one generation to another. Many families have contestants in multiple age categories.
The dancers take part in a grand entry ceremony at the beginning of each day of competition. The event draws loyal spectators every year.
“They are here at 8 a.m. and they don’t leave until we’re done every day,” Lofgreen said.
Lofgreen said the competition is like a reunion for members of the hoop-dancing community.
“People are so excited to see each other because this is the only time of the year they see each other,” Lofgreen said.
From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Phoenix author Barbara Renner will sign books from her “Quincy the Quail” series. Vendors will sell fry bread and other traditional foods during the festival.
The admission fee includes entry to the Heard Museum. Visitors can see the newest exhibition, “Josef Albers in Mexico,” which explores how German painter Josef Albers was influenced by pre-Columbian art, architecture and culture.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 9-10. Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. $18, $15 for seniors, $12 for American Indians and Heard Museum members, $7.50 for ages 4-12, free for age 3 and younger, $30 for two-day pass. 602-252-8840, heard.org.
Arizona Electric Festival
Building and flying model airplanes isn’t just for kids. It’s a hobby enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. The Arizona Model Aviators’ Arizona Electric Festival showcases radio-controlled model airplanes Feb. 8-10.
Between 80 and 100 pilots, ranging from 5 to about 90 years old, will bring drones, simple profile model aircraft and to-scale civilian and military airplanes, jets and helicopters. They will take part in a fun fly during which they will perform maneuvers such as the Cuban 8, the Split S, loops and rolls.
During the noon Saturday show, pilots will perform “gaggles,” or group flights with as many as 20 model planes in the air at a time.
The model planes are built with many of the same features as their full-size counterparts, with operational lights, opening canopies and more.
The club will give awards in categories such as best scale jet and best scale flight. Vendors will sell supplies and radio-controlled aircraft.
Details: Feb. 8-10. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday. 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Superstition Airpark, Meridian Road and Levee Drive, Mesa. $40 registration for three days for pilots, $6 per carload for spectators. azmodelaviators.com/arizona-electric-festival.
Buckeye Air Fair
During World War II, Buckeye Municipal Airport was used as a military base. It now serves commercial and private aircraft, hot-air balloon pilots and flight instructors. The Buckeye Air Fair Feb. 9-10 introduces the community to the airport and lets people get up close to various aircraft.
The fair will have vintage warbirds, helicopters, ultralights, general-aviation and experimental airplanes. Pilots will be on hand to talk about their aircraft.
Flight schools and airplane manufacturers will give demos and helicopter and plane rides for a fee. Military, historical and educational organizations such as the Arizona Military Vehicle Collectors Club, the Lauridsen Aviation Museum and Rosie the Riveter will have displays, demos and re-enactments.
From noon to 2 p.m. each day, stunt pilots will perform maneuvers in aircraft such as an MXS-R sport aircraft, biplane and a Yak 110 double-aircraft plane. The air show kicks off each day with the national anthem and a skydiver holding an American flag.
A kids zone will have a bungee trampoline, zip line, pirate ship ride, train and farm-themed play area. Wristbands cost $10 and can be purchased online in advance. At 2:30 p.m. both days, youngsters can grab for sweets during a candy drop.
The fair also incorporates the Arizona SciTech Festival, which will engage visitors with hands-on activities related to science and technology. The Phoenix Herpetological Society will bring reptiles to the event. Local colleges and organizations will offer activities such as looking through telescopes, building rockets, creating tile art and earning aviation merit badges. Details: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 9-10. Buckeye Municipal Airport, 3000 S. Palo Verde Road, Buckeye. Free general admission, $80-$125 for VIP tickets (front-row seats, refreshments, dedicated bathrooms and parking), $10 for kids zone tickets. buckeyeaz.gov/residents/buckeye-air-fair.
Waterfront Fine Art and Wine Festival
Settings can make a big difference in turning art festivals into something more. During the eighth annual Waterfront Fine Art and Wine Festival Feb. 8-10, patrons can stroll along the Scottsdale Waterfront while perusing art walk and sipping wine.
The festival will showcase about 125 juried artists from around the country and abroad. The artists work in a range of mediums, including painting, sculpting, jewelry making and photography. Featured artist Al Glann creates three-dimensional equine sculptures out of metal.
Spectators can sample domestic and imported red, white and rose wines, along with microbrews and craft cocktails. For $10, you get six tasting tickets and an engraved wine glass. Additional tickets cost $1 each.
There will be music each day. Performers include mantra rock group the Ganga Jala Band, guitarist Chuck Hall, pianist Jason Michael Tracy and guitarist Gina Machovina.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Feb. 8-10. 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale. $3 general admission, $10 for wine-tasting tickets and glass, $1 each for additional tasting tickets. 480-837-5637, thunderbirdartists.com.
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