4th Season of Tucson Food Tours!!!

Another year of successful downtown tours.


Tucson, AZ  – Tucson Food Tours is celebrating their 4th season this September.  Tucson Food Tours developed the first walking culinary tour through Downtown Tucson.  On the tour, not only do guests get to sample some of the best food in the city, the guides point out architectural highlights, cultural hot spots, and great local shops along the way.  At first, most of the guests were tourists, but now the word has spread to the Tucson locals. Bradner Lawrence, co-owner of Tucson Food Tours, says, “Joining a food tour is a great way to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, office party, casual date or group outing”. If you have a large party, the Tucson Food Tours can customize a tour, and even provide transportation to the downtown area.  This year Tucson Food Tours partnered up with the University of Arizona and created a tour as a part of freshman orientation that included Main Gate Square, 4th Avenue, and Downtown Tucson.  
Tourists and locals alike agree that the tours are a great and exciting way to learn about this trendy, vibrant, and growing downtown area.  Tucson Food Tours is consistently ranked #1 in “Tours & Activities in Tucson” on TripAdvisor!

Now Selling Gift Certificates!

We are excited to announce that we are now offering gift certificates!!  The holidays are approaching and tickets to a food tour would be the perfect gift for your foodie friends, family, or coworkers.  Simply click on the blue link that says “Buy a gift certificate” from the “Book a Tour”  page.  You can send the gift certificate directly to the recipient or print it at home.

Don’t forget, tickets to the Tucson Food Tour can also make great birthday and anniversary gifts, or a “just for fun” date!

Junior League of Tucson- Purple Sage Cookbooks

Founded in 1929, the Junior League of Tucson is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.


It is a group of women, 21 and older, interested in making Tucson a better place to live and learning to be effective community leaders. JLT is one of 292 Leagues across the country and around the world. They have high-powered professionals and stay-at-home moms…women just out of college and women with kids in college. They come from a variety of social and economic backgrounds and  have a wide range of personal values and political opinions. One thing they all share is a common commitment to community and a desire to make a mark on Tucson by being effective leaders and volunteers.


In the last 76 years in Tucson, the JLT has invested more than $1,300,000 in community improvement and public awareness efforts such as the first Ronald McDonald House in Tucson.  They also have current projects such as the JLT CARES program that  supports the community’s growing at-risk senior population who are aging-in-place in substandard housing conditions. JLT provides direct support in terms of the volunteers, resources and materials necessary to provide critical home rehabilitation improvements. By making these home improvements, JLT enables seniors to live and maintain an independent lifestyle that maximizes the quality of life, improves safety and reduces costs.


The league sells cookbooks in order to fund the projects that they are involved in.  These cookbooks are recipes that were compiled by past league members.  The book was originally published in 1984 and has over 300 recipes inside.


As a member of the league I invite you to purchase a cookbook to support our charitable projects.  You will not be disappointed as you will be helping the community and will be able to experience diverse cultures through these delicious recipes.


Here is a link to the Purple Sage cookbook-

Purple Sage Cookbook


If you are interested in becoming a member or would just like more information on what the league does for the community, please following this link- Junior League of Tucson


Thank you for supporting Tucson!!

Maria Lawrence

Junior League of Tucson – Women Building Better Communities


Tucson Originals Gift Certificates on Sale NOW!

The Tucson Original discounted gift certificates are now available online.  Purchasing these gift certificates are a great way to save money meanwhile supporting our local community.

There are over 50 local restaurants or pubs that members of the Tucson Originals so you are bound to find a place you haven’t tried yet.

Here is a link for the certificates- Tucson Original Gift Certificates


The Tucson Original’s are also kicking off the Tucson Culinary Festival hosted at the Casino Del Sol this year.

Some of the events include;


The Reserve Tasting– At this event you get to taste small production boutique wines that are not normally sold by the glass.  There will also be some special dishes to complement the wine.  Takes place October 6th.


The Grand Tasting– This event will be held in the grand ballroom and will feature over 100 wines and 40 Tucson Original restaurants.  Takes place October 6th.


World Margarita Championship– This event is my favorite.  It is the 6th annual and this year it will take place at the Tucson Museum of Arts.  Restaurants will duke it out Iron Chef style for the 2012 People’s Choice Award!  There is a panel of celebrity judges and everyone gets to vote for the best margarita in Tucson.  Along with the margarita’s they do offer some small bites from each restaurant.  This event is always a good time and takes place October 26th.


If you would like more information or to purchase tickets to any of these events click on any of the links above.

6th Annual Iron Chef Tucson Competition

Ventana Canyon is hosting the 2012 Culinary weekend and Iron Chef Tucson June 23rd-24th.


Ryan Clark from Lodge on the Desert will be defending his title against Chef Allen Yap of OM Modern Asian Kitchen this Saturday!  There will be a panel of 3 judges sampling and scoring based on flavor, presentation, creativity, and use of a secret ingredient.


We just love watching the Iron Chef show on TV and can not wait to be a part of the excitement this weekend!  The event starts at 6pm and you can purchase tickets at www.ironcheftucson.com


If you can’t make the competition and still want to check out some cool gadgets for us foodies that love to entertain, then just check out the rest of the culinary weekend events.


2012 Culinary Weekend includes:

  • Displays of Kitchen Appliances
  • Cooking demos at various kitchens
  • Kitchen Gadgets
  • Household items for cooking and the kitchen area
  • Food Products & Services
  • Dining and BBQ Grills
  • Restaurants and Chefs that entered Iron Chef
  • Beverage Products/Services
  • Cookware
  • Outdoor cooking
  • Beverages
  • Demos from Solar ovens to BBQ cooking
  • Anything having to do with culinary and food…
  • Saturday; The 2012 Iron Chef Tucson competition
  • Sunday; Iron Chef Tucson menu sampling courtesy of both competitors on site recreating the dishes they created for the competition the night before


For discounted tickets to the culinary weekend follow this link—–> 2 tickets for $20


The Centurions Party!!

The Centurions will be hosting their annual charity event/party (heavy emphasis on the party) downtown on 5th and Congress tomorrow night.  Every year they have a different theme.  The theme of this year’s party is “Masquerade Escapade”.There will be a carnivale parade, a moulin rouge lounge, live music by the band “The Trip”, raffle prizes, tarot card readings, and tattoos.

Tickets are $85, $50 of which is tax deductible.  You can buy tickets at the door.  The ticket fee might seem a little steep, but it includes dining, dancing, drinks and entertainment.  Usually they give out around six drink tickets per person, but by the way these bartenders pour, you should only need three to be feeling really good.  Which reminds me, they will have plenty of cabs on standby, and have a program to get you back to your car for free the next day!  The Centurions use the money raised from this event to help fund selected programs at St. Mary’s Hospital.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the Centurion Party event. Plan to come join the fun and help raise money for a great cause!

The Centurions web address is http://thecenturions.com/main.htm

Downtown Tucson Partnership Video

This promotional video for the Downtown Tucson Partnership highlights some of the great landmarks and events that make the downtown area such a great place to visit.  Some of the businesses that you’ll see in this video are Sparkroot, On A Roll Sushi, Congress Hotel, Rialto Theater, and Fox Theater.  It also shows video from events such as The Tour de Tucson, Second Saturdays, and the Dia de los Muertos Parade.  Some of the landmarks highlighted are the Pima County Court House, The Downtown Public Library, and the Snake Bridge.  The music in the video is by a band named Calexico, who just headlined a show down in the old Barrio District.

Downtown Tucson Partnership Promo from John Sears on Vimeo.

Rodeo, Accenture Match Play, and More!!

There are so many cool things to do this week in Tucson!!  It almost make you want to play hooky from work or school and make it a play day!  Good thing it’s a short week for some folks due to President’s Day and Rodeo weekend.

I was driving around town working yesterday and saw the “Event Parking” signs all over the Dove Mountain area.  I had almost forgot that the Accenture Match Play Championship starts today.  Tucson has hosted this event since 2007 and it is something that the locals look forward to each year.  We will have 64 of the top golfers here in competing in the tournament.  This year they are implementing a new program called “Follow the Leader” which allows the final group to follow the leaders, from inside the ropes, literally, through all 18 holes or beyond.  This will give fans an up-close and personal experience, where they will be able to hear the golfer and caddy converse, and watch the golfer’s swing from a close distance.  How cool is that??

We also have La Fiesta de los Vaqueros from now until February 26th.  Each February since 1925, Tucsonans have been saddling up their horse for the “Celebration of the Cowboys”.  Here’s a link to purchase tickets, Rodeo Tickets

The Rodeo Parade which takes place February 23rd is the longest non-motorized parade and it start at 9am at Park and Fair Avenue.  An estimated 200,000 spectators line the parade route, watching over 150 western-theme floats and buggies, Mexican folk dancers and musicians each year!  If you are a Tucsonan then make sure you put this on your to do list!

Make it a great week everyone!!

Come Visit Tucson!!

We came across this article today and thought it was a little ironic that we would be reading this great article about Tucson on a very cold, rainy, and even a little snow day!  We have had some pretty bipolar weather lately, a high of 80 degrees Saturday and today 55 degrees??

Even with these bouts of abnormal weather Tucson still topped a list of the 10 happiest winter travel destinations in the U.S.    This study was conducted by the Hilton HHonors and the study states that “being outdoors helps people be happier!”

We, at the Tucson Food Tours feel very lucky to live in a city where we have absolutely great weather 8 months out of the year!  So when we are all melting mid-July and trying to keep cool by the pool lets not forget about the other 275 days of the year that makes Tucson a great place to visit!!

Don’t worry, be happy…in Tucson!!



Happy Birthday Arizona!!

There are tons of events going on Downtown this weekend to commemorate Arizona’s 100 years of Statehood!  Events range from art activities, a soccer showdown, free admission to museums, a Ferris wheel, centennial bike ride and live music all over the place.

Of course the Tucson Food Tours will be out giving tours and celebrating with the community!!  Here is a list of the events.



Visit 2ndSaturdays.com for all the details & parking information


Festivities start at 4pm and include outdoor stages, a Ferris wheel on 5th Avenue between Broadway Boulevard and Congress Street, kids activities, vendors, merchant specials, and downtown museums/exhibits.  Street closures are on 5thAve between Congress and Broadway, Scott Ave between Congress and Broadway and 6th Ave between Congress and Pennington.


4PM GRAND OPENING, hosted by KOLD Channel 13 and Chuck George.  Mayor Rothschild will open the festivities to an antique airplane fly-by and the raising of the actual American Flag flown over Downtown Tucson February 14, 1912.




Headlined by Jerry Riopelle


4:15pm-5pm: The El Camino Royales – a three-piece rockabilly/surf/American roots band featuring the indomitable Michael P. on vox and guitar, along with the superb talents of Andrew See on upright bass/vox and The Mighty Joel Ford on drums/vox.


5:15pm-6:30pm:  Heather ‘Lil Mama’ Hardy Band Heather has been voted “Best Strings” in Tucson and is a member of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. Zόcalo Magazine said “Hardy’s third release, ‘Get Out of the Road,’ showcases the musician’s sweet violin electrified in a positive bluesy/soul album with spiritual overtones.”


6:45pm-7:45pm: Kevin Pakulis Band featuring Amy Langley. Pakulis, an award-winning songwriter, brings his convergence of original rock, blues, and country tunes for a rockin’ great time.


8pm-9:30pm: Jerry Riopelle is an Arizona regular since 1974, includes heavy doses of rhythm and blues, rock and country flavored with a unique mix of jazz and reggae sounds in his tunes. Riopelle’s hits include: Walkin’ on Water, Red Ball Texas Flyer and Naomi’s Song. Riopelle is a huge part of Arizona’s Music Legacy.



5pm-5:45pm: Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School As Tucson’s most popular youth mariachi, they have gained a reputation for excellence, sharing the stage with many of the world’s finest Mariachi ensembles as well as Symphony Orchestras. The group plays authentic mariachi music, arranged and conducted by director, John Contreras, himself a mariachi musician with over twenty-five years of experience.


6pm-6:45pm: Vox Urbana – garage cumbia from the heat of the Sonoran desert with complex rhythms enhanced by bass solos, fun melodies and vocal acrobatics.


7pm-8pm: A Son y Sol – Latin American music with a twist – upbeat and danceable!


5th AVENUE between Congress St. & Broadway Blvd.

4pm-10pm: Slide ($4)


5th AVENUE between Congress St. & Toole Ave.

4pm-10pm: Ferris Wheel ($4)


CRICKET KID’S LOT Between Stone Ave. & Scott Ave. on Congress Street

Jumping castles & food trucks!

6pm: Cinema La Placita Presents – McLintock! (1963) Starring John Wayne, filmed at Old Tucson Studios.



4pm-7pmTucson Arts Brigade hosts youth arts activities



Parasol Project Living Statues & Tucson Circus Arts Stilt Walkers



Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St.

7pm-10pm: Centennial Soul Celebration – a celebration of African American music and culture. This high-energy concert is a celebration of African American music and culture produced by Southwest Soul Circuit.  Enjoy Jazz, Blues, R&B, Gospel and Soul Music.  Recording artists Kevin & Tanishia Hamilton are joined by various national performing artists. Free seating on a first-come, first-served basis.  Doors open at 6pm.


Rialto Theatre 318 E. Congress St.

8pm: Metropolitan Klezmer (Yiddish folk & rock)


Tucson Symphony Orchestra Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.

8pm: Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Arizona Centennial Celebration, conducted by George Hanson. Featuring R. Carlos Nakai, Native American Flutist, performing a newly-commissioned piece, followed by the orchestra’s performance of the “Grand Canyon Suite” accompanied by stunning new images of the Grand Canyon created by famed “photochoreographer” James Westwater. (Tickets: $30-$86)



Festivities start at noon and include outdoor stages, a Ferris wheel on 5th Avenue between Broadway Boulevard and Congress Street, kids activities, vendors, merchant specials, and downtown museums/exhibits.

Street closures are on 5th Ave between Congress and Broadway, Scott Ave between Congress and Broadway and 6th Ave between Congress and Pennington.



JIM CLICK AUTOMOTIVE STAGE 6th Ave. @ Pennington St.

Headlined by Sam Moore


Noon-12:30pm: Los Changuitos Feos – With over 47 years of history and tradition Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos is Tucson’s premier youth mariachi.


12:45pm-1:45pm: The 4th Street String Band – A seamless mix of bluegrass instrumentation (mandolin, fiddle, guitar, upright bass) with blues, jazz and punk rock sensibilities that incorporate beautiful vocal harmonies.


2pm-2:45pm: The Dusty Buskers Upbeat, old-timey Celtic/bluegrass/folk with a rocking edge. “People can’t help but stop and listen.” – Arizona Daily Star


3pm-3:45pm: Al Perry & The Cattle – The Tucson legend is “Laconic, ironic, dedicated to curating what used to be known as country and western, Al Perry is a testament to the best of live music in Tucson.”

– Tucson Underground


4pm-4:45pm: Teodoro “Ted” Ramirez – A premier folk musician, singer/songwriter and storyteller – and a living link in the chain of authentic troubadours of the Southwest who presents a mixture of indigenous Mexican, American and European folk music styles framed with insightful personal and historical accounts of the people and places of the Southwest.


5pm-5:45pm: Ronstadt Generations – Living history through music, representing the multi-cultural roots America/Arizona was founded upon. Dating back five generations in North America, Michael J. Ronstadt, younger brother of Linda Ronstadt, continues the family tradition with his two sons, Michael G. and Petie. They perform a wide repertoire of sounds, from traditionals to modern. The band also features sax, bass and drums by family members.


6pm: The Tryst – “The Tryst navigates the listener from jazz to soul with a gentle hand.” – Metromix. Gorgeous vocals by Keli Carpenter, and expert musicianship make this jazz-soul-funk-rock band (with a horn section!) one of Tucson’s top acts.


6:45pm-7pm: Poi-Zen fire troupe (on street, in front of stage)


7pm: Kevin & Tanishia Hamilton of Southwest Soul Circuit – Soul/R&B


7:45pm-8pm: Poi-Zen fire troupe (on street, in front of stage)


8pm: Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave) This Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame Artist is known for several San and Dave R&B hits that are now rock standards:  Soul Man, Hold On I’m Comin’, I Thank You and When Something is Wrong With My Baby. Moore was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time!



Multi-cultural & Kid’s Stage


1pm-1:30pm: Illusionist Michael Howell – you won’t believe your eyes!


1:45pm-2:15pm: Puppets Amongus Acts of physical theater, hilarious hand puppets and tom-foolery captivate the audience!


2:30pm-3pm: Puppet Muzik The puppets perform an eclectic mix of America’s music throughout the decades including diverse samples such as country, rock, rap and cultural music such as Mexican Mariachi.


3:15pm-3:45pm: The Wonderfools Tucson-based circus artists, clowns and educators dedicated to proliferating delight and inspiration.


4pm-5pm: Batucaxé Inspired by the music and dance of Brazil, the ensemble features the music and movement of many traditions, from Brazil and all over the world.


5:15pm-5:45pm: Odaiko Sonora Tucson’s award-winning taiko, Japanese ensemble drumming group.


6pm-6:30pm:  W.D. “Arizona” Kennedy performs captivating western folk songs, reminiscent of Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie.


6:45pm-8pm: The Border Crossers features the music of Dylan Charles, Stuart Oliver, Nowhere Man & A Whiskey Girl.


CRICKET KID’S LOT Between Stone Ave. & Scott Ave. on Congress Street

Jumping castles & food trucks!

6pm: Cinema La Placita Presents – Arizona (1940) Starring Jean Arthur & William Holden. Filmed at Old Tucson Studios – the location was actually built for this film.



2pm-7pmTucson Arts Brigade hosts youth arts activities



Parasol Project Living Statues & Tucson Circus Arts Stilt Walkers


5th AVENUE between Congress St. & Toole Ave.

12pm-10pm: Slide ($4)


5th AVENUE between Congress St. & Toole Ave.

Noon-10pm: FC Tucson  hosts the FC Tucson Street Soccer Showdown. Tucson’s new men’s soccer club brings a unique brand of soccer to Downtown Tucson.  Open play opportunities will be available, as well as the chance to enjoy FC Tucson players in action, with special guest appearances by MLS pro soccer players, in Tucson to prepare for the Desert Diamond Cup.

12pm-10pm: Ferris Wheel ($4)


Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St.

11:30am-5pm: Downtown Centennial Committee presents:  Tucson’s History, 100 years of cars in front of the Fox. Click Automotive Team will provide some cars from the more recent years and the new Nissan Leaf.



UA Downtown 44 N. Stone Ave.

1pm-7pm: Open house of the newly renovated Roy Place Building, now the home of UA Downtown;  UA Bookstores special merchandise;  Exhibits of student work focused on Downtown Tucson


Main Library Downtown 101 N. Stone Ave.

11am-5pm:  Joel D. Valdez Library’s Centennial Celebrations—Family story time, craft fair and Happy Birthday Arizona Cake, games available for teens in the teen room.


Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St.

1:30pm-3:30pm: “A Special Chat with Noted Tucsonans of the Past,” presented by the Downtown Centennial Committee. This historic event will present reenacted interviews with a few of the famous men and women who helped create the State of Arizona and build The Old Pueblo, from 1912 to present. After the historic re-enactments the audience will enjoy films of Southern Arizona life in the early part of the twentieth century. This film is a composite of several travel logs gathered from 1920-30 by the “The Sunshine Climate Club,” an early Tucson tourist promotion group.


Centennial Hall 1020 E. University Blvd.

3pm-5pm: Mayor Rothschild to introduce “Through the Lens of Time – Arizona 100: A Celebration,” a program of spoken word, video, corridos, dance, music, and more.


THE SCREENING ROOM 127 E. Congress St.

6pm-9pm: AZ 100 INDIE FILMS – Celebrate the Arizona Centennial by paying tribute to Arizona’s independent filmmakers. Titles selected for the AZ 100 INDIE FILM collection will be announced in February and state-wide screenings scheduled during 2012. This is the 1st opportunity to view the diverse work by Arizona independent filmmakers


Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St.

7pm: Planet Jam – rippin’ rock solos, poppin’ reggae rhythms and fresh Gypsy licks, dubby and tight, modern with ancient tap roots.

8pm: SambaDá – Brazilian, Samba, Surf Rock and Funk band, this smoldering and soldering band is a magnet of unexpected particles shaved from Brazilian and American sources. Huge on the west coast, experience a Brazilian carnival, beach party

Club Congress 311 E. Congress St.

7pm: Chris Black CD Release


Rialto Theatre 318 E. Congress St.

6pm-2am: Powhaus Productions Presents Arizona GEM – celebrating Arizona history, the gem show and a variety of local performances with DJs, video artists, bands, hosts, dancing and other acts. All ages, 6pm-9pm; 18 and over & $5 after 9pm.



La Pilita Museum 420 S. Main Ave., 11am-2pm also offering Barrio Walking Tours

Presidio San Agustin del Tucson 133 W. Washington, 10am-4pm

Southern Arizona Transportation Museum 414 N. Toole, 10am-5pm

Tucson Museum of Art 140 N. Main Ave., 10am-6pm

Science Downtown: “Mars & Beyond” 300 E. Congress St., 9am-9pm

Jewish History Museum 564 S. Stone Ave., 1pm-5pm

Children’s Museum Tucson 200 S. Sixth Ave., 10am-5pm

MOCA 265 S. Church Ave., 12pm-5pm




9am: Celebrate the Centennial with a 1.5 hour bike ride, discovering Sonoran Desert street trees. Learn to identify different low water native trees in the Downtown streetscape, planted by volunteers, neighborhoods, the City of Tucson and the Downtown Tucson Partnership as part of the 1,000 Trees Please campaign. This easy bike ride through downtown and neighborhoods meets at the SE corner of Broadway Blvd. and Scott Ave. For more information and to volunteer, email diana.Rhoades@tucsonaz.gov or 837-4263.



Fox Theatre 17 W. Congress St.

1pm: Fox Theatre, Tu Nidito and Christina Taylor Green Foundation present children’s concert with Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, one of the most popular children’s music acts in the US, with the number 2 children’s album of 2011.


Scottish Rite Cathedral 160 S. Scott Ave.

2pm-4:30pm: ACLU presents Arizona Civil Rights Memories, a panel discussion moderated by former Tucson mayor, George Miller.  Retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Stanley Feldman, retired UA Law School Dean, Professor Emeritus Charles Ares will be on the panel.


Manning House 450 W Paseo Redondo

2pm-6pmLos Descendientes del Presidio de Tucson presents an Arizona Centennial Tardeada, an afternoon party with live music and dancing!   Alex Jacome is the President of this group and describes a “tardeada” as an afternoon dance party with live music and dancing—donations suggested—seating limited to 300


Tucson Symphony Orchestra Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.

2pm: Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s Arizona Centennial Celebration, conducted by George Hanson. Featuring R. Carlos Nakai, Native American Flutist, performing a newly-commissioned piece, followed by the orchestra’s performance of the “Grand Canyon Suite” accompanied by stunning new images of the Grand Canyon created by famed “photochoreographer” James Westwater. (Tickets: $30-$86)


The Screening Room 127 E. Congress St.

2pm: Screening of “Lost River: Lincoln’s Secret Weapon” the true story of Anna Ella Carroll, a woman military strategist and adviser to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. (Tickets: $7)


Rialto Theatre 318 E. Congress St.

8pm: Zappa Plays Zappa

All Ages. After taking more than three years off to study the physical performance and technical compositional techniques of his father, Frank Zappa, Dweezil Zappa began his search to create a combo that could, according to Dweezil, “accurately execute Frank’s music in the most authentic way humanly possible.” Rather than creating what he called a “circus” of Frank’s former bandmates, Dweezil’s focus was on providing an avenue for the elder Zappa’s music to new generations of listeners. ($26-$56)


Visit 2ndSaturdays.com for all the details & parking information