There’s fun to be had this weekend in the Valley at a variety of different events. To wit: Over the next 72 hours, Game On Expo will make its long-awaited return, this month’s First Friday will offer the latest works by local artists, and comedian Celeste Barber will serve up plenty of laughs. You can also relive your childhood via the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live tour or catch a screening of the legendary sci-fi flick The Fifth Element.
Read on for more details and info on other events around town from Friday, August 5, to Saturday, August 7, or check out Phoenix New Timescalendar.
Majestic Movie Party: The Fifth Element
Back in the summer of 1997, French filmmaker Luc Besson introduced the world to the mysterious Leeloo and her multipass in his sci-fi action blockbuster The Fifth Element. A quarter century later, the flick still ranks as one of the best of the ’90s and holds up remarkably well. This weekend, the Majestic Neighborhood Cinema Grill, 5478 South Power Road in Gilbert, will host a screening of the film at 7:30 pm on Friday, August 5, as part of its Majestic Movie Party series. There will be prize giveaways beforehand, themed cocktails available for purchase, and various interactive props included with admission. Tickets are $13 per person for each event. Benjamin Leatherman
Whether you’re into gallery shows, new murals, or free museum admission, you’ve got plenty of great options for First Friday this weekend in downtown Phoenix. Most of the major galleries along Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue will be open for this month’s art walk, which takes place from 5 to 10 pm on Friday, August 5. One of the highlights will be the Autonomy group exhibition at Modified/Arts, 407 East Roosevelt Street, which features the works of 20 local creatives exploring how the capacity to “adequately self-govern one’s own beliefs and actions” is more important than ever in light of the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade by SCOTUS. Elsewhere, the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, and Children’s Museum of Phoenix, 215 North Seventh Street, will offer free admission on First Friday. Hours vary. Lynn Trimble and Benjamin Leatherman
Game On Expo 2022
The annual Game On Expo is back after a three-year absence and will offer its usual lineup of games and geeky fun. There will also be a 30th-anniversary celebration of the original Mortal Kombatappearances by voice actors like Steve Burton and George Newbern from Final Fantasy VII, esports competitions, and plenty of cosplay. The event runs from Friday, August 5, to Sunday, August 7, inside the South Building of the Phoenix Convention Center, 33 South Third Street. Hours vary. Daily adult admission is $35 on Friday, $45 on Saturday, and $40 on Sunday. Weekend passes covering all three days are $55. Children’s admission is $15-$20 for ages 10 and under, and kids 2 and under are free. Benjamin Leatherman
Slide the Rails
Before your kids pack up their pencils and notebooks for back-to-school time, treat them to a trip to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 East Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale. Typically, it’s all about exploring vintage locomotives, plus riding the park’s carousel and miniature train. But the park is upping its game this weekend, adding various water activities for its annual Slide the Rails event, which runs from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, August 6. The lineup includes a variety of inflatable water slides, splash pools, and obstacle courses. Wristbands are $10, getting you access to the water fun, plus free train and carousel rides. Tykes age 2 and under are free with a paying adult. Don’t forget the sunscreen, hats, and water bottles — nobody wants to go back to school looking like a lobster. Lynn Trimble
Australian comedian Celeste Barber is moonlighting away from her popular Instagram account for the next few months, traveling the world for her Fine, thanks stand-up show, which lands in Phoenix on Sunday, August 7, at the Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington Street. Although she’s not giving any spoilers about her set, there’s a clue in the title. People would ask how she was doing, and her response was almost always the same. “I’d always be like, ‘Uh, fine, thanks,’ just not really knowing how else to kind of wrap my head around it all,” Barber says. Her style of comedy isn’t built on politics. “I am of the old school, almost vaudevillian idea of going on and entertaining people,” she says. “But when it comes to my show, it’s just all about the entertainment and giving people … an hour or an hour and a half of just laughing, and having a minute to just kind of reset and forget because then you got to go back into your life.” The show is at 7 pm Tickets are $20 to $74.50. Timothy Rawles
Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live
Relive your childhood love of colorful vehicles staging gravity-defying jumps this weekend when the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live tour invades the Gila River Arena, 9400 West Maryland Avenue in Glendale. Beefed-up trucks with monikers like Race Ace, Mega Wrex, and Bone Shaker will roar around an obstacle course while leaping piles of cars and pulling off other eye-popping stunts during the show, which will be staged at 12:30 and 7: 30 pm on Saturday, August 6, and at 2:30 pm on Sunday, August 7. Tickets are $28 to $45 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Benjamin Leatherman
The Sunday Drip Pool Party
While most Valley residents spend their Sundays dreading the inevitable return to work, the patrons of Maya Dayclub, 7333 East Indian Plaza in Scottsdale, are busy living it up and getting down to electronic dance music in and around the outdoor pool. The club’s weekly Sunday Drip pool party typically involves plenty of fun in the sun both in and out of the water as the see-and-be-seen partygoers down drinks, pop bottles, and show off their dance moves while guest DJs drop beats. This weekend’s session on Sunday, August 7, will feature a headlining set by Stefan Engblom, one-half of Swedish EDM duo Dada Life. Gates open at noon and the party goes on until 6 pm General admission is $20 per person. VIP cabana rentals and table service packages are also available by calling 602-810-0167. Benjamin Leatherman