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Judy Hedding

Five Free Things To Do In and Around Phoenix

By December 30, 2008

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What: Buckeyes in Buckeye Day
When: Saturday, January 3, 2009 from noon to 5 p.m
Where: Buckeye Town Park
Buckeye residents will join with Ohio State University alumni and fans to celebrate the football team’s appearance in a Phoenix-area bowl game and the town’s connection to the Buckeye State. Ohio visitors to Buckeye that day will see a banner hanging over the town’s main street, “Buckeye Arizona Welcomes the Ohio State Buckeyes,” and Ohio visitors will be able to have their photo taken in front of a Buckeye welcome sign. Gift bags for Ohio visitors and alumni will include an official Town of Buckeye pin, a Buckeye water bottle, a copy of the official proclamation of “Buckeyes in Buckeye Day” signed by Mayor Jackie Meck, a piece of Buckeye chocolate and a history of the Buckeye area and its connection to Ohio. OSU flags will fly over the Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce office and at the top of “Brutus,” the Buckeye Fire Department’s huge ladder truck nicknamed after the OSU mascot. Tours will be available at the nearby Buckeye Valley Museum, which holds artifacts and information detailing Buckeye’s earliest days, and the alumni association will be selling Ohio State University merchandise.

What: Anime Festival
When: Saturday, January 3, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Glendale Main Library
Ages 9 and up are welcome to come to the free "High School Never Ends: All Day Anime Festival" where five films will be shown. Prizes will be given out in random raffles (must be present to win). Dress in costume or enter the 2009 All Day Anime Festival Art Contest. Rules and entry forms are available at the Youth Services Desk at the Main Library or online at www.glendaleaz.com/library/teen. Anime fans over 18 must find a younger person to accompany them to the festival. You can see the entire schedule of events here. For more information, call 623-930-3537.

What: Hyperbolic Crochet
When: Various dates in January 2009
Where: Various Locations in Scottsdale
Free workshops will teach the art of hyperbolic crochet – no experience necessary. Learn the basics of hyperbolic crochet from an IFF expert (Institute for Figuring), and help to create Scottsdale’s community-created Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. The workshops will be offered January through March, and will teach the basics involved in creating the 2,000 square foot hand-crocheted coral reef. The Scottsdale Reef will be become part of Scottsdale’s Public Art Collection and may also be exhibited across the country. All skill levels, including those with no experience, are welcome to attend the free crochet workshops. Crochet hooks & starter yarn will be provided. The scheduled workshops in January are:
January 5, 2009: 10 am - 12:30 pm, at Mountain View Community Center Room 2
January 8, 2009: 6 pm - 8:45 pm, at Civic Center Library, Silver Room
January 13, 2009: 6 am - 7:45 pm, at Arabian Library, Meeting Room 2
January 17, 2009: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, at Civic Center Library Silver Room
January 24, 2009: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, at Arabian Library Meeting Room 2

What: Free Fishing Clinic
When: Saturday, January 10, 2009 from 8 a.m. to noon
Where: Veterans Oasis Park Lake, Chandler
Children of all ages and adults are welcome to participate in this fishing clinic presented by Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) and hosted by the Chandler Environmental Education Center (EEC). This program is free, no pre-registration is required, and participants who register at the AZGFD booth may fish without a license during clinic hours. Fishing rods will be loaned to participants and a limited supply of bait will be available. While the fishing is taking place outdoors, there will be hands-on craft activities and educational offerings inside the EEC, including a brief talk by AZGFD staff about the award-winning Urban Fishing Program. Nature-themed videos will also run, including episodes of AZGFD’s award-winning Wildlife Views program. The center’s collection of live animals will be on display, with snake feedings taking place throughout the day, and EEC visitors can enter a drawing for a chance to win a prize, such as a fishing pole or a gift bag of green products. The Veterans Oasis Park lake will be stocked that week with Rainbow trout. This infusion of fish will include some “incentive” trout that measure 13-18 inches, with some larger than four pounds.

What: Sunday A’Fair
When: Sunday, January 11, 2009 from noon to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Scottsdale Civic Center Mall
A free afternoon mini-festival. Concerts and performances by the Valley’s top entertainers, a diverse selection of arts and crafts available for sale, hands-on activities for children and families and free, docent-guided tours of the sculptures on the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall. Lawn chairs and picnic baskets are welcome. Food and refreshments from Arcadia Farms are also available for purchase.

This is by no means everything! Some of the larger annual festivals and events are also free. You'll find those listed in the monthly calendar. If you've arrived at this page and find that the event dates are past, check my recent blog entries for more Free Things -- I write about free things to do in Greater Phoenix several times per month!

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