This week you can bloom at night, hear a project, write your story, meet a gold medalist, learn CPR, converse with your canine, use eBooks and frame a photo.
This column includes activities and programs in the Greater Phoenix area that have free admission. If you are looking for fundraisers, seminars, workshops, and other community programs that have an admission charge, or where donations are expected, I have a separate column for those. I call them "Phoenix Area Programs, Fundraisers & Events" and you can find those listings in my blog. They tend to cover a wider range of dates than a week, because advance registration is often required. For a long list of programs and festivals that are annual events in Greater Phoenix check the calendar.
What: Enrich your Garden with Magnificent Night-bloomers
When: Thursday, August 23, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Avondale City Hall, 11465 W. Civic Center Drive
With the proper plant selection your garden can come alive in the moonlight with reflective foliage and blooms, interesting creatures attracted to them, and fragrance. Learn how to enrich your garden with magnificent night-bloomers that unfurl their hidden beauty as the sky darkens into night, and other plants that will "light" the way Pre-registration is requested to reserve your seat. Call (623) 333-4422.
What: Brian Chartrand & The Voce Project
When: Friday, August 24, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Chandler Center for the Arts in Downtown Chandler
Brian released his 10th album 'The Voce Project' which features the Valley's best musicians and displays Brian's many influences ranging from jazz, folk, soul, and country music. He had the opportunity to open for his heroes Steely Dan at Cricket Pavilion; in 2009 he completed his first European tour; and in 2010 Subaru featured his song "What I'm Looking For" in a national advertising campaign. No tickets required. Foyer doors open at 6:30 p.m. and all seating is first come, first served. Donations accepted.
What: Meet an Olympic Gold Medalist
When: Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Kino Aquatic Center, 848 N. Horne Rd., Mesa
Mesa native and Olympic gold medalist, Breeja Larson is coming home. The Mesa Aquatics Club and the Mesa Convention and Visitor's Bureau welcome home Olympian Breeja Larson from the 2012 London Olympics. A short presentation with speeches will be made. Larson will be performing a swimming demonstration at 11:15 a.m. An autograph session and open swim will immediately follow the presentation. Larson was born in Mesa, attended Mountain View High School and started competitively swimming her senior year (2010). Larson was state runner up in the 100-meter breaststroke at Mountain View and is currently a junior at Texas A&M University swimming for the Auggies in 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke. This is the first year that Larson qualified for the U.S. Olympic team beating out favorite Rebecca Soni in the 100-meter breaststroke. Larson won Olympic gold during the Women's 4x100-meter medley relay in the London 2012 Olympics.
What: Free Art Workshops
When: Saturday, August 25, 2012 from noon to 4 p.m.
Where: Tempe Center for the Arts
A walk-in workshop where participants work with an artist on an artistic endeavor. This week: What's Your Story? with Annie Lopez. Write short stories, poems or statements about photographs they bring or photocopies provided by the artist and then color and decorate the work to tell a family story.
What: Fire Department Open House
When: Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Fire Station No. 6, 911 N. Jackson Street, Chandler
As part of his new Health Connect initiative, Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and members of the City Council will receive Hands-OnlyTM CPR training during the open house. This method of emergency resuscitation that has been shown to be as effective as "conventional" CPR. The free Hands-OnlyTM CPR training sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the event. "With Hands-OnlyTM CPR, there are only two steps to remember: Call 911 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest," said Chandler Fire Chief Jeff Clark. The open house will also include station tours, rescue and firefighting demonstrations, and hands on instruction for children on how to get out of a smoke filled environment. Fire engines and other apparatus will be on display, and department mascots will greet children with free balloons, popcorn and fire helmets. Throughout the event, Fire Department staff will be on hand to talk about the Crisis Response volunteer program, Senior Volunteer program, Fire Cadet program, and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).
What: Conversational Canine 101
When: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Scottsdale Public Library, Arabian Branch, 10215 E McDowell Mtn Ranch Rd, Scottsdale
Receive expert instruction on how to understand, attend and respond to your dogs' needs. Discussion will focus on dog and owner safety, including how to read the pet's non-verbal body language, and quick step responses. This program is for adults. Space is limited. Registration required.
What: eBooks for Kindle & Other Devices
When: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 1 p.m. and at 2:15 p.m.
Where: Sunrise Mountain Library, 21109 N. 98th Ave., Peoria
Learn how to find and download audio books, music, movies, and eBooks from the Greater Phoenix Digital Library on to a Kindle or other eBook reader, mp3 player, smart phone, etc. Bring your library card, PIN number, reading device, and login information for Amazon or Apple. Both sessions are the same, register for one or the other. Registration required as space is limited. Call 623-773-8650.
What: Book Page Photo Frames
When: Thursday, August 30, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Velma Teague Branch Library, 7010 N. 58th Ave., Glendale
Teens ages 12-18 will use discarded book or magazine pages and decoupage techniques to create an amazing picture frame for displaying their favorite photos. All materials will be provided. Registration is required. Call 623-930-3431.
If you've arrived at this page and find that the event dates have past, check my recent blog entries for more Free Things -- I write about free things to do in Greater Phoenix several times per month. Also, check that same blog list for another column on upcoming fundraisers, walks, runs, seminars, workshops and programs that might interest you.
If you know about a free event that's open to the public that you'd like me to consider for this weekly column, complete and submit this form at least 8 days prior to the event and I'll consider it.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.