Weekend events calendar

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- If you haven’t planned out your weekend yet and you’re looking for something to do still, here’s some ideas for events taking place throughout the Valley.

Glendale is celebrating its 18th Annual Chocolate Affaire. It starts Friday, Feb. 8th at 5pm in downtown Glendale. The City said they’ll not only have a vast array of chocolate confections, but they’ll have live music, food booths, a petting zoo and fun activities for kids, and even romance novelists. The novelists will be giving workshops for those interested in learning how to write romance novels. For more information and complete details on times, you can visit www.GlendaleAZ.com/Events.

Arizona is celebrating its 25th Annual Renaissance Festival. It starts Saturday, Feb. 9th and will take place every weekend until the last weekend in March. The Festival is located on 30 acres of land off the U.S. 60, about nine miles east of Apache Junction. The medieval village is complete with a king and his court. You can expect to see over 2,000 costumed characters, experience games, enjoy lively music and comedy and witness a jousting match. There will also be plenty of food for all tastes. For ticket information you can go to www.RenFestInfo.com or call 520-463-2600.
The City of Phoenix hosts its third annual Mardi Gras celebrations on Saturday, New Orleans Style of course. You’ll see dazzling, colorful dancers as well as other costumed and masked revelers. There’ll even be a parade with about 30 spectacular floats. The festivities take place on Saturday, Feb. 9th and starts at 3 p.m. off Central Ave. and Washington Road in downtown Phoenix.
Another parade taking place this weekend is Scottsdale’s 60th Annual Parada Del Sol Parade. Spectators will get to see local school bands, color guards, horses and floats, all paying tribute to Arizona’s western days gone by. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Scottsdale Road and Oak St. It’ll then go north on Scottsdale Road to Indian School Road.
Phoenix is also celebrating the Chinese New Year all weekend. Activities begin on Friday, Feb. 8th and go all weekend. It takes place at the city’s Chinese Cultural Center off 44th St. and the Loop 202. You can expect to see the traditional Chinese folk dances with the infamous dragon dance, martial arts demonstrations, food and music, as well as activities for children. For complete details visit www.phoenixchineseweek.org.
Horse lovers looking for something different can head out to Twisted Tree Farms in north Scottsdale. They are holding their Free Jumping Social event. You can check out young horses strutting their stuff with jumps. The event is free and drinks and snacks will be provided. For details visit www.twistedtreefarms.com.

And if films are your passion, the Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival starts Sunday, Feb. 10th. Viewers can catch various films with Jewish themes from all over the world at Harkins Camelview, located at 7001 E. Highland Ave. The showings vary in times. Tickets are $10, $5  for students and an unlimited pass is available for $100.  For more details, you can call 1-800-838-3006 or www.gpiff.org.