The Festival of Horses parades rare breeds alongside hitch-pulling draft steeds to celebrate equine diversity, entertainment, and labor. The graceful gaits of breeds such as frisians, spanish barb mustangs, and arizona appaloosas glide across the stallion showcase’s arena, the walls of which are made from wooden remnants of the Trojan Horse tied together with Mister Ed film reels. Rows of commercial booths promote and sell their wares on the trade-show floor, where horse-lovers haggle over trailers, tack, and feed. Trot from ring to ring, absorbing the sights and sounds of horse-human demonstrations from groups such as the Golden West Cowgirls and horse soccer, a contest of skill that has confused jersey manufacturers everywhere.
For the Banzai Physical Challenge, young warriors must face a dastardly foe: mud. Throughout a two-mile course, kids must brave the mess as they scale a hay mountain, take on a technically engineered ¼ pipe, rope swing, and mud crawl. Youngsters ages 7–17 can opt to tackle the muddy obstacle course on their own, with an adult, or with an altruistic pig that can carry them to the end.
After rinsing off at the cleanup area, participants can explore Banzai's other kid-friendly attractions, including tug-of-war, inflatable obstacle courses, and bounce houses. Warriors can unwind with chair massages, adorn their arms with glitter tattoos, groove to tunes spun by live DJs, or replenish themselves with food and drink. There's even a beer garden for the adults.
A marksman steps onto the range and raises a pistol, aligning the site not on a paper target, but on miniature pumpkins. To keep things fresh, the staff at Ted's Shooting Range likes giving both members and the general public a bit of novelty every now and then by furnishing its air-conditioned 75-foot range with targets that range from bowling pins to balloons. Ted's team also trains shooters during classes, such as the Basic Pistol and Home Defense courses.
The zombie-themed Queen Creek Running Dead 5K has a greater purpose than scaring participants into running from the undead hordes hungry for brains. The race—held the weekend before Halloween—benefits local schools by funneling the proceeds to the Queen Creek Schools Education Foundation for scholarships and teacher grants.
Lauded by reporters from Tropolism as "the coolest yoga studio of all time," and available for rental for private events, Yoga Deva was designed by Phoenix-based architects Blank Studio to serve as a calming sanctuary from the zooming cars and bustling sidewalks of the outside world. Long, walnut benches and a radiant-blue wall greet visitors in the front lobby, drawing them toward a sunlit yoga room with towering mirrors and white, wavy ceilings.
Serenity and balance in the studio is a must for owner, Shosh, who aims to deepen the mind-body awareness of all who enter. At the studio, she uses all natural modern technology to promote pain relief and anti-aging benefits. After sustaining numerous injuries during her two-decade career as a professional ballet dancer, Shosh found relief through inner reflection, which she harnessed during her time as a body-centered psychotherapist, and movement. Today, she channels her love of meditation and physical action into yoga, helming a team of certified instructors who lead classes in a variety of styles ranging from Vinyasa flow to Yin yoga. Sessions cater to students of all levels and can be modified to personally cater to clients. During each session, they guide students through poses and stretches designed to soothe the mind, heal the body, and enhance flexibility. The instructors strive to create a sanctuary of silence in the yoga room, requesting that guests leave all cellphones, pagers, and singing animatronic trout in the dressing room.