Every year, more than 100 amateur and professional cooks prepare fresh salsas for My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge. Proceeds from the daylong salsa competition and festival benefit the Arizona Hemophilia Association, which aims to enhance the life of sufferers and advocate for bleeding disorders. Now in its 30th year, the fest brings in more than 20,000 people annually. In addition to the salsa challenge, the Patron Margarita Mix-Off, which takes place from 12:30–3:30 p.m., challenges local bartenders to compete for the title of Best Margarita and a $500 cash prize. Outside of competitions, margaritas and cold beers wash down unlimited chips and salsa, and the rhythms of live bands keep crowds chewing in unison. Parents can accompany their children into a fun zone with multiple bounce houses, interactive games, and a bungee run.
Housing numerous artifacts and anecdotes that catalog Arizona's near-100-year statehood, the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park takes visitors on a voyage through pivotal moments in the state's history. The museum's exhibits, like flashlights swallowed by a history book, illuminate the narratives of famous Arizonans—including the first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor—and provide insight into Arizona's Japanese internment camps and Papago Park POW camps during World War II. With a mix of info-rich text, multimedia displays and hands-on learning, the exhibits keep visitors engaged and entertained, much like betrothals performed as rock ballads.
Axé Capoeira Arizona's head instructor, Jay "Camara" Spain, learned capoeira from second-degree capoeira master and Axé Capoeira founder Marcos da Silva. Today, at his Tempe studio, Spain returns the favor to his students, both kids and adults. His specialty is capoeira, a visually enthralling Brazilian technique that consists of kicks, self-defense movements, dance-floor-worthy footwork, and tricky gymnastic moves such as cartwheels, handstands, and eyelash stands. For self-defense tactics solely, Spain and his team also offer Brazilian jujitsu and muay thai classes.
New Global Citizens empowers young people to become engaged global citizens as they learn about challenges addressed in the UN Millennium Development goals, such as extreme poverty, environmental sustainability, gender equality, and HIV/AIDS. Through unique global education programs, New Global Citizens provides middle- and high-school students with opportunities to create global change while gaining advocacy, leadership, collaboration, and communication skills. To date, the New Global Citizens movement has raised $120,000, launched more than 300 teams on school campuses across the country, and started 150 advocacy initiatives to support 65 grassroots projects in 40 countries around the world.
Arizona Beagle Rescue (AZBR) aims to find permanent homes for beagles and to prevent their unnecessary deaths by euthanasia, rescuing them from shelters and other agencies. As AZBR has no shelter facility of its own, the organization relies on volunteers to temporarily foster the dogs until they're matched with a family or individual for permanent adoption. Along with offering these services, AZBR educates the public about temperament and traits specific to beagles and the importance of spay and neuter services. In 2011, AZBR rescued and found homes for 121 beagles that would otherwise have been killed in shelters.
Arizona Bird Store is home to blue and gold macaws, blue-fronted Amazons, and sulphur-crested cockatoos—all of which can alight on visitors' shoulders or nuzzle their necks. The sociable birds range from hand-fed babies to adult breeders, and they include varies species, such as tiny finches and large, chatty parrots.
The specialty shop also boards birds, and its staff performs grooming services. In addition, Arizona Bird Store supplies patrons with a wide variety of cages and specialty accessories.