Happening in July
Planning your free time in July typically means finding activities that can be done inside.
But this is no ordinary July.
July 20 will mark the 50th anniversary of the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon – a landmark achievement for which UA researchers helped lay the groundwork.
To celebrate the anniversary, tons of UA events are planned to help the community explore our understanding of the moon, how that understanding has grown in the last half century and, in particular, how the UA helped shape it.
There are also many events that don't revolve around the moon, such as Poetry Center readings, Wildcat Weekend at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, and morning tours at the UA Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior.
To see what else the UA has planned for July, check out the Master Calendar, which is open to submissions from UA employees and students who want to promote University-sponsored events or events happening on campus or in UA facilities. Add your event using the calendar's submission form.
'A' Mountain Fireworks | July 4
Some of the best places to see the "A" Mountain fireworks are right here on campus.
Parking & Transportation Services is inviting members of the UA and Tucson communities to view the fireworks, weather permitting, from the top of the Tyndall, Main Gate and South Stadium garages.
The three garages will be open at 6 p.m. on July 4. Park for free on the lower levels and then head to the top levels, which will be blocked to vehicle traffic to allow space for lawn chairs and spectators.
Moonfest Events | Ongoing, culminating on July 20
Since no one event could sufficiently mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing on July 20, UA units will hold many events. The events are collectively called Moonfest, with Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium serving as the hub.
Expect to learn about all things moon-related, including deep dives into the science behind the landmark Apollo 11 mission, as well as interactive activities and shows.
Flandrau will kick off "Moon Landing Week" on July 13. The first event, "Hello Moon Night," will begin with a presentation by Christopher Cokinos, a science writer and associate professor in the Department of English. Cokinos' presentation, titled "Divine and Mysterious: The Moon Before the Apollo Missions," will cover how our understanding of the moon has changed over history and cultures. The Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association will have telescopes on the UA Mall following the presentation. The presentation and telescope viewings are free, but ticket reservations are required.
Other "Moon Landing Week" events at Flandrau include special exhibits and planetarium shows, such as "CAPCOM GO!" and "Desert Moon," a documentary film by UA School of Journalism alumnus and adjunct instructor Jason Davis about Southern Arizona's involvement in the lunar exploration program in the 1960s.
"CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story," a fulldome planetarium show about the mission, will be offered every day in July. Each showing will end with a live presentation about the UA's role in putting a human on the moon.
All throughout "Moon Landing Week," Flandrau will discount tickets to $5 for exhibits and planetarium shows.
Moonfest culminates on July 20, the day of the anniversary, with Flandrau's "One Giant Leap Day" – a variety of activities, special shows and presentations from 1-4 p.m., perfect for families with kids. Admission and shows each cost $5.
Adjacent to Flandrau, in the Gerard P. Kuiper Space Sciences building, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory's annual Summer Science Saturday will dedicate an entire day of activities on July 20 to the mission. Find more information in the "Summer Science Saturday" entry below.
Also on July 20, catch the opening of the free exhibit "Moon," presented by Special Collections at University Libraries. The exhibit celebrates the cultural and scientific aspects of the moon, and features an outer space-themed virtual reality experience.
Moon-related events go well beyond campus, with events scheduled for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Pima Air & Space Museum, The Loft Cinema and Bookmans Tucson – East, 6230 E. Speedway Blvd. Visit the Moonfest page on the Flandrau website for more information.
Summer Science Saturday | July 20
If you hadn't already guessed, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory's annual open house will highlight the Apollo 11 mission, particularly the UA's involvement. The day includes a variety of lecture presentations, exhibits and book sales geared toward families.
Presentation speakers include LPL Professor Emeritus Robert Strom, associate professor Jeff Andrews-Hanna, and William Hartmann, a UA alumnus and planetary scientist who helped develop the prevailing theory behind the moon's origin.
Summer Science Saturday also will feature tours of Gerard P. Kuiper Space Sciences' labs. Tours include the transmission electron microscope and electron microprobe labs at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Space is limited. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP via the LPL website.
UA Poetry Center Readings | July 25 and 31
The UA Poetry Center, one of the leading institutions in the U.S. dedicated to poetry, will host two readings in July.
The first, on July 25, will feature Lehua Taitano, the center's summer resident, and Bojan Louis, a new faculty member in creative writing and American Indian studies. Both will read from their work and answer questions. A book signing will follow. The reading will be held at 7 p.m. at the Helen S. Schaefer Building, 1508 E. Helen St.
On July 31, the "Whitman Summer Social: Poetry Selections From the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music" will feature Sarah Kortemeier, the Poetry Center's library director, and Senior Library Specialist Julie Swarstad Johnson, who will read from works that have been part of Arizona Friends of Chamber Music programs. Live music will be performed before and after the event, which will be held at Copper Hall at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.
Also happening this month
- July 19-21 | Wildcat Weekend | Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, 7000 N. Resort Drive.
- July 6, 13, 20, 27, and 28 | Boyce Thompson Arboretum tours on dragonflies, lizards, butterflies, geology and edible desert plants | Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park, 7615 E. Arboretum Way, Superior, Arizona.