It’s the last weekend of April, and it’s a busy one.

The Pima County Fair wraps up on Sunday at the fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road, and they’re blessing the vines at Sonoita Vineyards on Saturday.

Want more? There’s a fiesta in Barrio Hollywood, a chess fest at Hotel Congress (complete with a human-sized chessboard) and folks putting the sun to work on a potluck picnic at Catalina State Park.

Fiesta at Barrio Hollywood

What: 12th Barrio Hollywood Fiesta Grande.

When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Where: On West Grande Avenue, off West Speedway in Barrio Hollywood. Speedway and St. Mary’s Road will be blocked off to traffic, and the festival will stretch the length of Grande.

Cost: Admission is free; a portion of the proceeds from vendors’ fees will benefit Tucson High Magnet School’s wrestling team, said festival founder Margaret McKenna.

What to expect: Dozens of food vendors, carnival rides and games, a car show, a parade, school bands, arts and crafts vendors.

Details: or 331-9555.

Cooking with sunlight

What: 32nd Annual Festival of the Sun Solar Potluck & Exhibition.

When: 10 a.m. to around 6 p.m. Saturday. The potluck is expected to begin around 5.

Where: Catalina State Park, 11570 N. Oracle Road, in the large group-use area.

Cost: Free admission; it’s $7 to enter the park per carload.

What to expect: The running joke in Tucson: “It’s so hot you can fry an egg on the sidewalk.” Truth indeed, as you will learn during this event, regarded as the longest continuously running solar potluck in the world. Sponsored by Citizens for Solar and the Solar Guild, the event shows you how simple it can be to harness the sun’s energy to fry, bake or boil food. Bring your own cooking device and cook on site, or bring a dish to share. Sponsored by: Citizens for Solar/Solar Guild, Catalina State Park, state of Arizona.

Chess anyone?

What: Seventh annual Chess Fest presented by 9 Queens.

When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.

Cost: Free.

What to expect: Pick-up chess games, beginner chess lessons and a human-sized chessboard. And then there’s Rochelle Ballantyne, the 19-year-old future of chess, the Brooklyn-born 9 Queens Player of the Year who’s poised to become the first African-American woman to be crowned Chess Master. She’ll be there, showing off her chess chops and possibly giving some inspiring pointers to young chess hopefuls. There also will be DJs and face painting.

Details: 622-8848 or

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642.

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.