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Aileen O'Catherine

Best Weekend Bets

By February 8, 2013

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Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year, and lots of Valentine events are just some of the events you'll find the next few days. So many choices! Have a safe and wonderful weekend!

Roots Revival
This cabaret chronicles the journey of African Americans from West Africa to today, with music, song, dance and spoken word. Local and Broadway talent will take the stage to perform. See it at Popejoy Friday, February 8. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

Valentine Adult Night: Love Beneath the Stars
See a special show in the planetarium and star gaze from the observatory at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Tour the museum's exhibits and make connections via ham radio. There will be tours guided by a museum curator. Dance the night away in the atrium. There will be complementary snacks and a cash dessert bar. Cash bar for those over 21. The evening is for those 18 years and older and happens Friday, February 8, beginning at 7 p.m. at the museum.

New Mexico Shrine Circus
The three ring circus runs for three days and eight shows. All proceeds benefit Ballut Abayd Shrine Center, which gives to children who need medical care. See it at the New Mexico Expo; you have eight shows to choose from February 8 - 10. Tickets can be purchased online, or call (505) 255-5329.

Toughest Monster Truck Tour
Trucks take the stage at Santa Ana Center. See dinosaur themed truck Smashasuraus, Tailgator, Bigfoot, Equilizer, Toxic, and the transforming, fire-breathing dinosaur robot, Transurus. Watch 'em roll February 8 and 9.

Carnaval Celebration
The annual Carnaval celebration at the National Hispanic Cultural Center is a festive evening of music and dance. See the Odara Dance Ensemble and the musical group PANdemonium February 8 and 9.

Mardi Gras Celebrations
The Great Face and Body Spa will have a Mardi Gras celebration this weekend, starting with a masquerade ball on Friday, February 8 from 8 p.m. to midnight. Don't miss the voodoo prosperity ritual blessing at 10 p.m. And on Saturday, February 9, hear Saudade play their Brazilian sambas, tangos and bossas beginning at 7 p.m.

Valentine Cabaret
The New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus will sing about the many sides of love at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Hear songs such as "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" and others by soloists, duos, ensembles and the full chorus February 8 - 10.

Friends and Lovers Hot Air Balloon Rally
The first Valentine balloon event in Albuquerque was in 1976. This popular launch features up to 100 hot air balloons rising into the sky for two mornings over Valentine's Day weekend. Access to the park is from the northeast corner of Balloon Park. Free to watch/attend on February 9 and 10 at the Balloon Park, 5000 Balloon Parkway NE.

Valentine's Day Breakfast at Balloon Museum
The Balloon Museum will have a breakfast buffet in conjunction with the Friends and Lovers Balloon Rally. Tickets include the buffet, entertainment, and raffles with prizes that include hot air balloon rides. There will be a free shuttle service to Balloon Fiesta Park for the balloon rally. The breakfast is Saturday, February 9 at the Balloon Museum, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Adults Only Valentine's Day Tours
Three tours are available: "Birds and the Beasts," at the zoo; "Love Bugs" at the Botanic Gardens and "That's a Moray!" at the Aquarium. The tour is for adults only, 18 and older, on Saturday, February 9.

Old Town Sweetheart Stroll and Amor y Mas
Head to Old Town for a bit of romance that includes live entertainment and sweet shopping deals. This year, there will also be a group marriage ceremony, and you can registre for a FREE walk up wedding by A Celebration of Love Chapel. It's happening Saturday, February 9.

New Mexico Philharmonic Celebrates Valentine's Day
Ann Hampton Callaway is a singer and pianist who will bring her interpretations of romantic classics to the Popejoy stage. Roger Melone conducts the New Mexico Philharmonic. Hear selections from West Side Story, "What the World Needs Now," and other romantic classics on Saturday, February 9.

Chinese New Year
The Chinese Cultural Center will bring out the fireworks and put on lion and ribbon dances on Sunday, February 10. You'll get to see Kung Fu demonstrations as well. And Ta Lin market will have lion dances both February 9 and 10.

Cause of the Week

Cupid's Chase 5K Run
The Cupid's Chase run is a national 5K event that takes place in 24 cities, on the same day, at the same time. Proceeds benefit Community Options, which provides supports to people with disabilites. There will be giveaways and prizes, and of course, the chance to see balloons! Walkers are welcome. It happens at Balloon Fiesta Park, 5000 Balloon Fiesta Parkway in Albuquerque (where you can see balloons) and at 518 Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe, February 9.

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