We do our fair share of joking around in Night & Day, but there are definitely issues we hold near and dear. Most of the time, we aim to alert our readers to entertaining or fun things to do, but Thursday offers an event that is important. The African American Human Rights Coalition hosts Community in Unity, a forum to rally Dallas against HIV and AIDS. Unfortunately, according to the Texas Department of Health, Dallas County "leads the state in new HIV infections." In addition to general info, the event will also deal with the recent finding that African-Americans have a higher infection rate than any other group. The AAHRC welcomes organizations, leaders and any interested people to the Penthouse, Suite 1200, 100 N. Central Expressway. Food and drink will be served. Attendees must be at least 18. Space is limited for the 5 p.m.-to-10 p.m. event. Call 214-742-2100.
Friday, July 2
The spectacle is truly disarming. In a dirt-floor arena meant for bucking bulls and calves on the run, the sight of a little kid of less than 55 pounds shakes us. But the scene turns slightly comical as the seven lucky contestants--drawn from the audience at random--don helmets for mutton bustin'. Sorry? Come again? According to the Resistol Arena folks, the sport places tiny cowboys and cowgirls on sheep in sort of a scaled-down and woolier version of bronco busting. Winners receive a Justin Boots gift certificate and gear bag. The rest of the good sports are awarded a bandanna, a buckle and a trophy. Sign up on Friday between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, Resistol Arena, 1818 Rodeo Drive, Mesquite. Mutton bustin' will continue at scheduled rodeo events through August. Call 1-800-833-9339.
Saturday, July 3
As a young nerd, one of our favorite records was Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. We would find the perfect stick with which to conduct our invisible orchestra and lower the needle onto the spinning vinyl. Our favorite part (as if we even need to say) was the big, loud, slam-bang finish with real cannons. We'd jump around, the dog would bark and Mom would get pissed but hold her tongue since she was the classical-buff who gave it to us. We doubt we'll jump around with a stick, and we certainly won't take the dog to a fireworks show, but we're ready to hear a live rendition of our old fave when the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs it (as well as some Sousa, Copland and other patriotic classics) at The Target Big OOOH! AAAH! The DSO plays at 8 p.m., and the city will provide synchronized fireworks for the finale at approximately 9:30 p.m., with the program ending by 10 p.m. The first 2,000 attendees will receive seat cushions from Target, and entry begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla Drive. Admission is free. Call 311 or 214-670-5111.
Sunday, July 4
Researching a story on motorcycle riders, we discovered that often sport bike riders and chopper riders don't get along. At Strokers Dallas, however, the bikes are parked, and motorcycle enthusiasts of all kinds mingle in Rick Fairless' biker hangout. The come-all atmosphere is especially enthusiastic among patriotic patrons at Strokers' annual Independence Weekend Celebration. The highlight is Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. when celebrity photographer Tom Zimberhoff signs copies of his best-selling collection of photos Art of the Chopper. Bikers hold Zimberhoff in high regard. "He's someone who has taken the art and self-expression of the motorcycle to a new and higher level," says Fairless. In addition to Zimberhoff and his autograph session, Strokers fans can also look forward to live music, contests and, of course, some serious bike displays throughout the day. Strokers Dallas is located at 9304 Harry Hines Blvd. Call 214-357-0707.
Monday, July 5
Listen up, parents! Call the SPCA now and see if there's still space for your 6- to 8-year-old to get into Critter Camp. It starts today, and couldn't you use some time to relax without having to remind Timmy not to pull little Furrston's tail? The half-day camp runs through Friday (9 a.m. to noon each day) with Pet Trekker Tours, games, guest speakers, a "Be Bite Free" safety talk and a last-day event called Cooking Up a Little Kindness with tasty "tweets," nutty buddies, cuckoo crumpets and more. Register at SPCA of Texas, 8529 FM 720, McKinney. The $65 fee is acceptable in cash or with a check payable to SPCA of Texas. And don't forget to get the Critter Campers' Gear List. Call 972-562-7297, ext. 135.
Tuesday, July 6
People of all walks have been inspired by the collages of Romare Bearden (Branford Marsalis even has musical pieces inspired by the artist and his work). The group of fans will widen as the GO VAN GOGH program from the Dallas Museum of Art makes its way to various libraries for Make a Memory Mural events. Children ages 6 to 12 will check out Bearden's art and then make a collage telling of their own memories. After the session, individual collages will form a mural on display together in the library. Tuesday's GO VAN GOGH arrives at Lancaster-Kiest Library, 3039 S. Lancaster Road, at 2 p.m. Registration is required as spaces are limited to 40 children. Call 214-670-1952.