Immerse yourself in community culture

Madeleine Viceconte | The Daily Wildcat A circus-themed act performs at the tenth annual Tucson Festival of Books on Saturday March 10. The festival has more than just books and provided entertaining performances for children all day.

Editor's note: This article was produced as part of the Daily Wildcat's 2018 Campus Guide -- the perfect resource for any incoming Wildcat. Whether you're trying to find important dates, looking for a club to join or are interested in UA history and traditions, we'll be there to help you get through your first semester. Welcome to the University of Arizona!  

The University of Arizona prides itself on being a leader in the arts and student engagement, and, as a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, it is home to programs that are globally recognized for their diversity and inclusion. 

From theater and dance shows to club events and campus activities, UA faculty, staff and students encourage Wildcats to get involved and partake in these opportunities.


“When a student graduates, that degree will be just one key line on the resume,” said Abra McAndrew, the assistant vice provost of student engagement. “The rest will come from student employment, student activities and organizations, research experiences, internships and other personal choices to get involved that make each student’s experience uniquely valuable.”

The Daily Wildcat is here to help students learn about everything that is available to them during their time on campus, including ways they can enrich their student life experience.

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StudyAbroad 101
Tables for the University of Arizona's 2017 Study Abroad Fair at the Student Union Memorial Center feature various study abroad programs. Study abroad opportunities are educational experiences that benefit students and can be made affordable despite sometimes daunting costs.

Campus Fairs

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, the university holds a handful of campus fairs for students to get information about programs or future events and to discover involvement opportunities at the UA. Included are the Club Fair, the Study Abroad Fair and the Career Fair.

The Club Fair is held Sept. 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the UA Mall and gives students the chance to get involved with others who share similar interests. The Study Abroad Fair, located in the Student Union Memorial Center Grand Ballroom Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., gives students a look at all the study abroad options available at the UA. 

UA Career Fairs are held throughout the semester and provide students with employment opportunities on-and off- campus. This builds hands-on experience and helps students earn some extra cash, according to the Office of Student Engagement and Career Development website. 

This fall, students can attend the Wildcat Student Employment Fair Aug. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the SUMC Grand Ballroom. This is for students who are looking for work that’s flexible and fits in with their school schedule.

Tucson Festival of Books
Visitors of the 2018 Tucson Festival of Books enjoy the booths the festival has to offer. They range from publishers to booksellers to other organizations contributing to the festival.


Another set of events the UA offers students and the community are annual festivals for disciplines ranging from music to literature and science. These events aim to engage the larger community with participation, education and outreach and includes the Tucson Festival of Books and Spring Fling.

The Festival of Books, one of the biggest book festivals in the nation, is held on campus every spring and features authors, book signings, talks, music, Science City and other literary engagement opportunities. 

UA’s Spring Fling, one of the largest student-run carnivals in the nation, is one of the UA’s most popular events and is held every April on the UA Mall, according to the Spring Fling website. Spring Fling includes carnival rides, food booths, games and live entertainment for students and community members alike.



One of the things that Tucson is known for is Second Saturdays, a community-oriented event that takes place the second Saturday of each month in downtown Tucson. Local vendors, musicians and food trucks line Congress Street and Scott Avenue with the sounds and smells of an event that should not be missed. 

Each month there is something new, including new restaurants and retailers downtown. Visit merchants for deals and enjoy outdoor music and more with fellow community members.

Tucson also hosts the Fourth Avenue Street Fair, recognized as one of the premier community celebrations in the Southwest. It is held biannually on Fourth Avenue, located a few minutes from UA campus. 

The fair is a 48-year-old tradition, which draws more than 500,000 guests each year. It takes place December 7 through 9 and again March 22 through 24. It boasts over 300 international artisans, local entertainment and confections from more than 40 food purveyors, according to the event’s website.

Other fair-like events include the Pima County Fair held in April, Tucson Meet Yourself held in October and the Tucson Folk Festival held in April.

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the loft

The Loft Cinema, a long-time Tucson favorite, is located at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd.


If fairs are too crowded for you, Tucson also hosts a monthly local short film showcase and contest called First Friday Shorts at the Loft Cinema. 

On the first Friday of each month, the contest, hosted by comedians Bridgitte Thum and Mike Stern, features submissions from all over town, including short films, documentaries and music videos —  all under 15 minutes. 

Things to do PIMA FAIR
A circus-themed act performs at the tenth annual Tucson Festival of Books on Saturday March 10. The festival has more than just books and provided entertaining performances for children all day.


Tucson is also home to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in February, with nearly 4,000 trade companies converging in Tucson to sell their gems, minerals and fossils throughout January and February.

Other events to look forward to are Cyclovia, (a city-wide bicycle festival held last April 8, though their next date is not yet determined), HOCO Fest (an event featuring more than 50 musical acts and a record fair held from Aug. 29 through Sept. 2), Dusk Music Festival (a two-day festival that features national and local musicians held Nov. 10 and 11) and the All Souls Procession in downtown Tucson, which celebrates the Day of the Dead on Nov. 4.

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