PHOENIX — Festival season is here!
From pizza and French fries to craft beer, wine, and ciders to jazz music and air stunt shows, there are dozens of food, music, and art festivals happening around the Phoenix metro over the next several months.
Whether you are looking for something to do on a weekend or have friends or family in town, we gathered as many of the top events and festivals happening in the area.
This list isn't exhaustive. We did not include every holiday-specific event, such as Easter egg hunts or St. Patrick's Day parties. We'll put out separate lists for those events later on. Some events have also not yet announced their 2020 dates so they were also not included in this list.
February 1: The Great Canadian Picnic - Celebrate all things Canadian at this yearly day-long community festival at South Mountain Park's Activity Complex. From 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., there will be a snow slide, snow golf, a snow mound, inflatable slides, a classic car show, the D-backs Street Team, Arizona Coyotes Mobile Road Tour, and food and drink. The event is free and open to the public. More information.
February 7-9: Chinese Culture & Cuisine Festival - A three-day music, food, and culture festival held at Margaret T. Hance Park that celebrates China and its people. Watch traditional Chinese dance performances, lion and dragon dances, and martial arts demonstrations. Or sample tea at a tea garden or try some Chinese-inspired cuisine from local businesses. The festival is free and open to the public. Extra costs for food, drink and some activities. More information.
February 7-9: 2020 Buckeye Air Fair - Head over to Buckeye Municipal Airport to see vintage and military airplanes up close, as well as a free two-hour air show on Saturday and Sunday (noon to 2 p.m.). There will also be demonstrations, interactive exhibitions featuring science and math skills, and a Kids Zone with a zip line, bounce house, carnival, and slides. Admission is free. Kids activity wristbands are $10. VIP tickets are available for $50-$85 and include premiere seating, parking, restrooms, and refreshments. More information.
February 8: Arizona Strong Beer Festival - Bring on the beer! More than 500 craft beers from 130 breweries will be available for people to sample at the 2020 Arizona Strong Beer Festival, which celebrates 20 years this year. In honor of that milestone, breweries have collaborated on at least 20 special brews for the festival. Tickets to this 21-and-up event start at $60, which includes 30 tastings. VIP tickets are $80 and Super VIP are $100. The festival will be held at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix. More information.
February 8: Laveen BBQ - The Laveen Community Council's Laveen BBQ festival returns to Cesar Chavez Park for its second year there. More than 100 vendors are expected to be part of the 2020 Laveen BBQ, which raises money to support youth organizations, sports and scholarships. There will also be music, games, and drinks. The event is free and open to the public. Food, drink, and rides are extra costs. More information.
February 8 - March 29: Arizona Renaissance Festival - Hear ye! Hear ye! Step back in time to the Middle Ages and enjoy a giant turkey leg, watch knights compete in jousting tournaments, and ride on some human-powered attractions at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. There are 14 stages with entertainment, a jousting arena, glass-blowing demonstrations, and a marketplace with themed toys, clothing, and food. Tickets are $18-$25 per person. Discounts available at Fry's Fodo Stores or via the fair's website. More information.
February 8-9: The Chocolate Experience - Formerly known as Glendale's Chocolate Affaire, the reimagined "Chocolate Experience" will be held at the Glendale Civic Center this year. Organizers said the event will be smaller, more intimate and have a selected number of chocolatiers, confectioners, and performances. There will also be wine and chocolate pairings. The event is free and open to the public. Food, candy, and treats are extra costs. There will also be a free shuttle to the Glendale-based Cerreta Candy Company, where people will be able to go on a free tour of the candy store. More information.
February 8-9: Street Eats Food Truck Festival - From lobster rolls and barbecue, to pizza, burgers, poutine and crepes, more than 55 food trucks will be part of the 2020 Street Eats Food Truck Festival. Each truck will serve most of its menu, as well as a $2 sample item. Admission is $12 and all food and drink are additional costs. VIP tickets are available for $60 and include some drink and food tickets. There will also be live bands, cooking classes, and lawn games. More information.
February 8-9: Old Town Scottsdale Western Week (Parada del Sol Parade, Trail's End Festival, Arizona Indian Festival) - Experience a taste of the Old West during Old Town Scottsdale's "Western Week." There are multiple activities planned throughout the week, but the main ones are the Parada del Sol Parade (Feb. 8), followed by the Trail's End Festival (Feb. 8). The festival will have food and drink vendors, entertainment, a petting zoo, live music, mariachi, Ballet Folklorico, and a kids area. Admission is free. Food, drink and activities have separate costs. More information.
February 15: Arizona Diamondbacks Fan Fest - D-backs fans can meet some of their favorite players, get autographs, and take photos at the team's yearly Fan Fest event. The event runs 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Chase Field. There will also be a Q&A session with current players and executives, baseball activities and tours of the D-backs' clubhouse. The Sandlot playground, batting cages, and whiffle ball games will also be open for kids. Admission is free, but people need to register, here.
February 15: Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest - A Mardi Gras-inspired food festival in downtown Chandler with local restaurants serving shrimp, gumbo, po' boys, and fried catfish. More than a dozen restaurants will be at the festival, organizers said. Abita Brewing Company, a New Orleans-based brewery, will also have some of its beers available in draft and cans. There will be live music, eating contests, lawn games, a photo booth, and a kids area. Admission is $8-$12. "Big Easy Lounge" tickets are $45-$55 and include four drinks, private restrooms, and unlimited soft drinks, water, and snacks. More information.
February 15: Sweets Festival - For those with a sweet tooth, the Sweets Festival should probably be at the top of the list. The festival will be held at Gilbert Civic Center park and vendors will have an assortment of sugary treats, including cotton candy tacos, fudge, cupcakes, "freak shakes," and funnel cakes. There will also be a pie-eating contest and a doughnut-eating contest. Tickets are $7. Kids 12 and younger are free. Food, drink, and activities are additional costs. More information.
February 15-17: Arizona Cocktail Weekend -A weekend of special events at various restaurants, bars, and venues around the Valley showcasing local, national, and international spirits, cocktails, and bartenders. The main three events are Cocktail Carnival, a kickoff party featuring cocktails from 30 brands (Feb. 15), Top Bars, an event that featured pop-ups of national and international bars (Feb. 16), and Last Slinger Standing, a local bartending competition (Feb. 17). Most events have separate costs and admission. View website for the full schedule. More information.
February 15-17: Slide 'n Ride Family Festival - Odysea in the Desert, the entertainment complex near the Loop 101 and Via de Ventura, is hosting a family-friendly festival over Presidents' Day weekend with carnival rides and inflatable slides. Daily activity passes are $5. A weekend pass is $10. More information.
February 15-16: Arizona Veg Food Fest + Symposium - A two-day food festival focused on plant-based foods and products. It will be held at the Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater in Old Town Scottsdale. There will be chef demonstrations, speakers, yoga, kids activities, vendors, and entertainment. Tickets are $20-$30. VIP tickets are $75. Discounted tickets available for students, seniors, and military members. More information.
February 21-23: The Great Fair of Fine Arts & Crafts - Those looking to add some fine art to their homes or collections may want to attend the spring Great Fair of Fine Arts & Crafts. The yearly event draws nearly 500 fine-art artists and artisans to Fountain Hills. There will also be food vendors and a beer garden. Admission and parking are free. More information.
February 21 - March 24: Cactus League Spring Training - Let's play ball! For the next four weeks, fifteen teams will play a whole bunch of baseball games at 10 stadiums across the Valley. Cactus League teams include Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers. Ticket prices vary by team. Make sure to check the complete schedule and teams' websites for specifics. More information.
February 22-23: Arizona Matsuri Festival of Japan - Celebrate and learn about Japanese culture at this yearly two-day food and musical festival at Steele Indian School Park. There will be Japanese exhibits on display, demonstrations, arts and crafts, Bonsai tree displays, Japanese cuisine, beer, and sake, and live entertainment. Admission is free. Food, drink and activities have additional costs. More information.
February 22 & 23 - Devour Culinary Classic: Perhaps the premier all-inclusive foodie event in the Valley, the Devour Culinary Classic brings together chefs from restaurants and hotels for a day of unlimited sampling of food, cocktails, and wine. The event returns this year to the Desert Botanical Garden. Tickets to each day of the festival run $105 per person. VIP tickets are $205. The event typically sells out. More information.
February 22: Brunch Bash - Those looking to "brunch" with friends in a festival environment may be interested in the 2020 Brunch Bash. According to the website, there will be loaded mimosas, bloody Mary's, breakfast tacos, and chicken and waffles. Admission is $8-$10. VIP is $90-$100. Food and drink are additional costs. Civic Spark Park does not have a parking lot. However, it is near a light rail platform, metered parking, and paid lots. More information.
February 27 - March 1: Lost Dutchman Days - Lost Dutchman Days is a yearly weekend festival in Apache Junction that consists of a parade, rodeo, carnival, and dance. Some of the events happen on specific days, while others, such as the carnival, go on for the entire weekend. Costs and admission vary so you will want to check the website for specific event details. More information.
February 29: Chili Bourbon & Beer Festival - Love chili? Bourbon? Beer? Country music? Then the third annual Chili Bourbon & Beer Festival in downtown Chandler may be one event to add to your list. Local chefs will compete in a chili competition, there will be more than a dozen bourbons to sample, plus live music, backyard games, and eating competitions. Admission is $10-$15. "Sampler" tickets, which include six bourbon tastings, are $30. Food and drink are additional costs. More information.
February 29: PHX Vegan Food Festival - More than 100 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, bakeries, food trucks, and businesses will be part of the fifth PHX Vegan Food Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. There will also be vegan-friendly wine, beer, and cocktails available, chef demonstrations and presentations, a "Zen Zone" with yoga classes, and live music. New this year, the event has added evening activities, such as electric light shows, LED and glow performances, and black light chalk art and face paint. Tickets are $29-$35. VIP tickets are $69. Kids 12 and younger are free. Food and drink are additional costs. More information.
February 29: Cave Creek Craft Beer Festival - More than 30 breweries, kombucha makers, and cideries are expected to be part of the first-ever Cave Creek Craft Beer Festival, according to the event's website. The festival will be held at Stagecoach Village. Admission is $45, which includes 20 tasting tickets. VIP tickets are available for $60. Food will be available for purchase. More information.
February 29 - March 1: Tempe Innings Festival - Dave Matthews Band and Weezer will headline one of two days at the Innings Festival, the baseball-themed music festival held at Tempe Beach Park. Death Cab For Cutie, Portugal. The Man, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and O.A.R. have also been tapped to perform. Former MLB players Ryan Dempster, Jake Peavy, Bret Saberhagen, Rick Sutcliffe, and Trevor Hoffman will also be part of the event. There will also be baseball activities, food, and drinks. Single-day tickets start at $99 and two-day passes start at $159. VIP tickets also available. More information.
February 29 - March 1: Folk & Heritage Festival - A two-day festival that celebrates the history and heritage of folk music. There will be five stages with folk and Bluegrass performances, cowboy poetry, and workshops to teach people how to play spoons, saws, ukuleles, and the harmonica. The yearly festival is held at Historic Sahuaro Ranch and Glendale Main Public Library. Admission is free. More information.
February 29 - March 1: Tres Rios Nature Festival - Kids and families can fish, practice archery, or go canoeing during the Tres Rios Nature Festival, a free two-day event held at the Base and Meridian Wildlife Area in Avondale. People can also go on guided bird tours or stay for a sunset concert. Admission is free and Arizona Game & Fish will provide canoes and fishing poles. The zip line has a separate fee. More information.
March 2-3: Polish Festival - Learn about Polish culture and sample dishes from Polish cuisine during this two-day festival. It is held at Our Lady of Czestochowa. According to the website, people can expect pierogi bar, crepes, cabbage rolls, stew, sausage and sauerkraut. There will also be dance performances. Admission and parking are free. Food and drink are additional costs. More information.
March 6-8: McDowell Mountain Music Festival - Bon Iver and Rufus Du Sol have been tapped to headline this year's McDowell Mountain Music Festival at Margaret T. Hance Park. The yearly festival is a nonprofit festival and donates some of its proceeds to local charities and organization. Other acts on the music lineup include Stick Figure, The Growlers, Lany, and Local Natives. The festival also has live artists creating works throughout the festival, a marketplace, food and drink vendors, yoga, a drum circle, and a silent disco. Daily passes start at $80 and weekend passes are $150. VIP tickets are also available. Kids 10 and younger are free. More information.
March 6-8: NASCAR at Phoenix Raceway - Get ready, race fans! NASCAR's spring race at Phoenix Raceway (note the new name, ISM Raceway is out) will take place Nov. 6-8, 2020. It weekend will start with the ARCA Menards Series on Friday, the XFINITY Series 200 on Saturday, and the NASCAR FanShield 500 on Sunday. The Avondale racetrack underwent a multi-million renovation in recent years and completely overhauled the infield. Tickets vary for each race and range from $10-$42. Infield passes (an upgrade option) vary between $30-$119, depending on the race. Looking ahead to November, Phoenix Raceway will host the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. More information.
March 6-8: Maricopa County Home and Landscape Show - Whether you're looking to spruce up the home or yard this spring or summer, dozens of businesses and vendors will be at State Farm Stadium for the Maricopa County Home and Landscape Show. Admission is $2 for kids and $8 for adults. More information.
March 7: Melrose on 7th Avenue Street Fair - Head on down to the Melrose District during its annual street fair to check out the district's arts galleries, restaurants, bars, and artists. More than 25,000 people attended last year's event, which also has live music, a reptile show and exhibit, BMX and scooter shows, and a classic car show. Admission and parking are free. Food, drink, art, and some activities may have an extra fee. More information.
March 7: Maricopa Salsa Festival - Salsa makers will compete during the 16th Maricopa Salsa Festival for cash prizes. The festival will once again be held at the Copper Sky Recreation Complex in Maricopa, which is about 30 minutes south of Phoenix. The salsas will be judged in a double-blind competition. Details on admission were not yet posted online. More information.
March 7 & 8: Heard Museum Indian Fair & Market - Visit the Heard Museum for one of the museum's signature events. Native American artists will showcase their works along the museum's grounds. There will also be cultural performances and dances. People can also explore the museum's galleries, explore the gift shop, or grab a bite to eat at one of its cafes. Admission to the fair is $10-$25. Parking is free. More information.
March 13-15: Scottsdale Arts Festival - A three-day arts, music, and food festival set in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale -- Scottsdale's Civic Center Plaza. Specific entertainment details have not been announced yet on its website, but people can expect live music and hands-on activities. Admission is $10. A weekend pass is $16. Food and drink are extra costs. More information.
March 13-15: Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival - People will be able to jam and dance to the 90s when 98 Degrees and Blues Traveler make their way to Chandler's Tumbleweed Park to headline the annual Ostrich Festival. 98 Degrees is scheduled to perform on Friday and Blues Traveler will perform on Saturday. The act for Sunday hasn't been revealed yet (as of this writing). The yearly festival has carnival games and rides, food and drink, and, of course, an ostrich exhibit, which pays tribute to the city's historic ostrich farming roots. Admission is $8-$15. VIP tickets are also available. Rides, food, and drink are additional costs. More information.
March 14 & 15: Italian Festival of Arizona - A two-day festival that celebrates Italy's music, food, and culture. This year, the festival moved to the Warehouse District in downtown Phoenix. It will be located on Jackson Street between Fourth and First Streets. People will be able to buy and try authentic Italian food and listen to Italian music and live entertainment. There will also be Italian artwork on display and a car show. Admission is $15-$20. Kids 12 and younger are free. Food and drink are additional costs. More information.
March 14 & 15: Arizona Aloha Festival - Experience a taste of Hawaii at this two-day festival at Tempe Beach Park. There will be Hawaiian food, hula dance performances, and other live entertainment. Admission is free. Food and drink are additional costs. More information.
March 14: Downtown Mesa Brew Fest - Spend an afternoon in downtown Mesa sampling more than a dozen local breweries, restaurants and food trucks, and listen to live music at this yearly spring event. Admission is free. Beer, cocktails, and food are available for purchase. More information.
March 14: St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Faire - Pull out all the green hats, shirts, and jackets from the closets and head down to one of the largest St. Patrick's Day festivals in the Valley. The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. near Third and Sheridan in downtown Phoenix. Then follows the St. Patrick's Day Faire at Margaret T. Hance Park where there will be three stages with live music and entertainment, Irish step-dancing, bagpipe players, and, of course, food and drink. The parade is free to watch. Admission to the festival is $8-$12. Food and drink are additional costs. Those 12 and younger are free. More information.
March 14: Irish Fountain Fest, ShamRock the Hills - Fountain Hills will turn its famous water fountain green twice (noon & 4 p.m.) during its yearly St. Patrick's Day event. The event will have a Celtic rock band, beer garden, food trucks, and a kid's zone. Admission and parking are free. Food, drink, and activities all have their own costs. More information.
March 21: Gilbert Pizza Festival - The founders behind the Phoenix Pizza Festival have decided to expand their pizza festival to the East Valley. Fifteen pizza makers will be part of the inaugural Gilbert Pizza Festival, which will be held at Gilbert Civic Center Plaza. Each restaurant will serve $2-$4 pizza slices, as well as whole pies. There will also be live music, lawn games, and a kids craft area. Admission is $10. There is no entry fee for kids 12 and younger. Food and drinks are additional costs. More information.
March 21: Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival - Love bao? Then the Arizona Bao and Dumpling Festival may want to be put on the radar. Restaurants and food trucks will have different types of bao at this food festival, plus boba tea and other Asian dishes. Each business will have at least one steamed bun for $5 or less, according to the event's website. Pricing of other dishes will vary. There will also be games and a marketplace where vendors will have goods for sale. Admission is $4-$13. There is no entry fee for kids six and younger. Food and drink are separate costs. More information.
March 21: The Gem City Sours & Ciders Festival - People will be able to sample sour beers and ciders from nearly two dozen local and regional breweries and cideries. The 21-and-up event will be held outside Cider Corps in downtown Mesa. There will also be food trucks and music. Admission is $35, which includes 20 tastings. VIP tickets are available for $50. More information.
March 21 & 22: Luke Days 2020 - Head to Luke Air Force Base for its free biennial air show. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue demonstrations are scheduled to perform at this year's event, which runs March 21 & 22. Desert Rats, Eric Tucker, Kirby Chambliss, and Shockwave are also scheduled to perform. People will also be able to see static displays of military aircraft, including the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F-35A Lightning II. Admission is free, but VIP tickets are available for $42-$225. More information.
March 21 & 22: Arizona Arab American Festival - A two-day festival that celebrates Arab American and Middle Eastern food, music, and culture. The festival will be held at Steele Indian School Park this year. Besides food and drink, there will be singers, musicians, and dance performances, a marketplace, and a Kids Zone with inflatables, rides, and slides. Admission is $5 between 4 p.m. - 6 p.m., and $10 after 6 p.m. Kids under 10 are free. Food and drink are additional costs. More information.
March 26 - April 5: Phoenix Film Festival - The Phoenix Film Festival is billed as the largest film festival in Arizona. Nearly 300 films are screened at the festival. This year's lineup has not yet been announced, but the festival runs March 26 - April 5 and is housed at Harkins Theatre Scottsdale 101 off Mayo Blvd. More information.
March 27-29: Tempe Festival of the Arts - More than 300 artists set up booths along Tempe's Mill Avenue for this yearly spring festival (it also happens in the fall). There is also live music, street performances, food trucks, and a beer and wine garden. If you get hungry, there are dozens of restaurants along Mill Avenue to try. Admission is free. There are costs for food, drinks, and any art you choose to buy. More information.
March 28 & 29: Anthem Days - A community festival in Anthem with a carnival, live music and entertainment, a business expo, egg hunt, and a kids area with inflatables. Admission and parking are free. Food, drink, and activities are additional costs. More information.
March 28 & 29: Arizona Dragon Boat Festival - Head over to Tempe to watch dozens of teams of paddlers compete in dragon boat races along Tempe Town Lake. It is free to watch the boat races. There will also be booths, entertainment, and food at the festival. Food is an additional cost. More information.
March 28: 102.5 KNIX Barbecue & Beer Festival - What goes together better than country music, barbecue, and beer? The Chandler barbecue festival has a new name -- 102.5 KNIX Barbecue & Beer Festival -- and moves from downtown Chandler to Tumbleweed Park this year. Country singers Lee Brice, Craig Morgan, Locash, and Caylee Hammack will headline the festival. There will also be vendors and food trucks offering beer, cocktails, and an array of smoked meats and dishes topped with barbecue sauce. Admission is $15-$20. VIP is $125. Food and drink are separate costs. More information.
March 28: Shea Homes Good Life Festival - America, Don Felder, The Guess Who, and Nate Nathan & The MacDaddy O's have been tapped to perform at the Shea Homes Good Life Festival, which moves to Schnepf Farms in 2020. Tickets start at $50. Reserved seats are $75-$95. More information.
March 28: African Fest USA - Held at Tempe's Kiwanis Park, African Fest USA will showcase authentic African cuisine, culture, fashion, and performances. Activities include dance and drum lessons, a fashion show, a marketplace with traditional spices, art, and clothing, and a free kid's area. Admission is $5-$20. VIP is available for $100. More information.
April 1-5: Arizona Bike Week - Bike enthusiasts will shine up their hogs and hit the roads of Arizona for the annual week-long event at WestWorld of Scottsdale. Blackberry Smoke, Jackyl, The Offspring, and Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform each night. Individual tickets are $31-$39, depending on the concert. A week-long pass is $68. There is no entry fee on Sunday. More information.
April 3 & 4: Chandler Jazz Festival - From smooth jazz to the blues to fusion rhythm, there is plenty of music to be heard at the Chandler Jazz Festival, one of the city's signature events. The free two-day festival will feature an array of performances in downtown Chandler. There will also be an art walk and street marketplace. Hungry? There are several restaurants within walking distance of the park. Admission is free. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs. More information.
April 4 & 5: Phoenix Pride Parade & Festival: Members of the LGTBQ+ community and allies will gather in Phoenix for a festival focused on tolerance and acceptance. Phoenix Pride celebrates 40 years in 2020. The event's headliners have not yet been announced (as of this writing), but the event typically have 150 performances across six stages, a dance area, kids area, and a number of food and drink vendors. The Phoenix Price parade starts at 10 a.m. on April 4. The parade is free. Festival Admission is $30-$35 a day. A weekend pass is $50. More information.
April 4: Taco Fest at Salt River Fields - Calling all taco lovers, a new taco festival is headed to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Taco Fest is a one-day event focused on tacos, tamales, tequila, and tango. Organizers said more than 30 restaurants, food trucks, and chefs will have tacos and tamales available for $3. There will also be tango lessons, Lucha Libre (professional Mexican wrestling), and a "Tiny Taco Dog" beauty pageant. General admission is $12-$15. VIP (or primo tickets) are $80 and available online. Food and drink are separate costs. More information.
Not to be confused with the Arizona Taco Fest, that festival moved from Salt River Fields to WestWorld of Scottsdale last year. There is also the Rockin' Taco Street Fest in Chandler.
April 15-19: Maricopa County Fair - The fair is back in town! Headed to the Arizona State Fairgrounds for carnival rides and games, turkey legs and other deep-fried sweet treats, and livestock competitions. There will also be live entertainment and shows. Admission is $9. Kids under eight are free. All shows are the fair are included with admission. Parking at the Arizona State Fairgrounds is $10 per vehicle. More information.
April 16-19: Country Thunder Music Festival - Dustin Lynch, Luke Combs, Kane Brown, and Eric Church will headline the 2020 Country Thunder Music Festival in Florence, Arizona. Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, Russell Dickerson, Gabby Barrett, and Chicks With Hits will also perform at the four-day festival. Passes range from $75-$600 for a daily pass, weekend passes, and VIP passes. More information.
April 16-19: Nirvana Food & Wine Festival - The high-end, premiere food festival will once again return to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa for its fourth year. The festival brings local and national chefs to the Valley. Local chefs expected to be there include Scott Conant, Danny Grant, Beau MacMillan, Russel Lacasce, Tamara Stanger, Rich Honojosa, and Lisa Dahl. As of this writing, some events have sold out. More information.
April 18: FRIED French Fry & Music Festival - From California burritos to French fry tacos to fry pizza, the FRIED festival is one for lovers of fried potatoes. The festival returns to Margaret T. Hance Park for its second year. Chefs, restaurants, and food trucks will serve French fry-inspired dishes for $2-$3 each. Admission to the festival is $10-$15. Food and drink are additional costs. More information.
April 18: Scottsdale Culinary Festival - As its name suggests, food is the highlight of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Restaurants, hotels, and food trucks will showcase their menus at Scottsdale's Civic Center mall. There will be also be live music, beer and cocktails, and chef demos. Specific details about this year's festival have not been released yet. More information.
April 18: My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge - This event is one for the salsa lovers in the family. Local restaurants and salsa makers will have booths around Sloan Park in Mesa, the Spring Training home of the Chicago Cubs, where people can taste an unlimited number of salsas, from sweet and mild to hot and spicy. People will then be able to vote for their favorite. There is an entry fee, but those details were not yet available, as of this writing. The event also benefits Arizona Bleeding Disorders, which was formerly known as the Arizona Hemophilia Association. More information.
April 25: Arizona Craft Spirits & Cocktail Festival - Those looking for some spirited fun may want to check out the Arizona Craft Spirits & Cocktail Festival in downtown Chandler. From vodka to whiskey and bourbon, people will be able to sample spirits, wines, and beers from different distilleries, breweries, and wineries. There will be a tiki lounge and a speakeasy, too (password required). The event is 21-and-up only. Admission is $28, which includes tasting tickets. VIP tickets are also available. More information.
May 15-24: Arizona Restaurant Week - During Arizona Restaurant Week, several restaurants offer three-course meals for either $33 or $44 a person. It is a great way to experience a favorite restaurant or try a new restaurant or one you've been wanting to try for a while. More information.
May 21-24: Phoenix Fan Fusion - A four-day movie and pop-culture convention where people dress up in cosplay, attend panels, and have a chance to get autographs and/or photos with actors, actresses, and directors from their favorite movies and TV shows. As of this writing, celebrity guests that have been announced include actress Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek, Voyager and Orange Is The New Black), Tim Tuss (Star Trek), Jason Faunt (Power Rangers Time Force), and Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Memberships (tickets) range from $10 for kids to $35 a day. Weekend passes are also available. More information.