Update (Aug. 31): The AZCentral Wine & Food Experience, Arizona Taco Festival, Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival, and Tempe Oktoberfest all canceled their 2021 fall events due to COVID-19 concerns. The Arizona Taco Festival plans to now have a spring and fall event in 2022.
While some larger events went on despite the ongoing pandemic -- Spring Training, Phoenix Open, Barrett-Jackson, and NBA Finals -- for many, it has been more than a year since smaller, community events, such as music, food, and drink festivals have been put on.
Come the fall, which is typically when event organizers can take advantage of Arizona's cooler weather, there are several festivals, events, and traveling exhibitions to check out.
LATE SUMMER EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
Aug. 26 - Nov. 28 | Immersive Van Gogh Experience - This massive immersive traveling art show makes its way to Old Town Scottsdale. It pairs huge projections and videos of Van Gogh's famous artworks, including "Starry Night" and "Sunflowers," with music and sound effects. More information
Aug. 27 - Sept. 5 | Jurassic Quest Drive-thru - A traveling drive-thru attraction that features more than 70 animatronic dinosaurs that roar and move, including a 50-foot Megalodon and an 80-foot Spinosaurus. It will be set up at Gila River Arena. More information.
Sept. 4 | CreekWest Summer Fest - On the first Saturday of the month, Frontier Town, an Old Western town in Cave Creek, the local businesses host kid's games and activities, treats, and specials. There is no admission, but food and games may have their own costs. More information.
Sept. 8 - Oct. 10 | Hamilton - Lin Manuel Miranda's Broadway hit that tells the story of Founding Father Andrew Hamilton returns to ASU Gammage for a month-long run. More information.
Sept. 12-19 | Garlic Week at Queen Creek Olive Mill - Specifics have not been revealed yet, but Garlic Week is scheduled for Sept. 12-19, 2021. The Queen Creek Olive Mill is home to 7,000 olive trees and 16 varieties of olives. You can take a tour to see how olive oil is made, buy some of their infused oils, and grab lunch or dinner at their restaurant.
Sept. 17-29 | Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market - Shop vintage and handmade goods from more than 130 artisan vendors. More information.
Set. 25 | Rockin' Taco Street Fest - Nosh on tacos, sip beer, wine, and margaritas, and listen to music at this yearly festival in downtown Chandler. After not hosting the event in 2020 due to the pandemic, the festivities are back in 2021. More information.
Oct. 1 - Nov. 1 | Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Party - Throughout the month of October, Schnepf Farms hosts its yearly fall festival with a pumpkin patch, 10-acre corn maze, pig races, live entertainment, and rides, including a spooky train ride. This year the farm will have a new ropes course. There will also be bonfires and chili dinners. More information.
Oct. 1 - Nov. 1 | Vertuccio Farm’s Fall Festival - The Mesa farm celebrates the fall with a month-long festival with a pumpkin barn, barrel train rides, petting zoo, mini-golf, live entertainment, and other activities. More information.
Oct. 9 | Peoria Country Fest - Country singer David Nail, Bayou Bandits and Ivan Harshman will headline the Peoria Country Fest, a lakeside music festival at Pleasant Harbor at Lake Pleasant. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden and live bull riding. More information.
Oct. 9 - 10 | Sedona Arts Festival - Marking its 30th year in 2021, more than 100 artists from across the country will showcase their works. There will also be live music, food, a beer and wine garden, and raffles. More information.
Oct. 14-17 | Country Thunder Arizona - Dustin Lynch, Old Dominion, Luke Combes, and Eric Church are set to headline the four-day desert music festival in Florence, Arizona. Old Dominion replaced Morgan Wallen. Meghan Patrick, Hardy, Mitchell Tenpenny, Chris Janson, Ashley McBryde, Parmalee, among others, are also scheduled to perform. More information.
Oct. 23-24 | Mesa Arts Center’s Dia De Los Muertos Festival - Celebrate "Day of the Dead" and Latin American art and culture at this free event at the Mesa Art Center. More information.
Nov. 6-7 | Phoenix Pride Parade and Festival - Phoenix Pride marks 40 years in 2021 after having to postpone its 2020 festivities due to the pandemic. This year, the Grand Marshals include past board chairs and executive directors. Neon Trees, Melanie Fiona, Jenn Cuneta, Maribel Guardia, and Los Horoscopos de Durango will headline the festival's main stages. More information.
Nov. 6 | Good Life Festival - After years at the Trilogy at Encanterra community, The Good Life Festival moves to Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek. The event was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic and is set to return in 2021. Don Felder, who served as the lead guitarist for the Eagles and launched a solo career, will headline the event. The Guess Who with Nate Nathan and Mac Daddy-O’s will also perform. More information.
Nov. 13-14 | Phoenix Pizza Festival - A pizza festival in downtown Phoenix. About 20 chefs, restaurants, and food trucks will have $2-$4 pizza slices, as well as half-pies and whole pies. There will also be music, lawn games, drinks, and vendors. More information.
Nov. 13 | AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews - A local festival that highlights beers, wines, spirits, and hard seltzers from Arizona breweries, wineries, and distilleries. More information.
Nov. 13 | Mesa Prototyping Festival - An event that features temporary and interactive art installations near the Mesa Arts Center, including a life-sized Jigsaw puzzle and shade structures. More information.
UPCOMING CONCERTS & SHOWS
Here is a look at some of the upcoming concerts and shows at Ak-Chin Pavilion, Arizona Federal Theatre, and Gila River Arena.
Aug 17. | Rise Against (Arizona Federal)
Aug. 27 | Dierks Bentley (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Aug. 29 | Megadeth and Lamb of God (Arizona Federal)
Sept. 1 | Lindsey Stirling (Arizona Federal)
Sept. 4 | Pepe Aguilar (Gila River Arena)
Sept. 8 & 9 | Styx World Tour (Celebrity Theatre)
Sept. 10 | Wynonna Judd (Celebrity Theatre)
Sept. 11 | Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo (Arizona Federal)
Sept. 12 | Counting Crows
Sept. 13 | Korn & Staind (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Sept. 16 | Lady A (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Sept. 16 | Bronco (Celebrity Theatre)
Sept. 17 | Pitbull (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Sept. 17 | KIDZ BOP Live 2021 Tour (Arizona Federal)
Sept. 19 | Modest Mouse (Arizona Federal)
Sept. 22 - Lil Baby with Lil Durk (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Sept. 24 | Luke Bryan (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Sept. 24 | Mike Epps (Gila River Arena)
Sept. 25 | John Legend (Arizona Federal)
Sept. 26 | KISS (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Sept. 30 | Jason Aldean (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Oct. 1 | Maroon 5 (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Oct. 1 | Chaka Khan (Celebrity Theatre)
Oct. 5 | Brett Young (Arizona Federal)
Oct. 7 -| Midland (Arizona Federal)
Oct. 8 | Brad Paisley (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Oct. 8 & 9 | Jim Gaffigan (Celebrity Theatre)
Oct. 9 | Banda MS (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Oct. 10 | Brothers Osborne (Arizona Federal)
Oct. 13 | 311 (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Oct. 15 | Outlaw Music Festival (Willie Nelson, the Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Lucinda Williams, IDA MAE) (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Oct. 17 | Dan + Shay (Arizona Federal)
Oct. 17 | Gladys Knight (Celebrity Theatre)
Oct. 25 | Death & Company (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Oct. 26 | Jonas Brothers (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
Oct. 30 | Chris Stapleton (Ak-Chin Pavilion)
For more schedules and shows, visit the following venues' websites: