April Festivals in Phoenix: Top 24 food, art, theatre, musical festivals to visit around the Valley

Posted at 11:00 AM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 17:46:30-04

No April Fools joke here, April is another big month for festivals around the Valley.

From Country Thunder in Florence to the Phoenix Film Festival, to the Scottsdale Culinary Festivals and Cajun Festival, event season continues in Phoenix.

Scroll down to check out what's coming up this month.


  • Country Thunder 2017 (April 6-9): Head down to Florence for a weekend of non-stop country music in the middle of the desert. Chris Young, Dierks Bentley, Thomas Rhett and Blake Shelton headline. Tickets are $160 and 60 percent of tickets are still available, as of this writing.
  • Phoenix Film Festival(April 6-13): See some of the latest works from independent filmmakers both local and national. More than 175 films screen over eight days at Harkins Scottsdale 101. Passes range from $13 - $300. 
  • The Cocktail Society Soiree (April 7): This is the inaugural year for The Cocktail Society Soiree. Those who attend will be able to sample cocktails prepared by mixologists and chef-prepared bites. Tickets are $85-$100 and benefits Scottsdale League for the Arts.
  • The Good Life Festival with Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald (April 8): Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald will headline the April 'Good Life' Festival at Encanterra Country Club. Like the one in March, the festival showcases the club's resort-style grounds, facilities, shopping and food culminating at the end with a concert. Tickets are $40 - $80.
  • Flavors of the West (April 8): Flavors of the West food festival showcases nearly 30 West Valley restaurants and chefs, while also benefiting local charities. Admission is $60 and lets you have unlimited samples of the various restaurants and five drink tickets. Games and music, too.
  • Gilbert Global Village Festival (April 8): Meet your neighbors and learn about their cultures at the Gilbert Global Village Festival. There will be performances, food and activities. This year, the festival wants attendees to decorate their bikes and ride them to the festival.
  • Phoenix Children's Festival (April 8): The inaugural Phoenix Children's Festival takes place April 8 at CityScape in downtown Phoenix. From 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., there will be various family-friend activities, kids zones, and information booths on the "health, welfare and education" of children. Disney Channel's Peyton List is scheduled to appear. Admission is $10.
  • Phoenix Lights Fest (April 8-9): Above and Beyond, Alesso, Ganja White Night, The Knocks and Shaun Frank, plus others. The festival is at Margaret T. Hance Park. Tickets are $139+.
  • Scottsdale Culinary Festival (April 8-9): During Scottsdale's Culinary Festival, local restaurants, food trucks and bars take over Civic Center Mall with bites and drinks to try. There is live music, cooking demonstrations and a high school culinary competition, which is a must-see activity. Tickets are $12-$150.
  • Lake Havasu Chili Cookoff (April 8): This event coincices with the Lake Havasu Boat Show. Chefs will compete on Saturday, April 8 with their best chili (red chili, chili verde, salsa). Tasting kits are $5 and will be on sale from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. More information on boat show. Family Fun Day is Sunday, April 9 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. There will be games, hot dogs and prizes.
  • Best of the Fest (April 9): Best of the Fest is the premiere finale for the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Eight restaurants will prepare a five-course meal, each serving two tables table-side. Tickets to this unique experience are $175 a person or $1,750 for a table of 10.
  • Maricopa County Fair (April 12-16): In April, deep-fried fair food will fill the air. Turkey legs. Corn dogs. Buckets of fries. The Maricopa County Fair is held at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.  Admission is $9. There are 35 carnival rides, plus games to keep you entertained.
  • AZ Wine and Dine (April 13): Arizona chefs and wineries will come together at the Scottsdale Quarter for a food-eating, wine-drinking festival. There will be jazz music, specialty wines and craft beers to enjoy. Tickets are $65.
  • Phoenix Improv Festival (April 20-22): Some 25 improv troupes from Arizona and across the country will visit Arizona for a weekend of improv and hopefully laughter. The festival is held at the Herberger Theatre Center. Admission varies between $10 and $20 depending on the event. 
  • Front Porch Pickins (April 21-22): Vendors will fill Chandler's Tumbleweed Park will various vintage items. Admission is $6. Doors are open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Great Southwest Cajun Fest (April 22): At the Great Southwest Cajun Fest the flavors of New Orleans come to Arizona. Think crawfish broil, shrimp, charred oysters, Po' boys and seafood mac-and-cheese from Valley eateries. Jazz music and swing bands will provide the musical entertainment. General admission is $10.
  • The Original Taste (April 22): The Executive Council 70 puts on this yearly event that benefits Executive Council Charities. The 21+ only event brings together 40 Valley restaurants and 50 wines from around the world for a premiere tasting experience. General admission is $125 and VIP is $250. Tickets will go on sale soon. Visit website for updates.
  • Nirvana at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain (April 27-30): In its inaugural year, Nirvana is a four-day premiere food festival bringing together domestic and international chefs and mixologists for various events, dinners and competitions. Events vary between $85 - $400 per person.
  • Chandler Craft Spirits Festival (April 29): More than 30 distillers will create more than 50 drink concoctions for guests to sip on at the Chandler Craft Spirits Festival. Vodka. Bourbon. Tequila. Whiskey. This year's event will be held in downtown Ocotillo. Ticket information wasn't available. Check website for updates.
  • Spring Chalk Art Festival (April 29): Watch professional artists make 8-foot 3D chalk creations. The festival takes place at Westgate Entertainment District, Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge. It's free.
  • Maricopa Home & Garden Show (April 28-30): Vendors will fill the Arizona State Fairgrounds for the spring Maricopa Home & Garden Show. Admission is $3 - $8. 
  • Arizona Arab American Festival(April 29-30): Learn about and celebrate Arab American culture at this Arizona festival. There will be live entertainment including dance and music, ethnic food and shopping. Admission is $5.