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Fall Festivals in Phoenix 2019: 60+ festivals and events not to miss in the Valley

Posted: 10:21 AM, Sep 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-15 12:22:45-04
Phoenix Pizza Festival

PHOENIX — From beer, pizza, and doughnuts to beer stein-holding competitions, tacos, art showcases, and country music, there are a lot of events and festivals happening around Phoenix this fall.

We've gathered as many events as we could find. Take a look below and start planning out your weekends. Did I miss one? Send me an email and let me know.

Oct. 4 - 27 - Arizona State Fair: Can you smell the deep-fried Twinkies and turkey legs yet? The Arizona State Fair is back in town. From the food and rides to the shows and nightly concerts, there is a lot to do at the fairgrounds. This year's concert lineup includes Billy Currington, Lee Brice, Trace Adkins, Becky G., The Cult, Stryper, Awolnation, and Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo. Thrill-seekers can test their fear on Titan, a 160-foot pendulum-style ride, and the newest attraction at the fair. More information.

Oct. 4-6 - A Taste of Greece: St. Katherine Church in Chandler becomes a mini Greek Village during its yearly three-day festival. People can try Greek food, buy imported Greek goods, and watch folk dancing. There will also be kids activities. Admission is $5. You can also get one free admission ticket here. More information.

Oct. 5 - Gilbert Oktoberfest: More than a dozen restaurants, food trucks, and breweries will have food and drinks for sale at the inaugural Gilbert Oktoberfest being held at the Civic Center Plaza. Restaurants and breweries expected to be there include Eur Haus Food Truck, The Brass Tap, Arizona Wilderness Brewing, 12 West Brewing, Desert Monk Brewing, Flying Basset Brewing, OHSO, Uncle Bears, and Four Silos. Ken Levine's Funkhaus Brass Band, The Black Moods, and 2 Tone Lizard Kings will be the live entertainment. There will also be stein holding competitions and Bavarian dancing. More information.

Oct. 5 - Litchfield Park Oktoberfest: People will be able to drink German beer and eat German-inspired food at Litchfield Park's Oktoberfest event, which will be held at The Wigwam. There will be lawn games, kids activities, live music, and a polka competition. Tickets are $15. More information.

Oct. 5 - Scottstoberfest: Samuel Adams has sponsored an Oktoberfest-type event at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. According to an online flier, there will be music, entertainment, stein-holding competitions, and a corn hole tournament. Tickets are $5. More information.

Oct. 5 - New Belgium Tour de Fat: New this year, New Belgium's Tour de Fat bike ride and festival is free (admission was $15 in 2018). The costume bike ride is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and will end at Tempe Beach Park where New Belgium will hold a festival. People can expect live music, comedy acts, cirque performers, a pedal-powered float contest, and beer. More information.

Oct. 5 - SlopeArts Art on the Canal: One of the newest fall events in the Valley, SlopeArts' "Art on the Canal" looks to highlight the art and food scenes in Sunnyslope, Arizona. People can walk along the Arizona Canal and through Herberger One Park where artists will showcase their works and perform demonstrations, while local chefs, restaurants and coffee shops will have food and drinks for sale. The event is free. More information.

Oct. 5 & 6 - My Jurassic Adventure: Step back in time and walk among the dinosaurs. Some 50 realistic dinosaurs will be on display, including baby dinosaurs. There will also be dinosaur-themed bounce houses, a fossil dig attraction, and a virtual reality roller coaster-type ride. Tickets start at $26. More information.

Oct. 10-13 - Peoria Film Fest: Movie lovers will be able to watch a variety of independent and upcoming movie releases at the second Peoria Film Fest. The festival, which is considered to be a sibling of the Phoenix Film Festival, will be held at the Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18. Movies start at $10. Weekend passes are also available. More information.

Oct. 11-13 - Four Peaks Tempe Oktoberfest: Grab the Lederhosen and head out to Tempe Beach Park for the 47th Four Peaks Tempe Oktoberfest. There will be three stages with live music and polka dancing, Four Peaks beer, Bavarian-style food, carnival with rides and treats, a soccer tournament, and Dachshund races. There is no entry fee to the festival, but beer, food, and carnival rides are all additional costs. More information.

Oct. 11-13 - Phoenix Greek Festival: Billed as one of the longest-running festivals in the Valley, the Phoenix Greek Festival returns to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral for its 59th Phoenix Greek Festival. People will be able to eat Greek food, such as gyros, baklava, and spanakopita; take dance lessons; and shop at a market. There will also be a kids area with "carnival-like" games. Admission is $5. More information.

Oct. 12 & 13 - Arizona Taco Festival: Taco lovers will be able to sample tacos from more than 50 restaurants and food trucks. There will also be a tequila tasting area, a hot sauce area, Lucha Libre, music, and a hot sauce eating contest. This year's festival will be held at WestWorld of Scottsdale. Admission is $15. Each business will have a $3 taco for sale. More information.

Oct. 17-20 - Avondale's Billy Moore Days: Named after its founder, this four-day festival celebrates the history of Avondale. The events include a parade, carnival, dancing, music, food, and a fire hose barrel wars between fire departments. More information.

Oct. 18-20 - Maricopa County Home and Garden Show: TV personality Martha Stewart is the featured guest at the fall Maricopa County Home and Garden Show. She'll have two shows and talk about her friendship with Snoop Dogg. The show will also have wine tasting, tips to update one's kitchen, how to make bath bombs, and chalkboard art. Admission is $10 and parking is $5. More information.

Oct. 19 - Peoria Country Music Fest: Dust off those cowboy boots for the first-ever Peoria Country Music Fest. Held at Lake Pleasant Harbor, the event will feature four bands -- Hillbilly Deluxe, Chad Freeman, Josh Roy, and Rob West -- along with food trucks, a beer garden, and bull riding. Tickets are $15-$20. Parking is $10. More information.

Oct. 19 - Southwest Cider Fest: Held outside Cider Corps in Mesa, Arizona, people can sample different ciders from local and national cideries, including Stoic Cider (Prescott), Desert Cider Co. (Chandler), Crush Craft Cider Co. (Tempe), and Cider Corps. There will also be ciders from cideries in California, Texas, Washington, Colorado, and New York. Tickets are $35-$50. More information.

Oct. 19 - Goodyear Fall Festival: Bring your family to the Goodyear Ballpark for fall fun. There will be a pumpkin patch, fall food, train rides, and a costume competition. Kids can get a head start on trick or treating at the "Trick or Treat Village." Parking and admission are free. Some activities may require a separate fee. More information.

Oct. 19 & 20 - Anthem's Autumnfest: Join the Anthem community for a two-day festival celebrating the cool Arizona temperatures and hot drinks we all love. Pick pumpkins, enjoy a carnival, and listen to live music - all for free! Buy autumn-themed arts and crafts from the vendors on site. Admission and parking are free. More information.

Oct. 25 & 26: Strange Garden at Desert Botanical Garden: People can creep through the Desert Botanical Garden and see pumpkin carvings, vignettes, and animal sculptures, part of the "Wild Rising" installation. Kids are encouraged to dress up in costume (those 12 and younger will be able to take a pumpkin home). There will also be a dance party. The event is included with garden admission, which varies between $13-$25. More information.

Oct. 25 & 26 - Spooktacular Hot Air Balloon Festival: Families can get a head start on trick-or-treating at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. More than 20 tethered hot air balloons will glow on the fields and 4,000+ pounds of candy will be passed out. There will also be music, food trucks, a haunted trail, tethered hot air balloon rides, and fireworks. Tickets are $15. More information.

Oct. 25 & 26 - Howl-O-Ween: Whether people are looking for happy haunts or scary haunts, the Phoenix Zoo will have both during its Howl-O-Ween event. For those looking for less scary activities, the zoo will have a funhouse maze, meet and greets with princesses and superheroes, science experiments with Dr. Howl's Science Lab, and a festival carousel. Those looking for scary haunts can watch videos and listen to recordings from the Arizona Paranormal Society, walk along the Zombie Toxic Trail, or check out the Cryptid Museum. Admission is $10 for members and $13 for non-members. Some activities require additional fees. More information.

Oct. 26 - Halloween Monster Bash: A family-friendly Halloween festival at Peoria's Sports Complex. There will be trick-or-treating, a costume parade, inflatables and activities, carnival games, a rock wall, and crafts. Admission is free. Some activities may require an additional fee. A donation of canned food for St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance is encouraged. More information.

Oct. 26 - Scottsdale Fall Festival: Eldorado Park will be transformed into a festive fall festival to celebrate the 50th Scottsdale Fall Festival. There will be 25 game booths, a haunted forest, 10 inflatables, food vendors, and kids activities. Wristbands are $5-$10. More information.

Oct. 26 - Dia de los Muertos Festival: Celebrate Latin American culture and the "Day of the Dead" at this free festival at the Mesa Arts Center. There will be Latin American food, art demonstrations, live performances, family activities, and a market. More information.

Oct. 26 - Herberger Theater Festival of the Arts: A community performing arts festival in downtown Phoenix. Attendees can expect performances from 25 arts organizations on two stages, kids activities, food, beer, and wine tasting. More information.

Oct. 27 - Free Annual Family Fun Halloween Bash: Odysea in the Desert and Family Fun Arizona are hosting a free Halloween-themed party at the Scottsdale-area complex. There will be trick-or-treating around the complex, bounce houses and slides, costume contest, and live entertainment. More information.

Oct. 27 - Grape Arizona Wine Festival: Held at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix, attendees will be able to sample wine and beer, plus small bites from local restaurants. The charity event benefits Phoenix Rotary Club Charities. Tickets start at $65. More information.

Nov. 1 & 2 - Gilbert Off The Street Festival: Take in Arizona's fall temperatures and walk around downtown Gilbert's Heritage District for a street-side art festival. There will be street performers, food trucks, local restaurants, music, and kids activities. More information.

Nov. 1-3 - American Lebanese Festival: A three-day festival with Lebanese food, dancing, and music. It is held at the Saint Joseph Maronite Catholic in Phoenix. Admission is $3. More information.

Nov. 1-10 - Scottsdale International Film Festival: A 10-day showcase featuring award-winning and independent movies. This year's movie list, as well as pricing, is expected to be announced in October. More information.

Nov. 2 - Bacon, Blues and Brews: Does it get any better? People can sample bacon dishes from local restaurants, drink a beer, and listen to blues tunes at this outdoor festival in Queen Creek. Held at Founder's Park, there will also be a kids area with inflatables. Tickets start at $12. More information.

Nov. 2 - Arizona Fall Fest: A free festival at Margaret T. Hance Park showcasing Arizona businesses, restaurants, bars, and musicians. Nearly 200 business will have booths set up. People will be able to eat food from local restaurants and drink beer, wine, and cocktails from Arizona-based wineries, breweries, distilleries, and bars. There will also be kids games and activities. More information.

Nov. 2 - Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championship: Head to WestWorld of Scottsdale to watch the Arizona Polo Club take on Centtrip Wales Polo Club and the Aspen Valley Polo, the defending champions, take on the Royal Berkshire Polo Club. There is more to the event than the Polo matches. Local restaurants and clubs have sponsored tents with activities; ASU will play a rugby match; Barrett-Jackson will preview some of its 2020 docket; and people can watch a dog fashion show. Tickets start at $15. More information.

Nov. 2 - Phoenix New Times Novembeer event: Spend the afternoon in downtown Phoenix sampling beer from nearly 50 breweries. Local restaurants will have snacks and food for sale. Tickets are $30-$50. More information.

Nov. 2 - On Tap Beer and Bourbon Festival: Sloan Park in Mesa, the Spring Training home of the Chicago Cubs, will host a beer and bourbon festival in November. Festival-goers will be able to try thirty breweries and distilleries, including Four Peaks, Estrella Jalisco, and Goose Island. Tickets are $40-$80. More information.

Nov. 2 & 3 - Rainbows Festival: The Rainbows festival is the second largest LGBTQ+ event in the state of Arizona, only beat by the Phoenix Pride Parade. Food trucks, street performers, and a drag show help showcase the diversity of Arizona's community. The event is free. More information.

Nov. 2 & 3 - AZCentral Food and Wine Experience: Food Network TV personality Alex Guarnaschelli, Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski, and Brie and Nikki Bella are scheduled to host meet and greets and special tastings during this two-day culinary event at Salt River Fields. Attendees can sample dishes from dozens of Arizona restaurants and businesses. Tickets start at $50. More information.

Nov. 2 & 3 - Día de Los Muertos Celebration: The Desert Botanical Garden will celebrate "Day of the Dead" with traditional music, dancing, and arts and crafts. A traditional procession will be held in the evening each day. It is included with garden membership or admission, which varies between $13-$25. More information.

Nov. 3 - Dio de Los Muertos Festival: Known as "Day of the Dead," this Mexican holiday celebrates the memory of those who have died. There will be community ofrendas (altars) outside St. Mary's Basilica church where people can place a 5x7 photo of a family member or friend who has passed away. There will also be mariachi music, ballet folklorico performances, a Lowrider car show, artisan market, and kids activities. Admission is free. More information.

Nov. 8 - Pancakes and Booze Phoenix: Based in Los Angeles, the underground pop-up art show makes it way back to The Duce in Phoenix. The show features more than 75 artists, and 300 pieces of artwork, including body painting; all-you-can-eat pancakes; and DJs and music. Tickets start at $10. This is a 21-and-up event. More information.

Nov. 8 - Jetaway Music Festival: Nelly, Cheat Codes, and Dylan Scott have been tapped to headline the Jetaway Music Festival at the W Scottsdale hotel in Scottsdale. The concert benefits Folds of Honor. Tickets start at $20. More information.

Nov. 8 & 9 - Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-Off: Step back in time to the 1880's and experience a bit of the Old West. One of Chandler's signature culinary events, chuck wagon teams will use wood-fired methods to cook up various meals. Admission is $10 on Nov. 8, and free on Nov. 9, though meal tickets are $15. More information.

Nov. 8-10 - Fountain Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts: Artwork. Food. And music. Nearly 500 fine-art artists will showcase their works at Fountain Hills' fall art festival. There will also be live music and food trucks. Parking and admission are free. More information.

Nov. 8-10: Chiles and Chocolate Festival: People can walk around the Desert Botanical Garden and sample different chocolates, sauces, and chiles, and listen to music in the courtyard. The event is included with garden membership or admission, which ranges from $13-$25. More information.

Nov. 8-10 - Fall NASCAR Weekend: Vroom! It is time to rev those engines. ISM Raceway will host its yearly fall NASCAR weekend with the Lucas Oil 150, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Race, Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 500, and the Bluegreen Vacations 500, where eight drivers will fight for a spot in the top four. In 2020, ISM Raceway will host the 2020 Championship Race. More information.

Nov. 8-10 - Wild West Days: Spend the day in Cave Creek and experience a taste of the Old West. Nearly 10,000 people attend this signature event. More information.

Nov. 8-10 - Volkstock: VW drivers and enthusiasts can head to Pleasant Harbor for the yearly Volkstock. This year's event will have live music from different bands, a handful of food trucks, and a beer garden, according to the website. Tickets start at $25. Parking is $6. More information.

Nov. 8-17: Canal Convergence: A 10-day art show along the Scottsdale Waterfront that features interactive and immersive artworks. One of this year's artworks is from SquidSoup, a United Kingdom-based collective, known for its interactive light pieces. It will be called "Standing Wave." According to release, It will "use 600 interconnected orbs of light and sound to simulate a wave over the Arizona Canal." More information.

Nov 9 - Festival of the Superstitions: Head out to Apache Junction's Flatiron Community Park for a car show, food trucks, beer garden, live entertainment, a pet parade, and kids activities. The festival is free. More information.

Nov. 9 - Arizona Pupusas Festival: Taste a popular El Salvadorian food, the papusa. It is traditionally a homemade corn tortillas filled with different meats, sauces, and toppings. The festival will be held near Roosevelt and 16th streets. More information.

Nov. 9 - Phoenix Mariachi Festival: Experience Mariachi and folkorico performances at the 4th Phoenix Mariachi Festival. It will be held at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix. Tickets start at $40. More information.

Nov. 9 - Grand Avenue Festival: A free street-side arts festival along Grand Avenue in Phoenix with pop-up galleries, murals, street performers, local music, food trucks, and craft stations. More information.

Nov. 16 - Phoenix Pizza Festival: Pizza lovers, rejoice! More than 20 pizza makers will be serving slices and whole pies at Margaret T. Hance Park. There will also be live music, lawn games, beer from Arizona Wilderness Brewing, and a kids area. Tickets are $10. . More information.

Nov. 16: Dogs’ Day in the Garden: People can spend the day at the Desert Botanical Garden with their furry companions. There will be family pictures, samples, and info from local dog-friendly non-profit organizations. The event is included with garden admission, which varies by $13-$24 per person, and $4 per dog. More information.

Nov. 16 - Wolfstock Chandler: Grab Fido and a few of his well-behaved friends and head to Chandler's Tumbleweed Park for a free dog-friendly festival. More information.

Nov. 16 - Red White and Brew Craft Beer Festival: Whether you're a beer enthusiast or not, festival-goers can sample brews from 30 breweries at this West Valley festival. Housed at Ground Control, a gastropub in Litchfield Park, the event benefits the Fighter Country Foundation. Tickets to the 21-and-up event start at $15. More information.

Nov. 16 & 17 - Arizona Asian Festival: Foodies can get a taste of Asian cuisine and learn about Asian culture at the Arizona Asian Festival, hosted by the Arizona American Association of Asian Cultures. Activities include performances, a fashion show, art competition, tea garden, and food. More information.

Nov. 16 & 17 - Arizona Hip-Hop Festival: Futuristic is set to perform at the 6th Arizona Hip-Hop Festival. The event will be held at Pressroom. Tickets are $40. More information.

Nov. 16 & 17: Mac and Cheese Fest: More cheese, please! Fans of all things ooey, gooey, and cheesy will be able to curb all their mac and cheese cravings at the Mac and Cheese Fest. Twenty-five restaurants and food trucks will have mac and cheese creations, including a $2 sample item. There will also be lawn games. Tickets start at $10. More information.

Nov. 17 - Downtown Donut Festival: What's better than doughnuts? How about a festival dedicated to doughnuts? Back for a second year, 20 doughnut makers will have $1 doughnuts and doughnut creations for sale. There will also be wine and mimosas, music, a photo booth, lawn games, face painting, and balloon animals. More information.

Nov. 17, 2019 - May 25, 2020 - Meet Victoria, the T.Rex: Billed at the largest touring skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex and the "second most complete skeleton on record," Victoria, the T.Rex, will visit the Arizona Science Center as part of a brand new world exhibition. People will be able to see the 66-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton and learn about her life and death. Admission to the special exhibition is $9-$20, plus normal admission to the Science Center, which varies between $13-$20. More information.

Nov. 23 - AZ Barrels Bottles & Brews at Salt River Fields: Sample wines, spirits, and beers from nearly 25 breweries, distilleries, and wineries in Arizona. In its second year, the event returns to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Tickets start at $50 (a designated driver ticket is $19). More information.

Nov. 23 & 24 - ArtFest of Scottsdale: More than 100 artists will have their artworks, paintings, sculptures, metal art, and jewelry displayed throughout Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza at this two-day art festival. Admission and parking are free. More information.

Nov. 27 - Jan. 19, 2020 - ZooLights: Glow Wild: Dive into the holiday spirit with a walk around the Phoenix Zoo where millions of lights have been strung in the trees and lighted animal displays have been placed along the pathways. Don't miss the "Music in Motion" light show where lights have been choreographed to music. New this year is the "Wildlife Lantern Safari," where 60 animal-shaped sculptures will be glowing along one of the trails. Tickets start at $13. More information.

Nov. 28 - Fountain Hills Thanksgiving Day Parade: Before the turkey goes into the oven, people can head up to Fountain Hills for the state's only Thanksgiving Day parade. Local organizations, girl scout troops, and school groups will walk along the street in downtown Fountain Hills. This year's theme is "Songs of the Season." The parade starts at 9 a.m. and lasts about an hour. More information.

Nov. 28 - Dec. 1 - Arizona International Auto Show: Burn off some of that Thanksgiving dinner with a walk around the Phoenix Convention Center where some of the latest cars, trucks, and sports vehicles from the top auto makers will be on display. You may even be able to take one for a test drive. More information.

Nov. 29 - Fantasy of Lights Opening Day Parade: After enjoying those Thanksgiving leftovers, head over to downtown Tempe to help kick-off the holidays with its yearly electric light parade and tree lighting ceremony. Santa Claus may even make a visit. This year there will be two grand marshals: LInda Spears, of the Kiwanis Club, and former Tempe mayor Neil Giuliano. The parade starts at 6 p.m. and the tree lighting ceremony will immediately follow. More information.

Nov. 29 & 30, Dec. 6-31 - Las Noches de Las Luminarias: The luminaria display at the Desert Botanical Garden is one of the Valley's top holiday traditions. Some 8,000 luminarias are lit every night along the garden's trails during the holiday season. The garden will also feature Wild Rising by Cracking Art, an art installation that features 1,000 animals sculptures made from recycled plastic. Tickets start at $11 for members and $12 for non-members. More information.

Nov. 29, 2019 - Jan. 11, 2020 - Glendale Glitters: Billed as the largest free light display in the Valley, 1.6 million lights will be strung across 16 city blocks in downtown Gilbert. On Nov. 29 & 30, Glendale will kick-off the holiday with its Glendale Glitters Spectacular Weekend festivities. More information.

Nov. 29, 2019 - Jan. 3, 2020 - Merry Main Street: Head to downtown Mesa to see a nearly four-story tall Christmas tree and skate around a 5,000-square-foot rink. There will also be a Christmas market, food trucks, and Santa's sELFie stations. More information.

Dec. 6-8 - Tempe Festival of the Arts: The annual art show brings 350 artists to downtown Tempe to showcase their works. It is free to walk around. There will also be live entertainment, food vendors, and live art shows. The festival celebrates 50 years in 2019. More information.

Dec. 7: APS Electric Light Parade: Another holiday tradition in Phoenix, dozens of floats, trailers, and dump trucks decorated with Christmas lights and inflatables will make their way along central Phoenix for the annual APS Electric Light Parade. The parade is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. near Central and Montebello avenues. More information.

Dec. 14 - Peoria’s Old Town Holiday Festival: Those looking for last minute gifts for the holidays will be able to shop the crafters market in Old Town Peoria. There will also be a visit from Santa, live entertainment, snow, a kids area, and gingerbread house competition. Admission and parking are free. Some activities may have a separate fee. More information.

Dec. 14 - Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade: Another Valley staple around the holidays, watch as dozens of boats outfitted with Christmas lights and other decorations parade down Tempe Town Lake near downtown Tempe. Before the parade, people can shop at the holiday market at Tempe Beach Park, listen to live music, or buy some hot chocolate. The parade starts at 7 p.m. Admission is free. More information.

ABC15 intern William Weinstein contributed to this roundup.

Editor's note (Oct. 3): The Phoenix Grilled Cheese Fest scheduled for Dec. 7, 2019 has been canceled, per an organizer, so we have removed it from the list.