Four Tempe events you do not want to miss this weekend; Plus, parking tips

Posted at 2:57 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 22:08:33-04

Downtown Tempe will be busier than usual over the weekend as four festivals and events will be underway.

Here is a quick guide to each event and a few traveling and parking tips to keep in mind.

Tempe Festival of the Arts (March 23-25)

More than 300 artists from around the country will showcase their works along Mill Avenue, Friday, March 23 through Sunday, March 25. There will also be food trucks, street artists and street performers.

The festival will be open from 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. There is no admission fee, but you will want to bring money to purchase art, food or drinks. More information.

Arizona Dragon Boat Race And Festival (March 24-25)

More than 100 teams are scheduled to compete in the 15th annual Arizona Dragon Boat Festival on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake on Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25.

Teams of 16 people will paddle against the current and each other to take first place. The festival is free to watch. Hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sunday. There will be vendors, merchandise tents and information booths there. More information.

Free parking is available at ASU's Lot 59 near Rio Salado Parkway and Rural Road, behind Sun Devil Stadium. Air-conditioned shuttles will take people to the waterfront, officials said.

Related: ABC15 previews the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival

Innings Festival (March 23-25)

Queens of the Stone Age, The Avett Brothers and Chris Stapleton headline the inaugural Innings Festival, a new music and food festival from C3 Presents, the same people behind "Lollapalooza" and "Austin City Limits." More information.

The festival is at Tempe Beach Park.

Like its name suggests, organizers tailored the festival toward Spring Training. Guests will be able to test their pitching speed, jump into batting cages, and play in a home run derby. 

Beau McMillan, executive chef at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and featured on Food Network, will lead a burger battle event and cooking demos throughout the weekend.

The hours are Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. - midnight, and Sunday, 1:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Tickets: Single-day tickets are $89 - $95, plus fees, and still available. A weekend pass is $169, plus fees.

The King and I at ASU Gammage (through March 25)

Broadway musical, The King and I, will finish its run at ASU Gammage over the weekend. There are five shows scheduled between Friday and Sunday, with matinee and evening performances on Saturday and Sunday.

Parking is available at ASU Gammage, but that lot typically fills quickly. Free parking is available at Lot 20 near University Drive and Mill Avenue. Overflow parking is available in the adjacent parking structure on 10th Street. More information.


Due to each of the events, people should expect parking garages to have festival rates enforced. Some may be cash-only. Road restrictions will be enforced along Mill Avenue; Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets; and Maple Avenue through the weekend.

City officials are recommending people use Valley Metro's free park-and-ride lots, and take the light rail to downtown Tempe.

LIGHT RAIL: The closest light rail stop to downtown Tempe is at Third Street and Mill Avenue, a short walk from Tempe Town Lake and Mill Avenue. It's a farther walk to ASU Gammage. View light rail schedule and map

PARK AND RIDE: Valley Metro has more than a dozen Park-and-Ride lots throughout the Valley. You can park there for free and then purchase a pass for the light rail and take it to downtown Tempe. Daily fare is $4. You can purchase fare using the kiosks on the platform using cash or card. View map of park-and-ride locations.

PARKING STRUCTURES: There are several parking lots and structures throughout downtown. Here is a map of the parking structures. Parking fees will vary by lot.

RIDE-SHARE: Lyft has partnered with the Innings Festival. They will have a designated pick-up and drop-off location on Ash Avenue between Third Street and Rio Salado Parkway.