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Phoenix spring festivals: From food to music to art, 80 festivals to visit this spring in Phoenix

Posted: 5:47 PM, Jan 16, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-07 19:32:01Z

Between now and May, there are more than 80 festivals planned in nearly every part of the Valley.

Phoenix. Mesa. Scottsdale. Gilbert. Glendale. Tempe. Chandler. Peoria. There is at least one festival happening in each city and town. Everything from food festivals to music festivals, to Arizona Renaissance Festival and The Great American Beer Festival, you're likely to find something that you'd like to attend.

Did we forget to mention the chocolate festival? Whiskey and cheese festival?

We've rounded up as many of the festivals from now through May that we could find. Scroll down and check them out. If you go to one, let us know!

Did I miss one? Send an email to Josh.Frigerio@abc15.com and let me know. I'll take a look!

JANUARY:

  • Chocolate & Wine Experience  (Jan. 27): Enjoy unlimited food, chocolate and drink samples from some of the Valley best chefs, brewers, wineries, and distilleries. The event benefits the Scottsdale League for the Arts. The event has sold out in past years. Tickets are $60-$75.
  • Arizona Musicfest (Jan. 27 - March 2): The Arizona Musicfest features a full season of performers at various venues around the Valley. View full schedule . Tickets can be bought in bundles or individual performances. 
  • Tacolandia  (Jan. 28): Who doesn't love tacos? Thirty Valley taquerias will be serving up "authentic Mexican street-style tacos" at the inaugural festival. Barrio Cafe, Taco Chiwas and Macayo's will be there. Tickets are $25-$35. The event may sell out.
  • Doggie Street Festival  (Jan. 28): This festival is all about the dogs and cats. Vendors will be selling the latest in pet food, games, and healthcare, while organizations will be adopting out pets. Memberships start at $20.
  • Grape Arizona Wine Event (Jan. 29): Sip on wine and snack on bites at the Grape Arizona Wine Event. Sixteen wineries and ten culinary chefs and restaurants will be there. Tickets start at $55 and benefit Phoenix Rotary Club.
  • Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival  (Jan. 28-29): More than 60 exhibitors will be on site to talk about plant-based food. Many will have food for sale to entice your taste buds. Tickets are $35 - $75.
  • Queen Creek Festival of New Oil  (Jan. 28 – Feb. 26): Queen Creek hosts this month-long festival each year to celebrate the latest harvest of oil (Olivepalooza happens in November) and their limited edition Bell'Olio Nuovo, or "beautiful new oil."  There will be various events going on throughout the month. View the calendar on their website for specifics.
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open (Jan. 30 - Feb. 5): Watch professional golfers like Jordan Spieth practice and play in the Phoenix Open. Don't forget to check out the Pro-Am where the pros and amateurs join for a round of golf. Jan. 30-31 are FREE. Feb 1-5, admission is $40.

Arizona Strong Beer Festival

FEBRUARY:

  • Chocolate Affaire  (Feb. 3-5): This free festival is for chocolate lovers and romantics. Valley chocolate makers and bakeries fill Murphy Park in downtown Glendale will all kinds of chocolate treats. Cerreta Candy Company offers tours of its shop, and there are plenty of games for the kids.
  • Buckeye Air Fair (Feb. 4): The 2017 Buckeye Air Fair will take place at Buckeye Municipal Airport. There will be aircraft displays and demonstrations, music from the USAF Band of the Golden West and activities for the kids. Admission is free.
  • Scottsdale’s Brewer’s Bowl  (Feb. 4): Arizona brewers compete against each other for the coveted "Lom-Beer-Di" trophy at this outdoor street festival. Attendees can enjoy craft beers, food from local food trucks and listen to music.
  • Great Canadian Picnic  (Feb. 4): Think poutine because The American Poutine Company food truck is crashing this free picnic/festival at South Mountain. More than 3,000 Arizona-Canadians attended last year's event. There will be games, live music, a hockey shootout, snow and curling. Admission and parking are free.
  • Arizona Beer Week  (Feb. 9-18): Arizona Beer Week celebrates the breweries around the state. There are various special events and tastings scheduled throughout the week leading up to the Arizona Strong Beer Festival (Feb. 11).
  • The Phoenix Liberty Festival (Feb. 9 & 10): Watch a historical reenactment of the American Revolution. There will be demonstrations, fashion shows, musket training, and food. Passes are $12.
  • Chinese Week  (Feb. 10-12): This year is the Year of the Rooster and marks the 27th Chinese Culture & Cuisine Festival in Phoenix. Guests can watch traditional Chinese dance, martial arts demonstrations and try authentic food from local vendors. Admission is free.
  • Litchfield Park Centennial Celebration (Feb. 10-12): Litchfield Park celebrates 100 years in 2017. The city will be hosting various events and celebrations. As of this writing, exact details were still being determined. Check website for updates.
  • Parada Del Sol Parade  and Trail's End Festival (Feb. 11): Dress up in your western ware and come to Scottsdale. The parade starts at 10 a.m. The festival starts at noon.
  • Arizona Strong Beer Festival  (Feb. 11): More than 130 breweries from across Arizona bring more than 450 craft beers for festival-goers to taste. Tickets are $45+ and are on sale now.
  • Street Eats Food Truck Festival  (Feb. 11 & 12): More than 70 food trucks converge on Salt River Fields. General admission is $12. Once inside, food trucks serve $2 samples. There is also cooking demos, activities and live music.
  • Arizona Renaissance Festival  (Feb. 11 – April 2): Hear ye! Hear ye! While the Arizona Ren. Fest isn't a food festival per se; they do have massive turkey legs for sale, hand-made chocolate, and other food items on-a-stick.
  • Arizona Cocktail Week  (Feb. 17-24): Similar to Beer Week, Arizona Cocktail week puts a spotlight on spirits and cocktails both classic and innovative. Cocktails lounges and bars will host various events and specials throughout the week.
  • Crushbrew  (Feb. 18-19): Crushbrew is a craft beverage festival which means spirits, wine and beer. Breweries, wineries and distilleries line the Scottsdale Waterfront with samples of their best stuff for you to try. Tickets are $45+ which includes a tasting glass and sample tickets.
  • Corks and Cactus  (Feb. 18-29): At this event, guests walk around the Desert Botanical Garden sampling various boutique wines that are all available for purchase. Forty wines can be sampled each day. Tickets are $35 - $40. 
  • Barrel + Board  (Feb. 23): Valley breweries will try to come up with the best beer and cheese pairing. All you have to do is sample your way through cheese, snacks, beer and whiskey at this all-inclusive event. Admission is $50 - $60. It may sell out.
  • 14th annual Polish Festival  (Feb. 25-26): Experience Polish culture and food at their annual festival. Pierogis, cabbage rolls, hunter's stew and sausage, and sauerkraut will all be available for purchase. Admission to the festival is free. There will also be music and games!
  • Arizona Matsuri Festival  (Jan. 25-26): This free festival highlights Japanese culture, cuisine and entertainment. Food vendors will have dishes and desserts for sale, including ramen and Takoyaki balls.
  • Phoenix Vegan Festival  (Feb. 25): The Phoenix Vegan Festival returns for a second year in 2017! Vegan-friendly restaurants and chefs will showcase various dishes, snacks and drinks. Other vendors will feature clothing and other items. Tickets are $25-$50.
  • Blues Blast Music Festival  (Feb. 25): The Phoenix Blues Society is back again with another music festival this year. The Delgado Brothers, Karen Lovely & the Pacific Northwest All Stars are set to perform. Tickets are $25 -$30.
  • Peoria Greek Fest  (Feb. 10-12): Marking 30 years in 2017, Peoria's Greek Festival is put on by St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church. Vendors have a variety of Greek dishes and desserts for sale, including gyros, Greek salad, roasted Greek chicken, shish kabob, Baklava. Admission is $3 per person. Kids and active military are free.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

MARCH

  • McDowell Mountain Music Festival (March 3-5):  Flume, The Shins, Chromeo, Grouplove are a few of the artists scheduled to perform at this year's MMMF. In its 14th year, the music festival was formed to bring the community together. Ticket sales benefit Phoenix Children's Hospital and UMOM. Tickets are $40+.
  • The Good Life Festival with Lynyrd Skynyrd (March 4): Lynyrd Skynyrd will headline this year's Good Life Festival at Encanterra Country Club. Besides music, the festival has artisan shopping and food at the country club's grounds. Tickets are $40 - $80.
  • Downtown Mesa BrewFest  (March 4): Arizona breweries, food trucks and restaurants will serve drinks and food along Macdonald Street during this tasting fest. A 12 oz. pour is $5. Admission to the festival is free, and you can bring your dog. VIP tickets can be bought for $40.
  • Arizona Caribbean Jerk Festival  (March 5): Dive into Caribbean culture with Reggae music,  food and entertainment at this year's Arizona Caribbean Jerk Festival. Tickets are $15. Vendors will be on site selling food.
  • Burger Battle  (March 9): In this Burger Battle, Arizona chefs compete against each other to create the best burger. Tickets are $65-$85 and include tasting all the burgers, fixings, beer, wine, fries and dessert. 
  • Out West Balloon Fest (March 10-12):  Large hot air balloons will fill University of Phoenix Stadium's parking lot during the Out West Balloon Fest. Guests can watch balloons launch into the air or take a tethered ride. Ticket information wasn't available as of this writing so make sure to check the website for updates.
  • Arizona Aloha Festival  (March 11-12): Aloha! The Arizona Aloha Festival celebrates Hawaiian culture and cuisine. Dishes include manapua or steamed pork-filled buns, haupia, a coconut pudding, and musubi, spam-and-rice sandwich wrapped in sushi. Admission is free. Food is available for purchase.
  • The Great Arizona Beer Festival  (March 11): More than 50 breweries will visit Phoenix's Civic Space Park with more than 200 beers for festival-goers to try. This 21+ only event benefits Sun Sounds of Arizona. Admission is $45 - $65. Food trucks and vendors will serve food, too.
  • Viva Phx 2017 (March 11): This downtown Phoenix one-night festival features 75 bands at 18 venues. Artists include Girl Talk, American Football, The Drums and Mystikal. General admission starts at $25.
  • Shamrock Fest  (March 17): Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a beer garden, stein holding and Lucky Charms eating contest at Shamrock Fest in Chandler. General admission is $8 and VIP is $80.
  • Pot of Gold Music Festival (March 17-28): Flogging Molly. Death Cab for Cutie. Sublime with Rome. G-Eazy. The 2017 Pot of Gold Music Fest will be at Rawhide. General admission is $69 and a two-day pass is $130.
  • Maricopa Salsa Festival  (March 25): Do you love salsa? Chefs will compete for a $1,000 prize to have the best salsa. For salsa lovers, you get to taste and vote. Voting packets are $1 each. Parking and kids games are $5.
  • 4th annual Italian Festival  (March 25-26): Ciao! The Fourth Italian Festival will take over Scottsdale's Civic Center Mall in March with authentic Italian food, music and entertainment. Vendors will have pasta, pizza and baked goods for sale.
  • My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge  (March 25-26): Valley chefs and salsa makers will compete for the best salsa. You get to try them all, as much as you want. General admission is $15 and VIP is $55. There will also be music, kids games, cornhole tournament and a margarita mix-off.
  • Anthem Days (March 25-26):  This free festival celebrates Anthem's local businesses. There will also be a carnival, artists, food vendors, live music, games for the kids and a beer garden for the adults.
  • The Great American Barbecue & Beer Festival  (March 25): BBQ and beer. Sixty BBQ chefs, restaurants, pitmasters and food trucks will fill Dr. A.J. Chandler Park with bbq sandwiches, BBQ mac & cheese and other treats. There will also be beer, cocktails and live music.
  • Tempe Festival of the Arts (March 31 - April 2): More than 300 artists from Arizona and the United States set up tents along Mill Avenues. You'll be able to find photography, sculpture, artisan clothing designers, musicians, and everything in between. Food, too!

 

APRIL

  • NCAA Final Four (March 31 - April 3): Fan Fest, March Madness Music Festival, open practice and Final Four Dribble are all events planned for the Final Four's Phoenix appearance. Exact details are still being determined as of this writing. Check website for updates .
  • Chandler Jazz Festival (March 31 & April 1): This is not an April Fool's joke. Spend the weekend in Chandler where jazz bands and singers will be entertaining guests around the town. Come hungry. There are many restaurants in downtown Chandler, including The Brickyard, Modern Margarita, La Bocca, Crust and San Tan Brewing Company.
     
  • Phoenix Pride Festival (April 1 & 2): Phoenix Pride celebrates the LGBT community and ally communities with a two-day festival. There will be five entertainment stages, vendors, shops and community resources. Over 35,000 people typically attend. 
  • County 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 

MAY:

  • Arizona Restaurant Week (May 19-28): During Arizona Restaurant Week, restaurants across the state offer three-course prix fixe dinners (appetizer, entree, dessert). Dinners are $33 or $44. Some include a drink.
  • Schnepf Farms Peach Festival  (May 13-14, 20-21): Peach season at Queen Creek's Schnepf Farms is a large festival. The bakery makes gigantic peach cinnamon rolls, peach pancakes, salsas, cookies and cobbler. Guests can pick their own peaches, visit the petting zoo and go on hay rides.
  • Phoenix Comicon (May 25-28): Sean Maguire (ABC's Once), David Anders (Alias, Heroes, Once) and Jason David Frank (Power Rangers) are scheduled to attend Phoenix Comicon this year. Dress up as your favorite character, listen to panels, celebrity meet-and-greets and vendors selling fan-worthy merchandise.
  • Cave Creek Balloon Festival (May 27): Watch dozens of hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes inflate and illuminate the night sky. There will also be live music, face painting and a fireworks show. Tickets range from $10 - $85. Parking is $5. Bring cash.