CITY NEWS

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was named the Best Airport in United States, according to a USA Today.  A major hub of the South West the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport offers close-in convenience and service to visitors.

The Arizona Lottery has opened a retail location in Sky Harbor International Airport, making Arizona the latest state to join the airport lottery movement. In the past five years, there has been a trend of state lotteries establishing locations in airports, reaching out to travelers and frequent fliers and creating a new customer base.

RESORT NEWS

After a long day on the ice at CitySkate (the Valley's largest and most popular real outdoor ice rink, warm your heels at Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix located within steps of the skating, shopping and dining at CityScape Phoenix has to offer. Starting from $144 per night, the "Stay & Skate" package is available Nov. 26 - Jan.  7 and includes: ten percent off best available rate, two admission passes to the CitySkate ice rink, including skate rentals, in-room holiday movie credit and social hour and hot toddies in the Living Room from 5- 6 p.m. each evening.

Are you dreaming of a White Christmas? So was Irvin Berlin when he penned White Christmas at the Arizona Biltmore. It’s easy to think that inspiration springs easily when surrounded by the art, history and spirit of the Biltmore – especially during the holiday season. Experience Arizona Biltmore for the holidays and experience beautiful weather, spectacular decorations and festive cuisine all throughout our 39 acres. From the Gingerbread Village to the Santa letter station, find holiday cheer while staying at Arizona Biltmore.

Join Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa for a very special holiday season. Guests are invited to join in the merriment of the holidays at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa. As guests and visitors peer down to the lower lobby, they will see a “twinkling” signature saguaro and a 12’ spruce tree adorned with festive spirit greeting those arriving at SWB, a southwest bistro and Alto ristorante bar. A multitude of lights will be dancing throughout the lobby and Center Stage Bar as they reflect off of the movable glass walls.   Adding to the festivities will be the resort’s signature “serenading” gondoliers who will stroll throughout the grounds. Beginning Friday, Dec. 2, they can be heard every Friday and Saturday evening from 6-7 p.m. and at Sunday Brunch from 12-1 p.m. through Dec. 18.  Christmas Day will bring a special Holiday Buffet offering a variety of holiday favorites including Omelets prepared-to-order, Southwest Eggs Benedict, assorted Salads, King Crab Legs, Gourmet Pastas, All Natural Roasted Turkey, Herb and Citrus Rubbed Leg of Lamb and Roasted Prime Rib of Beef from the Carving Station, topped off with elaborate dessert selections: Christmas Yule Logs, Tiramisu, assorted Pies, Cakes and Tortes, Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, Cherries Jubilee made-to-order, plus much more.  There is even a special buffet just for the kids! 

Christmas at The Princess returns, bigger and brighter -- Cue the cheers of joy, Christmas at the Princess returns Nov. 22, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017. Watch as the resort transforms into an enchanting winter wonderland, complete with an outdoor Desert Ice Skating Rink, glistening four-story musical tree, "The Night Before Christmas" animated video show projection on the building's facade, 3 million holiday lights and so much more at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort & Spa.

Create new holiday family traditions this December with the return of Cookies with Claus at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Offered on three consecutive Saturdays in December will roll up their sleeves to create their own custom cookie creations, while listening to holiday storytelling, writing letters to Santa and mingling with Mrs. Claus.  Cookies with Claus will kick off with children making custom Mason jar cookies, adding in delectable mix ins such as candy canes, chocolate, candies and more. Their cookies will then be whisked away to be baked, while the children enjoy a hot chocolate bar with all the toppings, storytelling with Mrs. Claus and writing letters to Santa. Each child will receive their completed cookie creations, as well as a takeaway cookie mix upon departure to bake later for Santa and his elves to enjoy on Christmas Eve.  While the children enjoy festive activities, adults can indulge in a gourmet coffee bar with seasonal flavors, accompanied by snacks, as well as a complimentary mimosa or Bloody Mary.  Cookies with Claus will run from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 and 17. The cost is $45 per child; children must be accompanied by an adult, and reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance.

Greater Phoenix’s favorite hands-on cocktail experience, Mixology 101, returns with an eclectic series designed to immerse guests in the art of cocktail creation. Expert mixologists at jade bar at the award-winning Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain will deliver their top techniques and tastings of at least three innovative cocktails. Guests will learn how to craft a selection of cocktails inspired by a different spirit and get the inside scoop on jade bar’s freshness philosophy, spirit details and the history behind the libations they are concocting. Classes will take place every Saturday at 12 p.m. and cost $40 per person.

 

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT

Las Noches de las Luminarias lights up the Desert Botanical Garden with thousands of hand-lit paper lanterns that line the garden’s paths. Now through Dec. 31, the Garden will illuminate from 8,000 luminaria bags and thousands of twinkling lights. Live entertainment will be provided from different groups, including local artists and handbell ensembles. Guests can enjoy a warm cup of cider or cocoa while strolling the garden’s expansive exhibits.

Celebrating 25 years, ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo is back, and it is bringing 3.8 million lights and 700 sparkling displays to transform the animal exhibits into the largest holiday lighting event in the Southwest. Activities include the showing of Polar Express in the zoo’s 4-D theater, extended hours and a meet and greet with Jengo the Talking Giraffe and his pal Tortuga the Talking Galapagos Tortoise. ZooLights is available nightly from 5:30 -10:30 p.m. starting Nov. 23 and ending Jan. 8

Immerse yourself in Scandinavian music, culture, and cuisine at the Musical Instrument Museum, on Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4. Hear a performance of Swedish folk music featuring the nyckelharpa and fiddle by Gladamusik and learn about some of the dances that accompany those tunes. See the Scandinavian Folkdancers of Phoenix perform traditional Norse dances, then grab a partner and learn the couples’ dances or join in with the whole group for a folk-dance lesson. Guests can learn about Nordic folk costumes, make a Sami frame-drum craft, or join a Junior Museum Guide for a music-making activity or a short tour of the Europe Gallery with special focus on the Scandinavian displays. Guests can also enjoy Nordic classical music with the Mill Ave Chamber Players, a talented woodwind quintet that will give a special performance focused on Scandinavia’s composers. Savor Scandinavian-inspired dishes at Café Allegro, such as Swedish meatballs, Norwegian cod chowder, salmon gravlax blini, and potetsuppe (potato soup). And shop the Museum Store for a wonderful selection of Scandinavian CDs, books, ornaments, and holiday gifts.

The leaves have fallen, the ski slopes are brimming with fresh powder, and the holidays are just around the corner. Hard to believe, but it's time to start thinking New Years Eve and where you will ring in 2017. Enter Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour where they are whipping up a cocktail-tastic New Year's Eve celebration that's guaranteed to be both a blast, and stress free. Named B&T's "Hassle-Free NYE," reservations are now being accepted for this one-night-only affair where every guest is guaranteed a seat or table. No standing-room-only madness here, as guests are invited to dress up in their most decadent, 1970s-style disco outfits, and then get ready for world-class cocktails and free-flowing bubbly, including a traditional midnight toast. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and DJ Y Knot will be spinning throughout the evening. The party is hosted on Dec. 31, 2016 from 8:30 p.m.-2:00 a.m.

New music hits center stage; Center Stage Bar, that is. The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort is welcoming a variety of musical entertainment from Stanley Serrano, an Acoustic Flair Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Stanley has dedicated his life to music since the age of 5 years old. By the age 16, he was a traveling full-time musician and his passion to entertain continues to grow and is evident every time he gets on stage. He currently performs all over the Phoenix area, and is devoted to his family and his music. He will be performing Monday, Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m., 8:20 p.m.,  8:40 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.

Join the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary and Hugh Grinnell for his presentation The Explorations and Discoveries of George Bird Grinnell, The Father of Glacier National Park on Dec. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Pueblo Grande Museum.The “Great West” that George Bird Grinnell first encountered in 1870 as a 21-year old man was shortly to disappear before his eyes. Nobody was quicker to sense the desecration, or was more eloquent in crusading against the poachers, the hide hunters, and the disengaged U.S. Congress than Grinnell, the “Father of American Conservation.” Grinnell founded the first Audubon Society, co-founded the Boone and Crockett Club with Teddy Roosevelt, and led the effort to establish Glacier National Park. Audiences will travel back in time to the 19th century, listening to Grinnell’s own words as taken from his field journals, memoirs, personal correspondence, and newspaper editorials.

The Desert Botanical Garden broke ground last month on a new, expanded butterfly exhibit due to open in March 2017. The new Butterfly Pavilion will be located on the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail and will feature hundreds of live butterflies, as well as a caterpillar nursery and emergence chamber. The Garden’s newest exhibit will provide visitors an opportunity for up close interaction with butterflies while learning about their role as pollinators, characteristics of the butterfly in different lifecycles, and conservation efforts to protect them. 

The Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts just got about 30 times more hip with the addition of the new Sixth + Mill Makers, a curated artisan market within the festival footprint featuring locally-produced, hand-made goods by local creative entrepreneurs. DIY fans and the Etsy set will delight in the new programming at this year's 48th fall festival which takes place Dec. 2-4 from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. in Downtown Tempe with innovative and unconventional holiday gift ideas including buttons, cards, ceramics, children’s clothing, concrete planters, floral arrangements, hand‐made jewelry, letterpress stationary, up cycled furniture, watercolors, woodworks and more. This special artisan zone will be located at 6th Street and Mill Avenue, and will boast artisan finishing salts, cocktail mixes, a lounge and “make and take” booth.

Come get a taste of country music history by taking in the new exhibit. The Musical Instrument Museum recently unveiled a new display celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, the longest-running annual music awards program on television. MIM worked closely with the CMA to create the exhibit, which features instruments on loan from several CMA Musician of the Year nominees and winners.The initial installment of the CMA Awards display highlights instruments owned and used by some of the most respected musicians in country music, including the vintage Fender electric guitar that seven-time CMA Awards winner Roy Clark used on his 1962 debut album The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark. The fiddle that seven-time CMA Awards winner Mark O’Connor played on hundreds of Nashville recording sessions is also featured, as well as a dobro from Jerry Douglas, three-time Musician of the Year winner. In the spirit of encouraging artists of the future, children from Rosie’s House, the music academy for underserved youth of Greater Phoenix, performed before the display unveiling. Rosie’s House is one of two organizations in the Valley that receive grants from the CMA Foundation; Phoenix Conservatory of Music is the other recipient.

Everyone’s favorite ‘stuffed with fluff’ character takes the Valley Youth Theatre stage Dec. 2 for its 21st production of A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail. This production is a holiday must-see for the whole family, whether it’s a yearly tradition or the first time, this Christmas classic’s 21st production is filled with amusing, colorful songs that accompany you through the snow-covered Hundred Acre Woods sharing the holidays with Tigger, Eeyore, Owl, Kanga, Roo, Piglet and Winnie-the-Pooh.

New retail stores Moonage and Phoenix Flea are coming to DeSoto Central Market. This will be the first time that historic food hall and event venue, DeSoto opens its doors to retail concepts. With seven in-house culinary establishments including Walrus & the Pearl, the larder + the delta, DCM Bar, DCM Burger Joint, Adobo Dragon, Tea & Toast Co. and RADish, DeSoto is proud to expand upon its hyperlocal community creating more of a comprehensive “marketplace” for downtown Phoenix inhabitants.

Christmas is coming to The Farm at South Mountain this year. There will be several free events, along with workshops and pop-ups throughout the property. Some of the festivities include storytelling lunch with Mrs. Claus, photos with Mr. Claus, and a free holiday flick on The Farm. Most importantly, starting Dec. 1-23 on Tuesdays- Saturdays, there will be Christmas light displays at The Farm for everyone to enjoy. Head over at sundown until 9 p.m. to view their new light display featuring fun farm characters.

Back by popular demand, the Phoenix Symphony hosts Cirque de la Symphonie Holiday Spectacular. The all-new holiday show, hear seasonal favorites while strong men, contortionists, aerialists and jugglers perform on stage and 40 feet about it. The performances take place Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. at Orpheum Theatre.

Just in time for a festive holiday season, UnCommon Markets at Salt River Fields amplifies its monthly showcase of regional artists and artisans of handcrafted goods, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11, 10 a.m. -5 p.m., by adding a bounty of Southern Arizona flavors to the mix, in the first-ever local installation of FoodInRoot, Tucson’s popular farmer’s market specialists. UnCommon Markets has been rapidly recognized for its impressive selection of fine arts, vintage and repurposed goods while shoppers meet the maker, too.  And now teaming up with FoodInRoot, an even larger variety of distinctive items by purveyors throughout the region are available for patrons to conveniently explore without traveling during the busy holidays. Keeping with the ‘uncommon’ theme, the two-day event highlights a collection of new local artists and artisans each month. A small sampling of new Dec. participants features: The Shine Project, Handmade jewelry & clothing; proceeds go to students to attend college; JR Railroad, Vintage jewelry, glass, clothing, trains and more; Lafayette Avenue Ceramics, Handmade, functional, kitchen ceramics for everyday use and many other handcrafted goods.

 

SPA

Agave, The Arizona Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort is celebrating the holiday season with a special treat for hands and feet with its Sugar Plum Manicure and Pedicure.  Offered through Jan. 7, the fragrant treatments feature a smoothing Spiced Plum Sugar Scrub and moisturizing Spiced Plum Crème – plus, with every manicure or pedicure, guests also can enjoy a complimentary mug of mulled wine. Each of the spiced plum products from Enlight Botanicals features natural ingredients including plum extract, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove and vanilla, which combine to create the perfect holiday aroma. Plum extract, rich in Vitamin C, is a useful anti-aging ingredient that helps to smooth and plump the skin. The Sugar Plum Manicure is $79. The Sugar Plum Pedicure is $99. Or, guests can enjoy savings when combining both. The Sugar Plum Mani-Pedi Combo is priced at $149.

 

DINING

The Devour Culinary Classic, formerly known as the Devoured Culinary Classic, is the region’s premier week long annual culinary celebration hosted by Devour Phoenix, Local First Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum, and Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance at several distinct venues in Phoenix, Arizona. The goal of the events are to showcase Arizona’s celebrity culinary talent as well as its fine food and drink producers and purveyors, all while furthering metro Phoenix as a dining destination worthy of international prestige. The Devour Culinary Classic continues to be named the leading and most-anticipated culinary event in the Phoenix area. Already this year, the Devour Culinary Classic was named Best Food Festival by Phoenix Magazine and Best Culinary Festival by Phoenix New Times, and also received the Good Neighbor Award from the Arizona Restaurant Association’s Foodist Awards. The Devour Week of events will be held Feb. 26- March 5 with a series of events celebrating Arizona’s unique culinary talents. The main event, the Devour Culinary Classic, will be held on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5, at Phoenix Art Museum, where the Dorrance Sculpture Garden will come alive with tastings of food, wine, beer, and cocktails, as well as cooking demonstrations and interactive stations where attendees will have a unique opportunity to meet and interact with Arizona chefs. 

It doesn't get much better than enjoying happy hour with Joe’s Midnight Run, especially when the special is $2 off all food and drink items on the entire menu, excluding Bud Light and King Cobra 40s.  This means $3 to $6 beers and dishes starting at $5.  Happy hour happens Monday-Friday from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday-Thursday from 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Take a bite out of Chef Michael Goldsmith's skirt steak with marinated peppers and chimichurri sauce or grilled wings in a savory chipotle honey glaze with lime/cilantro crema, each for just $8 during happy hour. Furry friends shouldn't have to stay home and miss all the fun. Puppies and pooches are welcome on the patio dining area at Joe's Midnight Run. Nibble on charcuterie and cheese ($13) while the pup digs into one of three rice bowl options ($5): beef, chicken, and veggie.  The Doggy Menu is available all day from 11-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, and 9:30-2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Kitchen West Restaurant at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch and The Simple Farm are “bringing the dignity back to the supper table” by introducing a rustic communal dining experience – “Farm to Kitchen West Supper Series” – at Greater Phoenix’s only urban farm. Guests experience farm couture (ladies, leave those high heels at home!) with a behind-the-scenes tour with The Simple Farm Owners (and award-winning caramel makers) Lylah and Michael Ledner along with a meet-and-greet with the five resident Nubian dairy goats. Diners are then invited to choose a seat at a long wooden table with rustic chairs and a burlap table runner, mismatched wine glasses, and flowers picked from the garden while Kitchen West’s Executive Chef Rick Dupere puts the finishing touches on the meal. Sitting in the farm’s garden space under the starlit sky, diners break bread together during this intimate family style dinner with ingredients picked straight from the farm while Chef, Lylah and Michael share their passion for local, organic farm produce and quality cooking. The monthly three-course dinner is limited to 16 people to encourage communal dining with the farmers and Chef.  Dec. 16 Kitchen West will host a “Native American Style Wood Fire Cooking”.

Sixteen local wineries, and more than 10 culinary partners, are participating in the 7th annual Grape Arizona Wine Event, benefitting Phoenix Rotary Club Charities Youth Programs. The Grape Arizona Wine Event will take place Sunday, Jan. 29 from 1- 5 p.m. at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix. Early bird tickets are on sale now for $55 per person. Admission includes 20 wine tasting tickets, bites and dishes from local area restaurants, a silent auction, a raffle featuring fabulous themed prizes worth thousands of dollars, and wine-related vendors. In addition to wine tasting, attendees will sample some of Arizona’s best food from culinary partners including: Beckett’s Table, The Bakery Phoenix, Leoni’s Focaccia, The Herb Box, The Larder at DeSoto Central Market, Modern Round, Southern Rail, The Strand, Urban Italian Eatery, Urban Table, Vincent’s and more! 

Named after the iconic Italian Bue Grasso cattle, food & wine festival, chef Matthew Carter's Fat OX officially opened to the public last month. Housed inside a striking, marble-lined and wood-accented space. Fat OX serves up Chef Carter's modern takes on the authentic, ingredient-driven and hearty recipes of rural Italy. Think sharable starters such as hand-pulled cheeses, house-made pastas and signature Caesar salads made-to-order tableside, all paired with Fat OX's Italian-kissed cocktails, craft beers, and a globe-straddling wine list overseen by an in-house sommelier. That said, the real stars here are the plate-buckling cuts of Prime steak, poultry and seafood that are slow-roasted over local mesquite, and then carved tableside by the skilled waitstaff. It's a nod to Italy's timeless cattle country of Piedmont and Tuscany, where much like in rural Arizona, generations of horsemen still work the land, raising their prized bue grasso or fat oxen before herding them to the tiny town of Carrú and parading them through a packed piazza to compete for the prestigious title of Fat OX Fair champion. Held each December, this wildly popular Fiera del Bue Grasso also attracts top chefs and winemakers from across Italy, and is highlighted by communal preparation of a traditional meat stew. Tucked inside the Lincoln Plaza, Fat OX joins Chef Carter's impressive portfolio of award-winning Valley restaurants, including Zinc Bistro, Carter's first restaurant launched more than 15 years ago, as well as The Mission and The House Brasserie in Greater Phoenix.

The Crepe Club is introducing a traditional European holiday dessert for the holiday season. The Buche de Noel, also known as a Yule Log, is a rolled sponge cake shaped and decorated to look like a log. It’s adorned with Christmas symbols and served around the holidays. The festive dessert is a family tradition for Karim, Fares and Omar Tarabichi, brothers and co-owners of The Crepe Club. They wanted to bring the delicious custom to their guests. The cakes come in a choice of Vanilla or Chocolate and serve about 8 -10 people for $49.95.

Holiday season is quickly approaching, which means holiday parties, office parties and catering are on everyone’s mind. Skip the potlucks and leave the planning and good food to these Valley restaurants who offer both large and small catering options and private dining capabilities. DeSoto Central Market is committed to cultivating a communal gathering place while serving farm-to-table ingredients from local purveyors while serving craft cocktails, beers and wine. The in-house restaurants include Tea & Toast Co., the larder + the delta, Adobo Dragon, RADish, Walrus & the Pearl, DCM Burger Joint and DCM Bar. DeSoto Central Market has the capability to host events ranging from 20-630 guests for a complete buy-out. Street-side patio and Mezzanine options are also available in this 14,000 square-foot venue while the catering at DeSoto ranges from all- American burgers to Latin-Asian Fusion and seafood. Tomaso’s has been serving high-end classic Italian cuisine for 40 years making the restaurant an iconic destination for all celebratory occasions in the Camelback Corridor. For any holiday soiree, Tomaso’s can accommodate smaller parties up to a full buy-out of 207 people. The restaurant boasts variety of dining spaces including the fully-private “Serena Room” and the semi-private “Cove.” Tomaso’s fully stocked bar and comprehensive knowledge of wine complement the authentic Sicilian cuisine ranging from spaghetti and meatballs to Prime Filet Mignon. Located in vibrant downtown Phoenix, Tom’s Tavern has been in business for the past 87 years. The historic restaurant personalizes each catering or party experience depending on budget, number of guests and food likes and dislikes. Executive Chef Jim Gallen creates a personalized unique menu for each occasion, but if you have a dish on the menu you can’t live without, you can order that too. The restaurant has private and semi-private dining capabilities for 15-36 people, and also does off-site catering.

Executive Chef Sean Currid has revamped the Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails winter menu to reflect the season, along with taking inspiration from classic dishes from eras past, and adding his own signature Southern twist. Some Blue Hound staples are back this winter including the Boudin Balls, Fried Green Tomatoes, Corn Grit Fries and the always popular, Deviled Eggs. A few of Chef’s new favorites include: Albacore Tuna made with a root vegetable cake, charred citrus, pickled mustard seed, aji amarillo, Clams made with garlic, shallots, ginger beer and served with Noble Bread and many more delicious options.

EVO is renowned for Chef Stephen Fowler's menu of modern versions of classic Italian dishes, served till 1:30 a.m. nightly. Think handmade pastas and pizza dough and hand-rolled meatballs, all made with locally sourced ingredients such as Danzeisen Dairy, Arizona Micro Greens, Blue Sky Farms, Wildflower Bread, Grateful Spoon Gelato and Queen Creek Olive Oil. At EVO, these fresh ingredients and bold flavors combine to create fresh, light favorites such as Chili Shrimp served with tagliatelle pasta, tossed with spicy Calabrian chili oil, fresh mint and zucchini. Or the hearty 'happy accident' that is the EVO salad, featuring crispy Brussels sprouts, oven-baked kale, sliced pear, herbed goat cheese, pancetta and reduced balsamic. EVO also features a new, improved daily Happy Hour from 4-7 p.m. featuring gourmet bar bites and new seasonal craft cocktails designed by Brian Goodwin of Citizen Public House and The Gladly, who happens to be Neuman's old roommate. Made with house-made syrups, enjoy all-new cocktails such as the Amaro Manhattan. Plus, don't miss EVO's famed "Brunch After Dark, served Sunday's from 4 p.m.-1:30 a.m., and featuring delectable delights such as pancake-battered bacon with maple-bourbon syrup, and the EVO Cristo, a decadently fried sandwich made with crunchy peanut butter, house-made jam, bananas and marshmallow fluff.

 

SPORTS/GOLF

The Phoenix Local Organizing Committee announced that the NCAA and Turner Live Events, alongside official NCAA Corporate Champions and Partners, will host popular ancillary events at the 2017 Final Four in Downtown Phoenix and Glendale. The events range from a three-day music festival to a fan festival and open team practices. Most events are free and all are open to the public. Here is the lineup of ancillary events for the 2017 Final Four: Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One, NCAA March Madness Music Festival presented by AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola, the Final Four Dribble and Final Four Friday.

Attention Football Fans! The Playstation Fiesta Bowl and the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl return. The 46th Annual PlayStation Fiesta Bowl begins Dec. 31 at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cactus Bowl begins Dec. 28 at Chase Field. Fans get excited as adventure lives on in the Grand Canyon state. Come root for your favorite team while enjoying the desert outdoors. Plenty of events and city happenings to keep you entertained.

Santa Claus is coming to town. Actually - thousands of Santas. New this year is the Santa Hustle Arizona 5K & Half Marathon at Westgate Entertainment District. See Glendale like never before as thousands of Santas are expected to race along the streets and spread holiday cheer. As one of the largest growing races across the country (it's most popular in Chicago and it's the first time coming to AZ), runners will enjoy Christmas tunes throughout the course as well as designated cookie and candy stations. Each participant will receive a Santa hat, beard and a lightweight performance hoodie to wear while running. New this year, all finishers in the 5K and half-marathon will receive a finisher’s medal. After the race is finished, runners are encouraged to hang out at Westgate and enjoy a winter wonderland complete with a real, outdoor ice skating rink, nightly snowfall, free horse-drawn carriage rides and more. Santa Hustle Arizona 5K & Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016 and the start and finish line will be at WaterDance Plaza. The half-marathon starts at 8 a.m., and the 5K starts at 8:30 a.m.

 

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